With all the advances in technology it sometimes seems that the plumbing industry has fallen way behind. You walk into a bathroom and you see a standard faucet with a lever or a set of handles in most bathrooms. The only place we seem to notice a difference is in some commercial bathrooms where there are automatically flushing toilets and faucets that operate when you put your hands under the spout. Yet, there are many advanced faucets and fixtures available of which the public is mostly unaware.
We will start with one example from a company by the name of Toto. Now, I’m not trying to sell you on their products in particular; they are one company that has taken technology into the bathroom and the kitchen. It’s a good place to start.
When you walk into the bathroom at night the light on the Neorest toilet blinks on. As you approach the toilet, the toilet seat automatically opens for you. After you are finished the toilet washes and dries you. When you get up and walk away the toilet seat automatically closes. If you’re like me, you’ll still feel like you have a reason to wash your hands even though there is no good reason to do so. When you place your 토토사이트 hands under the spout of the Neorest II faucet the LED surrounding the drain lights up just before the water starts to flow. You don’t need to think about setting the temperature of the water because it is perfectly set to your preferences. Now you decide you want to take a bath. You head over to the Neorest Air Bath and the water comes out automatically at your usual desired temperature and rises to the level that you prefer. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
One technologically advanced system that is sadly no longer available is the Kohler Habitat environmental enclosure. It was certainly ahead of its time. When you entered into this habitat you could program wind, heat, steam, sauna or rain with the simple touch of the control panel. Sound futuristic? It was.
The suite of products from Toto is not something out of science fiction. These fittings and fixtures are available today. Toto is not the only company making groundbreaking technological advances in plumbing. Let’s take a look at some of the other companies advancing home plumbing designs.
Delta faucet has products called Touch2o TM. These faucets allow you to turn them on and off by simply touching the faucet anywhere. This reduces the potential for cross contamination. I don’t know about you but I’m not fond of constantly having to turn the faucet handle on and off while working in the kitchen. One wonders why it took so long for someone to come up with this simple solution. Although other companies do not have this touch-the-body design they do have hands-free sensor operated faucets. Some of these companies include: Moen, Sloan, Kohler, American Standard, Hansgrohe, and Symmons. In general, electronically operated faucets are more stylish than their counterparts which are manually operated.
Grohe’s Ondus line of digitally controlled bathroom faucets have programmable features including temperature, volume of flow, and duration. Of course, they can also sense your approach and turn on; they turn themselves off when you remove your hands.
AO Smith’s Voltrex Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water heater actually absorbs environmental heat and transfers it to the water; at the same time it also cools and dehumidifies the air around it. It uses a liquid crystal display to make it easy for you to choose what mode you would like it to be working in: high efficiency, hybrid, electric, and vacation.
There have been changes to gas water heaters as well. Gas water heaters no longer run a pilot flame all day long. They have a pilotless ignition system. Some water heaters, such as the AO Smith high efficiency flue damper heater, meet the .67 energy efficiency rating required to be listed as ENERGY STAR. On these heaters a special flap closes when the heater shuts off and heat is trapped within the flue which makes these heaters more efficient.
The day is coming when faucets and fixtures will have embedded chips that will be able to tell you when they need service. Computerized appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers exists today that do this and more. When that day comes for home plumbing you will be notified if you have a slab leak, if your garbage disposal is wearing out, if your water heater is starting to fail, and if your faucet needs repairs. The day when you can go to your computer, your iPad, or your iPhone and check out your plumbing system to see if everything is functioning normally is not far off into the future.