Certification and Inspection
Benefits of Certification
WaterSense works with Licensed Certification Providers or Home Certification Organizations (HCOs) to oversee verification, provide quality assurance, and issue the WaterSense label for homes. Builders who have constructed homes to meet other green certification program criteria, such as ENERGY STAR® qualified homes or homes that have received a HERS rating, will find the WaterSense certification process similar. WaterSense certification requires a single verification that can be done in a one-time visit after the home is completed but before occupancy.
Builders interested in having their homes inspected may be able to contract directly with a Licensed Certification Provider, verifier, or HCO, depending on the business relationship. Discuss the WaterSense label with your existing certification provider or verifier—they might already be able to provide this additional service.
- Find a Licensed Certification Provider: Look for a provider partner in your area to have homes inspected and certified to earn the label.
- Become an HCO (DOC): Organizations interested in becoming an EPA-approved WaterSense HCO can review the requirements of the WaterSense Home Certification System and submit an application. Existing home certification professionals can inquire with HCOs about training to become a WaterSense home verifier.
- Partner with WaterSense: Join WaterSense to become a builder partner.
EPA requires that all homes bearing the WaterSense Label be third-party certified. This certification provides home owners and residents with confidence in both the efficiency and performance of their WaterSense Labeled Home. The Certification System for WaterSense Labeled Homes outlines the process and procedures for verifying and certifying homes. During 2020, WaterSense is in the process of making the transition from Version 1.2 to Version 1.3 of the WaterSense Home Certification System.
The required WaterSense inspection is a simple process that can be done in a single visit, often in as little as one to two hours. An inspection includes the following steps:
- Verify that WaterSense labeled products have been installed.
- Verify proper performance through flow rate tests.
- Conduct a performance test to ensure that no more than 0.5 gallons of water is wasted before hot water arrives at the furthest fixture from the source.
- Confirm all optional features (e.g., clothes washers, dishwashers, drinking water treatment systems) meet the specifications criteria where installed.
- Ensure the Water Budget Tool is used, and verify that the tool has been correctly and accurately filled out.
- Measure the area of turfgrass and water features.
Irrigation System (if installed)
- If included, irrigation systems must be audited by a professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program and include a controller or soil-moisture sensor that meets specified criteria. After June 1, 2013, controllers used must be WaterSense labeled.
- Verify the irrigation system operates leak free without creating overspray onto non-vegetated surfaces.
- Verify that a resident's manual* detailing usage and maintenance of the home's indoor and outdoor water-efficient features is provided and includes:
- Operations and maintenance manuals for all water-using equipment
- If an irrigation system is included with a single-family home:
- a schematic of the irrigation system
- an itemized list of all components
- copies of the programmed irrigation schedules with information on reprogramming
- General information on water-efficient appliances that are not included in the home but could be added at a later date (such as clothes washers or dishwashers)
*Builders must also provide manuals for building managers in the case of units in multi-family buildings.