Plumbing leaks pose a huge threat to a home, both physically and financially. If the leak leads to water damage, you may find yourself facing significant expenses, as the average water damage insurance claim totals a whopping $6,965. Non-damaging leaks, on the other hand, can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day, drastically inflating your monthly water bill.
In the past, homeowners had few ways to detect leaks aside from regularly performing visual inspections and closely monitoring changes in their water bill. Fortunately, you can catch water leaks more easily with smart water leak detectors. This article outlines three key things to know about these kinds of detectors.
1. Leak Detectors Have to Physically Contact Water
A surprising number of people fail to understand just how a leak sensor works. To get the most out of a leak sensor, you have to place it wisely, bearing in mind that the detector must physically touch the water issuing from your hypothetical leak.
In other words, if you mount a leak sensor against the wall underneath your sink, it stands a greatly reduced chance of detecting any leaks. If, on the other hand, the detector sits on the cabinet bottom directly beneath the pipe, it will come into contact with any leak water much more quickly.
One exception exists to this rule. Some sensors contain both a main body used for sounding alarms and sending signals and a long, cord-like tail that does the actual sensing. With such sensors, only the tail needs to lie in a well-placed position. In fact, such models may not intend for the main body to be directly exposed to water.
2. Smart Leak Detectors Integrate With Smart Systems
Water leak detectors have existed for many years. Yet in the event of a burst pipe or other leak, those older models could only alert you by means of an auditory signal. Such signals work fine, provided you happen to be at home. In fact, many smart detectors also give off audible signals to draw your attention to the problem as quickly as possible.
Yet leaks don't always work around your schedule. Sometimes a pipe will break while you're at work — or, even worse, enjoying an extended vacation away from home. In such cases, traditional leak detectors offer little recourse when it comes to preventing costly forms of water damage.
A smart leak detector, on the hand, integrates with your home's smart system, allowing you to receive notifications via your smartphone or computer. That way, you can contact a friend or plumber to investigate any leaks that occur while you happen to be away from home.
3. Sensors Differ in Power Source and Connectivity
Not all smart leak detectors work in the same way. The most basic division involves the source of power. Some sensors look like traditional wall warts, and they require a nearby electrical outlet in order to work. Unfortunately, when installing sensors in more remote areas, there isn't always a conveniently located electrical outlet.
Other sensors run on batteries, which gives them a huge advantage when it comes to placement. However, you will have to make a concerted effort to replace your batteries at manufacturer-recommended intervals — otherwise, your sensors will prove useless in the event of a leak.
Sensors also differ in terms of connectivity. Certain models can only send their signal through a specific brand of smart home hub. If you don't already own that hub, you'll end up spending more to set up the system. Other sensors, by contrast, can connect directly to your home's Wi-Fi network.
For more information about how smart leak sensors can help prevent plumbing disasters in your home, please contact professionals at Roto-Rooter.