FALLS CHURCH, VA. — Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association is calling on its members to strongly protest a Department of Energy proposal that would ban multiple head showers. DOE proposes to interpret the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended, to mean that a showerhead is anything past the mixing valve. That would mean that all fittings could not spray more than 2.5-gpm combined

“Without advance notice to stakeholders, the United States Department of Energy has issued an interpretive rule defining showerheads which will have an impact on the installation of higher end bathrooms such as spas and showers that have both a showerhead and hand shower or shower towers,” PHCC-NA said in its alert.

DOE interprets that a showerhead is all components that are supplied standard together and function from one inlet (i.e., after the mixing valve) form a single showerhead for purposes of the maximum water use standards.

Using this rule, DOE will find a showerhead to be noncompliant with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act’s maximum water use standard if the showerhead’s standard components, operating in their maximum design flow configuration, taken together use in excess of 2.5-gpm when flowing at 80-psi, even if each component individually does not exceed 2.5 gpm.

Click here to see the rule.

PHCC is encouraging contractors to send comments to DOE opposing this rule and explaining that the change in the definition of showerhead as currently proposed would have an adverse effect on the plumbing industry as a whole but especially the plumbing contractor who is responsible for the sales and installation of the defined products. Also this new definition would, in fact, have a negative impact on water conservation.

The net result of the DOE proposal is the elimination of multiple outlet shower systems, including hand-held showers, body sprays, gang showers and more!

PHCC opposes the interpretive rule and asks you to contact DOE by submitting this letter. The comment period ends on June 18.

Comments should be written on a contracting firm’s letterhead. Please be sure to fill in your appropriate information. Include the DOE docket number on your letter — Docket No. EERE-2010-BT-NOA-0016. Email your letter to Showerhead_Guidance_Comments@hq.doe.gov. Be sure to put the docket number in the subject line of you email.