Flooded Living Room

Do I Need Water Leak Sensors?

Plumbing-St-Paul-Minnesota-Leaky-ToiletThe answer should be a resounding YES! Flooding of your home can happen from a leaky water heater, a pinhole crack in a water pipe, or a leaky appliance.

To the left, see the creative solution to a leaky toilet above this first floor bathroom that one of our plumbers found recently. That’s hardly a permanent fix, and the ceiling and flooring needed to be replaced after we put in a new toilet and seals. It DID prevent the toilet on the second floor from crashing down into the first floor, but…

There are many different makes of water sensors that can alert you to potential problems in your home prior to a full-fledged flood. In this blog I’ll highlight the different types of solutions you will want to consider.Plumbing-Maplewood-MN-House-Flood

Are you a snow bird traveling south for the winter, or planning long-term vacationing at other times of the year? Do you go down to your basement regularly, or just once in a while? Even if you never leave the house for an overnight stay, these water leak sensors can trigger an alarm, and even be set up to shut your water off when a leak occurs. If you live in a condo, you may be encouraged or required to install sensors to prevent leaks that will spread to other units in the building. Your whole basement, bathroom, or kitchen can flood within minutes or hours.

Plumbing-St-Paul-Water-Heater-LeaksSeven Places to Locate Water Sensors

  1. Bathroom – in a corner, behind the toilet, and/or under the sink
  2. Basement – under window wells, near the sump pump (if you have one), next to the drip pan of your HVAC
  3. Water Heater – on the floor right next to the water heater
  4. Kitchen Sink – under the sink, on the floor of the cabinet
  5. Refrigerator – since most fridges are plumbed for ice makers and water dispensers, under your fridge
  6. Washing Machine – under the washing machine
  7. Dish Washer – under the dishwasher

Types of Water Leak Sensor Systems

  • Alarm. The simplest to install are old-fashioned shriek alarm sensors. This type assumes you are home and will hear the alarm (or your neighbors will).
  • Battery-powered wi-fi. You may want to consider stand-alone battery-powered units that will alert your smartphone with a leak notification, using your home’s wi-fi system.
  • Integrated smart home hub. The most sophisticated systems link into a smart home hub, and can even be installed with an automated water shut off valve.

Great! Where Do I Get Them?

A great place to start your search for water sensor systems would be your Smart Home installer. Also, check review articles:

Estimated costs to install vary widely, starting at $30 for simple alarms. Smart Home systems will add $200-500 to your costs. However, keep in mind that Consumer Reports estimates an average home flood costs $2,500!

What Do I Do When the Alarm Goes Off??

Your first response should be to shut off the water. See Jake’s Blog on locating your shut off valve. That gives you time to investigate the leak further, or just call us to repair the leak. We can also install a disaster pan below your Water Heater to contain a leak.

Call Jake: 651-212-5253

Deb at Jake the Plumber