A water leak sensor is an electronic device that can identify the presence of water. It can then generate an alert to care givers who can take preventative actions to avoid water damage to the home.
The most commonly used water sensor design is a small-sized cable or machine that is kept on the floor or surface level. Water has an innate conductivity to electricity that can make electric current flow freely between two contacts. The water sensor can sense this, and trigger an alarm.
How is a water sensor used?
One of the widespread practical applications is near infrastructure sites, where there is a high probability of water leaking through the water pipes, HVAC, water tanks, drainpipes, dehumidifiers, etc.
It is also used for buildings that hold a lot of valuable artifacts, goods, products, or any asset where water leak could wreak havoc and cause a lot of monetary damage. In some areas, water leak could even result in loss of human life. Water sensors have become a necessity in residential buildings, banks, museums, data centers, factories or other infrastructures.
How does a water sensors work?
The main job of a water sensor is to detect the presence of water and sound alerts. If there is a leak and the water level rises considerably and comes in contact with the sensor, an alarm will be triggered.
The basic principle of the water sensor works through an electrical circuit. The water detector device has sensors attached to it. When there is water present, the circuit between these sensors is complete and current can flow through because water decreases resistance in the flow of electric current.
The water sensor then sends a trigger to the control panel it is connected to. The control panel is in charge of generating the alarm. This is how homeowners or building administrators come to know that the water level has exceeded the normal level and could present danger to the building’s security.
Water sensors can be kept in any area of the home where there is a lot of water or drainpipes. When deciding the right place of a water sensor, some key pointers should be kept in mind –
- Place the water sensor in an area that has high susceptibility to water damage.
- Place them under basins.
- Washing machines or driers expel a lot of water. If the cable fails, there is a chance of water leakage. So, you should place one in this area.
- Water heaters are also a typical source of water leakage.
- Crawl spaces containing pipes are prone to flooding that gets unnoticed until there is visible evidence of water damage.
- Basements flood often in monsoon or when there is a leak. Keeping a water sensor here will not only keep that from happening, but you can also prevent the growth of mold and damage by keeping a sensor here.
Water sensors can protect your home from a lot of accidents and health hazards. Flooding can be an extreme scenario, and may not seem likely for you. But even a small amount of water leakage can cause the building infrastructure to get damaged, or grow fungus and mold. This could get expensive quickly if the water leak is not prevented at the initial stage.
What is the benefit of installing a water sensor?
If you have a home monitoring system, a water sensor can seamlessly integrate with it and provide protection to your home throughout the year. Home monitoring systems are designed to connect with water sensors and trigger alarms when there is a water leak anywhere you have placed the sensor.
The normal water detectors have the water sensors along with a couple of probes that come in contact with water, and a wireless transmission system that sends an alarm to the control panel. The water detector and sensors can work independently or in conjunction with the home monitoring system to keep you notified. Detecting water leak at the right time can save thousands of dollars’ worth of repairing cost.
The benefits of installing a water leak sensor are:
- Can work in conjunction with the home monitor system that alerts in case of leakage.
- Protects your home from any issues with damaged pipes or plumbing malfunction.
- Keeps an eye on properties where owners do not live on the premises.
- Prevents growth of mold and fungus in tight spaces or the basement.
- The water sensors have a long battery life that can last for years.
- The casing of the water sensor is tamper-proof. If it is somehow damaged, it will trigger an alert to the control panel or the home monitoring system.
- The sensors can also have a wall tamper system. It will alert you if it has been forcibly removed from the wall.
- Protects your storage, belonging and house from long sustained damage that can be completely unrecoverable.
- Water sensors are designed to be small and sleek that can blend in with the décor and be completely unnoticeable.
It is a piece of mandatory equipment that has to be installed for insurance claims to be valid in most states.
Why water sensors became essential
There are a handful of companies that build and supply water sensors. Yet this is a crucial piece of equipment for many reasons.
The very first application was done in computer rooms. The floors of these rooms were usually designed to have a lot of space, with raised levels. This is done to ensure that it can fit in floor tiles, and are supported by pedestals. Underneath and around these floors there is a lot of blank space that is used to store large batches of power cables, routers, and servers.
The space underneath these computer rooms was necessary because of how heated the initial systems could get. They needed to have room for air circulation to cool down. So, there were also cold water pipes running around the space that connected to the drains.
Many designers also used to utilize these empty spaces for other services that involved water, such as putting in radiators or feeding bathrooms. There were other facilities too, that used up a lot of water and it all was channeled through these spaces.
The issue started rising when the system became so vast, it could not be monitored by simple observation. The pipes could leak all the time due to a hydrostatic head of pressure. These kinds of leaks will go undetected until they were leaking all over the floor and then started leaking through the ceiling in visible areas. The structural damage was not the only concern here. The water would also force inside the power outlet and cables, causing the entire system to burn up.
The modern-day water sensors have become optimized to sense water leaks that come within 1 meter of these cable networks that run miles at a stretch. This protects the system and minimizes the effort required to upkeep. They also provide a much more accurate reading than old age analog water sensors. They are all connected to a master control panel. This can detect the exact spot of the water leak by detecting which water sensor is getting triggered.