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Remodeling Your Bathroom – And Complying to CA Codes

Updated: Dec 19, 2019

If you live in California and you are remodeling your bathroom, you may be surprised to find out that you can’t go into any California home improvement, lighting or plumbing fixtures store and buy what they are selling. Many of these stores are owned by companies that are not headquartered in California and they don’t always carry fixtures that comply to California building codes and regulations.

If your bathroom remodeling project is being inspected by an inspector from your City, they will look for compliance and if you install fixtures that don’t comply, it can be a costly mistake.

So here are a few regulations to keep in mind when you are purchasing plumbing and lighting fixtures for your bathroom remodel:

1) Low flow toilet: California changed the rules in 2014, so a low flow toilet is now 1.28 gallons per flush or less.

2) High Efficacy lighting: At least one light in the bathroom must be high efficacy (compact fluorescent or LED) and all other lights that are not high efficacy must have a vacancy sensor and cannot be allowed to be always on. If you have only one light in your bathroom and it’s a vanity light, that one has to be high efficacy.

3) Lavatory Faucet: Your lavatory faucet can have a maximum flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute at 60 pounds per square inch.

4) Shower heads: are only allowed to have a maximum flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute at 80 pounds per square inch. Also, if you like multiple shower heads, the combined total of all shower heads in a single shower cannot exceed 2.0 gallons per minute at 80psi.

5) Exhaust fans: All exhaust fans are now required to be ENERGY STAR compliant.

Before you purchase any fixture for your bathroom remodel, keep these codes in mind and review the specifications of the products before you purchase.

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