Commercial property owners have no idea how much money is going down the drain. The hidden cost of leaky toilets is astounding. Consider the number of bathrooms in hotels, apartment buildings, office complexes, nursing homes, government buildings, and other large scale facilities. There are over 350 million tank toilets in North America and Canada. More than a few are running.
With a goal of remotely monitoring and fixing all those toilets, Susan Springsteen and Eric Canfield launched the tech startup H2O Connected. “Property managers may think they’re losing a couple of gallons a day when in fact, they’re losing up to 7500 gallons a day. We’re finding that 20 to 30% of toilets in our customers’ buildings have some sort of leak,” said Susan Springsteen, President and co-founder of the LeakAlertor inventor H2O Connected.
Watch the interview with Susan Springsteen, the president of H2O Connected, on this unique IoT solution for property managers.
The Internet of Flushing Things
Springsteen and Canfield came to Chariot Solutions to create the LeakAlertor, a first to market hybrid hardware and software product. The goal was to build a wireless, secure remote monitoring IoT device that alerts property managers and owners to leaks.
The challenge for Chariot was to blend hardware and software seamlessly. As a certified Consulting Partner for AWS, the team chose AWS IoT Core. Don Coleman, Chariot’s Chief Innovation Officer, said that IoT Core’s biggest advantage is the bundling of the components the team needed to build the LeakAlertor technology, complete with public keys for encrypting communication between the devices, the gateway, and the central dashboard. “Until IoT Core showed up, a lot of people were having to reinvent the wheel.”
IoT Core’s economy of scale makes development far more straightforward and rapid, according to Coleman. “Things that we would have done on a small server just for the proof of concept phase are in the same code that’s going to scale in production, because it’s on the AWS infrastructure.” And that quick turnaround translates to greatly reduced cost to develop and deploy.
Thanks to Chariot, the LeakAlertor creates a lot of data to be processed and organized, all with a user-friendly interface. The Internet of Things is not just about turning on lights and managing thermostats. Smart connectivity has many applications beyond what consumers are seeing.
A Shocking Number of Leaks Revealed
The LeakAlertor, part of a larger, growing business sector known as PropTech, applies IT to real estate and property management. The H2O Connected device allows facility managers to get a central data feed that shows in real time which toilets are leaking and what to fix without a guessing game that wastes time and money.
The Fairfield by Marriott West Chester/Exton, Pennsylvania was an early adopter of the technology. “The LeakAlertor system started detecting all sorts of problems on Day 1, said James Duncan, General Manager. “The biggest shock was the number of running toilets, some of which had gone undetected for days. The wireless reporting let us know how much water each toilet was wasting, and it even reported accurate flush volumes, most of which were not set correctly.” The product’s instant text messages and daily reporting quickly identified running toilets and overflows. “The savings for just the running toilets makes this system a no-brainer,” said Duncan.
Springsteen, co-founder of H2O Connected, said, “Chariot truly understands the convergence of hardware and software in building successful IoT products. By asking insightful market diagnostic questions, their design and development process kept outcomes and end game in mind to achieve a future-focused customized solution that’s being validated by the market as we speak.”