A Senate Bill SB407, the new 2013 green code, goes into effect as of January 1, 2014. This new rule requires you to replace plumbing fixtures throughout your home if they don’t meet water-conserving standards.
When do you need to do this? Whenever you pull a permit to alter or remodel (improvements) your home. Fortunately, you will not be required to comply with this new rule if you need to pull a permit to maintain or repair your home. I called the county and the building official said they are not sure yet how they are going to enforce it. It may be something similar to smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors which must be installed whenever a permit is given and you sign an affidavit stating you complied. This might be the way they go for instance for a roof permit where they are not going into the house, but they are not sure how they are going to adopt it or enforce it.
What repairs can you do that will not require you to replace your fixtures? Here is a list from the Placer County Government website:
Electrical Service Change Out
HVAC Change Out
Septic and Sewer Line Replacement
Siding or Stucco
Site Work like Retaining Walls, Fences, Walk Ways, etc
Water Heater Replacement
Other repairs as determined by the building official
What fixtures don’t comply with the new rule?
A toilet that uses more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush
Any showerhead that has a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute
Any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute
For more information on the SB407 rule and list of water fixtures that are compliant please go to: Water Efficiency Improvements