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Blog category: Right at Home

What Are Smart Water Sensors & Do I Need One?

4 min read

Water damage is among the costliest and most common homeowners’ insurance claims. Our homes are full of water between our appliances, water fixtures, and pipe system. If one of the containment systems breaks down, you can experience damaging leaks in any part of your home. Burst pipes, slow leaks, broken appliances, or failing seals can damage your flooring, walls, and belongings. Smart water-sensor technology can be an early warning system that can help limit the damage when leaks occur.

What Are Smart Water Sensors and Leak Detectors

Smart water sensors are small devices that can detect the presence of water where it does not belong and send an alert to your smartphone. In its simplest form, a smart leak detector can be placed under the U-bend in the pipe under your kitchen sink or under your washing machine’s fill pipe to detect leaks. If a drop of water lands on the sensor, it sets off an alarm and communicates this information to your phone. You will receive a text message on your phone alerting you to the presence and location of the leak. Several water sensors can be connected to the same system, monitoring your home for potential leaks.

Basic Smart Water Sensors

Smart water sensors and leak detectors are IoT-enabled devices, meaning they are part of the Internet of Things. The simplest models start around $50, while the most sophisticated systems run about $600.

There are simple, smart water-sensor versions that are easy to install. These systems can support up to about a dozen sensors (varies by manufacturer) working together on the same system. These simpler models detect leaks if the sensors are placed to catch the dripping water and will send you a notification. You can then return home or contact someone to address the leak before more damage is done.

The benefits these water sensors provide are obvious. But so are the limitations. They help you limit the damage done by some common types of leaks. However, these basic, smart water-leak sensors do not alert you to slab leaks or slow leaks from the pipes within the walls of your home. And wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow turn off the water remotely, stopping the leak from doing more damage? Fortunately, there’s an app for that.

Advanced Smart Leak Detectors

While you can easily install basic water sensors yourself, you’ll need a professional to install an advanced smart-leak detector. These advanced systems include the detection of slab leaks and pinhole leaks in the plumbing inside your walls. Rather than shaving hours off the time you would discover the leak yourself, these systems can notify you weeks before you might notice a slab leak.

Best of all, these sophisticated leak-detector systems enable you to remotely turn off the water to your home from your smartphone. Advanced smart water sensors can also be configured to detect changes in humidity and temperature. You can set them to send you alerts at levels you select.

Benefits of Smart Water Sensors

The benefits of using smart water sensors are clear. Knowledge is power, and these units can inform you about damaging leaks far sooner than you would notice them. These sensors represent a low-risk investment in protecting your home from water damage. Further, more sophisticated systems can help you to rein in your utility bills. Slow slab leaks can add up to higher water bills without noticeable damage. A smart leak detector can alert you to wasted water.

Smart water sensors protect not just your home but also rental properties and vacation homes. The wi-fi connected systems can provide peace of mind for properties you seldom visit. And they are your home’s first line of defense against water damage when you’re on the road or on vacation.

Some homeowners insurance policies provide a discount for adding a smart leak detection system to your property. Don’t forget to ask.

Where to Place Water Sensors in the Home

If you’re installing smart water sensors in your home, don’t miss the following locations:

  • Under the U-bend of every sink
  • Next to your HVAC system
  • Next to your water heater
  • Behind every toilet
  • Behind your washing machine
  • Underneath the dishwasher
  • Under the jacuzzi or hot tub
  • Under any fish tanks
  • Behind a reverse-osmosis water system

Some people also incorporate water sensors to monitor their automated sprinkler system in the garden. The key is to protect each point where your home is vulnerable to water damage.

Avoiding Water Damage is Key

Every year, homeowners sustain water damage caused by broken appliances, burst pipes, and other leaks. The Insurance Information Institute reports that water damage is the second-most common claim homeowners file with their insurance companies, and is the most costly cause of property damage after fire and lightning. Between 2016 and 2020, water damage claims averaged $11,650 per claim. Implementing smart water sensors is a low-cost way to protect your home from the need for costly and time-consuming repairs

Dealing with water damage is no one’s idea of a good time. It is expensive, stressful, and disruptive. Further, in addition to damaging your belongings, if left unaddressed, water damage can introduce mold and mildew to your home.

While homeowners insurance can help mitigate the financial impact of water damage, it cannot alleviate the emotional toll it can take on individuals and families. A smart water leak detector can protect your home from damage while providing you with priceless peace of mind.

At Wawanesa, we strive to help you protect your family and home from property damage and the financial distress of unexpected property damage. Contact your friendly Wawanesa agent today to discuss your home coverage and ensure you’re fully protected.

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.

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