By Craig Bannister
A Final Rule issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) redefines “showerhead” in a manner that “ensures access to showerheads that can provide enough water for quality showers,” the DOE announced Tuesday.
Today’s change will allow manufacturers to offer consumers new products that can provide more water and more comfort,” the DOE says.
“DOE issued a final rule that aligns DOE’s definition of a ‘showerhead’ with the consensus standards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME),” according to the announcement.
The prior definition, as interpreted by the Obama administration in 2013, limited a device with multiple showerheads to a combined maximum output of 2.5 gallons per minute (“gpm”). Under the new definition, each “showerhead” has a separate 2.5 gallon GPM limit, providing a greater potential combined water output for American bathers, DOE explains:
Congress has mandated a 2.5 gallon per minute limit on showerheads. DOE’s definition, now in line with the consensus standards from ASME, states that each showerhead can emit up to the statutory limit. The prior definition, as interpreted by the Obama administration in 2013, stated that a device with multiple showerheads could only release 2.5 gallons per minute for the entire device. Today’s change will allow manufacturers to offer consumers new products that can provide more water and more comfort.
“So, showerheads, you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out,” President Donald Trump complained back in August, calling for the change: “You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So, what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer.”
“Because, my hair, I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect,” Trump joked.
According to the DOE’s summary of the final rule, the rule not only redefines the term “showerhead,” but also clarifies the definition of “body spray” and “safety showerhead” to emphasize that these products are not subject to the regulations imposed on showerheads:
In this final rule, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) adopts a revised definition for “showerhead” and definitions for “body spray” and ‘safety shower showerhead.”
In this final rule, DOE is revising its prior interpretation of the EPCA definition of “showerhead” to interpret the term as defined in ASME A112.18.1-2018. DOE defines “showerhead” as “any showerhead including a handheld showerhead other than a safety shower showerhead.”
DOE also includes in its regulatory definition of “showerhead”, its interpretation of the term “showerhead” to mean “an accessory to a supply fitting for spraying water onto a bather, typically from an overhead position.” This interpretation incorporates the ASME definition.
DOE’s rule also clarifies its definitions of the terms “body spray” and “safety shower showerhead” so that it is clear that these products are not considered showerheads subject to DOE’s test procedures and energy conservation standards.