Hidden plumbing leaks are a pernicious household problem. They can run up your water bill, and if you don't find them quickly, the water can cause mold and mildew to grow in your walls, requiring extensive remediation work. Finding hidden plumbing leaks can be a big challenge because they can occur in inaccessible areas of your home and you might not notice until the house has already sustained extensive water damage. Even worse can be abrupt ruptures in your plumbing system, which can eject hundreds of gallons of water into your house before you can stop the flood.
Fortunately, you can install water sensors that can help detect plumbing leaks, sound the alarm and even shut off your water automatically until you can find and repair the problem. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of using water sensors in your home.
The Ultimate in Flood Prevention
Smaller water sensor systems might just be installed in vulnerable areas like the laundry room and around the bathroom and kitchen, while more advanced systems can monitor the whole home and will switch your main water supply off if they detect water somewhere it shouldn't be. That way, your home is protected from flooding if something goes wrong, even if you aren't home. That can be a lifesaver if you are on vacation, for example, and otherwise wouldn't notice the problem for several days or more.
Water sensors can be expensive, however, and the more complex they are, the larger the price tag. They can cost $1,000 or more if you go for an automatic shutoff option, plus the price of installation. That can be a bargain, however, if your system ends up finding a hidden leak or prevents a major flood. Systems that just have a local alarm are much less expensive, but won't do you much good unless you are home at the time the alert sounds.
Crying Wolf with Automatic Shutoff
On the downside, some water sensor systems are known to cry wolf and go off if they detect any tiny amount of water, even as a result of high humidity in the air. What's more, some sensors keep an eye on how much water you are using and shut the plumbing down after a certain amount, so an event that uses a lot of water at once like filling a swimming pool can trip the alarm. On the other hand, very small plumbing leaks in remote areas of the home sometimes can go undetected for some time, so even the most advanced sensor system can't totally guarantee that it will prevent all mold and mildew damage.
Ultimately, it's up to the homeowner to decide if a sensor system is worth the cost. If you need help installing a water sensor system or finding hidden plumbing leaks in your home, contact your trusted local plumber today.