As a reminder, beginning January 2017, California Civil Code § 1101.4 requires that all homes built on or before January 1, 1994 must be equipped with water conserving plumbing fixtures (toilets not more than 1.6 gallons per flush, showers not more than 2.5 GPM, and interior faucets not more than 2.2 GPM).
The following forms changes and new FAQ can help with compliance:
- Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures and Carbon Monoxide Detector Notice (WCMD): The new WCMD sets out the requirements for both Water Conserving Plumbing Fixtures and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. (Although this law does not create a point of sale requirement (unlike water heater strapping and smoke alarm compliance), it does trigger a disclosure to the buyer (like carbon monoxide detectors)).
- Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ) and the Exempt Seller Disclosure (ESD): Both the SPQ and the ESD have been modified to include a question for the seller to disclose whether they are aware of any non-compliant plumbing fixtures.
- NEW Client FAQ: C.A.R. has created a plain language FAQ for clients setting out in a straightforward and simple fashion the new requirements. The FAQ, which can be given separately to both sellers and buyers, will also include a copy of relevant portions of the new WCMD. It will be available soon on the new C.A.R. website.
The questions and answers from the new QA&A are below.
2017 Water Conserving Plumbing Fixtures – What You Need to Know
Q. What does the law require?
A. In a nutshell, starting in 2017, the law requires installation of water conserving plumbing fixtures if you own a single-family home, and it is built before 1994 – whether or not it is being sold.
Q. I am selling my house. Are there any special disclosures that I must make?
A. The law requires you to disclose whether there are any non-compliant plumbing fixtures on the property. The form on the other side of this FAQ [portions of the new WCMD] has the specifications. But if you are unsure, then you should consult with someone who has expertise in the matter like a contractor or plumber.
Q. I am selling my house. Are there any installation requirements under this law?
A. No. There is nothing in this law that requires installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures as a condition of sale. However, if you haven’t already installed water conserving plumbing fixtures on your pre-1994 single-family house, then you are in violation of the basic requirement of the law.
Q. I own a property in a city where there is an existing retrofit law for water-conserving fixtures as a point of sale requirement (such as Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco). Are those retrofit laws still in force?
A. Yes. Local laws passed before July of 2009 requiring retrofit of plumbing fixtures remain in effect. The state law also allows a locality to pass more restrictive requirements at any time.
Q. I would like to install water conserving plumbing fixtures. What can I do?
A. Call an expert such as a contractor or plumber. You can also go to your local home improvement store. You may wish to contact your local water service provider to find out if they offer low-cost or even no-cost plumbing fixtures.
For more information: C.A.R. Legal Q&A Water Conserving Plumbing Fixtures.