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The Department of Energy (DOE) has regulated the water consumption level of showerheads since 1992. A showerhead is a perforated nozzle that distributes water over a large solid angle at point of use, generally overhead of the bather. They are used widely in residential and commercial settings.

The current standard will save approximately 6 quads of energy and result in approximately $120 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 1994-2013. The standard will avoid about 329.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 64.5 million automobiles.

The Standards and Test Procedures for this product are related to Rulemaking for Plumbing Products Test Procedure.

Recent Updates | Standards | Test Procedures | Waiver, Exception, and Exemption Information | Statutory Authority | Historical Information | Contact Information

Recent Updates

DOE published a final rule regarding test procedures for showerheads, faucets, water closets, urinals, and commercial prerinse spray valves. 78 FR 62970 (October 23, 2013). For more information, please see the rulemaking page.

Standards for Showerheads

The following content summarizes the energy factor requirements and amended standards of the DOE regulations. The text is not an official reproduction of the Code of Federal Regulations and should not be used for legal research or citation.

Current Standard

Showerheads manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), on or after January 1, 1994, must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR Part 430.32(p).

The maximum flow rate allowed for showerheads is 2.5 gallons per minute (9.5 liters per minute), as measured at a flowing pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (552 kilopascals). Showerheads must also meet the requirements of Section 7.4.4(a) of ASME/ANSI Standard A112.18.1M-1996, which requires that if a flow restricting insert is used as a component of a showerhead, it shall be mechanically retained at the point of manufacture. Mechanically retained means that a pulling or pushing force of 8 lbf (36 Newtons) or more is required to remove the flow restricting insert. This requirement shall not apply to showerheads which would cause water to leak significantly from areas other than the spray face if the flow restricting insert were removed.

For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this standard, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

Test Procedure for Showerheads

Current Test Procedure

To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR Part 430, Subpart B, Appendix S for showerheads as of September 14, 1998.

For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

Waivers, Exceptions, and Exemptions


Test procedure waivers have not been issued for showerheads.

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR section 430.27.


DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized any cases of exception relief for showerheads.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR Part 1003.

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

DOE issued a final rule on December 22, 2010 that waived Federal preemption of any state regulation concerning the water use or water efficiency of faucets, showerheads, water closets and urinals, if such state regulation is more stringent than the Federal regulation for the same product. This action was taken in order to comply with a provision of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which requires that DOE waive Federal preemption for these products if the corresponding ANSI/ASME water conservation standards for them have not been changed after a period of five consecutive years. 42 U.S.C. 6295(j)(3)(C) and 6295(k)(3)(C)

Statutory Authority

The current energy conservation standards for showerheads are mandated by Part A, the ‘‘Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles’’ of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended. (42 U.S.C. 6291–6309) Showerheads are treated as a covered product under Part A. (42 U.S.C. 6295(j))

Historical Information

Congress established the standards for showerheads, faucets, water closets, and urinals as part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which amended EPCA. Congress based the conservation standards for these products, and the test procedures that would be required for rating them, on the existing American Society of Mechanical Engineers/American National Standards Institute (ASME/ANSI) standards for each respective group of products.

For faucets and showerheads, EPCA states that the conservation standards shall be those of ASME/ANSI A112.18.1M-1989 and that for water closets and urinals the standards shall be those of ASME/ANSI A112.19.6-1990, both of which DOE subsequently adopted into the Code of Federal Regulations.

On March 18 1998, DOE issued a final rule that updated the test procedures for these products by adopting more recent versions of both ASME/ANSI standards, which are the versions in use by DOE today. They are A112.18.1M-1996 for faucets and showerheads, and A112.19.6-1995 for water closets and urinals. The water conservation standards in the revised ASME/ANSI standards remained the same.

Helpful Links and Contact Information

Helpful Links

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Contact information

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