The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates household leaks waste one trillion gallons of water a year. The key to stopping this wastage is high quality domestic plumbing.

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 2021 Q2_Plumbing 

The figure of one trillion gallons of water equates to over 11 million households. If this number is then used as a baseline for the rest of the world, the total amount of wasted water through leakages is unbelievable.  

In the US, the EPA holds an annual ‘Fix a Leak Week’ to improve efficiencies in the system. This encourages householders to fix a leak either inside or outside their home. The two major incentives are that it will save them water and money.1

In the last 18 months, many of us have been forced to work from home. This has allowed us to re-evaluate our homes. Little things that previously we were able to ignore because we spent a large part of our day at work or school, suddenly became problems that needed to be fixed.

Home Improvement has been one of the retail successes of the COVID-19 pandemic period. In Europe, the market reported a 2.8% increase in sales despite shops being closed for a few months and a negative growth rate (-6.1%) in the EU-27.2 This increase is part of an overall trend that has seen more and more consumers spending money on DIY products. In North America the remodeling market was worth USD 931 billion in 2019 and this expected to reach USD 1,013 billion by 2026.3

Why Remodel Your Bathroom?

People have been enjoying bathing since around 3000BC. By 1700BC, the Palace of Knossos on Crete had a bathtub that used plumbing. For many of us, the bathroom is a place a sanctuary – "It's one space where you can lock yourself in and have some peace away from everyone else," Zoe Hendon, head of the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture.4

The ideas of luxury, pampering and sanctuary mean it is not a surprise that many of us have decided to renovate our bathrooms during the pandemic. There are many reasons for this:

  • Age – time takes its toll and after years of wear and tear your bathroom may need a refresh
  • Not fit for purpose – e.g., you have a functional bathroom for a family of four but are now a retired couple
  • Lack of storage
  • Marketability – a new bathroom can make a home more valuable
  • Conserving water – new plumbing products can be more efficient
  • Correct and/or prevent damage – even the best built bathroom will eventually succumb to the damage caused by prolonged and frequent exposure to moisture (mold, mildew, rot, decay, etc.) 

If your bathroom is your sanctuary, you want it to be a welcoming and pleasant environment in which to relax.

Plumbing Fixtures

While the kitchen may not be our private sanctuary, it is increasingly becoming a showcase for our personality. The plumbing fixtures we put into our kitchens are therefore just as important as the ones we use in our bathrooms.5

In 2017, the global market for plumbing fixtures was estimated to be worth USD 83 billion. Since then, it has increased steadily and by 2024 it is predicted it will be worth USD 120 billion.6 

The key to succeeding in this competitive market is the production of high-quality fixtures. Consumers want good looking products that are safe and function well. The only way for manufacturers and brands to be sure their products will meet these aspirations is through testing. 

Performance testing for plumbing fixtures covers factors such as:

  • Water discharge capacity
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Load capacity
  • Durability
  • Resistance to thermal shock, staining agents, detergents, scratches and abrasion, and pressure
  • Brilliance
  • Anti-corrosion
  • Leakages

Products must still meet the expectations of the consumer. Remodeling a bathroom or kitchen is an expensive business and consumers expect to get several years of happy use out of the changes they make. For example, they want to be certain a shower tray won’t leak, taps won’t corrode, and toilets will flush properly. The only way manufacturers can assure potential buyers is through having a product rigorously tested. After all, it’s only trusted if it’s tested.

SGS Solution

SGS provides a comprehensive range of solutions to help plumbing fixture manufacturers comply with regulatory requirements and meet or exceed consumer expectations. We offer technical assistance, and performance and usage testing services for products such as:

  • Sinks
  • Bathtubs 
  • Toilets and bidets
  • Shower trays and enclosures
  • Wall-mounted urinals
  • Toilet lids 
  • Shower heads and panels
  • Drains and hoses

Our experts ensure plumbing products meet a wide range of global regulatory requirements, including European Union (EU) CE Marking. 

Learn more about SGS testing services for plumbing products by watching our video ‘SGS Testing Services for Plumbing’.

Learn more about SGS Flushability Testing services.

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For more information, please contact:  

Damien Berthe
Global Expert & International Business Developer Home Improvement & DIY
SGS Connectivity & Products, Hardlines
t: +33 44 297 78 58

Christopher Reitmeyer
Director of Operations & Business Development
SGS Connectivity & Products, North America
t: +1 (920) 749-3040 29209

References

1 Fix a Leak Week
2 DIY Home Improvement Retailing market In Europe to Grow by $ 25.41 bn During 2020-2024 | Industry Analysis, Market Trends, Market Growth, Opportunities and Forecast | Technavio
3 Remodeling Market Size in North America to cross 1,013 Bn US-dollar by 2026
4 How the bathroom became the ultimate sanctuary 
5 What does your kitchen say about you? 
6 Plumbing fixtures market value worldwide from 2017 to 2024