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Flow rate is an essential aspect of every water-related implement in your home, such as faucets. Specifically, we define flow rate as the “rate of water that flows from a source. Flow rates determine water pressure, which, in turn, will let you know whether or not a particular fixture can increase your water bills or not.
Now, several important terms linked to flow rate that you need to know, as well. Here are they:
- Aerator – This is a mechanism that controls the flow rate of showerheads and faucets
- GPM – GPM, or gallons per minute, measures how many gallons flow from the water fixture every minute
- PSI – Pounds per square inch (PSI) is the measurement of pressure of liquids, such as water
Faucet Flow Rate
As mentioned, the faucet flow rate expresses the amount of water that comes out from showerheads and faucets in a given period. Specifically, it measures the speed of water that gushes out from the source.
Many tend to ignore the flow rate of water fixtures even though it has important implications for homeowners. Water consumers should understand that it could help determine the overall functionality of your water system.
If the water doesn’t trickle or explode, things are just normal. However, if you notice that your hot water runs out quickly, it is a sign that there’s a problem with your home’s water flow rate. If the flow rate doesn’t match the water softener you use, you may experience cut-offs in the clean water supply.
Water Flow Rate vs. Water Pressure
Flow rate and water pressure may sound similar. However, you should not interchange these terminologies. They refer to different important aspects of understanding the overall efficiency of your water system.
Water pressure is defined as the force necessary for pushing water through valves, pipes, and pathways. The pressure is necessary if there are passages where there are heights and altitudes are involved.
Typical Faucet Flow Rate: How Much Water per Minute Does a Faucet Use?
In the United States, the maximum flow rate for bathroom and kitchen faucets is 2.2 GPM with a pressure of 60 PSI. Throughout the globe, faucets are said to have a flow rate of 1 to 2.2 GPM.
However, some areas have stricter regulations. An example of this is California, where the flow rate is at 1.8 GPM. Interestingly, bathroom faucets have a slightly slower flow rate than kitchen faucets. The same thing is true for their water pressure.
Average House Water Pressure
Water pressure is an exact measurement of how much force is exerted to push your water to move. In average households, the water pressure is in the range of 40 to 60 PSI. Homeowners tend to customize a water pressure of about 50 PSI as it meets the needs of their respective households.
Flow Rate by Household Size: Faucet GPM
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The water flow rate is expressed in gallons per minute (GPM). In a nutshell, it measures the number of gallons that a faucet can produce every minute.
According to multiple water contractors, numerous factors can influence the flow rate of faucets. Among them is the household size. Normal households have up to four people; more than that, and your household is already considered large.
But having a large household doesn’t mean that your water flow rate is low. The flow rate will be reduced if all people in your house use water simultaneously. Therefore, even if you have a small household, the water flow rate in your residence could still be affected if multiple faucets and showers are running.
Flow Rate by Square Footage
Another factor that affects the flow rate is the square footage of your property. There are numerous online calculators that can let you calculate the water flow rate of your home based on its square footage.
Meanwhile, the average inlet water pressure to a standard home size is about 45 PSI. And this should not exceed 60 PSI. You’ll notice that professional plumbers prefer to set the pressure regulator to 45 to 50 PSI. Take into account that all homes are the same, and this means that the pressure regulator in your home should be configured properly.
For example, the standard square footage of homes in the United States is about 2,300 square feet. Here, you can expect that larger homes can experience lower flow rates.
Kitchen Faucet Flow Rate
Kitchen faucets are regularly used, especially for dishwashing and food preparation. Hence, it is essential that you can keep your faucets in their top condition. One of the things that you need to do is regulate the flow rate of water passing through them.
In the United States, the maximum flow rate of kitchen faucets is 2.2 GPM. Environmentally regulated areas have a reduced water flow rate. We take California again as an example, where the water flow rate is 1.8 GPM.
Is A 1.5 GPM Kitchen Faucet Enough?
For daily use, kitchen faucets with a water flow rate of 1.5 GPM are acceptable. Hence, if you only use your kitchen faucets for washing dishes, drinking water, and washing hands, this specific flow rate can suffice. Its difference between a 2.2-GPM faucet isn’t that noticeable, either, especially if you are not that keen.
Is 1.8 GPM Good For A Kitchen Faucet?
A kitchen faucet with a water flow rate of 1.8 GPM is more than enough. This is the maximum flow rate set for environmentally controlled areas, such as Georgia and California. People there are able to maximize the performance of their faucets for their daily kitchen errands.
Are Kitchen Faucets With 2.2 GPM Flow Rate Good Enough?
Technically speaking, a 2.2 GPM is more than sufficient for kitchen use. This is the highest water flow rate possible, as set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It should be indicated that not all households may need kitchen faucets that are this powerful.
Kitchen Faucet Flow Rate Standards
The standard for kitchen faucet flow rates isn’t encompassing. Countries have variations when it comes to this matter. Kitchen and lavatory faucets in the United States and Canada have a maximum flow rate of 2.2 GPM. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has set its water flow rate standard for kitchen faucets from 1 GPM to 1.5 GPM.
Kitchen faucets that have a high flow rate can provide more water whenever it is needed. Of course, there are instances when you want to maximize the water coming out from the spout, especially if you are doing rigorous errands.
Numerous faucets exist today. The most common ones are pull-downs, pull-outs, single-handles, and double-handles. But the type of faucet doesn’t determine the flow rate. It actually depends on how they are constructed.
If you are looking for kitchen faucets with a high water flow rate, then you should check out the provisions of TCK(www.oltsw.com). It is an international brand of high-end kitchen faucets, automatic flushers, and customized DIY kits.
TCK is also a reputable manufacturer of pull-out-style kitchen faucets. Aside from their high flow rate threshold, these faucets have the following feature:
- LED panel for water temperature
- Infrared spout sensor activation
- Timeout protection
- Manual and sensor dual-mode operation
We recommend that you check out these high-flow kitchen faucets from TCK. Inquiries are welcomed 24/7.
Low Flow Kitchen Faucets
Households don’t usually need kitchen faucets that have a high flow rate. Again, if the common use of your kitchen is just for washing hands and food preparation, you don’t need to install faucets that have a high water flow rate. Just make sure that the flow rate isn’t that low–or below 1 GPM.
Again, you can pick a variety of faucet types for the kitchen. From pull-outs to commercial types, you are free to use them. Just make sure that you can check their specifications before buying.
Bathroom Faucet GPM
According to numerous contractors, the water flow rate of bathroom sink faucets can range from 1 to 2.2 GPM. Moreover, some recommend that the bathroom faucets should be retrofitted to a maximum of 1.5 GPM. If done, this particular setup would allow you to reduce wasted water by up to 30 percent by using 2.2-GPM faucets. Interestingly, retrofitting the faucets won’t compromise their performance.
Shower Head Flow Rate
Federal regulations state that the water flow rate of shower heads should not exceed 2.5 GPM, especially if the fixture is still new. This has been the policy since 1992. However, if your shower head was made before that year, then its flow rate could reach 3.5 GPM at maximum. If your show head has a 2.5 GPM, this means that a 10-minute shower would need 25 gallons of water.
Why Does Flow Rate Restriction Matter?
Restricting flow rates of faucets and similar fixtures has utter importance. Its primary goal is to ensure that we reduce our water consumption without sacrificing our convenience. At the same time, it also helps lower our water pills. When the flow rate is reduced, the amount of power needed for water heating is reduced, as well. That means extra energy savings.
How to Measure Water Flow Rate?
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There are ways to measure the flow rate of water without using any specialized tools. You can try the method below:
Things you need:
- A gallon container
- Stopwatch or smartphone with timer
- Turn on your faucet. Make sure that you turn it into its maximum output.
- Upon turning the faucet, use the timer to time how long it takes for the gallon container to get full.
- Once the gallon is full, stop the timer. Then, divide 60 by the seconds that it took for the gallon to get full. For example, if it is 30 seconds, then it should be 60/30. So it means that the flow rate of the water is 2 GPM.
If you think that the flow rate of your faucet is too much, you can replace it with a faucet that uses an aerator. The latter would restrict the water flow efficiently.
How to Adjust Water Flow in Faucet
There are instances where you want to adjust the water flow rate of your faucets. Regardless of the method, there are ways you can do this.
Typically, the way you can increase or decrease the flow rate of your kitchen faucets is by installing an aerator. You can replace the existing faucet with a new one, but this time, it should have an aerator that matches your needs. Get a high GPM aerator if you are residing in areas with weak water pressure.
Similar to kitchen faucets, adjusting the flow rate of your bathroom faucets requires the service of an aerator. Simply pick a faucet aerator that matches your needs. Alternatively, you can also check if your faucet has mineral deposits that cause clogging. Removing them would certainly optimize the water flow rate. Dislodging the minerals through hot vinegar works effectively.
Checking the showers and removing existing clogs can effectively increase its flow rate. If you find that water flows so weakly, then inspect if there’s a flow restrictor installed in the showerhead. You may also need to adjust the main shut-off valve. If these solutions don’t work, get a high-pressure showerhead instead.
What Is a Faucet Aerator, and How Does It Save Water?
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Technically, a faucet aerator is a small device (typically round in shape) that can be attached to the faucet’s tip. With an aerator, faucets would be able to deliver a more consistent and controlled water stream. Another feature of an aerator is that it reduces water splashes and minimizes water spillage.
Faucet aerators work by creating a mixture of air and water. This mixture optimizes the water stream, making it smoother and more consistent. Most of the aerators today will restrict the water flow rate to 1.8 or 2.2 GPM. However, some have customized restrictions.
Here, we can see the importance of water flow rate in your residences and the factors you need to consider when choosing the ideal faucets. Overall, households should realize that faucets must be regulated to reduce waste and other operational costs. One way of doing so is by upgrading your existing faucets with modern and efficient water fixtures.