There are quite a few interesting things in store for the plumbing industry. Many of the new, innovative plumbing products being released in the near future are going to address some of the trends we’ve been seeing industry-wide. Here’s what you can expect to see over the next few years.
First of all, there’s been a major water shortage in several regions of the US, including California. Regulations are currently being issued to reduce the amount of water used by both homes and businesses. As a result, plumbing fixtures are going to become even more efficient with how much water they use. One of the main engineering challenges behind creating more efficient plumbing fixtures is making sure their functionality doesn’t suffer in the process.
Aside from water usage, energy usage is also an area where significant progress is being made. An update to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) is coming this year, stating that newly manufactured water heaters can’t use as much energy as they used to. (Water heaters use either gas, fuel, or electricity.) Thanks to the increased scarcity of resources, efficient plumbing components are definitely the future of plumbing.
As a homeowner, these industry changes are going to have an impact on the variety of options available to you. If there’s a federal regulation that mandates certain criteria, manufacturers and plumbers will have to abide by the new rules. For instance, back in 1994 a regulation was passed to reduce the water used in toilets from 3 gallons per flush to 1.6 gallons per flush. (Of course, if an older unit is already installed in a home, there is no requirement to have it replaced.) Even though there have been no new mandates since then, there are now toilets being produced that only use 1.28 gallons per flush. People still have a choice if they would prefer a 1.6 or 1.28 gallon toilet (unless a new mandate is ever passed).
Another trend that’s impacting the future of plumbing involves the number of people choosing to pursue careers in the plumbing industry. Unfortunately, the amount of people joining skilled trades is diminishing greatly. If there are less people to do the same amount of work, the labor portion of our industry is going to become even more valuable. It’s becoming a problem industry-wide to find people that are capable of making repairs, fixing plumbing problems, or installing new plumbing systems. As a result, you’ll start to see more and more plumbing components that are geared towards quicker, easier installation.
How will that affect the team at Wisler Plumbing? We’re going to continue to make sure that we send the right technician for the right job. Our technicians all have different skill levels, so each time we send someone out on a call, they’ll have the skills needed to complete the job at hand. The days are long gone where a technician can do everything—it’s all about the management of skills and making sure we match the job with the technician.
No matter where the future is headed, you can be confident that the team at Wisler Plumbing is going to keep up with the times. We’re always going to be dedicated to doing the best possible job for all our clients. If you have any questions, contact us online or give us a call at (540) 483-9382.