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Is a smart faucet worth it?

While we’re still a long way from flying cars, our homes get smarter every year. From lights we can control with our voices, to speakers that will play music by verbal command, there are all kinds of ways we’ve been able to add intelligence at home. While some smart home innovations make sense, there are others that may seem more gratuitous, and a smart faucet may seem like one of them.

What is a smart faucet?

The U by Moen smart faucet sprays water into a sink.

Simply put, a smart faucet connects to Wi-Fi to allow voice control or remote control over your kitchen water flow. Paired with a companion app for easy set-up, and usually linked to Google or Alexa for voice control, these faucets are beyond clever. We recently reviewed U by Moen smart faucet. For more on how this tap works and what it can do, read the detailed review.

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Even so, if you’re wondering why you need to talk to your water, you’re not alone.

It does seem somewhat ridiculous to ask for a tap to be turned on or off while you’re standing right next to it, within arm’s reach in most cases. Perhaps surprisingly, though, a smart faucet does have many useful applications that you might not expect.

Run water to temperature

One of the convenient things a smart faucet can do is run water to a specific temperature. If you want cold water for a drink, or water as hot as you can get it for a cleaning task, you can ask a smart faucet to be specific. Simply saying, “Hey Alexa, Ask Moen to run hot water” will allow your faucet to get the water to the hottest available temperature.

Time hand washing

In our newly germ-conscious era, the importance of hand washing can’t be understated, yet most of us under-time how long it takes to truly cleanse our digits. By asking the smart faucet to launch its hand-washing function, the tap will turn on to allow you to wet your hands, then shut off while you lather, and turn back on at the exact time you should be finished soaping for a good rinse.

Measure water for recipes

One of the best uses for a smart tap will have you tossing out your measuring cups. With a quick, “OK Google, ask Moen to pour one cup of water,” you can add precise amounts of water to recipes, drinks, and more.

Need to fill a large pot with three gallons of water? Set the pot in the sink and ask. When you’ve hit the exact amount, the water shuts off on its own; no overflowing, or under-filling.

Create easy presets to avoid wasting water

You can take measurements one step further with a smart faucet. Some smart taps, like the U by Moen, will allow you to store measurements for commonly filled items. This is very convenient because, for example, you can set the dog dish in the sink, say, “Alexa, fill the dog bowl,” and then walk away without running excess water. Similarly, presets for baby bottles, watering cans, and ice cube trays will be similarly easy and waste-free — particularly in dry or drought-prone parts of the country.

What about the cost?

Filling up a dog's water dish with precisely measured water from U by MOen.

Anyone who’s bought a new faucet in the last several years knows they probably cost more than you expected. Kitchen faucets aren’t cheap, and depending on the style you’re choosing, the particular finish, and whether you want special features like a commercial-grade sprayer, you can pay from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand.

With that in mind, a smart faucet comes somewhere in the middle of that price range. Naturally, you’re paying more for the smart technology, and you can upgrade your finish from Honda Civic to Cadillac (or downgrade it) if you want to.

One other consideration when opting for a smart tap is that you’ll need a smart speaker, and whether you choose a Google Nest Audio, Hub, or Amazon’s Echo Show 10 or Show 15, it should be within close range of the tap so you don’t have to yell commands across the room.

Is a smart faucet worth it?

I’ve had the U by Moen smart faucet in my home for just about one year now. I can definitely tell you there’s a honeymoon phase with it where you’ll be showing off the precision of your intellitap by pouring out shots of water, and filling the watering can on command for your dinner party guests.

I rely on it a lot less on a day-to-day basis today than I did initially, but it’s still incredibly convenient, particularly when my measuring cups are all in the dishwasher.

I also use it for multitasking quite a bit: I’ll put the dog water bowl in the sink and ask for a fill while I’m unloading the dishwasher, and because I’m forever distracted, the water shuts off automatically so it’s doesn’t run on and on.

In short, a smart faucet isn’t going to change your life and you won’t be recycling those measuring cups. But for a nominal additional cost over a traditional faucet, a smart faucet can be a handy helper in the kitchen.

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