The EPA’s War on Home Appliances

Are you disappointed in every shower head that you purchase? Does your toilet have trouble flushing? Have you noticed that your dishes are still dirty after the dishwasher cycle is completed?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re not alone. Some of us may be quick to blame the manufacturer of these home appliances. But the manufacturers are just abiding by the costly regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy.

So what’s wrong with the shower heads? Why is the flow of water not as heavy as it used to be? Federal mandates restrict water below at or below 2.5 gallons per minute. Of course, the argument is that this regulation will save energy and the environment. But it has only led to people hacking their shower heads to remove the intrusion that is blocking water flow in order to have a more relaxing shower that actually gets them clean. There is no proof that the water restrictions have actually saved water because many people just end up taking longer showers than they otherwise would.

These water restrictions are also the reason that our toilets have trouble flushing. Many of us have become accustomed to flushing the toilet multiple times before the toilet bowl is clear. The 1992 Energy Policy Act states that all toilets sold in the United States use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. These water restrictions are the reason why we have to use plungers far more often than we used to. As strange as it may seem, there used to be a thriving black market for Canadian toilets that actually flush.

As the executive editor of Laissez-Faire Books Jeffrey Tucker writes, “What we have in these regulations passed since the 1990s is therefore a step backwards from a central aspiration of mankind to dispose of human waste in the best possible way. We have here an instance of government having forced society into a lower stage of existence.”

The government is also largely to blame for the white film still left on our dishes after a wash. Many state governments have laws limiting the use of phosphates in dishwasher soap. As NPR explains, “phosphates are wonder ingredients. They not only strip food and grease from dishes but also prevent crud from getting reattached during the wash.” Unfortunately, many people are unaware of these regulations and wonder why their dishes are not getting clean.

Now the EPA is launching a war on dishwashers. Beginning in May 2013, all dishwashers produced will be limited to using only 5 gallons of water per load  compared to today’s limit of 6.5 gallons. Proponents of the regulation say that it will save water but it will likely have unintended consequences. People will likely run their dishwasher twice in order to get their dishes cleaner—and end up using 10 gallons of water instead of 6.5 gallons like it takes to run one cycle today. Other people may give up on using dishwashers altogether and spend a lot of time washing their dishes by hand.

We must stop Washington from overreaching into the everyday lives of Americans. Click here to tell your representatives to end the war on dishwashers!