Understanding the AB1953 Faucet California's Low Lead Compliant Solution

Understanding the AB1953 Faucet: California’s Low Lead Compliant Solution

What is AB1953 Faucet?

These are new faucets that have been certified by the National Health and Safety Administration (NSS) as successfully passing the leadless NSF 61 standards. Approved faucets have the NSF 611/9 stamp on their boxes. Without this NSF61 certification, it means the faucet has higher impurities compared to the allowable standard.

Understanding AB1953 Compliance

The Origin of AB1953

AB1953 is a 2006 California state-enacted law, which sought to reduce lead content in drinking water passing through plumbing fixtures effective January 1, 2010.

This Lead Free Law is in force in California (AB1953) and Vermont (S152).

Four states (California, Vermont, Maryland, and Louisiana) have previously enacted lead-free legislation which requires that the wetted surface of products contacted by consumable drinking water system contain less than 0.25% of lead by weight.


Key Provisions of AB1953

AB1953 prohibits the sale and use of any lead-containing pipe, plumbing fitting, or fixture that are intended for dispensing water for human consumption, for drinking water, or cooking in California.

This covers kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets and other end-use devices dispense drinking water. Thus, from January 1, 2010 onwards, products that don’t comply with this legislation cannot be sold in the state.

The term “lead-free” was universally defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Safe Drinking Water Act as eight per cent low lead standard for pipe and pipe fittings and four per cent for plumbing fittings and fixtures.

However, AB1953 revised the meaning of lead-free in Section 116875 of the California Health and Safety Code bearing the new standard for “lead-free” to be fit for human consumption, which is no more than 0.25 percent lead content by weighted average.

This standard pertains to both residential and commercial products, such as bar faucets, kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets, supply stops, bubblers, pot fillers, glass fillers, and other end-use devices for dispensing potable water.

California low lead compliant

Why AB1953 Matters

The new California legislation ensures that the amount of lead in drinking water now passing through the pipes is safe for human consumption by pegging the standard at no more than 0.25% dry weight of lead in the wetted surface area of plumbing system components. This is a huge cutback from previous standards.

Health and Safety Implications

Reducing lead in our drinking water system components and fixtures is a proactive measure to minimize health risks to children and pregnant women and protect public health.

By low lead requirements and ensuring that faucets and other fixtures in the safe drinking water act comply with AB1953, manufacturers help provide safer drinking water and contribute to long-term health benefits for the community.

Drinking water with lead content has been documented to cause a plethora of health issues. Beginning at conception, being exposed to high levels of lead during gestation can result in various types of birth defects.

Kids who are further exposed to lead poisoning have been proven to suffer from headaches, behavioral problems, growth problems, nerve damage, and more.

Aside human exposure to lead issue from children, adults can suffer high lead levels because of lead in water, which can lead to muscle and joint pains, nerve damage, and problems in sterility and reproduction.

Environmental Impact

In addition to reducing the amount of lead exposure, these faucets often adhere to other environmental standards, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable living environment.

lead-free faucets

Identifying AB1953 Faucets

Labeling and Certification

New faucets that pass the NSF 61 standards will have an NSF 611/9 stamp appearing on their boxes. This means that the plumbing system or equipment has complied with the standards set by the National Health and Safety Administration (NSS) as “leadless.”

Benefits of AB1953 Faucets

Improved Water Quality

With AB1953-certified faucets, we are sure to always dispense water from a safe drinking water act, that is lead-free and quality potable water that ensures we stay on top of our health.

That means we are free from kidney damage, cardiovascular issues, neurological impact, reproductive health problems, and other physical defects brought about by lead contamination.

Durability and Performance

The new legislation ensures that pipe fittings and other plumbing industry products and fixtures are compliant with the national standard and familiar with its stringent testing procedures.

The most durable finishes are chrome, brushed nickel, and stainless steel. The first two have high resistance to corrosion and scratching.

AB1953 faucet California low lead

How to Choose an AB1953 Faucet

Key Features to Look For

Faucet manufacturers use faucets made of stainless steel, special brass alloys or plastic that comply with the lead-free standard to make them AB1953-compliant faucets.

Replacement parts such as valves or fittings that get exposed to potable water should likewise meet the required lead-free standard for everyone’s good health and safety.

Top Brands Compliant with AB1953

The following brands have passed stringent testing procedures and certification for health-related health risks and safety meeting the requirements of A.N.F. Standard 60:

American Standard faucets have been lead-free since 2009 after investing in low-lead brass casting technology more than 25 years ago. Other top brands that are AB1953-compliant are Brasstech faucets, Moen faucets, Groundwater faucets and Faucetu faucet. Check out faucetu.com for more information.

lead free drinking faucets

Installing Your AB1953 Faucet

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Vessel Installation

1. Choose your desired location for your sink and faucet.
Take into consideration the faucet’s water flow when marking the location of the sink’s hole and faucet base.

2. Drill a hole in the countertop for the sink’s drain opening using a 1 5/8″ drill bit.

3. Fix the vessel sink on top of the counter making sure there is no gap. If you want to lower the height of the sink, simply widen the hole. Use a blob of clear silicone to seal the sink to the counter.

4. Use a level to reach the vessel’s right balance. Then, you can install the drain.

5. Attach the vessel to the counter using the fastener on the drain. Tighten with the hand so that you can avoid overtightening the drain assembly.

6. Then clean the surface with warm water, non-abrasive soap and washcloth.

Faucet Installation

1. Turn off the hot and cold water supply lines underneath the sink so the water doesn’t run through the pipes.

2. Attach the pipe to the faucet by screwing with the O-ring located at the faucet base. Secure the hot and cold flexible hoses through the water supply holes beneath the faucet.

3. Slowly lower the faucet into the hole.

4. Insert the rubber washer and 1.5-inch metal washer into the pipe and tighten the fastener.

5. Secure the flexible hose to the supply line. Attach the right flexible hose to the cold water supply line and the left flexible hose to the hot water supply line then tighten them.

6. Open wide the faucet’s handle or lever. Then, slowly turn on the hot and cold water supply underneath the sink for 2 minutes until the air pockets are released from the pipes.

health benefits

Common Installation Mistakes to Avoid

1.Ensure the correct PSI on the water pressure before installing the faucet. If the water pressure is too low, consider making use of a booster pump. On the other hand, if the water pressure is high, it can cause water leaks and damage the faucet in the long run.

2. Before starting, turn off the water supply under the sink or the main water supply to avoid flooding.

3. Be prepared with the right tools, and specific installation procedures according to the manual. Read it thoroughly before installing. Regular tools needed are Teflon tape, adjustable wrench, basin wrench, screwdriver, plumber’s putty or silicone sealant, and flashlight.

4. Make sure that the washers, nuts, and gaskets fit the sinkhole to avoid water leaks and loose fittings.

5. Thoroughly clean the pipe ends before installing the new faucet. Likewise, ensure that everything is clean as you go. Remove any thread seal tape remaining as well as old plumber’s putty.

6. Don’t overtighten connections because it can crack the sink surfaces.

7. Ensure that threaded connections are well-sealed and free from leaks. Use 2-3 layers of Teflon tape on sink inlet threads before attaching the supply lines.

Maintaining Your AB1953 Faucet

Cleaning Tips

To clean a stainless steel faucet, dilute white vinegar into water at 1:10 ratio. Then spray it on the faucet assembly. Rinse with clean water and wipe with a microfiber cloth to completely remove any traces of vinegar that might tarnish the finish.

(Tip: The acid in vinegar is not recommended for use in natural stone surfaces and other types of faucet materials.)

To remove calcium deposits from your faucet, mix vinegar and baking soda to make a paste. Then, scrub the mixture on the calcium deposits using a cloth.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Keeping a periodic check-up and maintenance of faucets for leaks, cleaning aerators, applying lubricants to faucet’s handles, and replacing worn parts like the faucet stem, O-ring or valve seat can keep problems at bay.

When water is not coming out from a motion sensor faucet, chances are the membrane of the solenoid valve needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Another cause could be an exhausted battery due to a faulty sensor that needs replacement. Usually, the battery voltage is very low at 0-4V, which causes a short circuit in the sensor or the cable is causing too much power consumption. The battery should last many years.

If the battery is flat meaning the battery voltage is below 5.4 to 6.4V or the sensor’s red light is blinking, the battery needs to be replaced.

If the faucet does not seem to sense the motion and water continues to flow, water impurities in the pilot valve membrane could be causing the leak.

good AB1953 faucet

Future of AB1953 Faucets

Industry Trends and Innovations

The latest sensor technology being utilized by the faucet companies promotes convenience, hygiene, and eco-friendly designs. The new motion-sensor faucets offer amazing touchless experiences that dispense cold water even without any physical contact. This innovation solves the problems of water wastage and the spread of germs.

Potential Legislative Changes

For businesses and institutions, installing AB1953-compliant faucets defined plumbing fixtures ensures compliance with California state law, avoiding potential fines and legal issues. This legislation affects the compliance of any entity involved in construction, the other defined plumbing fixtures, industry, or property management within the state.

The monitoring and enforcement among manufacturers in California was a challenge to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the health department, and all stakeholders such as the testing bodies, manufacturers, regulators, and policy makers in California.


The AB1953 faucet represents a critical advancement in the quest for safer drinking water for human consumption. By adhering to strict low lead standards, these faucets play a vital role in protecting public health and ensuring compliance with important regulations.

As awareness of the importance of lead-free plumbing continues to grow, AB1953-compliant faucets will remain a key solution for consumers and businesses alike. Whether you are a homeowner, a business owner, or a manufacturer, understanding and utilizing AB1953 faucets is an essential step toward a healthier future.

Frequently Asked Questions:

New faucets that pass the NSF 61 standards will have an NSF 611/9 stamp appearing on their boxes. This means that the plumbing equipment has complied with the standards set by the National Health and Safety Administration (NSS) as “leadless.”

The California DTSC will have a random sample of a maximum of 75 drinking water faucets and other drinking water plumbing fittings and fixtures annually from accessible locations at retail or wholesale sources within the state for testing and evaluation to determine if they pass the lead content standards outlined in Health and Safety Code Section 116875 and Health and Safety Code, Section 25214.4.3.

The results will then be posted on sitewww.dtsc.ca.gov, the official website of the California DTSC without further enforcement.

SB 1334 also requires all plumbing products in contact with potable drinking water, to be certified by an independent American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited third-party certification body. This same test procedure must include material testing based on the protocols used by the California DTSC.

Since the lead-free act defined the standard lead content, faucet manufacturers and sellers that do not meet the criteria of not more than 0.25 percent lead content within each component that comes into contact with the wetted surfaces of pipes and pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures effective January 1, 2010 are no longer allowed to produce and sell their products in California.

For residential lavatory faucets, the allowed flow is up to a maximum of 1.1 Gallons/min. Kitchen faucet, it’s up to 1.5 gallons per minute maximum flow. However, faucets are capable of raising the volume by 2.2 gal/min for the filling of the pot. For public lavatory faucets, the maximum flow is 0.5 gallons/min.

Faucets being sold in California have to pass the NSF61 certification to ensure that they don’t have higher impurities than allowed. This has been supported by Assembly Bill 100 which does not allow the sales and production in California of endpoints that are not satisfying.

No. According to the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI), over the past ten years, there has been a reduction in lead levels and the amount of lead in levels up to nearly immeasurable amounts brought about by advancements in materials and manufacturing processes.

Traces of lead in drinking water are being attributed to aging infrastructure, including pipe and plumbing and lead in drinking water system components.

The new standard commences on January 1, 2010.

Only the States of California and Vermont will be affected. No other states have approved similar legislation at this time.

An independent American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited third party may issue a certification. Check the full list of third-party certifiers on the ANSI website.

You can check out the following websites for more detailed information:

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