Water damage claims are on the rise due to faulty plumbing materials, failed connections, human error, and burst pipes. With water damage claims more than doubling both fire and break-ins combined, you should consider a complete water leak detection device to protect your home and your belongings.
What is a Water Leak Detection System?
There are many water leak detection systems on the market. Some simply sense that water is present and sound an alarm. If you’re home, you will then know to run and shut off your water. But if you’re not home, an alarm won’t help and the water is just going to continue to run.
A much better form of leak detection system is one that is a “flow interrupter.” This is a system that will actually “interrupt” the flow of water if it detects a problem.
One water leak detection device available to Canadians is the AquaTrip. The AquaTrip is a permanently installed automatic water leak detection and system shut-off device that will minimize water loss and reduce damages caused by leaks and burst or frozen pipes. The AquaTrip monitors the flow of water into a property and will automatically shut off the water supply if a leak is detected. The devices are fully programmable to fit most properties, with no interference of normal water use.
The AquaTrip can be installed during the initial new construction or can be retrofitted into existing homes. Depending on the AquaTrip model and installation method, installation prices can range between $125 to $280. Not included in the installation is the device itself, which can range from $228 to $348 depending on the model. To confirm your installation price, please consult a Damage Control Pro licensed installer.
How does it work?
A flow-interrupter leak detection system can actually shut off the water when the system senses an excess flow of water beyond a pre-set limit. This type of detection system is normally installed by a professional, and in some cases, in addition to shutting off the flow of water, they can also send text messages to your smartphone to notify you that a leak has occurred. Some devices can also notify you if the batteries are running low, or if a low temperature is detected. If the temperature has dropped to a dangerous level, and the system will shut off the water before the pipes freeze and burst. Water sensors are often placed throughout your home close to plumbing fixtures, pipe seams, and any appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines.
The AquaTrip is an example of a unit that is installed permanently on the main cold water supply at its earliest point of entry into a property. Using sensors, the device will recognize the flow of water from 30ml a minute or one drip per second all the way up to the full flow of water. After the water has flowed longer than a pre-set amount of time, it will activate shutting the water supply off to the home completely. The AquaTrip also has numerous settings to suit your living situation such as:
Manual and automatic holiday mode;
Peak and low flow settings; and,
Night watch and exclusion periods.
As mentioned, water leaks are a very common occurrence. Hot water tanks have a certain life expectancy and require maintenance as well as replacement when the life expectancy limit is near. These have a tendency to leak, or even rupture, over time. Another common source of water damage is burst pipes due to freezing. If you’re going away during the winter season, it’s a good idea, and is, in fact, a requirement by most insurers, that you have your home frequently checked to make sure heat is being maintained.
Polybutelene pipes were used in Canadian homes from the early 70’s to the early 90’s. These have a history of leaking and are no longer being used in new home construction. Dishwasher and washing machine hoses can wear out and leak, and should be replaced with braided hoses. Even braided hoses have a life expectancy. Toilet tanks have been known to crack, spilling water everywhere. The toilet continues to run and run, attempting to fill up the tank, causing incredible damage, especially if you’re not home, and it continues for hours, or days.
So no matter how diligent you are, there is always a chance of water damage in your home. A leak prevention device can really help to limit the damage, by shutting off the water before it becomes a full-on flood!