Smart Home Plumbing Technology for Cincinnati Homeowners
More and more, smart home technology has become a staple in homes throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. Today’s homeowners rely on smart products for improved convenience and savings from the systems and devices used every day. While smart home plumbing technology isn’t as popular as some more well-known and widely used devices, it certainly offers homeowners many perks where comfort, convenience, and home care are concerned.
The licensed Cincinnati plumbers of Thomas & Galbraith share some of the smart home plumbing products that keep you connected with water consumption in your house. Learn more about what these systems and devices have to offer and see if smart home plumbing products are the solution you need to create the connected home of your dreams. For plumbing installation, repair, and service throughout the Greater Cincinnati area, please contact us today!
Protect Your Residence with Smart Home Plumbing Products
Water leaks have the potential to cause serious damage in Cincinnati homes. It’s a common problem – one in 50 homeowners file a claim for water damage every year. The average cost of these claims amounts to approximately $10,000, so it’s certainly not a cheap issue.
As the number of water damage claims has grown for the past five years, there’s no better time than the present to take advantage of smart home plumbing technology that helps homeowners mitigate the damage a surprise water leak could cause.
Effective smart home plumbing systems provide protection against water damage by integrating leak detectors, automatic shut-off valves, and whole home water monitoring systems to create a connected solution homeowners are able to trust.
Leak detectors, water sensors, leak sensors – they go by many names but serve one important purpose in the home, which is to detect the presence of water in areas where it does not belong. Typically, leak detectors are placed in areas of the home where the potential for catastrophic water leaks exist, such as:
- Laundry rooms, in case of a machine overflow or burst hose
- Utility closets, in case of a burst water heater
- Basements, in case of flooding
When water hits a leak detector’s contacts, it activates an alarm which warns of water’s presence where it should not be. When used by themselves, leak detectors simply sound an alarm to tell homeowners there is a water leak present – it’s up to the homeowner to take action to stop water damage, so if you happen to be away when the leak detector goes off, the door is open for significant water damage to occur before you arrive back.
Leak detectors are sometimes stand-alone but are commonly connected with smart home leak detection systems. In a connected system, a leak detector sends a notification via Wi-Fi to the homeowner and triggers the home’s automatic shut-off valve – this component’s function is explained below.
Automatic Shut-off Valves
A home’s water supply is controlled by a shut-off valve; each plumbing fixture in the home has a dedicated shut-off valve, too. If a major water leak occurs, the home’s incoming water supply needs to be stopped via the main shut-off valve. When a serious water leak occurs while the home is unoccupied, there is no one to close the shut-off valve – thus, the home is vulnerable to significant water damage.
An automatic shut-off valve functions just as it sounds – it cuts water to the home automatically if and when a leak is detected. In a connected system, leak detectors detect a leak, then send a signal to the automatic shut-off valve, which closes off incoming water supply to prevent water leakage and damage.
Water Monitoring Systems
Whole home water monitoring systems keep track of all water flow through the home. Installed on the home’s main water supply line, it detects factors including water flow, pressure, and temperature to assess normal activity and identify abnormal occurrences that indicate a leak. This smart home plumbing solution is combined with an automatic shut-off valve and leak detectors to deliver full-coverage protection against water leaks throughout the home.
The water monitoring system also detects water leaks, but in a different way than leak detectors installed in high-risk areas of the home. As the system monitors water use characteristics in the home, changes in flow, temperature, and pressure alert the system to the possibility of a leak. If the abnormality is significant, the system presumes a leak has occurred and it triggers the automatic shut-off valve to disconnect water to the home in order to stop possible damage.
While protection against water damage is an obvious benefit, this smart home plumbing technology helps Cincinnati area homeowners conserve water, too. The system collects data regarding water usage, which homeowners are able to review through the system’s app. Users are able to see total consumption, usage habits, and other data which is helpful for improving household water conservation efforts.
Since water damage is one of the greatest expenses to homeowners insurance providers each year, installing this smart home plumbing technology may qualify you for insurance discounts. Many insurers see the clear value of having water monitoring systems installed in the homes of their insured, and offer reduced premiums in return, which helps homeowners recover the cost of these products.
Boost Conservation and Convenience with These Smart Plumbing Solutions
While protection against water damage is an important benefit of smart home plumbing technology, other systems and devices exist to deliver enhanced comfort, convenience, and conservation in the lives of users.
Smart home plumbing fixtures include faucets for the kitchen and bathroom. When connected to the home’s smart home hub, these faucets offer hands-free voice activation – a great convenience when you have full or dirty hands! Ask you faucet to dispense a set volume of water, set temperatures, or run for a set period before shutting off on its own.
With smart home plumbing systems for your shower, everyone can enjoy their ideal shower experience with ease. Initiate a shower at the touch of a button and ensure the perfect temperature every time. See usage data, set time limits on showers, and adjust habits for better water conservation in your home.
Smart Water Heating
Water heaters fall only behind heating and cooling equipment as one of the largest energy consumers in the average home. About 18 percent of a Cincinnati household’s annual energy budget is consumed by water heating. With smart home plumbing technology, homeowners are able to increase energy savings and keep tabs on this important equipment.
A smart home water heater system is a new water heating unit that is Wi-Fi enabled, or a controller that is compatible for use with the home’s existing unit. These systems allow for remote monitoring and control when the homeowner uses a connected smartphone or tablet.
Features range based on the selected model, though common features of this smart home plumbing technology include:
- Easily change the water heater’s temperature and operation settings. Activate vacation mode to save energy when the home will be empty for an extended period.
- Water usage monitoring shows how you use hot water in the home, helping you make energy-smart decisions that further savings.
- Leak detection technology and units equipped with automatic shut-off valves protect the home against the possibility of water damage due to water heater failure.
- Hot water monitors show you how much hot water is in the tank, available for use, so you are able to plan out your day.
- Sensors keep record of component conditions, alerting homeowners when maintenance or replacement is needed. Built-in diagnostics help plumbing professionals make accurate system repairs.
With spring in full swing, it won’t be long until sprinklers start running again – smart home plumbing technology for sprinklers takes the work out of watering the lawn! Smart sprinkler systems reduce labor while keeping Cincinnati lawns lush and green.
Smart sprinkler systems are available either as newly installed systems, or smart controllers are retrofit for existing sprinkler systems if compatible. Different products offer different features, but some of the functionalities offered by smart sprinkler systems include:
- Remote control over sprinkler system settings – adjust sprinklers from anywhere, whenever needed! Voice control is an option when certain equipment is paired with smart home hubs such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
- Your yard can be split up into zones based on differing soil and plant types, sunlight exposure, and elevation, for custom watering schedules that deliver sufficient watering for all types of terrain.
- Automatic schedules run when you want them to, with flexible hold modes to account for vacation times and watering restriction dates without disrupting your programs.
- Certain models automatically shut off if rain is detected to curb water waste.
- The system’s sensors take readings on soil condition to automatically adjust watering as seasons and needs change.
- A smart sprinkler system lowers water consumption, which in turn lowers your water utility bills. With a Watersense-certified system, you may even receive a rebate from your utility provider for its purchase.
When It Comes to Your Home’s Plumbing, Get Smart with Thomas & Galbraith!
The smart home plumbing solutions discussed above open up a world of possibilities for Cincinnati area homeowners. Gain the connectivity and flexibility you desire as you protect your home and progress toward your family’s water conservation goals when you install smart plumbing products. Thomas & Galbraith is here to assist you as you make smart upgrades to your home’s plumbing system – for plumbing installation and service throughout Cincinnati, please contact us today.