Water leaks are a homeowner’s worst nightmare…and they happen frequently. Insurance statistics show that about 1 in 3 homeowner claims filed each year involve damage due to water. Indeed, according to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage and freezing due to water leaks represent the second-highest number of claims filed each year, just behind wind and storm damage.
To avoid such catastrophes as those caused by errant water, it’s essential to find leaks before they wreak havoc. While visual inspections of pipes and other elements are good, there are smart home products on the market that are excellent at detecting water and leaks, which may help you avoid disasters when used properly. They are generally affordable in cost and well worth the investment.
Basic smart home water-leak detectors
The simplest and least expensive solution for finding leaks is the small and easy-to-use water-leak detector, designed for the smart home. There are a variety of models of different shapes and sizes, but most are about the size of your hand and work the same. All you need to do is place the unit on the ground in an area where you might have a problem, such as near a water heater unit. If water begins to leak and makes contact with the sensor, you’ll get a phone notification and you might hear an alarm as well, depending on the model. Some also monitor temperature changes and are excellent for homes they have issues with freezing pipes.
The only caveat is that the sensor doesn’t work unless the water physically touches it. That’s why where you place it is integral. You want to make sure it’s in a spot where the water will flow to it (i.e., not uphill!) so that you’ll receive a warning before it’s too late.
Smart home water monitors
If you’re inclined to go one step further, you might consider a water monitor for your smart home. Quite reliable, they are more costly but will certainly get the job done. These monitors can either be plumbed into your water line or can strap onto your water supply line. Basically, they work by measuring the water flow in your pipes. If the monitor determines that the water is flowing at too high a rate or for too long, the homeowner will receive a notification to alert them to a problem.
These are ideal for single-family homes but can’t really be used in something like an apartment building or office condos, where water lines are split between different units. However, if you have just one water line, these monitors can certainly alert you to a problem in progress or one that’s about to happen.
Smart water shut-off valves
A smart home water shut-off valve is the most optimal choice for those who are very concerned about the potential of water damage to their home. Easily installed by a plumber, they combine the technology of the smart home water monitor with an electro-mechanical switch that will be triggered should a problem be detected. Though they can be a little pricey, in some instances you may find that your homeowner’s insurance may offer one at a discount price and/or may offer you a break on your insurance premiums if you install one.
Most of these are actually quite sophisticated as far as technology is concerned. They include software that takes time to understand your pattern of water use and the way the water flows in your home. This way, when something goes awry, it can immediately recognize the change. As a matter of fact, it’s so adept at its job that – depending on the model – may be able to give you specific information, such as a faucet that’s been left running. If the problem isn’t resolved in a timely manner – you set the parameters – it will completely shut off the house’s water supply just to be safe.
While these devices can be over-sensitive at times, monitors like this have saved many homeowners a lot of headaches and plenty of money. They’re also ideal for rental or investment properties as well, where the owner is only infrequently on the premises.
At BC Redi Rooter, we’re experts in plumbing, heating, and drainage, and can help you craft a water and leak detection plan that fits the needs of your smart home. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 604-217-2268.