Results 1 to 41 of 41
  1. #1
    John Badger's Avatar
    John Badger Guest

    Default Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Good morning folks. Weíre all concerned about our bottom line in this economy and like me, Iím sure youíre all looking for ways to built improve those numbers. A local county in the Atlanta area had a knee jerk reaction to a bad drought we faced last year. Overnight they passed legislation that required all homes build before 1993 and sold in the unincorporated areas of the county be equipped with low flow water saving fixtures.

    http://fp.dekalbrealtors.com/Call%20...stituteOrd.pdf

    A county provided certificate to prove these fixtures are present in the home is available for, the county, a licensed plumber, or a home inspector to sign (issue). This certificate is required before they will turn on the water or switch names on the water bill; and they mean business, no certificate, no water.

    Naturally this falls on the home inspector because the consumer, and sellers know the home inspector is already on site and checking these things. Yes, this is another source of potential income for us but there are concerns and I was hoping inspectors from the local area, or others in the country who have this legislation would comment on their concern, how they go about performing these measurements, and how they protect themselves from any legal action.

    On the surface it sounds simple, just measure the water flow and fill out the form. But there are concealed scenarios that may bite you if not prepared.

    For starters, the county did not provide any standard on how these flows were to be determined, or documented. Yet they merrily site Sec. 25-49. Criminal Penalties in the above website.

    Looking forward to any comments

    John
    Kennesaw Georgia

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    John
    The buyer MUST have a plumber or inspector fill out the form, before the water will be turned on.
    Even if the property has been inspected before, it must be inspected again.
    So, what is the down side?
    To me, it kinda sounds like you are going to have a good year.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by John Badger View Post
    A county provided certificate to prove these fixtures are present in the home is available for, the county, a licensed plumber, or a home inspector to sign (issue). This certificate is required before they will turn on the water or switch names on the water bill; and they mean business, no certificate, no water.
    Okay, I followed you up to most of the above, but you lost be at "or a home inspector". How do you get to there from "a licensed plumber" as stated just before?

    Naturally this falls on the home inspector because ....
    Whoa! There you go again ... you lost me on that "Naturally this fall on the home inspector" part.

    Where do you get that the "home inspector" has the authority to sign that form?

    Where do you get that the "home inspector" will be asked to sign that form?

    Does a "home inspector" do radon tests "because they are there"?

    Does a "home inspector" do termite inspections "because they are there"?

    Does a "home inspector" do asbestos testing "because they are there"?

    Does a "home inspector" do septic system inspections (real ones) "because they are there"?

    I think you have lost something: You have lost, or have given up, control of the home inspection to everyone else.

    I *would not* look at it as a "Yes, this is another source of potential income for us", which is what so many home inspectors do and get there fingers into cookie jars where they should not be, and there is no sympathy when the cookie jar lid is smashed down on those fingers.

    As a "home inspector" YOU SHOULD ONLY BE DOING WHAT YOU ARE QUALIFIED TO DO, nothing more, especially for the reason that "you are there". "You are there" to do a "home inspection", have them call a plumber, and "being as he is there" he can issue that certification and sign it.

    YOU need to take back control of what a "home inspection" is, this has gotten lost by many "home inspectors" who want to grab all the money they can, but cringe on accepting the liability which come with that.

    Should a home inspector do termite inspections? ONLY IF licensed to do so.

    Should a home inspector do radon testing? ONLY IF certified to do so.

    Should a home inspector do septic system inspections? ONLY IF licensed and certified to do so.

    Should a home inspector do 'low flow plumbing fixture inspections'? ONLY IF certified to do so.

    That is why home inspectors get into trouble - for way overreaching trying to grab all the money being dangled out there instead of just taking what they can safely reach on sound footing.

    Added with Edit: Looks like I started typing just as Rick was posting.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    The buyer MUST have a plumber or inspector fill out the form,

    What qualifications MUST the person filling out and signing the form have?

    So, what is the down side?
    Violation and criminal penalties? (That was John's point.)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    A good question came to me: If the water is already off to the home, how does it get cut on to perform the test if the test is required to have the water cut on?

    Well, first I'm thinking that you are going to have to check every single fixture in the home to see if it has a water restriction device in it. This is not going to be easy. That will be every sink, shower, tub, toilet, dishwasher, etc...

    Shower heads are an easy one to check. Tubs and sinks are not.

    Your only other option would be to get a five gallon bucket and mark off the gallons on the side of it. If you have to have 1.6 gallons per minute, this is what you need to look for. Get a stop watch and time the flow into the bucket. This would be almost impossible in any normal sink and a shower for that matter.

    I just don't see how it can be done without taking the fixtures apart and looking for the flow reduction device; and even then that might not work.

    I think I might have to bring this up to the powers to be to see how they want it to be done. If they wrote a law, then they need to provide an acceptable protocol for doing the work.

    The part about a home inspector being able to do it is kind of funny. GA does not even license home inspectors, yet they will allow them to do this. My bet is that the county will be the one doing most of them.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The part about a home inspector being able to do it is kind of funny.

    Scott,

    I've read that over a few times and I keep missing that part????

    Must just be me?

    What part says that? I'm feeling like I must be going blind.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    John Badger's Avatar
    John Badger Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Thanks for responding Jerry; and in the way you did. Those are my concerns. There are all sorts of hidden scenarios that can come out and bite someone doing this (the cookie jar). It sounds so simple, capture water in a jug while timing it, and either sign the certificate, or donít sign it, collect your money and go. If it fails, then the home owner either make the changes themselves, hires a plumber to do whatever it takes to make it pass, or hire a handy man to do so, than have the home inspector revisit to redo the flow test and provide the certificate. By then, who knows what liability the home inspector is accepting.

    What Iím seeing is no one wants to pay a plumber to come out and conduct the flow test. Word gets around the home inspector will be there anyway so he / she can do the test, sign the certificate for either free, or for a lower fee then the plumber would charge.

    You mentioned having control of our industry. The trend here is others outside our industry are expecting us to do so, or the business will go to someone who will. The industry will always follow the dollar.

    Just rattling on now:

    Iím confronted with this issue every time I get a call from this area and have even lost opportunities for work because I donít do them. The countyís short coming with this legislation was a boom to many; they didnít provide any standards to follow. They were also unclear with who is actually qualified to do the test. Example; in Georgia, a non-HI licensed state; all a homeowner, a real estate agent, or just anyone has to do to become qualified to issue this document, and to make money is to pay seventy-five dollars for a general business license and call themselves a home inspector. Now they have an instant industry they are qualified to pursue. To me, and apparently to you to, this doesnít say much for the intent of the legislation.

    And what about this, the way its written, the unscrupulous homeowner who wants to save money can do so by getting a business license for seventy-five dollars and calling themselves a home inspector. Now they are qualified to issue the certificate without updating their plumbing system, save lots of money, and than go out of business; and who would know.

    Go figureÖ


  8. #8
    John Badger's Avatar
    John Badger Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Scott, all good observations!

    The most popular method of measurement is a ten second-water flow into a bucket and converting its tare weight into gallons per minute. Changing water pressures and dirty aerators will affect the outcome of these measurements. The only way to check a toilet is what we do so well, a visual inspection (jokes are welcome) of the toilet by looking for a marking saying 1.6 gallons per flush; without the marking, its either more research on the toilet or the toilet doesnít pass. Its obvious the county didnít think this through.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    As with most recent legislation that I see, there are problems with the way it is written. They do not define "inspector" and this leaves the door open as to who can sign the certificate. It would probably be best to contact the person responsible for accepting the certificate for clarification.

    As to the "testing", correct me if I am wrong here but field testing will not mean squat if it is not a listed and approved fixture by an agency in a lab or testing facility.
    Heck, except for toilets a person could adjust down the flow on the main water line to a trickle until the "test" was over since there is no pressure stipulated.

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 04-07-2009 at 10:09 AM.
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    "Where do you get that the "home inspector" has the authority to sign that form?"



    "Certificate of Compliance
    means a written form in which an inspector ..."



    "As a "home inspector" YOU SHOULD ONLY BE DOING WHAT YOU ARE QUALIFIED TO DO,..."
    Agreed and Definitely

    "What qualifications MUST the person filling out and signing the form have?"
    "... an inspector or a licensed plumber..."





    "So what is the down side"
    "Violation and criminal penalties? "
    Well then, don't do this as part of or in addition to an inspection and if you do, don't commit perjury.


    "A good question came to me: If the water is already off to the home, how does it get cut on to perform the test if the test is required to have the water cut on?"

    The seller should have already had this inspection done, therefore the buyer (or inspector) should ask the seller for the "Certificate of Compliance".
    "(a) Retrofit requirements. Any person selling qualifying property after the applicable
    effective date of this ordinance shall ensure that the qualifying property has been retrofitted with water conserving plumbing fixtures. ."


    "Well, first I'm thinking that you are going to have to check every single fixture in the home to see if it has a water restriction device in it. This is not going to be easy. That will be every sink, shower, tub, toilet, dishwasher, etc..."

    (e) Buildings and homes constructed in DeKalb County after January 1, 1993 are required to be built with water conserving plumbing fixtures like ultra low flow toilets that use a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush and showerheads that emit a maximum of 2.0 gallons
    per minute.


    "The part about a home inspector being able to do it is kind of funny. GA does not even license home inspectors, yet they will allow them to do this"
    Even though there is not a State Inspector license, the state does have laws that do govern an inspector, albeit minimal.
    We, as Home Inspectors have always said that we give an independent report of our findings, so to me it makes a lot of sense.


    "
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Scott Patterson
    The part about a home inspector being able to do it is kind of funny.


    "I've read that over a few times and I keep missing that part????
    Must just be me?
    What part says that? I'm feeling like I must be going blind."

    "Certificate of Compliance means a written form in which an inspector ..."


    "they didnít provide any standards to follow"

    "Certificate of Compliance
    means a written form in which an inspector or a licensed plumber pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia asserts under penalty of perjury, that all structures on the property only contain water conserving plumbing fixtures and that all other kinds of plumbing fixtures have been removed from all structures on the property."



    "The only way to check a toilet is what we do so well, a visual inspection (jokes are welcome) of the toilet by looking for a marking saying 1.6 gallons per flush; without the marking, its either more research on the toilet or the toilet doesnít pass. "


    "Its obvious the county didnít think this through"
    Correct


    As Jerry has pointed out to us at times, just because a state law that requires an inspector to be licensed by that state isn't perfect, does not mean that it's not a step in the right direction (My words, not his, but something to that effect).




    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    As with most recent legislation that I see, there are problems with the way it is written. They do not define "inspector" and this leaves the door open as to who can sign the certificate.

    That's my point, no it does not leave it open to a "home inspector", especially since home inspectors are not licensed in Georgia.

    To wit: (underlining and bold are mine)
    Certificate of Compliance
    means a written form in which an inspector or a licensed plumber pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia asserts under penalty of perjury, that all structures on the property only contain water conserving plumbing fixtures and that all other kinds of plumbing fixtures have been removed from all structures on the property.

    If you are not "an inspector ... pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia", which would indicate a code inspector - either working for a governmental authority or independently depending on how the "law of the State of Georgia" address them - or (getting back to the wording of the ordinance) "or a licensed plumber pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia" ... if you are neither, then you would not be allowed to sign that form, and doing so would put you in the position of perjuring yourself.

    Not knowing how the plumbers are licensed in Georgia, by the state, county, or city, but making a presumption that all three may be allowed, that ordinance as cast out county and city licensed plumbers and is only accepting plumbers licensed by the state.

    What that IS NOT saying is what many of you are reading into it:

    IT IS NOT saying "Certificate of Compliance means a written form in which an inspector ... (as in "any" "inspector" as that presumption would include an agricultural weight station inspector, a vehicle emission check point inspector, an airport security inspector, or ... it would simply be totally wrong to think that would be the case. No, it is referring to "an inspector ... (such as a plumbing inspector and related to the issue being inspected) ... or a licensed plumber ... (again, related to the issue being inspected) ... pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia ... ("pursuant to the law of the State of Georgia" that is key) ... asserts under penalty of perjury, ... "

    I don't know about you, but there is no way I would sign that form and perjure myself by claiming to be a duly certified and qualified "inspector" "pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia".



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Rick,

    You beat me in clicking the 'Submit' button, dang ... both typing at the same time ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    I think that the broadest term "Inspector" does in fact, mean Home Inspector" and at the least, would include Home Inspectors as being "Inspectors".

    From the Georgia code
    "ß 8-3-330. "Home inspector" defined
    As used in this article, the term "home inspector" means any person, except an employee of a county, municipality, or political subdivision while engaged in the performance of the duties of his or her employment, who, for consideration, inspects and reports on the condition of any home or single-family dwelling or the grounds, roof, exterior surface, garage or carport, structure, attic, basement or crawl space, electrical system, heating system, air-conditioning system, plumbing, on-site sewerage disposal, pool or hot tub, fireplace, kitchen, appliances, or any combination thereof for a prospective purchaser or seller."


    The State of Georgia does define "home inspector", as a person that inspects plumbing.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    "You beat me in clicking the 'Submit' button, dang ... both typing at the same time "

    Jerry
    All I can say is, You must be really really slow.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  15. #15
    John Badger's Avatar
    John Badger Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Jim,

    You’re right elsewhere, but in Dekalb County Georgia, you are definitely wrong. Anyone posing as a home inspector, using any method, with any container, and a watch with a 60 second hand can conduct the flow test.

    Jerry,

    The following websites shows the requirements and the actual certificate needed for these homebuyers to have their water turned on.

    http://www.dekalbwatershed.com/PDF/Low-flow_Info.pdf

    http://www.co.dekalb.ga.us/revenue/C...Compliance.pdf

    You can see how this is interpreted.

    Thanks for your input

    John


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    I think I would approach this just like I approach a septic tank (TN requires septic tanks to be certified before closing that they are working properly). I don't do them! I tell my client that they will need to get it certified through the county or an approved septic tank contractor who can issue the required certificate.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by John Badger View Post
    The following websites shows the requirements and the actual certificate needed for these homebuyers to have their water turned on.

    http://www.dekalbwatershed.com/PDF/Low-flow_Info.pdf

    http://www.co.dekalb.ga.us/revenue/C...Compliance.pdf

    You can see how this is interpreted.

    John,

    That certificate form sure does have a place for a Home Inspector.

    I'm with Scott, no way would *I* do those inspection or sign that certification.

    Also, note what that form is also saying and not what a "plumbing fixture" really is.

    "only contain water conserving plumbing fixtures "

    From the 2006 IRC.
    PLUMBING FIXTURE. A receptor or device that requires both a water-supply connection and a discharge to the drainage system, such as water closets, lavatories, bathtubs and sinks. Plumbing appliances as a special class of fixture are further defined.

    Note that under "Plumbing Fixture" it includes a "further defined" reference to "Plumbing Appliances", which includes clothes washers and dishwashers, which makes them "plumbing fixtures"

    PLUMBING APPLIANCE. An energized household appliance with plumbing connections, such as a dishwasher, food-waste grinder, clothes washer or water heater.

    The definition of "Plumbing Fixture" says "such as", which is not all inclusive. Do you see the one which is missing?

    "Clothes washers" and "Dishwashers" have both a connection to the supply and to the drainage system, are defined as "Plumbing Appliance" which is referenced as "further defined" under the definition of "Plumbing Fixtures" ... not sure how they can meet that requirement for "only contain water conserving plumbing fixtures".

    Just some food for thought.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    That last posted link to the ordinance was different than the first with the wording changed to include "home inspector" rather than just "inspector". That makes a big difference... but I still wonder what the appropriate test would be, since they don't describe that.
    Now the plumber who installers the low flow equipment will know exactly what he installed and will have no trouble certifying the same and that he has disposed of the old equipment off of the premises.
    Would you search the premesis to look for the old shower heads and toilets?
    This is likely just straining at gnats though since this law just creates a piece of paper for the paper pushers to have on file which no one will likely ever see again until it is taken out of storage to put on some electronic storage device with the rest of the old records that no one ever looks at again. Our tax dollars at work!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  19. #19
    John Badger's Avatar
    John Badger Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    This whole think just popped out of the blue one day and everyone jumped on it. Now the local expectation that all home inspectors will perform these tests is epidemic. And performing them is also supported by at least a one of the national association chapters.

    I hear the going rate is fifty dollars but I suspect with the economy like it is, people may be offering them for free to get an edge on the competition.

    Iím not saying the local HI industry is doing anything wrong; most are just trying to make ends meet and everyone I talk to is doing it within the loose guidelines set forth by the county; and that is legitimate.

    I was hoping some participating inspectors would respond and shed some light into how they perform the test and how they protect themselves.

    Thanks for all the comments

    John


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    I have a bag I use for measuring flow of showers and faucets. Here is a link where to get one. Shower/Faucet Flow Measuring Bag [FG-060] : NRG Ideas, Water & Conservation supplies

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Ron,

    Great testing/measuring bag, but I suspect my shower head would fill that bag in less than a second, unless that is a real big bag ... ... have not measured it, but our shower head puts out a LOT of water at a GOOD PRESSURE ... and I like it that way.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    I wonder how the multi head showers fit (or don't fit) into this county ordinance, you know, they look like they are connected directly to a fire hydrant.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  23. #23
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Mr. John sez "The most popular method of measurement is a ten second-water flow into a bucket and converting its tare weight into gallons per minute. "


    Huh. Why would you do that? Why not get a one gallon bucket and use a stopwatch to determine how long it takes to fill the one gallon bucket.

    Its easy to convert the time to fill a one gallon bucket into gallons per minute.

    One gallon bucket filled in 30 seconds. Two GPM.
    One gallon bucket filled in 15 seconds, Four GPM.

    I know its not a true GPM, because you are only using the seconds used to fill the one gallon bucket. You are not actually leaving the water on for one minute and using multiple buckets to determine true GPM.
    But for home inspection, this should prove to be reasonably accurate.

    Pretty easy way to do it. I dont know anyone who thinks its popular to weigh it.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_John Smith View Post
    Why not get a one gallon bucket and use a stopwatch to determine how long it takes to fill the one gallon bucket.

    Its easy to convert the time to fill a one gallon bucket into gallons per minute.

    Why not skip the one gallon bucket and use one of those bags Ron posted?

    They are marked in quantity, so all you have to do is hold the bag under the faucet, turn the water on until it fills to the mark, note the number of seconds, then do the math (depending on what the mark on the bag represents, maybe 'pints', in which case one pint in 3 seconds = 4 pints in 12 seconds = 8 pints in 24 seconds = 1 gallon in 24 seconds = 2 gallons 48 seconds and 3 gallons in 72 seconds, or about 2-1/2 gallons per minute. Close enough for rough estimation.

    You could do that with a Zip-Loc bag, pour one pint of water in it, hold it up, use a permanent marker and draw a line around the bag at the water level. Empty the bag and refill the bag to that line using the faucet spout, timing how long it takes to fill to that line. Do the math as above. Simple and easy.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    The way the bags work is you run the water for a set time. If I recall 5 seconds , and what ever the water level is in the bag its the gpm of that fixture. There are also electric flow meters too.


  26. #26
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    I bought a one gallon bucket at Wal Mart a while back for a couple of bucks. Its a nice small bucket that they have where they keep painting supplies.

    Cheap, reusable, accurate. Can also be used for other things.


    What can I say, Im cheap and environmentally friendly.

    Never have actually checked a 1.6 gpm toilet though to make sure its actually 1.6gpm.


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    By the way, those required maximum flows *do not meet the required minimum flows* in the 2006 IRC.

    From - - - - - - - - - Table P2903.1 - - - - Table P2903.2
    - - - - - - - - - - - - *Minimum flows* - - *Maximum flows*
    - Lavatory - - - - - - 2 gpm @ 8 psi - - - - 2.2 gpm at 60 psi
    - Shower - - - - - - - 3 gpm @ 8 psi - - - - 2.5 gpm @ 80 psi
    - Sink (i.e., kitchen) - 2.5 gpm @ 8 psi - - - 2.2 gpm @ 60 psi

    Note that minimum flows is under peak demand too:

    - P2903.1 Water supply system design criteria.The water service and water distribution systems shall be designed and pipe sizes shall be selected such that under conditions of peak demand, the capacities at the point of outlet discharge shall not be less than shown in Table P2903.1.

    - P2903.2 Maximum flow and water consumption.The maximum water consumption flow rates and quantities for all plumbing fixtures and fixture fittings shall be in accordance with Table P2903.2.

    I know, the sink rating does not make sense.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  28. #28
    John Badger's Avatar
    John Badger Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Iíve talked to several inspectors who do this and believe me; residential water in Dekalb County Georgia is being measured in all sorts of ways. I think most carry around a half-gallon plastic water container with color-coded marks on it, one color for each fixture. Any fixture that delivers water over its line after a 5 or 10-second flow fails the test.

    Hereís another recommended method;

    DeKalb County Water Conservation Efforts - ashigeorgia.com/inspector

    To me, the bag Ron suggests looks like the easiest way because some of those sinks are pretty shallow and it would be hard to get a rigid container under the faucet.

    Although the home inspector accepts liability as a normal part of doing business, we all try to reduce them; everyone has their own paranoid level. In doing these test, some inspectors document the entire flow test starting with water pressure in the home. The actual water flow of each fixture will also be documented. All data will be bundled up in a nice format and included in the home inspection report.

    They do this by running a 5 or 10-second water flow into a container and weigh it on a postal scale, than they work the formula on either a calculator or a spreadsheet. It adds more time and they have to carry more stuff, but they have the documentation they feel they need to reduce liability. They also produce a credible and detailed water flow report.

    Example:

    * Water pressure at time of flow test: 60 lbs
    * Kitchen Sink: (Required 2.2 GPM) - Actual Ė 1.84 GPM - Passed
    * Shower, Master Bath: (Required 2.5 GPM) - Actual Ė 2.8 GPM - Failed
    * And so forth

    The water flow of a toilet can be checked by removing the tank lid and marking the water level in the tank, than turn off the water and flush. After flushing, the water level in the tank will be reduced. Now pour 1.6 gallons into the tank and see if the level reaches the referenced mark of the original water level. A water level under the reference mark shows the toilet exceeds 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF) so the toilet fails. (Donít forget to turn the water back on)

    Doing all the above time consuming stuff, and accepting those unknown liabilities is a pain.

    It would be wise to have some good contract verbiage.


  29. #29
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    There is nothing worse than starting out your day with a little wimpy flow shower head peeing that hot water on you in the morning. I am with Jerry. I like to almost get blown out of the shower in the morning with anywhere from 4 to 6 heads blowing 80 pounds of pressure on me and a high volume of water.

    Yeah yeah, mister water waster.

    The little pleasures in life.

    Secretly dril a well down to the aquifer and take all the damn water

    No body get hostile now, only kinda, sorta, maybe kidding.

    Go to the home. Run all the fixtures. Sign off on it. Get your 200 extra dollars and run like hell. Only in America. Shoot, Georgia is trying to take all of Floridas water anyway. Take it back.


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    I have an old time Grohe Shower head that the flow restrictor just one day disintegrated.. If I turn the volume control on full blast this shower head will leave marks. My tub which I fill up and pull the stopper takes only 45 seconds to drain the full tub, can not keep up with the full flow of this shower.


  31. #31
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    I have an old time Grohe Shower head that the flow restrictor just one day disintegrated.. If I turn the volume control on full blast this shower head will leave marks. My tub which I fill up and pull the stopper takes only 45 seconds to drain the full tub, can not keep up with the full flow of this shower.

    Don't ya just hate when those water saving devises just up and disintegrate out of the blue and darn it you were trying to save water.

    I love it when going on vacation and being in a hotel where you get blasted out of the shower.


  32. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Don't ya just hate when those water saving devises just up and disintegrate out of the blue and darn it you were trying to save water.

    I love it when going on vacation and being in a hotel where you get blasted out of the shower.
    Did a job for a guy that had a water fall out of his ceiling 20 body sprays a hand held spray and a normal shower head. With the flow rate this thing puts out he has two 4" drains in this shower stall, and when everything is running you feel like you are drowning. Has a 2" water service with 6 tankless water heaters to handle the demand of this setup. The job was to unclog the lav sink, but after he spent 30K on this shower he wanted to show it off by handing me a pair of swimming trunks and told me to check it out.


  33. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    There is nothing worse than starting out your day with a little wimpy flow shower head peeing that hot water on you in the morning. I am with Jerry. I like to almost get blown out of the shower in the morning with anywhere from 4 to 6 heads blowing 80 pounds of pressure on me and a high volume of water.

    Ted,

    I installed an add-on shower spray rod with 30 separate nozzles spaced about an inch apart, placed it vertically to the left of and below the shower head, that thing will pressure wash the wall at the far end of the shower , I turn the water on full blast and nice and hot, then let that blast away on my back, man does that feel good.

    No way do I even want to know how much water that thing is spitting out.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by John Badger View Post
    The most popular method of measurement is a ten second-water flow into a bucket and converting its tare weight into gallons per minute.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Badger View Post
    Iíve talked to several inspectors who do this and believe me; residential water in Dekalb County Georgia is being measured in all sorts of ways. I think most carry around a half-gallon plastic water container with color-coded marks on it, one color for each fixture. Any fixture that delivers water over its line after a 5 or 10-second flow fails the test.

    Hereís another recommended method;

    DeKalb County Water Conservation Efforts - ashigeorgia.com/inspector
    John,

    By "tare weight" in your top post quoted above do you mean "fluid ounces" or as in "dry weight" ounces which you weigh on a scale?

    Some of us, myself included, took your top post as meaning you "weighed the water on a scale, subtracting for tare weight", but your second post quote above shows measuring in fluid ounces (does not say "fluid" ounces, just says "ounces, but 128 "fluid" ounces does equal one gallon, which is the reference given) - you are not "weighing the water on a scale" are you?

    To me, the bag Ron suggests looks like the easiest way because some of those sinks are pretty shallow and it would be hard to get a rigid container under the faucet.
    I like the bags too, but you would need to hold the bags as stated in the instructions (hopefully it is stated in the instructions) otherwise the water level and marks will be off).

    I thought of this yesterday afternoon when thinking of those bags Ron posted and the likelihood that mis-measurement would be easy if the bags were set on the counter to read or not held proper: take two ping pong paddles - or make something like that out of plywood - cut the handle off one of them, clamp that paddle onto the other paddle and cut out a large hole in the middle of it, leaving maybe 3/4" to 1" around the edge for support and strength, put a heavy weight plastic baggie into the hole between the two rim piece, then secure the two rim pieces together to hold the baggie tightly in place.

    You now have a super-duper water measuring bag you hold up by the handle, but which lays flat in your tool bag, even in a side pouch.

    To mark it, take a large measuring cup and put in 1 cup of water, hold the water-flow-measuring-device up and mark the bag, then add water as what ever increments you you want to make marks at. You are "calibrating" the bag, and your water-flow-measuring-device will always hold the bag the same way, making your marks repeatable.

    To use, turn the water on, slide the water-flow-measuring-device under the stream of water for you 5 or 10 second test period then remove it, now turn the water off. To read how much water you collected just hold the water-flow-measuring-device handle and the bag will take it proper form hanging down.

    Easy enough to use for sinks, showers, laundry tubs/utility sinks, etc., ... but ... how do you measure clothes washers and dishwashers as I mentioned previously?

    Yeah, with toilet it either says 1.6 gal per flush or it does not.

    They do this by running a 5 or 10-second water flow into a container and weigh it on a postal scale,
    Should have saved responding to the weighing until I read this - THAT IS A BIG NO-NO!

    DO NOT *WEIGH* the water on a scale. You want "fluid ounces", which is a "volume measurement", NOT "dry weight ounces" which is a weight measurement.

    than they work the formula on either a calculator or a spreadsheet.
    EVERY SINGLE ONE done that way has been done wrong, OMG ... talk about taking on liability with knowing it, measuring liquid weight on a scale and using that to calculate gpm is just wrong.



    BUT ... "How far off is it?" you ask.

    I just checked and, because you are using water, presumably cold water, you are probably not far off at all, but you would not be able to defend you method without some fancy explaining.

    I used a digital scale, placed a 3 cup glass measuring cup on it, calibrated it for tare weight (scale reads -0- ounces with measuring cup on it), filled the measuring up with cold tap water to 3 cups, 32 fluid ounces, and weighed it on the scale - its weight was 32.04 ounces (so I probably had 0.4 ounces more water in it, the 32 ounce line is a bit thick for exact calibration).

    If you are using cold tap water, your measurements were most likely "accurate enough".

    You are just measuring it wrong is all - you should be using "fluid ounces" which is a measure of volume, not "dry weight ounces" as you get from the weigh scale which is a measure of weight.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  35. #35
    John Badger's Avatar
    John Badger Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Jerry, your ping-pong paddle idea is great; its simple, fits in tight areas and will work, and quite the conversation piece too! You could put the name FGFF on it (“Forrest Gumps Flow Finder).

    Washing machines and dishwashers are not included on the counties hit list so there’s not much chatter on them. And good catch on the dry and wet weight. This is the sort of thing I was hoping this thread would reveal.

    Actually, I don’t perform theses inspections. The reason for my original posting was sort of a due diligence act for myself, and for the decision I made to not do them. I wanted input from others and your first posting was inline with my concerns. All the information I provided came from talking to others, and from the research I did when trying to decide if I should get into flow testing.

    Being an old ex-pilot, I like checklist, procedures and all the protection that comes from them. Something in my gut tells me to stay away from this loose Dekalb County thing.

    I don’t mind taking on liability, but only when I have a standards of practice to follow. In this case, you’re just standing there with a dumb water container in one hand, a wristwatch on the other when someone says, this fixture passed two weeks ago when the plumber installed it. What’s the difference in your procedures? I may lose the sale on this house because of your readings, maybe we should look into this; who’s your attorney? Unfortunately, there’s always someone in our runaway legal system looking for something to do. Does frivolous lawsuit come to mind here?

    I actually believe the intent for this testing was not for the accuracy of scientificial measurements, but to just separate a 55 gpm shower head like the one in your shower stall to a more water savings feature of 2.5 gpm. And in the long run their idea and controls will work. People like you, Ron, and Ted will either be run out of Dekalb County, or will be draped over a dry water barrel during our next drought and whipped in public.

    Me? I’m not saying what I have… but its impressive

    Oh! On your FGFF; don’t forget to add bubble levels to the upper paddle. I know the water in the bag will seek its own level, but if the reference mark on the bag is not level you could add another .4 oz discrepancy to the one you got from calculating dry to wet weight; or was it wet to dry weight, this is confusing...

    Last edited by John Badger; 04-09-2009 at 11:01 AM.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Quote Originally Posted by John Badger View Post
    Oh! On your FGFF; don’t forget to add bubble levels to the upper paddle. I know the water in the bag will seek its own level, but if the reference mark on the bag is not level you could add another .4 oz discrepancy to the one you got from calculating dry to wet weight; or was it wet to dry weight, this is confusing...

    Bubble levels not needed, just do as I said and mark the bag.

    If you mark the bag properly there will be at least four marks at each level, each side and each end, just hold the bag up, use the water as a level to those lines ... that's how I do it in measuring cups.

    It is convenient that water is being tested and water is what fluid ounces are based on, so it all came out okay in the end.

    Sometimes "dumb luck" is a good thing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  37. #37
    John Badger's Avatar
    John Badger Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    Donít forget about thickness of the reference mark on your bag. A thick line can throw the whole calibration off.


  38. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    (bold is mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    32 fluid ounces, and weighed it on the scale - its weight was 32.04 ounces (so I probably had 0.4 ounces more water in it, the 32 ounce line is a bit thick for exact calibration).
    Quote Originally Posted by John Badger View Post
    Donít forget about thickness of the reference mark on your bag. A thick line can throw the whole calibration off.
    Yep, it sure can (see above).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    The bag I posted a link to only costs $1.25 each if you only order 1 to 11
    Then you will have a bag properly marked to give you an accurate reading of the flow. Here is a link for a larger image of the bag Shower/Faucet Flow Measuring Bag : NRG Ideas, Water & Conservation supplies


  40. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    If you are testing GPM at the shower, tub, faucets, ect., what insures that the main supply valve is open fully. You could make the house produce anything you want by closing the valve down. The system pressure will remain the same. The volume will change. Doe the HI become responsible for detecting alteration to system?

    If the sate is saying that you test GPM are they telling you to test operation quality?

    Is the state requiring the tester to inspect the main valve operation?

    Most HI are reluctant in operating the main shutoff (in house not street).
    Had a main valve packing nut crack and start leaking. No way to shut off from street, street valve missing in action. While the City was coming to locate valve the leak continued in the basement.


  41. #41
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: Measuring low flow water fixtures

    There should be no / none / "0" testing involved. If the device is appropriately labled and that label bears compliance your good. No label; write it up. Regardless; no testing. It's a rabbitt hole. Was your testing method certified, your testing device certified, calibrated by a recognized source and are you credentialed to use it ???


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •