A water leak can cause major damage to your house and belongings. Water can also cause mold, which can trigger allergic reactions, make asthma symptoms worse and leave your home uninhabitable for weeks or months while repairs are being made. Even if your homeowners insurance covers repair and replacement costs, you will have to pay a deductible and deal with the inconvenience.
Not all water leaks result in catastrophic damage. Sometimes a small leak goes unnoticed and causes monthly water usage and bills to be higher than they should. A water leak detection system can help you identify a problem quickly and minimize damage and associated costs.
What Is a Whole-House Water Leak Detector?
A water leak detection system is typically installed where water enters the house. That allows it to monitor water usage for the entire home and shut off the water supply to every faucet, shower, toilet and appliance if it detects a problem.
A water leak detector can monitor the amount of water passing through the pipes in your home and compare that to the amount your family ordinarily uses. If it detects an abnormally high amount of water moving through the system, or if water flows for an extraordinarily long period of time, the detector can shut off the water supply to prevent or minimize damage. The system can also send you a smartphone alert if there’s a problem.
A leak detection system can prevent burst pipes. If the system detects that the temperature in the pipes has fallen below freezing, it can shut off the water supply so the pipes don’t freeze and burst.
What Other Devices Can Monitor Water Usage and Moisture?
A water monitor can keep track of water usage and notify you if it detects an irregularity, but it can’t shut off the water supply to the house. This is not a good solution if you work far from home and couldn’t get someone to shut off the water in an emergency or if you want to keep tabs on water usage at a vacation home.
Other types of leak detectors sense the presence of moisture. They’re used in specific locations, such as under a sink. Some point-of-use leak detectors sound an alarm to notify a homeowner of a problem, and others can shut off the water supply to that particular sink or appliance.
A reverse osmosis leak detector is installed under a sink. It can shut off the water supply if it detects the presence of moisture and prevents damage to the floor and cabinet. These types of leak detectors can be used with reverse osmosis and other filtration systems.
Can You Install a Water Leak Detector Yourself?
Your home’s plumbing may have to be modified to install a whole-house leak detection system. This type of job should be done by a licensed plumber. You may be able to install an under-sink leak detector or a water monitor by yourself. If you have questions, consult a plumber in your area.
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