12 Plumbing Technology Trends to Know for 2020

Joanne BrattonOctober 12th, 2020
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As a plumbing company, you want to offer your customers the best products and services to keep their plumbing systems running safely and efficiently. That means being in the know about new plumbing technology trends to better guide today’s tech-savvy residential and commercial clients.

Smart home (and business) devices, including smart plumbing products, continue to rise in popularity. In North America alone, the smart home market is forecast to reach about $66.5 billion in revenue by 2023, according to a global market and consumer data firm.

New plumbing technology saves homeowners time and money. By installing more efficient fixtures and appliances, homeowners can conserve a minimum of 20 percent less water, according to statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency.

For commercial clients who also care about the environmental impact of using water more efficiently, new plumbing products are key. Becoming an expert in new technology allows you to add a high-tech tool to your toolbelt to better serve your customers.

Below, we untap information you need to know on these top 12 plumbing technology trends.

1. Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless, or on-demand, water heaters remain highly popular for good reason, as this plumbing technology can save households $400 to $600 in energy costs every year, according to the U.S.Department of Energy. 

Traditional storage water heaters are larger and store up to 80 gallons of heated water. This leads to wasted energy as the unit keeps unused water hot. By contrast, smaller, tankless water heaters heat the water as it passes through the device, at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute.

Homeowners also save over the life of the appliance, as most tankless water heaters last more than 20 years—compared to 10 to 15 years for a storage water heater, according to the Department of Energy.

2. Hot Water Recirculation

Instead of wasting water by letting cold water run through the pipes until it’s hot, a hot water recirculating pump gives you hot water quickly, right when you want it. 

Plumbers install this plumbing technology on both tankless and storage tank water heaters, although the pumps can be installed near faucets, too. 

Pumps with a timer mean you can schedule it to shut off, making hot water instantly available during peak usage. Unused water remains in the tank to prevent waste.

3. Smart Pipe Technologies 

Gone are the days of homeowners coming home and unexpectedly finding a flooded laundry room or basement. New water pipe technology gives you the ability to immediately detect leaks from a dripping toilet or a burst water pipe and send alerts to a smartphone, guarding against unexpected water damage.

Depending on the device, smart pipe technologies monitor temperature and humidity, monitor water flow and usage, or completely shut off the home’s water supply in the event of an emergency. 

Smart pipe technologies requiring professional installation mean homeowners get smart plumbing with an expert to guide them through the process. If homeowners want to control all of their home’s smart devices with a smart home hub, it’s important to know their devices’ specifications, because not all devices are compatible with a hub.

4. Advanced Faucets

A few years ago, did voice-activated faucets seem like far-fetched plumbing technology? Now commonplace, homeowners can choose a myriad of options for hands-free kitchen and bath faucets.

Controlled on command through a digital voice assistant, these advanced faucets allow water to be turned on or off without touching the handle, or delivering precise amounts of water exactly when needed.

Touchless faucets using motion sensors, once found only in commercial settings, are another advanced option now readily available for your customer’s home or business.

5. Smart Shower Heads 

New technology for plumbing also includes a more luxurious shower. Smart showers offer convenient options, responding to the sound of voice (or preset settings) to start or end a shower. Water temperature and steam features can be customized for each household member.

Other advanced options focus on energy-saving features. Water can be reduced when the user steps away from the showerhead, or the user can pause all water flow. Devices can also monitor water consumption. 

6. Smart Water Heaters

Since heating water accounts for about 18 percent of a home’s energy usage, homeowners looking for ways to save makes sense. Smart water heaters can be remotely turned on or off so the unit wastes no energy by heating water when no one is home.

These smart plumbing products also use water temperature information and water consumption patterns to make sure the water heater is ready when needed.

Homeowners who want high tech plumbing and heating features on their water heaters but don’t want to change out their appliances can find smart devices to install directly on their existing water heaters.

7. Smart Irrigation Systems

Sprinkler systems, which traditionally rely on timers to irrigate the lawn and garden, now operate more intelligently. Green plumbing technology means sprinkler controllers use data from sensors and weather forecasts to deliver water at the right time.

When considering this latest plumbing technology, it’s important to keep in mind what type of irrigation system is used, such as a hose-based or underground sprinkler system, and how many zone configurations are needed.

As with any smart device, different smart sprinkler controllers offer varying features, so homeowners need to know their irrigation needs and watering schedules before making a decision.

8. Greywater Recycling

Greywater systems are growing in popularity, as homeowners become more environmentally and budget-conscious. In drought-prevalent areas of the country, conserving water remains a dire concern.

The average family uses more than 300 gallons of water each day, with toilets and showers using the most water, according to water usage statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency. A surprising 50 to 80 percent of a building’s water consumption falls into the greywater category, meaning it can be reused for other purposes.

Greywater plumbing systems use water from showers, laundry and other areas where it makes no contact with waste. This water is filtered or treated, depending on the greywater system, and is reused for flushing toilets, washing clothes, or irrigating plants.

9. Apps to Boost Your Plumbing Business

Use ServiceTitan’s Mobile App to give your entire plumbing team access to the comprehensive mobile plumbing platform through their tablets.

Chat features save time, decrease miscommunication, and leave a time-stamped record when questions arise. Plus, customers appreciate being in the loop to confirm their jobs or receive notifications when techs are on the way to their homes.

10. Advanced Toilets 

As nearly everything becomes automated, consumers expect more of the most humble fixtures in their homes. New plumbing technology means more features in the bathroom, such as smart toilets that automatically open, flush, or cleanse. 

Other advanced toilet features include heated seats, air drying, and motion-activated night lights to eliminate fumbling in the dark. Consumers seek smart plumbing products not only because of comfort, but also because they offer increased hygiene and water conservation.

11. WiFi Water Filtration

High-tech plumbing technology enables monitoring of whole-house water filtration systems so homeowners can check water usage and receive smartphone alerts in the event of a leak or a running faucet. 

The technology allows users to remotely shut off water from anywhere. For these features to work, a WiFi signal must be at the filter location. Similar tracking features are also available for select water softeners.

12. ServiceTitan Plumbing Software 

Streamline your plumbing company’s efficiency with ServiceTitan plumbing software that brings the office to the field. 

Techs can quickly estimate plumbing jobs and invoice customers from a mobile tablet, all while staying connected to the office. You can even track jobs and team performance in real-time.

Digital marketing tools, such as ServiceTitan Marketing Pro, also let you customize your professional marketing templates to create targeted email campaigns with just a few clicks. By using ServiceTitan reporting software, you can see what’s working and what isn’t, and have the data you need to grow your plumbing business.

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive plumbing business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

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