Many homes and hotels have bathtub spouts that leak while the shower is running. To stop this water, energy and money from going down the drain, the EPA's WaterSense program has released a notice of intent to add bath and shower diverters to its suite of WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures.
Bath and shower diverters are used to divert the flow of water either toward the bathtub spout or toward the showerhead in bathrooms that feature a tub-shower combination. Bath and shower diverters can develop leaks over time that waste significant amounts of water and energy with every shower. EPA is considering developing a draft WaterSense labeling specification as an opportunity for manufacturers and communities looking to save water.
WaterSense has identified field studies that examine the extent of bath and shower diverter leaks. One study found that 34 percent of bath and shower diverters had an average leak rate of 0.8 gpm, with leak rates as high as 3.0 gpm. From these studies, EPA estimates that old, leaky diverters can waste an average of more than 1,500 gallons of water per year, and as much as 4,200 gallons per year.
Like all WaterSense labeled products, bath and shower diverters would be independently certified to both save water and perform well. With the release of this NOI, WaterSense is gathering input and supporting information related to bath and shower diverter performance to help EPA in developing its draft specification, which it plans to release in Spring 2017.
Interested stakeholders are encouraged to share comments and information with WaterSense by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about WaterSense's NOI for bath and shower diverters, visit the WaterSense website.