WaterSense®
Labeled Homes
Quick Reference Guide
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Why WaterSense?
WaterSense Labeled! Homes: The Belief its
Green building has grown from a niche market to a savvy business strategy. WaterSense labeled homes
capitalize on consumer demand by offering homeowners a whole-house solution to help them save water,
energy, and money while maintaining a high level of performance.
FASTER HOT WATER
SAVINGS THAT PERFORM
Efficient plumbing distribution
systems get hot water to the
tap faster, so you waste less
time, water, and energy.
WaterSense labeled fixtures are
independently certified to use less
water and perform as well or better
than standard models. Dishwashers
and clothes washers, if included,
are ENERGY STAR¥'certified.

PEACE OF MIND
Trained professionals conduct
independent inspections to ensure
that WaterSense labeled homes
meet EPA's specification criteria,
so you can be sure the homes
perform well and save water.
OUTDOOR EASE
High-performing landscapes are
designed to be low-maintenance and
water-efficient without sacrificing
curb appeal. If an irrigation
system is installed, WaterSense
labeled irrigation controllers help
homeowners water smarter.

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What's in a WaterSense
Labeled Home?
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All WaterSense labeled homes are inspected and certified
to meet EPA's indoor and outdoor water efficiency criteria.
Third-party inspectors verify:
Indoor Criteria
LEAKS
No visible leaks
SERVICE PRESSURE
Service pressure test < 60 psi
HOT WATER DELIVERY
10°F temperature change observed within < 0.6 gallons
PLUMBING FIXTURES
WaterSense labeled toilets, bathroom sink faucets, and
showerheads
DISHWASHERS AND CLOTHES WASHERS*
ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers and clothes washers
Dig Deeper!
Check out the full WaterSense Inspection
Checklist used in the field:
www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/home_
inspection-checklist508.pdf
Learn more with WaterSense's detailed
specification materials:
•	Version 1.2 WaterSense New Home
Specification
www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/
home_finalspec508.pdf
•	Inspection and Verification Guidance
for WaterSense Labeled New Homes
www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/
home_inspection-guidelines508.pdf
•	Builder Resource Manual
www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/
newhome_builder_resource_
manual508.pdf
Outdoor Criteria
LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Complies with WaterSense's Water Budget Tool for water-smart design
IRRIGATION SYSTEM*
WaterSense labeled irrigation controller
Designed or installed by an irrigation professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program
Audited by a certified irrigation professional
Multi-family: Independently metered
POOLS AND SPAS*
Single-family: Cover installed
Multi-family: Independently metered, gutter or grate system used, sorptive media (pre-coat) or
cartridge filtration system installed
*lf included with the home at time of purchase

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HOW TO: Efficient Hot Water
Distribution Requirement
What: Reduce the waiting time for hot water by
designing and constructing cost-effective
plumbing systems that save water and energy
while increasing customer satisfaction.
Why: Heating water is typically the second largest use of
energy in a home (after space heating and cooling).
Careful planning and thoughtful design/selection
can result in efficient distribution systems without
significantly increasing costs or installation time.
A high-performing plumbing system ultimately
saves the homeowner money and allows builders to
deliver a better product to their customers.
Dig Deeper!
Learn more with WaterSense's detailed
technical guidance for meeting the hot
water distribution requirement:
•	Guide for Efficient Hot Water Delivery
System
www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/
hw_distribution_guide.pdf
•	Hot Water Distribution Volume
Calculator
www.epa.gov/watersense/excel/
hw volume tool vl.xlsm
How: WaterSense labeled homes minimize water loss by storing no more than 0.5 gallons of
water between the hot water source and any hot water fixture. The hot water source is
typically a water heater, but it can also be a demand-initiated recirculation line.
Product Solutions
Product solutions offer builders flexibility by allowing for longer pipe runs and less centralized fixture
placement, while still meeting the WaterSense specification in just about any size floor plan.
If
Smaller or larger home with
many fixtures not centrally located
Then
DEMAND-INITIATED RECIRCULATION
Piping runs directly from loop to individual
fixtures that are within 10 feet
Can be used with a less centralized layout
where longer pipe runs would otherwise
be necessary
Might be more expensive to install than
other system types
Fixture Fixture Fixture Fixture
Hot Water
Heater
Check Circulating
Valve Pump
Saves water, energy, and money while
adding a desirable feature to the home
May require homeowner training
If designed properly, can be the most
water-efficient hot water delivery system

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System Design Options
It's all in the design. Structural solutions minimize pipe run lengths and pipe diameters to
help builders meet the WaterSense specification.
If
Smaller home with
fewer fixtures in close proximity
Then
TRUNK AND BRANCH
Main trunk supplies water to farthest fixture with
individual fixtures connected to main trunk
Fixture Fixture
Fixture
Fixture
Fixture
Fixture
Hot Water Heater
Most common with plumbing professionals
Greatest potential for inefficiency
Or
CORE
Pipes run directly from water heater to
individual fixtures
Fixture
Fixture
Hot Water Heater
Fixture
Fixture
Less material, less expensive, and less time
to install
Requires planning to centralize fixtures
Greater potential for efficiency
If
Larger home with
many fixtures
Then
WHOLE-HOUSE MANIFOLD
Piping runs from manifold to individual fixtures
Manifold-
Fixture
Fixture
Fixture Fixture
Fixture Fixture
Hot Water Heater
Can be installed more quickly than
traditional rigid systems
Requires fewer fittings and installation is
more flexible
Equalizes pressure so fixtures can be
used simultaneously without pressure or
temperature changes
Reduced pipe diameter delivers hot water
faster and with less water and energy
waste
Save Water & Energy
with WaterSense®
Don't waste
time waiting!
Get hot
water fast!/


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HOW TO: Outdoor Requi rements
Dig Deeper!
What: Provide homeowners with attractive and water-
efficient landscapes that are easy to maintain.
Why: On average, single-family homes in the United
States use 30 percent of their water outdoors.
In some hotter and drier areas of the country,
that number is as high as 70 percent! Regionally-
appropriate landscapes can also help homeowners
cope with drought and comply in times of local
watering restrictions.
How: The WaterSense specification addresses outdoor
water efficiency through a combination of
appropriate landscape design and efficient
irrigation systems.
Learn more with WaterSense's detailed
technical guidance for meeting the
outdoor requirements:
•	Water-Smart Landscapes Guide
www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/water-
efficient_landscaping_508.pdf
•	WaterSense Water Budget Tool
www.epa.gov/watersense/water_
budget/
Landscape Design Criteria
To help builders and contractors design regionally-appropriate landscapes, EPA developed the WaterSense
Water Budget Tool. All homes that earn the WaterSense label have landscapes that meet the requirements
of this Web-based tool. Here's how to use it:
STEP 1 : Enter information on
region and landscape, including
zip code, plans for in-ground
irrigation systems, and the area of
the landscape. The Water Budget
Tool will provide a Landscape Water
Allowance based on local climate
data and set a goal for landscape
efficiency.
STEP 2: Input the general types
of plants that will be used in the
landscape (e.g., turfgrass, shrubs) and
the water requirements (e.g., low,
medium, high) of each. In this step,
you also input what type of irrigation
system, if any, will be installed.
WATERSENSE WATER BUDGET TOOL
Congratulations on choosing to design a locally
appropriate water-efficient landscape! The
WaterSense water budget tool will help you
determine if your landscape meets EPAs criteria for
cff>dent outdoor water use In your area.
In order to use the water budget too), you wMi need
to know some basic information about your
landscape:
•	The location and zip code
•	The total area of applicable landscape
•	Types of plants and trie total coverage
•	Methods of Irrigation (if any)
Your landscape will receive a pass/fan based on
local csmate, plant selection, irrigation methods,
and size of the landscape. Follow the Instructions
on screen to find out if your landscape meets the
WaterSense criteria.
For what purpose is the tool being used?
What are you landscaping?
How many sites?
¦ Development of Multiple Landscapes O Single Site
Is there an irrigation system?
a *e» ¦ NO
Enter Landscaped Area
Enter Zip Code for a Single Home or Site1
Isq.
Enter Multi-Home/Dovelopment Landscaped Area Range*
B s1-	I NEXT s*
STEP 2 EST

Ml out tha chart below with oa the appropriate information to c*
kU
ete your landscape's wet
tr need
a.

Zone
Area ' Plant Type /
(sq. ft.) Landscape Feature
' Water
Demand
Irrigation Type
1
Impact on
Water Use
* Required Water
(gal/month)
u
I 2 1200 Turfgrass
Medium
-
R«
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m
Congratulations!
Your designed landscape meets the water budget I
Landscape Water Allowance: 8,32$Gdkw&Mc>aih
Landscape Water Requirements: 5,021 Galons Morffa
Your landscape is 5$*« below the baseline for this site
To create a report (PDF), please
fill out the form below:
Email Address
¦ Shant my eonuct MtorreiMm w«h
| CREATE REPORT |
STEP 3: Learn whether or not
your landscape design meets the
WaterSense specification—a simple
"pass" or "fail." For a home to earn
the WaterSense label, the landscape
water budget must stay under that
Landscape Water Allowance from
Step 1 in order to receive a pass.
Your inspector will verify your Water
Budget Tool calculations as part of
the inspection process.
Irrigation System Requirements
If your landscape design requires an irrigation system, there are additional criteria you need to meet:
WATERSENSE LABELED IRRIGATION CONTROLLER
WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers allow watering schedules to better match
plants' needs by tailoring to local weather and actual onsite landscape conditions.
Use our Product Search Tool (www.epa.gov/watersense/product_search.html) to
identify a WaterSense labeled model or simply look for the WaterSense label on
product packaging.
CERTIFIED IRRIGATION PROFESSIONALS
Have your irrigation system designed or installed and then audited by irrigation professionals
certified by a WaterSense labeled program, which teaches skills to improve landscape health and
water efficiency.
Use our Directory of Certified Professionals (www.epa.gov/watersense/findapro/) to locate a
certified professional in your area.
Other Considerations
After your landscape design has passed the Water Budget Tool, you might have a few more requirements to
consider, depending upon the property:
If...
Then...
Your landscape has exposed soil
Cover it with 2 to 3 inches of mulch.
The property has slopes greater than 4 feet
of horizontal run per 1 foot vertical rise (4:1)
They need to be vegetated.
You plan to install a pool, spa, or
ornamental water feature
Consult the WaterSense specification (www.epa.gov/
watersense/docs/home_finalspec508.pdf) for specific
requirements.

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Ready to Get Started?
Adding the WaterSense label—an independent certification for both savings and performance-
helps assure home buyers in a competitive market where third-party certifications matter and consumers
are looking for a choice in efficient homes. You can open the door to savings with WaterSense labeled
homes, and here's how:
1.	PARTNER WITH WATERSENSE: Partnership is free and required for any builder who wants
to earn the WaterSense label. Simply fill out our brief online partnership agreement at www.epa.
gov/watersense/partners/partnership_agreement.html.
2.	COLLABORATE WITH YOUR TEAM: Work with your trades, vendors, and raters or
inspectors to make sure your home will meet the WaterSense specification. WaterSense
provides more resources to help, such as our in-depth Builder Resource Manual (www.epa.gov/
watersense/docs/newhome_builder_resource_manual508.pdf).
3.	FIND YOUR PROVIDER: Locate a WaterSense licensed certification provider to coordinate
your WaterSense inspection. Discuss the WaterSense label with your existing energy raters and
providers—they might already be able to provide this additional service. You can also contact one
of the approved WaterSense licensed certification providers using the Meet Our Partners search
tool (www.epa.gov/watersense/meet_our_partners.html).
4.	FINISH BUILDING AND GET INSPECTED: Your licensed certification provider will send a
trained inspector to certify your home to earn the WaterSense label using the inspection checklist
(www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/home_inspection-checklist508.pdf).
5.	MARKET YOUR WATERSENSE LABELED HOMES: Use WaterSense partner tools, such
as infographics, brochures, and the WaterSense promotional label, to promote your homes and
partnership! You can find them on the password-protected partner website (www2.ergweb.com/
wspartner/sell/new-homes.html).
EPA
WaterSense

£%	trA-oUU"!—lb*
VytHr\ February 2016
EPA-800-F-16-001
PHONE (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) WEBSITE www.epa.gov/watersense EMAIL watersensefcOepa.gov

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