2020 Smart Plumbing Advances Every Homeowner Should Check Out
With smart home trends growing by the minute, by 2020 there are connected products for nearly every corner of your smart home. Security, lighting, cooking, cleaning and entertainment are all voice-enabled. Smart plumbing is also evolving along with the rest of popular smart home products.
There's a steady stream of products that aim to smarten your water supply from all angles, but which ones are worth it? Are they all luxurious add-ons or are some of them good returns on the investment, improving your home's efficiency and convenience? The following is an overview of some of the most popular 2020 smart plumbing options on the market.
Smart Plumbing for your Kitchen
Smart water in the kitchen is centered around the kitchen sink. Kohler and Delta both offer smart faucets that connect to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands. Kohler's Sensate Faucet comes with voice commands and Delta's VoiceIQ Module smartens up compatible Touch2O faucets.
You can do things like ask your faucet to dispense a specific amount of water or turn the faucet on or off. With both models, you'll need an always-on power supply and you'll need to put the handle in the "On" position and then turn off the water with motion sensing in order to enable voice commands.
Once you've installed your faucet and connected it to your voice assistant, there are some handy functions. You can ask for 12 ounces of water, ask your voice assistant to turn the faucet on, or ask the faucet to heat your water.
There are other options for monitoring water in your kitchen. Phyn's latest water monitor, the $299 Phyn Smart Water Assistant, attaches to the hot/cold water lines under your sink and doesn't require professional installation. It can let you know if your pipes are beginning to freeze, monitor your home's water pressure and show your water consumption all through the Phyn app on your mobile device.
Smart Plumbing for your Bathroom
Bathroom smart plumbing begins with shower systems. A smart shower varies from an entire smart shower system or just a smart shower head. Prices range from less than $100 to several thousands.
The U by Moen Smart Shower system has a system that supports profiles for individuals in your household with specifics for temperature. It can warm up your shower and then pause the water flow until you're ready to step inside.
Kohler has a similar DTV+ shower system that works with the Kohler Konnect app. You can create presets for sound, water, steam and special lighting if you have that installed. Smart commands with Kohler's shower also work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Smart showers like these are largely luxurious and not focused on water savings. While there are some economical aspects, it’s primarily a luxury item.
Of course, there are more affordable ways to smarten your shower, like Kickstarter's Livin shower head, a gadget that monitors water consumption and allows you to press a button that pauses water flow. If this appeals to you, you can also buy models under $70 from WaterHawk and DreamSpa with integrated LEDs that change colors corresponding to temperature. The Hydrao Smart Shower System is powered entirely by the water flowing through it and lights up with different colors to indicate how much water you've used. These easy-to-install, affordable alternatives are a great way to get into smart showering.
There are also smart toilets. Not only does Kohler make a smart toilet, but it's made multiple versions. The newest, priciest mega toilet can play music, heat the seat, heat the floor below it, put on a light show, raise and lower the lid and of course, flush automatically. It can save presets for up to six people for custom experiences.
Smart Plumbing for your Whole Home: Smart Leak Detectors
Among all the smart water products out there, leak detectors are the most affordable and most portable. Smart home leak detectors are perfect for attic water heaters, basements, underneath kitchen or bathroom sinks or behind toilets. These battery-powered, small devices connect to a mobile app through a smart home hub or Wi-Fi to warn you if water touches the sensor. You'll get a push notifications to straight your phone.
You've got a lot of options when it comes to these handy leak detectors, including the following: SmartThings, iHome, Honeywell, Fibaro and Roost all make their own versions of a water sensor. These are great for monitoring places that are prone to water, but they can't tell you much about what's happening inside your pipes. However, for a more thorough look at the temperatures, pressures and flow rates in your home's water supply, you'll need a whole-home system.
Whole-home Water Monitoring Systems
These are smart home systems that monitor your entire home's water supply. Some can even shut off the water in a catastrophic failure event. These typically install at your water meter or you home's main water supply and require a Wi-Fi connection and communicate through an app.
Some can be DIY, but most at least recommend a professional consultation. With these systems in place, you can see all kinds of stats from your daily, weekly and monthly consumption to water pressure, temperature and flow rate.
Moen recently partnered with Flo, a whole-home startup that does just that. You can install Flo yourself, but it's recommended that a Flo professional comes out to your home.
Once Flo is installed, it can monitor the water pressure and water flow throughout your home. It can also remotely shut off your water if something goes wrong. Of course, you'll get notifications on everything Flo is doing as well as the option to perform health tests on your system.
A similar system, Flume, straps around your home's existing water meter and connects via a bridge to your Wi-Fi. Unlike Flo, it is intended to be self-installed. Once it's set up, you'll get information on water consumption, pressure and any problems it detects within your home. That system costs less, but it can't shut off your water in an emergency like Flo can.
Wondering What Smart Plumbing Device is Best for You?
Monitoring your water isn't the most luxurious of smart home capabilities but it is one of the smartest smart home investments to make if you’re thinking about ROI. It's not the cool, connected thing you'll show your friends when they come over. However, if you have leak worries in your home (example: your water heater is in your attic - danger!) or you're frequently traveling, a smart home leak detector can offer a lot of peace of mind. Leak detection sensors deliver an excellent return on investment considering your home is your most precious investment and water damage can be very costly.
Looking for a Charlotte Plumber to Consult About Smart Plumbing?
Give us a call. We’ll give you an educated, informed recommendation for what best meets your needs. We look forward to working with you!
Quick question & answer: What is the best smart plumbing device available?
A smart home leak detector is a great investment to keep your home safe from water damage in 2020. This smart home detector can offer you peace of mind in your attic, basement, or behind toilets. You will receive a notification on your phone from the battery-powered device when water bumps the sensor.