Among all of the precautions you can take to avoid major accidents (and expenses), one of the most overlooked is installing a water leak sensor. In fact, there are a lot of homeowners and property managers still out there that have never even heard of a water leak alarm!
Your home, whether you use it as the backdrop for your life or as an investment for your future, is worth a lot. That’s why keeping up with maintenance in order for it to stay in its best shape possible is so important. And, while most homeowners plan for renovations and fun DIY projects, it’s equally important that plans are in place for when not-so-fun things happen, like accidents and unforeseen damage. Having all of your bases covered as a homeowner not only helps you sleep better at night, but it’s also one of the best ways to protect your investment — and keep more of your money in your pocket.
If that’s you, here’s everything you need to know about water leak sensors, including:
- What water leak alarms are
- How water leak sensors work
- Where you can use a water leak siren
- Benefits of having several water leak alarms on your property
What is a water leak sensor?
A water leak sensor is a super handy (and simple) tool that lets you know when there’s a leak in your home. By placing a water leak alarm in areas of your home that are prone to leaks and water damage (under sinks, behind the washing machine, etc.), you can be confident that you’ll know as soon as a leak happens. Water leak sensors come in a variety of sizes and styles, but all of them are pretty similar in terms of how they look and function. Most water leak sensors are plastic, but they’re built to be sturdy (even though there’s not really a lot of “wear-and-tear” in terms of how they are used). And although water leak alarms rarely have replaceable batteries, the low cost (you can find lots well under $20) makes the entire unit easy to replace when needed.
You can also find water leak sensors well over the $20 price point, which may leave you wondering what the big difference really is. The main difference (and what you’re paying for with the pricier models) is an ability to integrate with your smart devices, which means you’re receiving messages when your alarms start to go off — not just hearing a sound. If you travel a lot, are planning on being away from home for an extended amount of time, or if you have renters in your home, then splurging for one of these more expensive sensors might be worth it.
The genius of water leak sensors is that they ensure that a water leak doesn’t go unnoticed for long. Because of the sound, they produce when water comes in contact with them, they’ll let you know almost immediately (and definitely before enough water accumulates to do much damage). So, although you might not be thinking about the potential damage that can be caused by a water leak, installing water leak sensors can make sure that water damage (which can be extensive and expensive) doesn’t happen on your property.
How does a water leak siren work?
Most water leak sensors are built in the same way, although the design differs slightly from model to model. In general, water leak sirens are created so that they can detect the first sign of water. Most are designed to do this through electrical conductivity across two contacts. When enough water accumulates to bridge these two contacts, an alarm or siren is triggered, alerting you to the situation.
Some water leak sensors are more sensitive than others, so it’s a good idea to check the reliability of a sensor before purchasing one. Thinking you have an alarm for under your sink and then realizing it didn’t work only when the water is pouring out onto your kitchen floor is not fun!
The most effective way to use a water leak alarm is in conjunction with an undercabinet mat. Special undercabinet mats are designed to hold a large amount of water (some up to 3 gallons!) before they start leaking. This adds an additional safeguard for your home, giving you the time you might need to respond to a leak. As anyone who has ever dealt with a major water leak in a home knows, trying to stop it quickly isn’t always easy! Having that extra time because of a sturdy, well-designed mat can be a real game-changer.
Where should I put water leak alarms in my home?
There are a lot of smart places to put water leak alarms in your home. Some of them are pretty obvious, but others are rather ingenious! Here are some of the best uses of water leak sensors for your home:
- Under all sinks, both in your kitchen and bathrooms
- Next to your HVAC unit
- Near your water heater
- Behind all of the toilets in your home
- Behind your home’s washing machine
- Underneath your kitchen’s dishwasher
- Underneath or near fish tanks and aquariums
- Under jacuzzi tubs and hot tubs
- By filtered water tanks in your kitchen or office
Of course, there are plenty more places you can use water leak sensors, too! We’ve even heard of people utilizing these alarms by their hoses and in their gardens, especially if they have an automated system for watering.
5 benefits of using water leak sensors
If you haven’t considered the benefits of having water leak alarms in your home or on your property, then now’s the time! As far as simple precautions go, water leak sensors are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to prevent damage happening in your home. Here are five of the biggest benefits of placing water leak alarms in your home…
- They can prevent major damage. Water damage can be incredibly expensive to repair. And, in some cases, water damage is irreparable. Even if water damage isn’t extensive, it’s still a pain to try to fix, especially if it affects things like wooden floors and cabinetry, which can start to smell if not taken care of quickly. While most homeowners fear fires more than anything, water damage is actually much more common. Just like you take the precaution to have properly working fire alarms and smoke detectors throughout your house, you should also take the time to set up water sensors, too.
- They can alert you even when you’re not home. Not all water leak sensors have this capability, but the ones that do have the added bonus of being even more convenient. By connecting either via a smart hub or straight through Wi-Fi, some of these advanced water leak alarms can send you messages and alerts when you’re away from home. If you’re on vacation or renting your home, this feature can be critical for getting to a leak in time to prevent serious water damage from occurring.
- They can save you (a lot of) money. Water damage caused by burst pipes, broken hoses, or even flooding toilets can cost a lot of money to remedy. In most cases, professionals need to be called in either during the cleanup or to fix the damage that has happened. By investing in water leak alarms now, you can help prevent unexpected costs associated with water damage. As an added bonus, installing water leak sensors can, in some cases, lower your insurance costs, too (especially if you’re a property manager).
- They keep you aware of overlooked places in your home. How often do you actually look behind your toilet or washing machine? When was the last time you really explored the spaces underneath your sinks? Placing water leak sensors in these areas helps you remember to keep these spaces in check, whether that means keeping them clean, organizing them, or finding ways to better protect against things like product spills and leaks.
- They’re affordable to buy and simple to use. Some water leak alarms cost as little as $10 each. And, if you’re not hooking them up to your wifi or smart home system, setting them up is as simple as putting them where you want them. There aren’t many ways to protect your home from expensive damage that are as simple as using a water leak alarm!
When looking to buy water leak detectors for your home, you’ll find a lot of great options, including Xtreme Mats. One of the biggest benefits to using water leak sensors from Xtreme Mats is that they are specifically designed to work with the Xtreme Mats under sink mats, which means finding the best place to put them is super simple — just place on the mat and alarm activates when water touches the two metal posts on the bottom of the detector! And, because Xtreme Mats can hold up to 3 gallons of water, you can be confident that you have the time you need to get to a leak before real damage happens.