When you think of high tech industries, things like healthcare and computing come to mind. One industry you certainly don’t consider is plumbing. After all, doesn’t plumbing simply involve basic pipe fitting and drain cleaning? Well…not exactly. These days, the plumbing service industry is getting a pretty big makeover thanks to new technology.
Check Out These 5 Trends
Unless you’re a plumber by trade or have recently had a plumber at your house to handle an issue, you probably don’t know a whole lot about some of the new technological innovations in this industry. Here are some of the top trends:
1. Green Products and Materials
Plumbing is becoming much greener. According to a survey of retailers, 90 percent are already providing green products in their plumbing category. Nearly half (47 percent) say they’ve had customers come into their stores requesting green products.
Consumers love green plumbing products because of their money-saving potential. For example, did you know that a family who washes dishes four times per week can save as much as 700 gallons of water every year by using an energy-efficient dishwasher? That’s pretty significant.
2. Advanced Drain Line Sewer Cameras
One of the biggest challenges plumbers, drainage technicians, and emergency maintenance companies deal with is not being able to see what’s actually happening inside a specific pipe or network of plumbing ducts. And while rudimentary cameras have existed for years, we’re just now at a point where they’re viable and cost-effective.
You can now purchase turnkey drain camera systems that come complete with display monitors, cameras, push cables, recording capabilities, and HD-quality display for just a few thousand dollars – something that was impossible years ago.
3. Touchless Faucets
You’re probably familiar with touchless faucets in public restrooms, but did you know you can actually get them installed in your own kitchen and bathroom?
“With multiple sensors, you can just wave your hand near a certain place along your faucet, and water will come pouring out,” Friend’s Plumbing notes. “Based on the sensor you choose, you can opt for high intensity water to fill pots and pans, or a light spray for rinsing fruit and washing hands. You can install this type of faucet yourself or hire your plumber for some extra help.”
4. Superior Contractor Tools
In addition to the advanced drain line sewer cameras mentioned above, the entire selection of power tools plumbers use has improved rather dramatically over the past couple of years. Not only is batter life improving on handheld press tools, but it’s also possible to crimp copper wires in a fraction of the time with more accuracy than ever before. It’s astonishing to see how far simple tools have come.
5. GPS Fleet Tracking
When someone has a plumbing emergency, they need a plumber as soon as possible. The difference between having someone arrive in 20 minutes versus 2 hours can mean thousands of dollars in damage. Understanding this, a lot of plumbing companies are now using fleet tracking technology to quickly dispatch service vehicles in the most efficient manner possible.
Fleet tracking systems use GPS to track vehicles and then deliver feedback to a cloud-based software system. Inside the system, management can study everything from response times to fuel efficiency to make sure things are going well.
The Future of Plumbing
Clearly, there’s a lot of untapped potential in the plumbing service industry. While many of the processes and tools that plumbers have relied on for decades still remain the same, we’re seeing some helpful innovation in other areas. And, if you study the predictions and trends, it looks like even more positive developments are coming down the pipeline!