Smart Leak Detection
Leak detection and prevention systems are an important part of Smart Home security. Home water damage is a big issue for insurance companies and homeowners. Insurance companies want to reduce the risk of expensive claims related to water damage and they are just starting to get their heads around Smart Home technology and how it can be used to reduce the risk of water damage.
EcoNet’s Bulldog Valve Robot (see featured image) when used in combination with leak sensors can greatly reduce the risk of water damage.
A reliable Leak Detection & Prevention solution is not all about the technology. Human behavior is an important factor to consider in implementing a successful leak prevention solution.
Best practices for Smart Home Leak Detection & Prevention Solutions:
- Leak Sensors should be labeled “Leak Sensor – Do not move”. If there is a chance of a leak sensor being moved or tampered with, there is a good chance it will happen. You need to consider children, renters, pets, etc. when positioning the leak sensors. (cleaning person has no idea what the leak sensor is and moves it from behind the toilet to the window shelf making the device ineffective)
- Leak Sensor batteries should be checked and replace on a regular schedule as required.
- Automation routines that shut off the water in the case of a leak should run locally and not rely on an internet connection or a connection to the “cloud”.
- The system should be tested on a regular basis. (get a leak sensor wet and make sure the water shuts off and “Leak Alerts” are sent and received.
- Leak alerts should be set to send to two or more people. (homeowner and neighbor, homeowner and renter, etc.)
- If the home is empty for an extended period the water should be shut off, ideally automatically by the smart home system. If not automatically, by the homeowner.
- Add battery backup where practical to parts of the solution that rely on standard AC home power.
- The homeowner and other family members should be trained/instructed on how to use the water shut off in the case of an emergency. Many homeowners do not know where to find their water shut off.
- In the case of a leak in a laundry room, automation should be set up to shut off both the water main and the power to the washing machine. A washing machine could empty it’s tank through a bad hose and shutting off the water main would not stop this water pouring through the ceiling into the room below.