Can leak detectors prevent floods and other mishaps in your home?
Many homeowners worry about possible leaks in their plumbing when they go off to work or when they take a vacation away from home.
What if the water heater starts leaking and the garage floods? What if the pipes spring a leak?
If you’ve ever had a mishap with leaks – even a fairly small problem – you’ve probably wondered whether there are leak detectors that might protect your house.
That’s probably why interest has grown recently in developing affordable water sensors or leak alarms equipped with devices that can alert a homeowner when water is running out of the refrigerator, washing machine, toilet or water heater.
Among the dozens of companies that now sell these detectors are Honeywell, Insteon, Wally and Logitech.
If you’re interested in buying a system, here is some basic information on how they work:
- Some lower-cost smart sensors are already available and work via the Wi-Fi system your home already has; sometimes they connect to a smart-home hub. They’re usually battery-operated, but devices can also plug into electric outlets.
- Detectors usually come in packages that include a hub of some kind along with five or six little sensors that you can place in various parts of the house. These sensors – about the size of a mouse for a computer – are supposed to respond when water touches them.
- The detector packages can sell for $100 to $200 or more. It’s often possible to buy more little sensors to work with the system you choose. Generally, you can install or plug in everything yourself.
- When a problem occurs, an alarm sounds, and you can rush to take care of the leak if you’re at home, or you can get a signal on your smart phone, even if you’re somewhere away from home. Of course, if you’re not immediately available to take care of the leak, then you have to get someone into your house to fix the problem.
- There are also more systems that can turn off all your water when a leak is detected, but these are generally more complicated devices that can cost hundreds of dollars and require professional installation.
- You can find lots of reviews online from those who own the systems as well as results of tests done on various devices.
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