For the past few blogs, we’ve been discussing water leaks both inside and outside the house, as the rainy season has arrived in California. For those of you in places like Michigan, North Dakota, New York (i.e. anywhere else but Southern California), don’t laugh. Yes, we call 36 hours of rain a “storm”.
But our counties of Orange, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire are different than anywhere. We have months of dry weather usually followed by fires that strip the hillsides of all vegetation. Then we have rains that come hard and fast, usually dumping inches of rain in a short amount of time, causing clogged storm drains, flash floods and mudslides. So although we might not have 6 inches of snow, we’ve got our own problems.
What if you’re not home all the time? You may travel a lot for work, or have a second property that you only use as a vacation home. Lucky you! But not so lucky when that home’s washing machine springs a leak while you’re not there, and your vacation spot turns into a flooded mess—and you don’t know about it until months later. You could be dealing not just with water damage restoration, but a serious mold remediation problem too.
But fret not! There is hardware that can help. Water leak detection systems exist, and can save you a lot of money. Leak detection systems can be either active or passive, and there are individual appliance systems that can be installed on specific home appliances.
Active Leak Detection Systems
These systems usually generate some type of alarm, but they also perform a function that will stop the water flow. They feature some form of shutoff valve and a means to determine that a leak is occurring. Most devices use moisture sensors to detect a leak. Other systems utilize a flow sensor and a timer to determine that something is leaking and the water needs to be turned off. An active leak detection system can either operate for an individual appliance or it can control a whole property.
Passive Leak Detection Systems
These systems, also called “water alarms,” are intended to alert you to a possible water leak. They generally sound an audible alarm tone; some may also feature a flashing light.
Passive systems are frequently battery-operated, stand-alone units. They are inexpensive and easy to install. Some simply sit on the floor while others may be wall mounted. A moisture sensor is located on the bottom of the unit and activates the alarm when it becomes wet. Battery-operated devices need to be tested regularly, and the batteries should be replaced on a periodic basis.
Individual Appliance Systems
These systems are installed on a specific appliance and will automatically shut off the water supply in case of a leak.
Depending on the type of device, you may be able to install this system without any special tools. However, in some cases, a qualified plumber may be needed. We truly recommend this one on your washing machine, especially if you have a lot of laundry going through your household. Click here for a list of available kits.
These systems feature a shutoff valve installed on the main water supply pipe. When the system detects a leak, it will automatically shut off the entire water supply. If you travel often, this type of system could help you rest assured while you’re away from home.
Whole-house systems typically take between four and six hours to install, and a qualified plumber is normally required.
If we’re too late with our tips because a flood from your dishwasher is destroying your kitchen floor right now, call us immediately! 877-732-8471
We have expert technicians standing by 24/7 to help you with all of your water damage needs in the following cities:
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