The plumbing trends we’re seeing gain traction right now reflect broader movements toward digitally controlled, WiFi connected, customizable systems for homes and businesses.
Customers want more insight into the resources they’re using, so they can reduce waste, and where possible, lower costs. Plumbing products and systems are no exception.
These three plumbing trends show just how “high-tech” the business is becoming—and are a good indicator of the kinds of challenges (and opportunities) plumbing students will experience after plumber training, as they head out into the workforce.
1. Hands-free & Programmable Plumbing Fixtures
Over the past several years, we’ve seen a huge increase in automated, remote-controlled home systems and products. The Internet of Things (IoT) movement has spawned a wide range of digitally connected products for our homes, including “smart” appliances, climate control, lighting, and security systems.
Plumbing products have also caught up with this trend, with new lines of hands-free and programmable options. Some of the hottest products right now are “touchless” fixtures, which allow consumers to turn water off and on, and flush toilets, using motion sensor technology.
Touchless plumbing products have been on the commercial market for a while now, but now we’re seeing them become more commonplace in homes.
Digital showers are another big trend. The latest products allow consumers to program and customize every aspect of their showering experience, with special settings for water, steam, sound, and light—all of which are controlled via a touchscreen installed right in the shower.
2. “BrainPipes”: Digital Leak Monitoring
BrainPipes is another example of digitally connected, automated home system technology. In this case, we’re talking about a highly sophisticated water leak detection product that monitors your entire home or business, and sends an alert whenever a leak is found.
The system identifies exactly where the leak is located, and makes sure no water flows in that pipe until the problem is fixed. How does it work?
Every faucet and water-using device in the building is equipped with a sensor. An alarm system is triggered when a leak or malfunction is detected, automatically shutting off the main water supply.
The consumer gets an instant notification, telling them where the leak is located. Everything is controlled via an app.
BrainPipes reduces leak-related water damage, water wastage, and helps consumers better monitor and control their plumbing system. Learn more about how the technology works at the BrainPipes website.
3. Greywater Recycling Plumbing Systems
Greywater refers to the water we use for bathing, washing dishes, and cleaning clothes. It is considered “gently” used, and therefore, appropriate for re-use in the garden or other parts of the home.
Greywater recycling stops water from flowing directly into the city sewer and treatment system, and recycles it back into the home plumbing system—where it is filtered, treated, and made available for re-use.
The collection of greywater requires a double piped drainage system throughout the home, and the installation of a surge tank, which briefly holds the used water until it is discharged to an irrigation or treatment system.
Each recycling system is designed to suit the needs and water consumption habits of the homeowners, and takes into consideration what they’d like to do with the recycled water (use again within the home, divert to an outdoor irrigation system, or both).
This type of product reflects the growing demand for eco-friendly plumbing options that allow consumers to reduce their environmental impact, and in some cases, their utility costs.
In the coming years, we can expect to see many more plumbing products that focus on sustainability, personal customization, and “green” living.
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