New Plumbing Products in 2021
Top Plumbing Tools & Technology
As millions of people spent the majority of their time at home throughout 2020, home improvement projects were a big part of the year for many families. From long-needed repairs to boredom-driven overhauls, homeowners rolled up their sleeves and got busy. The extra attention to home processes brought to light new needs that can make life easier, save money and reduce a home’s carbon footprint. Here are some of the most popular plumbing technologies gaining traction as we enter 2021.
Tankless Water Heaters
By far the most-searched plumbing solution of 2020, tankless water heaters offer several valuable benefits to homeowners, particularly in the winter, when hot showers are at a premium in many families! Tankless water heaters provide:
- Energy efficiency Tankless water heaters heat only the amount of water needed, rather than continuously heating and reheating the same tankful of water 24 hours a day. Simply heating water on demand can reduce energy consumption by roughly 25-30% compared to traditional storage models.
- Lower energy bills By consuming less energy, tankless water heaters can save money on utility bills. According to Energy StarⓇ average households can save hundreds of dollars per year by replacing a traditional tank model with a tankless water heater.
- Longer useful life Tankless water heaters last longer than standard tank models - most have an expected lifespan of 20 years or more. By adding years of life to your appliances, you’ll purchase them less frequently, saving you money and reducing your household inefficiency and waste. Additionally, the warranty offered on tankless models is typically longer than those for traditional models (usually 15 years versus a traditional six years).
- Saved space A 40-60 gallon traditional water tank can require a space of 2 feet wide by 5 feet tall, whereas a tankless model is wall-mounted and much smaller (roughly 28 x 20 x 10 inches).
- Hot water on demand Not only does continuous heating unnecessarily consume excess energy, but a tank of water only goes so far. Once you run out of hot water, it’s necessary to wait until the tank fills and heats again but a tankless model heats only the water you need, when you need it, for however long you need it.
- Less maintenance It is recommended to have traditional storage water heaters serviced at least once per year (even twice, depending on your region’s climate and the quality of your water supply). While this keeps your water heater in good working condition, it also adds costly service fees to your household budget. Tankless water heaters require very little maintenance in comparison. Typically, an annual cleaning of the heating unit is recommended for homes with hard water, but that can be done easily by the homeowner using vinegar and water. Homes with a quality water supply can often go 4-5 years between maintenance calls, putting a great chunk of change back into your pockets.
Tankless water heaters come with a few caveats, however. For one, you have to decide between electric and gas models. While electric models are much more efficient (99%), they don’t qualify for rebates, nor do they have an Energy StarⓇ rating. Natural gas models, while more efficient than conventional storage heaters, are less efficient than electric models. These gas models usually qualify for a federal tax rebate, with many states offering comparable incentives.
You also have to make sure that your tankless water heater is mounted within 50 feet or so of an electrical outlet, and gas models need to be vented. There is a higher up-front cost, but most people find that the benefits outweigh the initial cost of the unit.
Bluetooth Shower Heads
These are an example of an upgrade that offers pure convenience. A Bluetooth speaker is built into the shower head for bathing entertainment. The speaker can be removed for charging or for use in other areas of the home.
As the world has become more and more mindful of sanitization, touchless faucets have found their way into our homes. Kitchen and bathroom sinks are now sporting a range of aesthetically-pleasing hardware that provides both a cleaner experience and the convenience of using either a motion sensor or voice activation for hands-free water flow.
Wi-Fi Sump Pumps (with backup battery)
The ability to monitor and control the status of their sump pump through a phone app has some homeowners pleasantly surprised and much more comfortable knowing that there is a backup battery for the pump should the home’s wireless router go down.
Hot Water Outdoor Spigots
No longer is hot water limited to the indoors. Brands such as Moen and Prier have brought to market outdoor spigots that deliver water at the perfect temperature, thanks to a single center knob that allows for easy adjustments. These fixtures are also frost-free, so water will not be siphoned into your home’s interior plumbing to cause freezing and subsequent bursting during the cold months.
Many families are looking for an eco-friendly way to consume and clean with purer water. Rather than spending money on water bottles - thus contributing to the plastic islands in the ocean - a whole-home water filtration system brings a tiny carbon footprint and effectively delivers safe, clean, soft water that is healthier for humans, pets and plants and lengthens the life of your household fixtures and appliances.
With technology continuously advancing, more and more families are finding ways to add convenience and cost savings to their lives while reducing their impact on the environment. Hamm and Sons is here to talk you through your options, answer any questions, and of course, help with the installation and maintenance of your appliances.Contact Us