How Californian Politicians Screwed up my Kitchen Sink

A bit of background before I begin what is about to be a giant rant.  The kitchen sink faucet that came with our house was a piece of crap.  It leaked from the sprayer, it constantly made a mess as the sprayer would often switch back on when you didn’t want it to and we were unable to turn the hot water fully on because the contractors the POs hired through Lowes did a crap job of installing it.

Here’s a video of the old faucet.

So, we spent a few days looking at options.  We wanted a faucet with a sprayer head and a pot filler so we decided to go with the Vigo Zurich Stainless Steel Pull-Down Spray Kitchen Faucet.  It arrived, a guy came to install it last Monday and things looked to be going well.

Then darkness entered the world.

Turns out this particular unit is defective. The diverter valve for the hot water doesn’t function, No worries I thought….I hopped on Amazon and requested a replacement.  They said it would be here on Wednesday.  Wednesday came and no faucet had arrived.  I contacted Amazon on Wednesday to find out what was going on as their site showed it hadn’t even shipped.  They said they would fix that issue and get it out to me by Friday/Monday.

It’s now Monday and when I checked my mail this morning I found a notice from Amazon saying the delivery had been delayed.  I was pissed.  Contacted them again to find out what was going on and they had nothing for me.  I started searching the interwebs for replacement options and found the same fixture at so I called them.

The call was going well until suddenly their computer wouldn’t let me have my precious replacement faucet.  See I live in the state of California and our Governor has determined I’m not allowed to own that faucet.  That’s right.  Between the time I ordered the defective one and now my faucet has become an outlaw.  Why you ask?  Well the short, sarcastic answer is because some paid shills for corporate farms decided to make the public at large think they’re doing something about conserving water by trying to pass an asinine bill (it took me over an hour to actually determine that no bill was ever passed and instead our illustrious governor just signed a sweeping executive order). For those that are interested the original attempts to make these thoughts into a law began with Grove who in 2014 introduced AB-2537 which sought tax credits for people who installed faucets that used less water (2.2 gal/min).  (Yes that’s right, tax credits because that’s what a lot of people are all about…paying for as little of the pie they eat–hey I told you I’m ranting.) And then my own rep Chu got in on the mix in with AB-697 back in February of last year, but all his effort was redacted as the next month Governor Brown came in with his executive order. (I’m sure there was a some West-Wing-ish worthy moments involved in that kerfuffle).   About the only actual voted-on thing I could find was the after-the-fact Rental Unit Amendment AB-723 from Anthony Rendon.

Finally though I found the holy grail of my search: Executive Order B-29-15. In it the only reference to faucets is section 16 which states “The California Energy Commission shall adopt emergency regulations establishing standards that improve the efficiency of water appliances, including toilets, urinals, and faucets available for sale and installation in new and existing buildings”.  So I headed over to the California Energy Commission and found this news release which states that “Kitchen faucets shall not exceed 1.8 gallons per minute flow rate and may have capability to increase to 2.2 gallons per minute momentarily for filling pots and pans”.  Now the faucet I ordered has a max flow rate of 2.2 gal/minute via the pot filler.  Even with that nugget there is one huge problem with their regulation: they do not post the model used for calculating those values. One can only assume they are using normal water pressure models which are found in urban areas. (Trying to search the CEC site is a pain as they are just using Google as a backend–all I came up with were toilet and shower head studies.)

So I called a local urban water company and their average pressure ranges are 40-125 psi with the top end being a mandate from CEC.  Now anything over 100 isn’t super great for household plumbing and I know from searching other sites online that most urban houses have water pressure at 80-90 psi, but we don’t have normal water pressure as we’re on a well with no additional pressurizing system–except for our toilets which all have pressurizing units installed. Our pressure on a good day is around 45 psi.  Thus even while the outlaw faucet meets the high end value, there’s no way it will operate at its maximum capacity.

At the end of all this research though, I’ve come to the conclusion that in the face of government bureaucracy there is very little I can do to change the stupidity inherent in the system.  I now doubt if my replacement from Amazon will ever arrive, but the one glimmer of hope is that a kind woman at did give me the number for the Vigo support people, and they are shipping out a replacement part that may or may not work.  If that fails, I could circumvent things and ask a kind friend who lives in another state to take delivery of a replacement unit and then ship it on to me.  I know that sounds extreme, but we spent 2 weeks researching replacement faucets and figuring out which one we wanted and we simply like the functionality of this one.  The sprayer handle isn’t too big for someone like me with tiny hands, both the pot filler and sprayer rotate independently of one another, it looks great, and, best of all, makes washing what dishes we have to do by hand easier.

So there you have it…my huge rant.

Now, if you want a big laugh call the 1800 number for the state of California (1-800-807-6755).  They have the worst call tree imaginable.  As a resident of such a tech-minded state I just cringed again and again while trying to navigate it.  It’s like they had Vera and Betty from the filling room record it on their lunch break only neither of them were wearing their glasses and thus they could barely read what they were supposed to record.