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By Elemental Green Staff
Water. We use it every day in multiple spaces throughout our homes. We brush our teeth and shower with it in our bathrooms; we use it to do our laundry; we need it to wash our hands, clean our dishes, make ice for our drinks, and prepare meals in our kitchens. And we may even take a dip in it outside in our swimming pools, surrounded by the gardens we just soaked with sprinklers. And yet we take water for granted—not always stopping to think about whether our water is working best for us, how much of it we’re using or wasting, and how we can best conserve it to not only keep our bills down but also to keep our planet abundant.
But what if your swimming pool could talk to you and tell you when its water levels needed attending to? Or if your bathroom faucet could text you when it had a leak. Or wouldn’t it be wonderful if the pipes in your home could alert you when they’re freezing and about to burst, so that you can address before there’s real damage done? Meet Phyn: the smart water detection solution that speaks the language of water. In other words, it worries about hidden water leaks so you don’t have to.
Belkin, a consumer electronics manufacturer and creators of the Wemo smart home brand, formed Phyn in 2016 along with Uponor, an international systems and solutions provider for safe drinking water delivery, energy-efficient radiant heating and cooling, and reliable infrastructure. Phyn’s mission is to provide an intelligent water solution that protects families and their homes from leak damage, enables mindful conservation, and enhances household water usage with automated and anticipatory controls. “Water is a precious and vital natural resource, but there was a fundamental lack of technology dedicated to protecting and preserving it—especially for home users,” said Chet Pipkin, founder and executive chairman of Belkin. “With Phyn, we’re bringing water up to speed with the rest of the smart home, helping not only to protect consumers’ homes and wallets, but also do our part to solve the very real challenges facing our global water supply.”
A SOLUTION TO ANNUAL WATER WASTE
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that by 2025, up to two-thirds of the world’s population may face a shortage of clean water. On the other hand, residential consumers in the United States waste more than a trillion gallons of water every year according to the Environmental Protection Agency, with 11,000 gallons coming from a single home in the form of average household leaks like running toilets and leaky faucets. This costs homeowners hundreds on their water bills and wastes valuable H2O. Phyn believes that technology is the key to alleviating these issues and aims to deploy a simple, reliable solution for home users to gain invaluable insight into their household water usage, reduce water waste, mitigate leaks and save money.
Every time you flush a toilet or do a load of laundry, take a shower or water your lawn, Phyn measures the microscopic pressure changes in your plumbing system at 240 times per second. It then fingerprints their unique data and will let you know when there’s an issue, down to the specific location and fixture in your home, whether they’re pinhole leaks, drip leaks or catastrophic ones. It will even let you know if you left the water running for too long in that bathtub or sink before you have a watery mess on your hands (or, rather, floor). All through an app on your smartphone, via SMS and push notifications. Phyn Plus has the added benefits of automatically shutting off your water when necessary and completing daily plumbing checks to keep your home’s maintenance in order.
TURNING WATER HI-TECH
While Phyn is a standalone entity, it’s built on the complementary strengths of Belkin and Uponor. At the start of the brand, Belkin contributed its proprietary water sensing technologies, global retail connections, expertise in the Internet of Things, product design and consumer insights, while Uponor lent its market-leading plumbing expertise, professional trade insights, and wholesale distribution channels. Belkin’s former Wemo Water technology transitioned to Phyn and serves as the foundation of Phyn products. Ryan Kim, former vice president of engineering at Belkin and CEO of Phyn, has cited Belkin’s years of research, technological advancements and field trials they had under their belts as the perfect foundation to partner with Uponor to bring Phyn’s technology to the masses. Belkin’s background in consumer IoT, sensor and machine learning, along with Uponor’s expertise in water delivery infrastructure, propelled forward this intelligent water solution that set a new bar for reliability, accuracy and intuitive user experience.
THE POWER OF COLLABORATION
In one of its most recent collaborations, Phyn partnered with Kohler and, in June 2021, the brands will launch Kohler Whole Home Water Monitor Powered by Phyn. Two versions, actually: a DIY option that can easily be installed under a sink and a pro version that is installed at the home’s main water valve. Both products, which work with the Kohler Konnect app and can be paired with voice technology like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, notify you when a leak is detected anywhere in your home. And when that happens, the pro version is able to shut off your water via the app. Wondering how each fixture in your home uses (or wastes) water? Both monitors can tell you using detailed insights. Images courtesy Kohler Co.
Kohler Whole Home Water Monitor Powered by Phyn, Pro Version, right:
- Features 1″ threaded male ends, designed to adapt to different fittings
- Requires 110/220V 19W power supply, 15-foot outdoor rated power cable and GFCI
- Outlet recommended
- Can be used indoor or outdoor