Smart Home

There is a strange contrast in the world of smart home technology.  It seems this technology varies from real luxury items (a refrigerator that has a touch screen) to real money savers (smart thermostats).  So it looks like most smart home technology is either about dropping some serious money to have a high-end technical product – or about trying to save yourself some money.

People looking to get into smart home technology can sometimes be confused by the price tag of some of the products.  That being said, it’s important to know which technology can really save you money when it is all said and done.  That’s why we’re diving into the contrast to talk about why water leak detection systems fall squarely into the money saver category.

How Do Water Leak Detection Systems Work?

The most basic function of any water leak detection system is right there in the name: detection.  Generally, they use sensors, which you can place around your home near places that are likely to experience a water leak (behind the washing machine, near your sink and toilet, the hot water heater).  Then, if one of these sensors detects a leak, the system will tell you about it, usually via a smartphone app.

However, that kind of system can only do so much.  This is particularly true if you are away from home on vacation or business.  You could find yourself calling a neighbor or even the police to tell them there’s a major water leak in your home.  needless to say, that’s an undesirable situation.

So what distinguishes a more advanced water leak detection system from the basic models?

More Advanced Water Leak Detection System Features

The big difference comes with how the system actually responds to a water leak.  A more advanced system will alert you, but it will also stop the water from flowing, preventing that leak from doing any more damage.  Some systems will do this at the source of the leak, while others will shut off the main valve for the entire house.

The point is, even if you are not there, a more advanced water leak detection system will take care of any problems automatically so that you can rest easy.  Being able to remotely control your home plumbing also has added benefits.

For example, anyone with a vacation home who has to remember to shut of their water before winter knows that forgetting to do so can cause some serious problems.  It’s nice to know that you can simply shut your water off remotely from half a world away.  But what about the money-saving angle?  Some water leak detection systems can cost hundreds of dollars – do they pay off?

How Preventing Water Leaks Saves You Money

Obviously, to understand the money saving potential of a water leak detection system you need to know the potential cost of a water leak.  There are two distinct ways water leaks cost you money.  The first is the cost of that water.

Ah, but water is so cheap!  Well yes, when used in normal quantities.  But the new York City Environmental Protection Agency estimates that even a tiny tiny drip can cost you around $14 a month.  Upgrade to a steady drip and that becomes $70 a month.  The may not sound like much, but then you have to factor in the kind of damage undetected leaks can cause.

Even a small leak can necessitate replacing materials, repainting surfaces and getting a professional to check that there’s been no serious structural problems.  If the water leak lasts long enough it can begin to rot the wood which supports your home and create real danger.  Those costs easily add up to hundreds of dollars.  If you end up with mold growth, you or a loved one can get a serious respiratory problem.  In either case, the dangers to your health and impact on your wallet only increase.

Compare this with the one time cost of a few hundred dollars for a leak prevention system and it’s clear that such a system can pay for itself by preventing even a single medium sized leak.  If it prevents a larger leak, you could be talking about thousands of dollars of savings.

What About Homeowners Insurance?

Well, if the leak resulted from unresolved maintenance issues (another reason to check if you need to replace your pipes)  then your homeowners insurance probably won’t cover it. Your insurance also likely won’t cover replacing the appliance or fixture that caused  the problem.  In any case, deductibles and hassle also add up, even if your insurance covers the damage.

Installing a leak detection system offers you discounts on your homeowners insurance and in some cases, rebates towards your purchase. Be sure to check with your insurance company.

Prevention Is the Smart Option

All of this adds up to prevention.  That means undertaking proper maintenance of your home’s plumbing and doing the math yourself to see if a water leak detection system could save you money by preventing water leaks.  That is where the LeakSmart water leak detection system comes in handy.