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7 Trends for Plumbers to Watch this Year

What's on the horizon for plumbers for the rest of this year? The pandemic continues to affect most every industry out there, labor shortages are bedeviling companies of all stripes, and a new focus on the environment and sustainability is driving new consumer preferences. All of these trends, and more, are knocking on plumbing's door this year.

Here are the top seven trends for plumbers to watch in 2022. You may be experiencing some of these already.

Labor shortages and hiring woes

If you're having trouble hiring skilled workers, you're not alone. According to the 2022 Plumbing Industry Forecast report by Plumbing and Mechanical Magazine, the skilled labor shortage is the "biggest disrupter" of the plumbing industry this year. But plumbing isn't the only industry suffering from the lack of skilled workers. It's permeating most every industry out there. The cause? You've probably heard of “The Great Resignation” by now. An average of 4 million people have been quitting their jobs each month for much of the past year. It's an unprecedented economic crisis in this country that arose during the pandemic. It has created a job seeker's hiring market, making it tougher to hire great people to get the job done.

But that's not the only cause. In addition to the wave of resignations, older workers in the plumbing industry are retiring and taking all of their invaluable on-the-job knowledge with them. Newbies simply don't have the skills these pros learned in 30 years solving plumbing problems for customers.

What can you do about it? Work with trade schools in your area to hire promising young graduates and offer apprenticeships so the newbies can learn from your seasoned vets.

Touchless faucets, especially in commercial buildings

Another way the pandemic is impacting the plumbing industry is in what residential and commercial plumbing customers value. For both segments of the marketplace, it has been about guarding against germs. On the commercial front, the faucet in a public bathroom can be a hot spot for spreading disease, and, of course, touchless varieties minimize the impact of that. According to PM, you can expect this trend to continue even as the pandemic wanes.

Smart technologies

From Alexa to Siri to a refrigerator that knows when you're out of milk, smart technology is everywhere. Customers are increasingly demanding smart homes and plumbing fixtures are coming along for that ride. Technologies like leak detection systems on water heaters are heating up. With leak detection, homeowners can be warned before a problem becomes a catastrophe.

Increased demand for water filtration

PFAS (forever chemicals) in local water sources are all over the news these days. It's causing increased awareness of industrial contaminants and because of that, increased demand for water filtration systems in both residential and commercial properties.

Baby boomers aging in place

Are you seeing an uptick in jobs involving kitchen and bath remodels? We're not talking about fancy expansions and upgrades. We're talking about what Plumber magazine calls "aging-in-place" design. Baby boomers are aging, and many want to stay in their homes as long as they can. In order for elderly folks to live at home safely, changes to kitchens and especially baths are necessary. One big plumbing trend this year: zero-threshold showers.


Luxury is trending in many industries post-pandemic, with people wanting to treat themselves after two years of isolation and deprivation. In the plumbing industry, this trend is coming in the form of consumers wanting spa-like bathrooms, an oasis where homeowners can retreat after a long day. Plumber magazine notes the rise in steam showers, deep soaking tubs and voice-activated, smart features. We'd add to that fancy toilets with built-in bidets.

Green bathrooms

With wild fires, record-breaking hurricanes and crazy weather from coast to coast, climate change is on the minds of many consumers. Choosing sustainability is one thing the average homeowner can do to help. It's creating demand for high-efficiency faucets, water-saving showerheads and other eco-friendly fixtures.

If you're receiving requests from your customers about any of these trending topics, contact your local branch The experts at Goodin can help you find the right products to meet your customers' needs now and in the future.

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