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Technologies - Domestic Plumbing
In 1994, the state of Arizona adopted the International Plumbing Standard, which requires low water use plumbing fixtures in new construction and for replacement fixtures. The Arizona Uniform Plumbing Code sets requirements on pressure and limits on maximum flow rates and quantities of water used by plumbing fixtures The current law requires the installation of 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets, 1.0 gallon-per-flush urinals, and 2.5 gallon-per-minute faucets and showerheads in new construction and when replacing fixtures in existing construction. A variety of low water use toilets, showerheads, faucet aerators, and other water-saving devices are available for replacement or new construction, some of which are described below.
TOILETS
According to the EPA, toilets alone can use 27% of household water. Water consumption of pre-1980 toilets often exceeded 4 gallons per flush, and in pre-1990 toilets, more than 3.5 gallons-per-flush. The date can usually be found on the underside of the tank lid or on the tank itself. The current Arizona Uniform Plumbing CodeOffSite Icon requires that toilets use a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush. This amount may be greatly reduced by installing newer, high efficiency toilets (HETs). Whether new or old models, fixing a leak as soon as it occurs is very important, as leaky toilets can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day!
Toilet leak detection
Leaky toilets can lose 200 gallons of water per day, so it’s important to check for leaks. Be observant and listen, and you may be able to hear the water moving from the tank to the bowl unrelated to flushing. An easy way to detect a leak is to deposit a few drops of liquid food dye into the tank; if the dye appears in the bowl of the toilet, the valve may be leaking or the flapper may not be seated correctly in the tank.

Ultra Low Flow (ULF)

 

High Efficiency Toilets (HETs)

Toilets that comply with the Arizona code standard of 1.6 gallons or less per flush are sometimes called ultra low flow (ULF) toilets. High-efficiency toilets (HETs) go beyond the EPA WaterSense, Logostandard and use only 1.28 gpf, a 20% savings. A high-efficiency toilet can save 4,000gallons of water per year.

EPA Water Sense Tank-Type High-Efficiency Toilet Specifications Acrobat Icon PDFs (79 KB)

Dual Flush Toilet

Domestic Plumbing, PhotoA dual flush toilet has two options for flushing: one that uses 0.8 to 1.2 gallons per flush for liquid waste and one that uses 1.6 gallons per-flush for solid waste. This "half flush" and "full flush" technology can reduce water usage by up to 67%.
Automatic flush control
These toilets have a sensor that uses a beam of infrared light to activate flushing.
Tankless toilets and urinals

In contrast to toilets that rely on a water tank and gravity to flush the contents, tankless toilets waste less water per flush. They employ a flushometer which is a device that releases a metered amount of water into the toilet, then closes back up. Toilets with flushometers are most commonly seen in public restrooms and places of business.

ULV and High Efficiency Urinals High efficiency urinals comply with the Arizona code standard of less than 1 gallon of water per flush. Ultra low volume urinals, sometimes called “wash-down urinals”, use between 0.5 and 1 gallon of water per flush. Depending on the brand or model, the flushing mechanism may be located on top of the fixture, on the wall above the fixture, or may be automatic.
Automatic Urinal Flush Control These urinals have a sensor that uses a beam of infrared light to activate flushing. The sensors identify when the urinal has been used (or when someone has stood in front of it and moved away), and activate the flush. The controls are designed to prevent activation by passers-by and to reset after use to accommodate the next person. There is no need for the user to contact an activating device which may be helpful to people with disabilities and also helps prevent the spread of disease. Retrofit kits are available for home use.
Waterless Urinals Domestic Plumbing, PhotoWaterless urinals use no water for flushing, although they do require a small amount for cleaning. A waterless urinal can save up to 45,000 gallons of water a year. Waterless urinals are typically found in large complexes such as ballparks, office buildings and airports. A cartridge and liquid sealant is used to prevent odors in the u bend. The cartridge must be cleaned with a small amount of water and periodically replaced.
FAUCETS and SHOWERHEADS
According to the EPA, faucets and showerheads can use 33% of household water. This amount may be greatly reduced by installing water-efficient models. The Arizona Uniform Plumbing Code requires the flow rate of faucets and showerheads to not exceed 2.5 gallons per minute. Buildings older than 1990 may not have water-conserving plumbing fixtures, and flow rates could be more than 5 gallons per minute. Following is a description of some of the newer faucets available and devices that help reduce faucet water use.
Faucet and Showerhead Aerators
Domestic Plumbing, PhotoLow flow aerators are extremely effective at reducing water use. Aerators can be attached to older, high volume faucets to reduce their flow rate to 2.5 gpm or less. Aerators add air to the flow stream, resulting in a spray- like flow, while maintaining water pressure. Some aerators can reduce water flow to .5 gpm or less, at a fraction of the costs of replacing faucets. The rated flow of an aerator is imprinted on its side.
Automatic Faucet Control
Domestic Plumbing, PhotoAutomatic faucets prevent water from flowing when the faucet is not in use. These faucets have a sensor that uses a beam of infrared light to control faucet flow. The flow starts when one’s hands are placed directly underneath the fixture and stops when hands are removed. Automatic faucets save 10-50 % of water used by manual faucets. These faucets are helpful to people who have difficulty grasping or turning knobs.
Metered Faucets
Metered (or self-closing) faucets deliver a measured amount of water for a specific length of time so that the faucet automatically shuts off once the pre determined limits are met. This eliminates water lost from unnecessary flow.
Low Flow Showerhead
While the flow rate of standard showerheads is 2.5 gpm, you can find showerheads with flow rates as low as 1.2 gpm. These low-flow showerheads work by injecting air bubbles into the stream of water resulting in a spray-like flow, while maintaining water pressure.

Showerhead with Temperature Stop Valve
This type of showerhead reduces the water flow to a trickle when the water reaches a certain temperature, thereby saving hot water until the shower is entered. The showerhead has a handle or pull leaver to release the warm water when the user is ready. This device saves both water and the energy used to heat the water.
Showerhead with Turn-off Device
This showerhead has a handle that slows water flow to a trickle while the user soaps up, shaves or shampoos. When the flow is resumed, the water is the same temperature as it was before being temporarily turned off.