Should you put your plumbing online?

Should you put your plumbing online?

There are connected products for nearly every corner of your home. Security, lighting, cooking, cleaning and entertainment are all voice-enabled, if you’re willing to spend the money and swap out your dumb systems. Smart plumbing isn’t any different.

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 ways to truly improve your home’s efficiency?

Here are a few products to help make your plumbing smart:

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.

The faucets will dispense a certain amount of water, turn on/off, fill up a container, and can heat/cool water to a specified temperature.

Worried about pipes freezing in the winter? You don’t have to with the new Phyn Smart Water Assistant. The $299 device attaches to water lines and does not require a professional to install. The Smart Water Assistant will let you know if your pipes are about to freeze, our home’s water pressure and show your water consumption all through the Phyn app on your mobile device.

Smart water is also for the bathroom.

The U by Moen Smart Shower system has a $1,225 MSRP and can create profiles for individuals in your household with specifics for temperature. It can warm up your shower, then pause the water flow until you’re ready to step inside. That’s one way to potentially reduce your water consumption, but installation does require a professional and that high price tag doesn’t include any special shower heads or premium hardware, only the thermostatic digital shower valve and control panel.

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 are mainly for techies and aren’t as focused on monitoring water saving or potential repairs.

Then, there are toilets. Not only does Kohler make a smart toilet, but it’s made multiple versions. The newest, $9,000 mega toilet can play music, heat the seat, heat the floor below it, put on a light show, raise and lower the lid and flush automatically. It can save presets for up to six people for custom experiences.

Out of all the smart water products for your home, the most useful are leak detectors.

They’re great for 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. SmartThings, iHome, Honeywell, Fibaro and Roost all make leak detectors for a reasonable price.

If you want to monitor water consumption, try a whole-home water monitoring system. Some systems ca  shut off the water in a  failure event. These devices typically install at your water meter or you home’s main water supply and require a Wi-Fi connection and app.

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. You’ll need to be pretty comfortable working with your own water pipes if you want to install this $500 system yourself.

Source: CNET