The Trump administration has rolled back an Obama-era rule-change that placed new standards on showerheads in order to decrease daily water usage and increase conservation, a federal regulation the president has repeatedly derided as burdensome.
Under the rule-change, federal officials will no longer apply the gallons-per-minute limit for showerheads across all nozzles in a given shower, a departure from the Obama administration, which capped their collective output at 2.5 gallons per minute.
According to the Department of Energy, the regulation change will ensure “access to showerheads that can provide enough water for quality showers.”
While the rule-change doesn’t affect the 2.5 gallon-per-minute limit, which was established by Congress in 1992, manufacturers can now design and market nozzles that don’t divide their allotted limit between the number of nozzles.
From the Department of Energy:
Congress has mandated a 2.5 gallon per minute limit on showerheads. DOE’s definition, now in line with the consensus standards from [American Society of Mechanical Engineers], states that each showerhead can emit up to the statutory limit. The prior definition, as interpreted by the Obama administration in 2013, stated that a device with multiple showerheads could only release 2.5 gallons per minute for the entire device. Today’s change will allow manufacturers to offer consumers new products that can provide more water and more comfort.
“Today the Trump Administration affirmed its commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and safeguarding consumer choice,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette in a statement Tuesday. “With these rule changes, Americans can choose products that are best suited to meet their individual needs and the needs of their families.”
President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the Obama-era regulation, and other water-flow rules, saying they make everything take a lot longer.
“So, showerheads — you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what do you do? You just stand there longer, or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect,” Trump remarked in the summer, reports CNN.
According to NBC News, the president told reporters last December that his administration planned to look “very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of the bathroom,” elements he has suggested use even more water rather than less of it.
The Department of Energy also said it has changed the standards for laundry machines.
The department is concerned that cycle times for washers and dryers could become very long in the future—reducing the value of these critical time-saving devices. The final rule on washers and dryers allows manufacturers to offer new products that meet consumer demand for clothes washers and dryers that have shorter cycle times. The rule establishes separate product classes for residential clothes washers and clothes dryers with cycle times of less than 30 minutes (45 minutes for front-loading clothes washers).