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While much of the plumbing technology that we rely upon each and every day harkens back many decades, there are exciting advancements that are proving to offer greater efficiency and convenience for homeowners. Among the most promising and asked about trends in plumbing today are those that incorporate smart technology. And the latest smart home plumbing trends are being wholeheartedly embraced by both homeowners and builders who appreciate the benefits of more efficient, advanced plumbing systems.
According to research from Zion Market Research, the global smart home market is expected to exceed $53 billion within the next two years. Plumbing is a key component of this market with products that include smart appliances, shower systems, irrigation, leak detectors and more.
Let’s delve into the smart home plumbing trends for 2020 that combine convenience with practicality and luxury.
The kitchen faucet is one of the most used components of a plumbing system. Relied on for washing dishes and vegetables, as well as scrubbing kids’ dirty hands before mealtime, it’s not always easy to keep clean. Increasingly, homeowners are choosing to rely on voice-activated assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant to turn on the faucet.
A growing number of plumbing fixture manufacturers are integrating smart assistant capabilities into their faucets to enable them to be turned on or off with just a voice. With the help of a smart assistant, users can also request a particular temperature of water or even a specific quantity.
Porcelain thrones have hit new heights of sophistication with enhanced smart features enabled by Bluetooth technology, such as heated seats, lighting and automatic flushing. Believe it or not, smart toilets are no longer just a novelty. They’re popular options for homeowners who want the latest and greatest in every room.
Like with today’s technologically advanced toilets, smart shower systems also offer new levels of convenience. Voice-control technology enables homeowners to turn on or pause the shower, as well as choose a specific temperature for the water. These systems also can help reduce water consumption by letting users set a specific amount of time for the shower.
Internet Connected Water Heaters
Another workhorse of a home’s plumbing system is the water heater. It’s consistently relied upon for washing dishes, taking showers and laundry. It also consumes more energy than all other household appliances combined. With rising electricity and gas costs, water heaters with smart technology have become very popular with homeowners wanting to reduce their energy consumption and utility bills.
Leading manufacturers are beginning to introduce smart water heaters with Wi-Fi connectivity. This means they are able to send alerts for spills and leaks, as well as optimize water temperature for both comfort and efficiency.
Wi-Fi-Enabled Water Filtration
Many homeowners choose to filter their water for a variety of reasons, and under-sink filtration is a popular filter option. Now, this type of filtration system is available with Bluetooth connectivity. Using a smartphone app, users can monitor and track water usage, as well as stay on top of when it’s time to replace and reorder filter replacements.
Smart Sprinkler Systems
Not only is the inside of homes getting smarter, so is the outside. This includes smart sprinkler systems that help optimize the watering of lawns and other landscaping. These personal watering assistants help homeowners establish watering schedules that are automatically adhered to via a smartphone app or voice-control technology, and they can even adjust according to local weather updates.
Water Alarm Systems and Complete Home Leak Detection
Leaks are a homeowner’s nightmare – and for good reason. They are not only costly in terms of water waste but also for the damage they can do to floors, walls and furniture. Smart water alarm systems can go a long way towards preventing these unfortunate occurrences. With a water alarm system, sensors are placed around common sources of leaks, such as water heaters, washing machines, and kitchen and bathroom appliances. When the system’s sensors detect a water leak, they trigger an automatic shut down of a home’s water supply and send out a notification through an app.
Of course, not all leaks are discovered right away. Many are hidden and not discovered until a shockingly high water bill arrives or serious damage is done beneath a floor or through a wall.
Complete water leak detection systems, such as the Moen Flo, provide around-the-clock water monitoring to detect leaks as soon as they happen. At the onset of a leak, the homeowner is sent text and email alerts, and the main water supply is shut off immediately.
The benefits of this type of smart water leak detection system is significant. Not only can one protect a home from a catastrophic water leak and prevent high water bills, it also tracks water usage. By gaining these insights, homeowners can better manage their water usage patterns to reduce their monthly water bills and decrease their environmental footprint.
While beneficial for any homeowner, smart leak detection systems are particularly beneficial for those who spend extended time away from their homes, such as part-time residents and those who travel frequently. By having the ability to monitor, control and shut off water remotely, many major plumbing problems can be mitigated.
Smart Home Hubs
When upgrading plumbing to include smart phone technology, it’s important to include a smart home hub that connects all systems and provides a single “pane of glass” for system management. Consider this piece of technology as the keystone to making smart devices work together. Leading manufacturers of smart phone hubs include Amazon, Samsung and Google.
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