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SB 407 – Water Fixture Replacement Requirements

Codified as California Code Sections 1101.1 through 1101.8

Current Replacement Requirement

When a property built on or before January 1, 1994 is undergoing additions, alterations, or improvements; SB 407 requires non-compliant plumbing fixtures to be replaced with water conserving fixtures.  Also, property built before 1994 that is altered or improved after 2014, must install compliant water fixtures as a condition of final permit approval.

Current Disclosure Requirement

As of January 1, 2017, the seller or transferor of single family units must disclose to a purchaser, in writing, requirements for replacing plumbing fixtures. In addition, the seller must disclose whether the real property includes noncompliant plumbing fixtures. The start date of this requirement for multifamily units is January 1, 2019. 

How to Disclose 

From the C.A.R. Legal Q & A on Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures

First, the TDS will allow the seller to disclose to the buyer the legal requirements of the law. That's on the second page of the TDS in the fine print.

Secondly, with the 2016 December forms release, the Seller Property Questionnaire (Form SPQ) will be revised to ask the seller whether they are aware of any non-compliant plumbing fixtures. 

Thirdly, on those transactions which are TDS exempt, the Exempt Seller Disclosure (Form ESD) will be amended to facilitate both disclosures. (Since for TDS exempt properties, neither the TDS nor the SPQ is used). 

Finally, with the December forms release there will be an optional disclosure form for "Water conserving Plumbing Fixtures and Carbon Monoxide Detector Notice" (Form WCMD). This form will provide an explanation of the technical requirements of the law. It is not actually a new form, but instead, is a revision of the existing "Carbon Monoxide Detector" form. Although, it is an optional form, agents should check with their broker to see if the brokerage requires its delivery. 

Plumbing Fixtures Considered Noncompliant: 

  • Toilets that use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf). 
  • Urinals that uses more than 1 gpf. 
  • Showerheads that have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). 
  • Interior faucets that emits more than 2.2 gpm.

The maximum gpf or gpm on a particular water fixture is typically determined by the year it was manufactured.  For instance, toilets manufactured between 1980 and 1992 usually use 3.5 gpf.  In 1994 the federal government mandated that manufactured toilets use an average of 1.6 gpf or less.  These standards and dates very by water fixture.  

Here is how to determine the gpf or gpm for each type of fixture. 

  • On toilets, the gpf is often listed next to the hinges or inside the tank. If not, look for the amount of liters, or year manufactured.  6 gpf is 6.1 liters. 
  • On showerheads, the gpm is usually listed in VERY small print near the rim, where the shower head attaches to the water supply. 
  • On faucets, the gpm is also usually listed near the rim next to the aerator.

There are manual methods to determine the flow or flush rates for each fixture.  If you cannot find the gpf or gpm, please contact me at tonyc@ocar.org, and I can send you more information. 

According to the California Energy Commission’s Appliance Efficiency Regulations here are the requirements for water fixtures manufactured after January 1, 2016.  Retailers, however, are permitted to sell products purchased prior to that date.  

  • Single flush toilets, 1.28 gpf.
  • Dual flush toilets, composite average 1.28 gpf 
  • Wall mounted urinals, 0.125 gpf.
  • Other urinals, 0.5 gpf. 
  • Showerheads, 2 gpm at 80psi. 
  • Bathroom faucets: 1.5 gpm
  • Kitchen faucets: 1.8 gpm 

If you have any questions, again please contact me at tonyc@ocar.org. Thank you.

Disclaimer – This update is intended as a general advisory, and is not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice. Advice in specific situations may differ depending upon a wide variety of factors. Therefore, readers with specific legal questions should seek the advice of an attorney.

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Guest Friday, 24 March 2017