Home Featured Articles Regulations & Standards: An Essential Part of our National Economy

Regulations & Standards: An Essential Part of our National Economy

Hydraulic Institute

Author: Edgar Suarez, Technical Program Manager, Hydraulic Institute

In our daily life almost every product we use is built to or relies on standards to communicate and function, making them vital to our commerce, transportation, and technologies. As an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards development organization (SDO), the Hydraulic Institute (HI) uses the consensus process to develop standards and defines a standard as the product, material, process or procedure with reference to one or more of the following: nomenclature, composition, construction, dimensions, tolerances, safety, operating characteristics, applications, performance, quality, rating, acceptability criteria, testing and service for which designed. Standards are an essential part of our national economy, and HI’s participation contributes to the benefit of the global economy.

When the consensus process is used, there must be substantial agreement on the standard’s content and all views are required to be considered and attempts made to resolve any objections from the consensus body or any other source. The key principals of the consensus process are openness, transparency, balance of interest, and due process. Most consensus standards are voluntary, meaning their use is not required by law. Standards become mandatory when incorporated into a business contract or regulation.

As an SDO, HI focuses its resources in developing pump industry standards that cover pump systems, nomenclature, definitions, design & application, installation, operation, maintenance and testing. Examples include ANSI/HI 1.3-2013 Design & Application of Rotodynamic Pumps and ANSI/HI 9.8 Design of Intakes for Rotodynamic Pumps. In total, HI has published 34 standards and 10 guidebooks. Additional pumps standards are developed by other standards development organizations, including the International Standards Organization (ISO), the American Petroleum Institute (API), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) has recently published standards related to the energy consumption of pumps. This is a new process for the pump industry which affects what is allowed to be sold in the United States. The DOE develops these energy conservation standards as regulations to increase the efficiency of residential and commercial products such as refrigerators, air conditioners, motors and now pumps. These Standards have saved American consumers $63 billion on their utility bills in 2015, and cumulatively, have helped the United States avoid 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Similar to the consensus process, regulations are established through a rulemaking process that provides opportunities for public review and comment. Manufacturers, product importers and distributors, energy suppliers, efficiency and environmental advocates, and other members of the public are encouraged to participate in these rulemakings. The DOE has developed regulations for Clean Water Pumps (January of 2020 compliance) and Dedicated Purpose Pool Pumps, (July of 2021 compliance). Additionally the DOE is considering a standard for Circulator Pumps.  The industry expects a Proposed Rule for circulator pumps in 2017 and a final rule in 2018, however this timeline is not confirmed.

Standards have become a vital part of our modern world. The U.S DOE energy conservation standards are great examples of standards being adopted to improve society. As the world becomes more globalized, the importance of standards are magnified and are needed to help facilitate commerce and safety around the world.

About the Author

Edgar Suarez is the Technical Programs Manager at the Hydraulic Institute (HI) (www.pumps.org). He manages the newly developed certification, lab approval, and energy rating programs and also coordinates the development of HI standards, guidebooks, and educational webinars.

About the Hydraulic Institute

The Hydraulic Institute advances the pump manufacturing industry by becoming the world’s resource for pumping solutions by: Addressing Pump Systems, Developing Standards, Expanding Knowledge and Resources, Educating the Marketplace and Advocating for the Industry. For more information on the Hydraulic Institute, visit www.pumps.org.


  1. The importance of standards increases in times of crisis. They are formally needed to promote security around the world. In fact, they limit or exclude the appearance of quality analogues manufactured in other countries. In other words, they will protect the domestic market of each country from the appearance of worthy competitors from abroad.

  2. That’s true that today global market access is more and more driven by technical compliance obligations lead by regulations and standards. Standards are essential to ‘design’ with a global approach and obtain proofs of compliance recognized by most of conformity assessment programmes even if they differ in many other ways.


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