Home » Why plumbing contractors can’t afford to ignore the leak detection category
There is a point at which any new technology becomes mainstream. Remember seeing your first smartphone and wondering if, or when, you might use one? Today they are a must-have to do business. For the plumbing contracting industry, smart leak detection and control technologies are like smartphones in their early years – some are familiar with the technology, while others already sell and install devices, but not everyone has embraced them yet. The time for every plumbing contractor to seize this leak control technology opportunity is right now. Otherwise, you risk losing business to your competition, and squander an incremental revenue source that has arrived for the industry and is here to stay – we’re approaching a tipping point!
Today, smart leak detection technologies are relevant to virtually every customer. Householders already live in smart homes where HVAC control, security and even lighting have apps for remote oversight and control. Meanwhile, as plumbing infrastructures age, water losses are the only category of insurance claims that keep growing consistently. Home insurers are more aggressively recommending or requiring leak control devices. More leak control brands are flooding the market and selling directly to clients, of whom even the boldest DIYers typically are not comfortable cutting a pipe. They need their local plumber’s advice on which technology is best for their home and to facilitate the professional installation.
With so many choices for leak detection technologies, knowledge is essential to best advise, sell and install the right product for your clients. Most models today offer apps and are part of a smart home. Of the two primary categories, there are point-of-leak detectors, which use multiple sensors to identify accumulating water, and come in models that passively alert users of suspected leaks, and that actively shutoff the water automatically. Flow-based systems — the other approach to identifying leaks — constitute the majority of new offerings in the marketplace. These systems can catch leaks no matter the location within a plumbing supply, since any supply leak will cause flow.
In the May 2020 issue of Plumbing & Mechanical, we check out what’s new in leak detection and prevention, discover what trends are influencing water heater technology and examine flood protection and testing in backflow prevention.