2/18/2010 12:03 PM
Water leak detection is nothing new; people have been installing water detectors (“water bugs”) for years. These devices are typically connected to a monitored alarm panel. When the sensor gets wet, it triggers the alarm panel to call the monitoring company who then calls the homeowner or property manager. They must go to the house and turn off the water.
Occasionally, water sensors are not just connected to an alarm panel but also to a water shutoff mechanism. When the sensors detect water, the water shutoff system turns off the water to the house. While this is better than the first option, Vail Electronics has found an even better solution.
Vail Electronics provides homeowners with a system that actually monitors water flow and consumption over time and turns the water off and triggers the alarm panel if excessive flow is detected. Furthermore, the water usage amounts can be easily changed by the homeowner if water usage is expected to be higher than normal (guests in town?). The system also has “Home” and “Away” modes so that the water can be shut off earlier when no one is in the house.
Recently, the water was automatically turned off in a vacant home, and the property manager was dispatched to investigate. According to the property manager, “one of the toilets was continuously flushing and had triggered your product to shut off the water.” Most other products would not have turned off the water unless the toilet actually overflowed and gotten the “water bug” detection device wet. “Since the system does not rely on individual sensors throughout the house, it can detect leaks that might not hit a water sensor,” says Ted Sprague with Vail Electronics. “With any other system, thousands of gallons of water could have been wasted.”