On January 1, 2017 a new plumbing fixture law will take effect in California. This new law contains crucial information for home buyers and sellers. The new law will require that all homes built on, or before January 1, 1994, must be utilizing water conserving plumbing fixtures. This law does not create a point of sale requirement; however,  it does require a disclosure to the buyer.

In terms of how the law will be enforced, there is quite a bit of confusion on everyone’s part as to what needs to be done and who needs to do it. C.A.R. has created a client Q&A to clarify the law’s purpose and responsibilities. You'll find the questions and answers below.

New Plumbing Fixture Law for Water Conserving in 2017: What You Need to Know

Q: What does the law require?

A: In a nutshell, starting in 2017, the law requires installation of water conserving plumbing fixtures if you own a single-family home, and it is built before 1994 – whether or not it is being sold.

Q: I am selling my house. Are there any special disclosures that I must make?

A: The law requires you to disclose whether there are any non-compliant plumbing fixtures on the property. If you are unsure, then you should consult with someone who has expertise in the matter like a contractor or plumber.

Q: I am selling my house. Are there any installation requirements under this law?

A: No. There is nothing in this law that requires installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures as a condition of sale. However, if you haven’t already installed water conserving plumbing fixtures on your pre-1994 single-family house, then you are in violation of the basic requirement of the law.

Q: I own a property in a city where there is an existing retrofit law for water-conserving fixtures as a point of sale requirement (such as Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco). Are those retrofit laws still in force?

A: Yes. Local laws passed before July of 2009 requiring retrofit of plumbing fixtures remain in effect. The state law also allows a locality to pass more restrictive requirements at any time.

Q: I would like to install water conserving plumbing fixtures. What can I do?

A: Call an expert such as a contractor or plumber. You can also go to your local home improvement store. You may wish to contact your local water service provider to find out if they offer low-cost or even no-cost plumbing fixtures.

Click Here for the California Legislative information on the topic.