Do you keep a babysitter in your basement? No? Then who is watching a most precious asset? No, not your kids, your home! How will you know when your water heater bursts, your sewer backs up, or something has chewed through a pipe to cause a flood? In short, who have you got watching for your emergency, and what will alert you that your water needs to be shut off?
Two years ago, my friend had a burst pipe that flooded her basement. Her alert was stepping into two inches of water on a trip downstairs to do the laundry! Her story is not uncommon. 40% of homeowners will experience a flood in their lifetime and 60% will experience some type of pipe failure. Often times these pending disasters have been brewing for weeks without their knowledge. Flooding emergencies rarely happen when we’re looking, and typically don’t make enough noise to draw our attention.
What’s the cost of a flood?
The cost of a flood is high. First there’s the deductible. My policy has a water damage deductible of $2500. Not to mention, many policies (when you actually read the fine print) have an extensive list of limits and exclusions. Let’s remember as well, that when you have a loss you’ll have increased future insurance premiums. My friend calculated that their water loss cost them $15,000 above what the insurance covered.
For as little as $1500, you can get an emergency water shut off system. There are several on the market and we can help you compare them to see what features each one offers.
Comparing Emergency Water Shutoff Options
R&B has done some research on the subject and the technology is impressive. All of the units we’ve reviewed cover these basics.
- Automatically close your water main valve the moment a leak is detected.
- Have a remote shut-off option for you to the close your water main over Wi-Fi
- Send email and text notifications to your phone
Each of the next three products have various bells and whistles allowing you to choose simplicity, or have increased monitoring and control of your water use.
This R&B supplied and installed product has all the basic features plus:
- Backup power source option for when the power goes out.
- Wired or wireless sensors.
- The app is free.
This option is the workhorse of the bunch. It does exactly what it claims to do, and only that. If you want to have a unit that you install and forget, then this is the one.
The Phyn System
Phyn is a US online product and is not distributed locally. It features:
- Ability to sense water crystals to anticipate when a pipe might be beginning to freeze.
- Can monitor up to six properties through the app.
- Connects with smart home devices like Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Diagnostic plumbing checks can identify pin-hole leaks before they become bigger.
- Monitors water use by source (laundry, sprinkler, pool)
- Can be used in outdoor applications
- The companion app is free.
As an on-line purchase, this one will is typically purchased by the customer directly and only R&B comes to install it. This one has the added features of monitoring water use. It can be useful if you are on a metered system and plan to make significant changes to your lifestyle to conserve your water use.
Popular Science 2018 winner, Flo by Moen
- Monitors your daily usage.
- Allows the user to set water consumption goals.
- Real, human telephone support if you need assistance with set up or operation.
- Texts, emails or phones the user when an alert is triggered.
- If you’re on vacation (Attention all you Snowbirds) and no amount of water use is expected, set the system to “AWAY” to ensure any break is not attributed to use; someone running a bath, for example.
- Integrates with home automation systems (Alexa, Google).
- FloProtect App subscription with enhanced features is $5USD/month.
- Available locally through R&B.
The Flo is great for the engaged and passionate water police, but also doesn’t complicate the app with these extras unless you want to buy the subscription. We like that it has some excellent options for those who are less tech savvy as well, like the real person factor and the Snowbird Switch.
The advantages of any emergency water shut off systems go further than just preventing loss. They can also give you eligibility for reduced insurance rates with typical discounts of 5-10%.
How to Choose the Right Unit
The good news is this, there is no bad decision unless you decide not to make the choice! To get a free estimate for your home and protect yourself from damage and inconvenience, contact us today.