August 31, 2005
PMI advised its members that President Bush signed a massive energy bill that will affect them in the medium to long term. On issues with more immediate impacts on plumbing products, the bill's final energy efficiency provisions were much more expansive than many would have predicted. However, the core principles and legal foundation of federal preemption over state appliance standards remained intact thanks to the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute's cooperative efforts with a larger coalition of appliance manufacturers earlier this summer. The bill establishes energy efficiency standards for more than 12 different categories of products and equipment, including commercial pre-rinse spray valves, commercial refrigerators, freezers, battery chargers, commercial clothes washers and others. The new federal standard for pre-rinse spray valves requires that all commercial pre-rinse spray valves manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2006 must have a flow rate of not more than 1.6 gallons per minute, when measured with ASTM test method F2324 (the test method specifies a test pressure of 60 psi). This does not include the cleanability portion of ASTM F2324, which PMI has opposed and worked to improve on the basis of repeatability concerns. This information was reported by Christian Richter, PMI lobbyist, and Dave Viola, technical director.