I think we can all tell you about the latest smartphone, tablet, or TV. But ask someone about the latest plumbing technologies, and they won’t have a clue. The fact is we rarely if at all, see advertisements on the newest plumbing gadget. Plumbing just doesn’t have the same appeal as other products. We see fancy cars roll across our TV screens, but we rarely see the latest in plumbing technologies. It’s finally taken almost 30 years for tankless water heaters to get some notoriety. And there are still those that don’t have a clue about them. Most new construction and repiped homes use Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). If you ask the average homeowner what PEX is, they wouldn’t have a clue. I think it’s time we start educating ourselves on available plumbing products and services.
Smart Plumbing Products Are Data Processing Objects
Wouldn’t you agree the word “smart” is thrown around quite a bit? For example, we have smartphones, smart plugs, smart home surveillance, smart doorbells, smart locks, smart lighting, smart heating, and the list goes on. Before we dive into smart pipes, fixtures, and appliances, we need to define what “smart or intelligent” products are. By definition, a smart product is a data processing object, with many interactive functions. The product is interactive and requires some work by the end-user. In the plumbing market, we have smart pipes, faucets, showers, water heaters, tankless water heaters, toilets, and more. While some may find that smart products may simplify our lives, others would prefer traditional fixtures and appliances.
Smart Plumbing Products Are Life-Changing
Traditionally pipe leaks end up costing homeowners thousands in water damage every year. Companies like Moen, Steamlabs, flume, and others have developed there own version of smart pipe leak detectors. They all connect to your smartphone through an app. Flo by Moen will detect leaks from your faucets, pipes, toilets, behind your walls and in your slab. The device is installed in the main water supply line. It also has what Moen calls “Smart Water Shutoff,” which can shut your water off in the case of catastrophe. It can detect a leak as small as a drop per minute.
The flume smart leak detection device will also monitor your home water usage 24/7. Any unusual activity you’ll be notified by text, email, or push notifications. A homeowner also has realtime access to there water usage. Additionally, the device allows you to set budgets for water usage, and when you approach your limit, it will warn you.
Smart Toilets Have Become More Affordable
Now let’s look at smart toilets. Smart toilets are revolutionizing the toilet industry. Once the cost to own one was off the charts for the average family, but not so any longer. At the same time, most makers such as TOTO, Moen, and Kohler have there own brands of smart toilets starting at around $2,000 and moving up significantly. But companies such as Ove Decors, and Woodbridge have their brand of smart toilets beginning at about $800 and up. The big question is, what do you get from a smart toilet? Features will vary based on the maker, model, and cost.
- Emergency flushing when outages occur
- Remote control
- Bluetooth and MP3 capabilities, listen while you go
- Foot warmer
- Air dryer
- Built-in sensors for tank leaks
- Heated seating
- Massaging bidet wash
- Slow closing lid
- Self-cleaning features
- Automatic flush
Smart Plumbing Products Can Transform You Bathroom And Kitchen
Smart faucets and showerheads are other accessories making their way into our bathrooms and kitchens. U by Moen smart shower has transformed our shower experience. There are three ways to control your shower: voice, phone, and controller. The product could be preset to Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant by using the app (or application) to start it. The same technologies are used in their smart faucets. The faucets respond to voice control, wave sensor, and manual operations. The Sensate® faucet by Kohler Konnect also responds to voice commands, dispenses water with state-of-the-art touchless technology.
Additionally, you will have great-tasting filtered water flowing with smart water and filter monitoring. You’ll never ask yourself, ”Is it time to replace my filter?” The KOHLER Konnect Aquifer Refine filtration system will not only remove dozens of contaminants, but it will also remind you through the app when the filter needs to be changed.
Others May Still Prefer The Traditional Way
Are you ready for your home to ‘go smart’? It’s not for everyone. While some families may enjoy the new tech-savvy smart products, others may still prefer to turn on the water and flush the toilet the traditional way. Either way, you’re still SMART!