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New Water Use Efficiency Laws

Leaky FaucetBecause of our state’s ongoing issues with drought conditions, conserving water is always important. New laws went into effect this year regarding installation of new toilets, urinals, showerheads, and interior faucets.

Bill AB715

This law requires that as of January 1, 2014, 100% of toilets and urinals (other than blow-out urinals) sold or installed in California be high-efficiency:

– High-Efficiency Toilets (HET): maximum of 1.28 gallons per flush

– High-Efficiency Urinals (HEU): maximum of 0.5 gallons per flush

This law imposes a state-mandated local program, and violation of the State Housing Law is punishable as a misdemeanor. In addition, all commercial and residential renovations involving toilet and/or urinal replacement are subject to this law.

Bill SB407

This law mandates all buildings in California come up to 1992 state plumbing fixture standards at some point in the next decade. This law establishes that residential and commercial property built before January 1, 1994 replace plumbing fixtures that are not water conserving, defined as “noncompliant plumbing fixtures” as follows:

– Any toilet manufactured to use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush

– Any urinal manufactured to use more than 1 gallon of water per flush

– Any showerhead to have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute

– Any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute

On or before January 1, 2019, all noncompliant plumbing fixtures in multi-family and commercial properties must be replaced by the property owner with water-conserving plumbing fixtures. For single-family residential property, the compliance date is January 1, 2017.

The law now also requires as of this year any alterations or improvements to residential or commercial property, that water-conserving plumbing fixtures replace all non-compliant fixtures as a condition for issuance of a certificate of final completion for occupancy or final permit approval by the local building department.

For more information on the new laws, visit the California Urban Water Conservation Council’s website at

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New 2014 Smoke Alarm Laws

Starting in July 2014, the California State Fire Marshall will be enforcing new requirements on any new smoke alarms listed in the state.  Beginning July 1, any new listing of a smoke alarm will be required to have a nonreplaceable and nonremovable 10 year battery. Notice the emphasis on the word “new:” There are some exceptions to the requirement.  For smoke alarms that were in your possession or ordered before July 2014, you have until July 2015 to replace them or install additional alarms that comply with the new law. But eventually, we will all have to get used to this as the new standard in the industry.

Why can this be considered a good thing in the long run? Tenants or employees can no longer opt for the convenience of simply removing an expiring battery when it starts to chirp – ruining your good intentions to comply with the law and protect property in the event of a fire. But of course, it also means a little extra effort goes into selecting the smoke alarms you chose to install. Since this new requirement doesn’t apply to all states, not all smoke alarms out there on the market will be manufactured accordingly. (However, there are some resulting restrictions coming down the pipeline for manufacturers, going into effect in 2015.)

Let your frieKidde Smoke CO Detectornds at Cole Supplies take the guess work out of selecting the smoke alarm units you use in your next installation. We’ve examined all the options, considering features, effectiveness and price. Our pick? The Kidde model P3010K-CO. This is a worry-free smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with a 10 year lithium battery. It automatically activates when attached to its mounting brackets with no pull tabs or switches. The alarm is equipped with 2 types of sensing technology: photoelectric and photochemical. The combination allows the sensors to communicate with each other and better discriminate a real hazard and a false one, depending on what is detected. This significantly reduces the potential of a nuisance alarm. With luck on your side, the alarm won’t make a peep until 10 years after installation: alerting the user that the alarm needs replacement.

Call us up today with questions on how the new regulation affects you, or for your competitive quote!

For more detailed information on the new law, visit


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Odor Control

Big DNothing sours a first impression quite like walking into a room and being hit with an unpleasant odor. Whether you are hosting a meeting for clients at your office, or freshening up a hotel or living space – it makes good business sense to create an environment that feels (and smells) hospitable and welcoming. Smells from mildew, pets, cigarette smoke, cooking, or air particulates are working against you if you want folks to kick up their feet and stay a while. Here are a few tips from Cole Hardware Supplies on reducing odors:

  • Basements: Basements tend to be cool, damp, and humid. Not only does this environment lead to a musty smell, but the humidity increases risk of damage to anything being stored there such as tools or metal appliances that could rust. Basement dehumidifiers are a best bet to eradicate odor and protect equipment.
  • Washing machines: After prolonged or heavy use, washing machines can harbor unpleasant odors. A quick and affordable solution is to place a cup of either bleach or vinegar in the machine and run it for one full cycle.
  • Bathrooms: Bathrooms are another area where moisture and dampness linger, leading to smelly and dangerous mold and mildew. Ventilation is key- if there are no windows, installing fans will go a long way towards keeping bathrooms mold and mildew free.
  • Kitchens: Cooking creates a film of light grease in the air that can cling to walls, countertops, cabinets, and light fixtures. Resulting smells can be surprisingly pesky to eliminate. Install exhaust fans to keep this film moving out instead of settling in around the kitchen. Do a periodical deep clean when possible.
  • Lobbies or common sitting areas: Although cigarette smoking is banned in buildings in California, heavy use of these common areas can make it harder to keep these areas smelling fresh and pleasant. Allow for ventilation and consider placing a mildly fragranced, earth friendly air freshener in an inconspicuous spot for good measure.
  • Odor foggers: Odor foggers are a great resource to have on hand for controlling odor, as they go beyond masking smells to eliminate odors at the source. In some cases these products even successfully combat deeply permeated odors such as cigarette smoke. Before throwing in the towel in the fight against tough odors and resorting to replacing carpets and furnishings, give this a try.

Big D Odor Control Fogger: This fine fog penetrates even the tightest of spaces, such as cracks and crevices to destroy odors. It works equally well on hard surfaces, as it does on carpeting, upholstery fabrics, and walls. Use Bid D Odor Control Fogger with confidence in restrooms, schools, food service, managed properties, laundry facilities, and transportation vehicles such as cars or buses – any environment with small spaces and big odor problems!

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Phantom Energy

Electrical Cords Halloween isn’t the only time phantoms are among us—an actual terror may already be in your business. These “energy vampires” are all too real and all around, running up your energy bill even when you are not actively using them.

Take for example the seemingly innocuous cell phone charger. As cell phones have become a staple of modern life, so have the devices that power them. To ensure that they’re always “connected”, we have them in our purses, brief cases, and at our desks. What most people don’t realize is that chargers are continually drawing power, even when no device is connected to them.

Simple Tips

Here are some simple tips to cut back on phantom energy:

  • Unplug devices you don’t use often. This won’t work for a clock, but anything else that you use from time to time (fans, heaters, etc.), you should unplug until the next time you need it.
  • Use power strips. Power strips allow you to toggle the power flow on and off. This will allow you to control the power usage of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not around. Using a light switch that turns power outlets on and off accomplishes the same end.
  • Curb idle time in devices such as computers. Simply setting your computer to sleep mode can actually save a lot of energy and money.
  • Make smart upgrades. When it comes time to send your old devices to the graveyard, you should also consider replacing them with Energy Star devices. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and generally use less energy in all their functions—a savings you should take into account when comparing similar products.

Information from 

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