Water Leak Detection VS Prevention
Whether you’re talking about fire, carbon monoxide, theft or flooding, the detection versus prevention debate is always there. Every homeowner has to ask themselves where they should put their resources to protect their home.
Today, technology is changing what’s possible in terms of water leak detection and prevention. With these changes, it’s time to take a look at what your options are today and where it makes sense to focus your attention and hard-earned money.
Water Leak Detection: What’s Possible Today?
This is the sector that’s expanded the most in the past several years. What prompted this? Smart home technology. In the past several years, a flurry of water leak detection devices have flooded the market (if you’ll excuse the pun). Today, a simple search for “water leak detector” on Amazon gets you over 20 pages of results.
So what can these products actually do? Obviously, these devices have a range of features. That same Amazon search turns up detection devices priced from $5 to $500 depending on their abilities. Which ones should you be on the lookout for?
The basics of leak detection
Those simple $5 solutions are one-time use products. They have a single non-replaceable battery. When they detect water, they will emit a loud alarm noise. That’s about as basic as it goes. But there are a few issues with these simple devices.
First, if that non-replaceable battery runs out, there’s no way to know. You could buy one, forget about it, and think your home is protected long after it’s become a useless piece of plastic. Secondly, if you’re not at home, then a loud alarm isn’t going to do you much good. While such a device is better than nothing, it’s worth looking at what more advanced systems are capable of.
The latest leak detection technology
As we mentioned, today smart home tech has brought leak detection far beyond those simple one-time use devices. Now leak detectors have replaceable batteries, and, more importantly, can connect with other smart home devices and your smartphone.
This makes them longer lasting, and you can be notified about a water leak even if you’re half a world away. That might not sound important, but the ability to call a friend or a trusted plumber to come take a look can lead to real peace of mind, especially when a single leak can cost thousands of dollars.
The fact is that the cheaper options just don’t offer full protection. But is it worth investing more in a system that also prevents water leaks?
What About Water Leak Prevention?
How exactly can a detection device also prevent water leaks? Well, an effective prevention regime may include more than one device. There are some ways you can prevent specific home appliances from causing water leaks, like checking your plumbing or investing in a tankless water heater. But a holistic approach requires a unified system.
Take one of the more advanced systems, LeakSmart, as an example. This system starts with detection. You have battery powered water leak detectors placed at key points throughout your home (such as behind the sink, around your water heater, behind the washing machine, and other key locations). When one of these detectors finds that water is leaking, a signal is sent to a device attached to your home’s main water valve, shutting it off within 5 seconds.
Why does that make a difference? It means that a serious water leak becomes impossible. The system shuts the water off before much water can leak. So while many of the advanced leak detectors above can let you know about a problem anywhere in the world, the time it can take to get someone there to address the problem can be the difference between grabbing a mop and paying thousands to repair your home.
How to Choose the Right System for You
Ultimately, all of this boils down to balancing cost and risk. Prevention systems are more expensive but they dramatically reduce the risk of a costly leak. But even a relatively small investment in detectors can make a difference. So consider your options and make sure you fully understand the potential costs of a serious water leak.
After all, being a homeowner is tricky, but with the right tools, you’re more protected now than ever before. If you’d like to read more about water leak prevention, check out our blog or you can visit our product page to see how Leaksmart can protect you.