By State Farm Insurance
To help keep an eye on indoor and outdoor trouble spots, you may want to consider installing a water leak detection system, especially if you’re frequently away from the house. Leak detection systems can be either active or passive.
Along with leak detection systems, individual appliance systems 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.
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.
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