Worried about water damage?
come home from vacation to a flooded basement? May sound far-fetched, but
it's happened to at least two of us on our team. And, statistics
show homeowners are actually four times more likely to have a water-related
issue in the home that something stolen. Think about how common some of these
- Leaking toilets
- Burst washing machine
- Leaking pipes due to corrosion, rust, or cracks
If the leak occurs when nobody is home, then the problem is usually much
So how can a water damage situation be prevented?
Water sensor technology
Fortunately, there are sensor technologies
available that can detect and even prevent water damage. They detect a change
in the environment, transmit data to the internet and notify you when a leak
occurs. Paying attention to alerts on your phone or a quick check of an
email can prevent some serious damage from occurring.
So how do these
technologies work? Basically, there are three categories:
- Individual sensors placed in problem areas – Usually, you'll install
these where a leak is most likely to occur like the base of the water heater
tank, by the toilet, by the washing machine, and even by a sump pump in the
case of an overflow or pump failure. These sensors are simple sensors that
contain two leads that get “short-circuited” when water is present. When that
happens, you get notified by email or text. The advantage of this solution
versus the next two is that this method does not assume you have a problem.
If the sensor detects water then there is definitely a problem.
flow detection – There two types of these devices. One is installed in the
main water line and requires a licensed plumber to install. These sensors
typically contain an impeller inside the pipe that can measure the amount of
water flow. The other is mounted on the pipe and can be done without the help
of a plumber. This type of sensor works by detecting temperature differences
at two separate points on the pipe which indicates how much water is flowing
in the pipe. The idea behind both sensors is that if water is flowing for
longer than normal or is flowing when the house is not occupied, then an alert
will get generated. The advantage of this solution over the first option is
that you only need one sensor on your main water line versus a variety of
sensors placed throughout your house.
- Automatic shut-off valves – This
solution usually works in conjunction with one of the two methods described
above. You will need a licensed plumber to install the device in line with the
water main. When a water sensor in either of the previous examples detects
water, a signal is sent to the sensor on the main water line. The sensor
contains a ball valve in the pipe which will then close effectively shutting
of the water to the whole house. The advantage of this solution is that the
water damage will be limited to a few seconds preventing thousands of dollars
Which method is right for me?
That all depends on the problem you are trying to solve.
If you have a basement that is prone to flooding and you'll have time
to react, then the first option is the least expensive and the easiest to set
up. You will get alerted immediately when water is detected and you will know
exactly where the problem is.
If you're worried about a leak occurring
anywhere in the house where it may not be feasible to place a water sensor, for
example, a pipe behind a wall, or you don't want to place a lot of sensors in
multiple locations of your home, then the flow detection device would be best.
If you're away from home a lot or have a vacation home that is often
vacant, the automatic shut-off solution is highly recommended.
Whichever water sensor solution you decide to put into play, you'll want to make sure you have the right coverage for your water heater, devices and your home. Click below, fill out our form and we'll contact you to make sure you're covered.