What to Look for when Purchasing New Tap WareNovember 5, 2018 2:33 pm
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There have been a few changes recently in relation to purchasing and installing new tap ware, with one of the most important updates being the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS)
You can even compare some of the further changes with our previous Newman Plumbing blog post, Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards.
The labelling to tap ware and plumbing products provide a mandatory efficiency star rating for specified water using products. The WELS Scheme applies to shower heads, tap equipment, flow controllers, toilets, urinals, clothes washing machines and dishwashers.
So your licensed plumber (such as Newman Plumbing) can point out the clear labelling on packaging and the star rating. As a guide, shower heads with a three-star rating or more will comply. Taps rated with a similar three-star rating or more are what you should look for.
In some cases, such as in buildings with low or unequal pressure, or for certain types of hot water systems, it may be necessary to use zero star rated products to achieve a satisfactory flow rate. This is also where your professional licensed plumber can assist and provide the correct products and advise you of your homes plumbing situation.
The maximum flow rate from these star rated tap ware such as a shower is 9 litres a minute, compared to the old shower heads of 22 litres a minute.
The intent is to ensure that under operating conditions the flow rate will not exceed 9 litres a minute, so the flow rate is measured at the shower head when both hot and cold taps are both in the fully open position.
The maximum water flow rate for basins, kitchen sink taps, and laundry taps is also 9 litres a minute.
Separate hot and cold pillar or mounted taps can each be measured at the outlet in the fully open position.
Mixer taps and tap sets can be measured at the outlet in either of the following ways depending on the method to restrict the flow rate. The individual flow from the cold tap in the fully open position and the individual flow from the hot tap in the fully open position or the mixed flow from the outlet with both hot and cold taps simultaneously in the fully open position.
A single lever mixer tap may have a flow restriction incorporated in the outlet by the manufacturer and this will be clearly labelled on the packaging and complying with WELS marking.
Some manufactures may provide an adjustable flow rate mechanism within the tap body which can be set on site by your licensed plumber. Approved inline flow control valves may also be fitted to the hot and cold supply to the tap to gain the necessary requirements.
So look out for the water rating WELS label on packaging of your new water efficient tap ware and plumbing products.
If you would like any further advice, be sure to contact your local plumber, or contact the friendly staff here at Newman Plumbing. We regularly assist customers located in the Melbourne eastern suburbs to achieve optimal water efficiency.