Touchless automated bathroom faucet and sink, angled view showing partial mirror and walls.

Until the past few years, technology and plumbing have primarily been separate things. In the present and foreseeable future, more and more plumbers are relying on various types of technology in the form of convenience appliances for clients or for solutions or diagnostics to pinpoint issues in the plumbing system of a commercial or residential structure.

As more and more houses have integrated technology such as Alexis, NEST, and other home management systems, professionals in the plumbing section must keep up with these devices’ abilities and understand their functions. It is not uncommon for homeowners to have multiple articles that work via phone app or voice command to fulfill functions such as sending water into the ice maker to make additional ice for a dinner party or commanding a kitchen faucet to put exactly 32 ounces of water into a pot. However, many users are not tech-savvy and only understand their devices enough to use them; when there is an issue between the technology and the plumbing system in a home, the plumbing professional should hone the skills and knowledge to assist their customers with these types of problems.
Smart Monitoring
Monitoring feature in homes is another significant advancement. Smart plumbing options are becoming an in-demand request from consumers wishing to upgrade their properties and more commonplace in new construction.
A monitoring system that alerts the consumer via a phone app when pipes leak is a valuable tool that can lessen the loss to a house by allowing the earliest possible warning when something goes wrong. Apps that control water usage assist consumers in being more eco-friendly and conserving water usage and the economic side of it. Plumbing professionals who take the time to learn about how these devices work, repair them, and replace parts that may get needed from time to time will remain competitive in the marketplace for years to come.

Green and Sustainable
Appliances that assist in green living goals are becoming a mainstay. There is a growing demand for plumbing products and solutions that are eco-friendly. In fact, nearly half of plumbing retailers now carry green products as part of their regular stock. Many homeowners building new structures or upgrading their kitchens switch to green dishwashers that use average a savings of 700 gallons of water each year. This greywater expelled by the dishwasher can get used for flushing toilets.
Fixtures For Convenience
Touchless plumbing fixtures found their place in the market through use in commercial buildings. However, sensor-activated faucets and toilets are making their way into everyday use in residential applications. When there is movement in front of a faucet or someone moves away from a toilet, the faucet turns on or off as needed, and the toilet flushes.

Tankless water heaters are another hugely popular appliance. This smart plumbing solution eliminates the potential for vast amounts of water damage from a tank failure. Instead, this “on-demand” water heater delivers hot water when needed, and more units come with an anti-scald feature to prevent accidental burns. Another ability many of these units have is the ability to communicate with the home system via WiFi or a phone app. If someone takes extra long, hot showers, the hot water can get turned off remotely to cut those short.

One convenience feature that is fast gaining favor among consumers is the self-cleaning appliances. Nearly everyone has seen or owns a self-cleaning range; however, this feature goes into other much-used articles in the home too. Most people do not relish the thought of cleaning the toilet. Smart toilets use an app that communicates with the refill valve and activates a jetted scrub mode that removes stains and prevents hard water buildup around the rim. Remember, sometimes when consumers are searching for a deal among plumbing services, lower cost does not always equal the best value, and appliances that can lower the amount of effort needed for upkeep in the home can translate as a better option for many buyers that are in the decision-making phase of their final purchase.

High water bills are a concern with many consumers, and water-saving appliances and the devices that can monitor usage are a common request in both new construction and homes undergoing updating. Plumbing professionals should make it a priority to stay on top of the latest trends in green, sustainable and economical products as they hit the market so they can increase their sales and consumer confidence in their brand as a company that wants to help their clients keep costs down and embrace the latest advancements.

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