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TOM'S TECH TIPS

> Back to Tom's Tech Tips

CALGREEN-COMPLIANT DIVERTERS

A few years ago, we never got tired of talking about TOTO's CalGreen-compliant diverters, because A) they were great, and B) they were exclusive. Well, guess what, TOTO? Just a couple of short years later, Grohe is taking over the lead, like a herd of very determined (if a bit slow) turtles.

That's right – Grohe is now offering CalGreen-compliant diverters, which is a total game changer. Are you ready for my rant on CalGreen-compliant diverters? Here comes the rant.

When CalGreen building codes became a thing, it felt a little doomsday-ish in the decorative plumbing industry. We had built half an industry on custom showers, and then the drought came and ruined our fun and parts of our profits. (For those of you too young to remember, a "custom shower" was a shower that had more than one shower outlet. Sometimes even three or four. It was pretty neat.)

So anyway, CalGreen is great for the environment (we're big fans), however it presents some unique challenges to the plumbing industry. But you know the old saying: Water-efficient building codes are the mother of invention. First came low-flow toilets, then came low-flow toilets that work, and now we have CalGreen-compliant diverters. Or as I like to say, CalGreen-compliant custom shower enablers!

The CalGreen code requires that showers flow no more than 2.0 gallons-per-minute per shower valve. That means if you want two shower outlets in your shower with a standard diverter or with volume controls, they can only run a combined 2 GPM, or 1 GPM each (because even if you pinky-swear not to, California doesn't trust that you won't run them at the same time).

So what are CalGreen-compliant diverters? Now we come to the gist of my rant: these diverters have an A or B (or C) function instead of an A and B (and C) function. In other words, you can run your shower head OR hand shower, but not both – and as long as they're both 2 GPM or less, your shower is CalGreen compliant.

Just. Like. That.

Currently, Grohe offers a two or three function option, with a Concetto-style trim that will also seamlessly match Essence and other modern collections. Check them out in the Grohe CEC brochure. However, I heard a rumor that we can expect many, many more styles in the future, so stay tuned. 

Apply what you learned: What are the model numbers for the two and three function CalGreen-compliant diverter rough-in valves?

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