Internet connectivity and advancing technology have changed just about every industry. The plumbing industry is no different. When it comes to plumbing, more and more features are being included in what is called “the internet of things (IoT).” The internet of things is the world of connected appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, cable boxes, and so on. These are not computers but items that have computing functions.
Smart pipes, also called brain pipes, are a feature that has been growing in popularity. These are pipes or sensors in pipes that detect the amount of water you are using. They detect when there might be a breakage in your pipes or a leak. Some of them can detect when the temperature inside the pipes begins to approach the freezing point. They will then send out some kind of alert to you, probably through your phone, that will tell you something is wrong with your pipes. You can then fix it before the problem damages your home or wastes water.
The pipes are not the only things that come with sensors. Now, plumbing fixtures are being outfitted with them. For example, your water heater might have a sensor in it that controls the heating element. So, when the ambient temperature rises, it will turn down the heating element because the water does not need to be heated as much. Some of them are even programmed to heat water more during peak times and to dial back the energy during off times. For example, it might heat up more water first thing in the morning when everyone takes their showers; it might turn down the heat in the middle of the night when not much water is being used.
If you have a garden or just like to keep your lawn looking healthy, you’ll need to water it from time to time. A smart irrigation system will be able to detect the temperature outside and the soil moisture level. It will then only irrigate the lawn as much as necessary without wasting water.
Many smart irrigation systems are also paired with greywater recycling systems. Greywater is water from your sinks, showers, bath tubs, and laundry room. The water isn’t drinkable but it’s not so dirty that it can’t be used. Instead of going into the normal sewage system, a greywater system will divert it for irrigation purposes.
All of these features are designed to conserve water and maximize efficiency.