Leaks in your home can be a major problem. This is especially the case if leaks occur while you’re away from home or happen in places that you can’t easily access. While some leaks can be prevented before they happen with proper maintenance, there’s always the possibility that you’ll have a leak even if you keep your sinks and pipes in good shape. So what can you do?
One option is to have a water leak detector that can pick up on the leak when it occurs. If you’ve never heard of these or aren’t sure how they work, here are the basics. You might find that a water leak detector is just what you need to give yourself a bit more peace of mind when it comes to your home’s plumbing.
What Is a Water Leak Detector?
As the name suggests, a water leak detector is a device that can detect water leaks in your home. There are a few different types of detectors out there, but they all provide the same basic function of keeping your home safe in case leaks occur. They do this by not only detecting the leaks, but also by doing something about them when they find one.
Modern water leak detectors include both sensors to identify leaks and valves that are built into your home’s plumbing. The central detector unit closes the valves when the sensor detects something is amiss, preventing the flow of water and stopping the leak until it can be repaired. Many detectors also provide you with some sort of alert when this occurs, with some models working in concert with smart home devices to send a notice to your phone and even perform other actions like turning on lights in the affected area.
Types of Leak Detectors
There are a few different types of water leak detectors that you can install in your home. The most common ones feature moisture sensors, allowing them to trigger the system if an area that’s supposed to be dry suddenly has an increase in moisture. In-line sensors can determine when changes in water pressure occur, with abnormal pressure readings suggesting that water is escaping the line and that a leak has sprung somewhere. Temperature sensors can detect frozen pipes, helping you to reduce pressure before those pipes burst. Some leak detectors even use acoustic sensors to listen for the sound of leaks or running water; this can be especially useful in crawl spaces or slabs where it might be difficult to find leaks using other sensor types.
Regardless of the type of sensors you have in your home, the core unit of your water leak detector will determine how big of an installation job is required. Basic detectors can send alerts to your phone or sound an audible alarm but take no other action beyond that; these can often be installed as DIY projects and provide basic protection against leaks. Larger systems that use in-line sensors and have the ability to shut off the water automatically are much more complicated and typically require professional installation, but they also provide much better protection and more sensor options as well.
Do You Need a Water Leak Detector?
Deciding whether you need a water leak detector and what type you might want comes down to a few factors. The most obvious is how much of a risk you think leaks are in your home. If you’ve got old plumbing or are worried about leaks in hard-to-reach places, you’re more likely to want a leak detector than someone who just moved into new construction with easily accessible pipes. The type of detector you get also comes down to a matter of personal preference, since some people would prefer simple alerts while others like fully automated responses.