NSF 61 Section 9 Standard

NSF 61 Section 9 Standard

Understanding the NSF 61 Section 9 Standard for Water Works and Plumbing Parts

Standards provide people and organizations with a basis for mutual understanding and are used as tools to facilitate communication, measurement, commerce, and manufacturing. For industries where there is very little room for mistakes, such standards bring consistency to the processes and products. That’s why, when it comes to water providing parts, several standards exist so all players involved – from production to installation – have expectations to fulfill.

The NSF/ANSI/CAN (NSF 61) is a drinking water contamination standard that has origins going back to 1988. This standard is continuously being updated with the most recent version of the standard being approved in 2022. NSF 61 establishes maximum levels of specific contaminants as well as setting standardized testing procedures. For the water works and plumbing industries, lead content is one of the most important contaminants that is restricted within the NSF 61 standard. The NSF standard sets the lead leaching limit, and a separate standard, NSF/ANSI/CAN 373 (NSF 372), sets the lead content limit.

NSF 61 section 9 details mechanical plumbing devices and, more specifically, endpoint devices. Endpoint devices are described as components typically installed in the last liter of the water distribution system. 

Types of devices that fall under NSF 61 Section 9 include the following:

  • Faucets
  • Water dispensers
  • Drinking fountains
  • Ice makers
  • Potable water flexible plumbing hoses
  • Supply stops

 The 2020 version of the NSF 61 standard set the requirement for new section 9 labelling requirements with an effective date of January 1, 2024. California bill AB100 moved the effective date for California to July 1, 2023.

 The “Q-value” references the normalized amount of lead that is leached from a part. In the NSF 61 standard, normalization of leaching levels is used to account for parts that have a very small amount of surface area that contacts the potable water. Leaching results are “normalized” by taking the actual leaching amount, the wetted contact area of the part being tests, and the volume of water held within the part being tested, entering those values into an equation and getting the normalized leaching amount.

 The new version of NSF 61 standard requires products to be labeled to include the Q-statistic value for parts that fall under this section. This Q-statistic needs to be on the outer packaging label as well as on the individual part packaging.

 While this rule does apply to A.Y. McDonald water works products and any product that touches potable water, none of A.Y. McDonald’s water works products are “endpoint devices” and thus they do not require the special labeling. In addition, not all A.Y. McDonald plumbing products are marked with the Q value, just those that apply to this rule (such as supply hoses and supply stops).

A.Y. McDonald is committed to providing the best quality products all across North America. In doing so, we also comply with all necessary industry standards, which includes the NSF-61 section 9. To learn more about this standard and how our company acknowledges it, take the ‘NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 (NSF 61) Section 9’ AYU course, call our customer service department at 1-800-292-2737, or fill out a contact us form on aymcdonald.com.