Saturday, June 8, 2013

Researching Flood Detectors

This is an up close and personal visit with a flood detector.  Wet Switch is thirty five dollars and can be wired to turn on a sump pump automatically.

   One of the great things about doing a blog on preparedness, is that I am always having to learn something.  (It's either that or I am unfortunate enough that plenty goes wrong and that I'll have to learn it anyway) I knew that industrial buildings and computer rooms used flood detectors. When my husband designs a system for a computer room, he does have to consider the flood detectors.  I knew that for industrial purposes, these were expensive.   I did not know until I talked to our homeowner's insurance company, Nationwide, that flood detectors are available relatively inexpensively for home use, and could be very valuable in a circumstance like the one which occurred here last night.
                   When the Serv-Pro professionals arrived to help us strategize our water extraction and clean up, they reiterated what Nationwide had said.  Apparently, although it had never happened to us in twenty-five years, the leakage of pipes or a major appliance is a fairly common household problem.   Dishwashers can malfunction and leak. Hot water heaters can rust, or not rust and simply leak. Washing machines can leak or leak when one of their hoses dry rots or ages and then leaks lots of water in your home.  Pipes can also leak, as can a well tank or a water filtration system. Refrigerators with a cold water or ice feature can also occasionally leak.   Serv-Pro also thought a flood detector could be a good idea as some of the homes they provide service to, have called them for three or more flood situations from household appliances.  The worst damage occurs when no one is home or no one knows a leak has occurred and water continues to flow.
                   Where a flood detector should be placed would vary between the home you are considering.  In my house, locating one in the mechanical room could be a good idea, because there is a tank where the well pumps water, as well as a water filtration system, and the hot water heater. A leak there could be quite a mess.     A flood detector would also be a good idea at the plumbing junction area in the basement closet which was the site for this particular leak.
                   Most units work by detectiing water and then alarming in a manner which is similar yet a different sound compared to a smoke detector or a carbon monoxide detector.
                  These are some of the inexpensive units I have found:

This is a simple flood alarm for $12.96 plus postage from Amazon

This is a three detector flood alarm system on Amazon for twenty-five dollars with free postage.

This is a ten dollar Basement Watchdog flood detector also from Amazon
 This one detects as little as 1/32nd of an inch of water, and notifies you with a 110 decibel alarm.
Early warning is the best chance we have of avoiding what happened to us last night.

The First Alert Three-Pak.
Like most of these, this one is battery operated, so during a power outage your leak detector is still functional.

There are many other types, so take a look and select one that is best for you.     

After we pay for this flood fiasco this next week, along with the repairs to our refrigerator which is still waiting, I will have to get some flood detectors.  I'll let you know which one I try and how we like it in terms of ease of operation.

This post is a follow up to my prior post:


BBC said...

I don't have any plumbing here so have no need for one, if one of my one gallon jugs leaks I think I can deal with it.

JaneofVirginia said...

A wise strategy, my friend.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I didn't know they had such things, I can see where it could save a lot of trouble if you could shut off a valve in time. Now I am trying to visualize how they built it!

JaneofVirginia said...

I wondered this too. My husband says that two pieces of stainless steel are part of the internal sensors of such things, and that they are linked by a cotton fiber. When the cotton fibers get wet, they complete the circuit and the device alarms. The device can be re-used when the internal cotton fibers naturally dry out later. Most of them work on this very basic and simple principle.