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Home InsuranceLoss PreventionRisk Exposure

What Is Whole-House Water Shut -Off Insurance?

By March 6, 2023March 8th, 2023No Comments

In an effort to help homeowners prevent water damage to their property, insurers are promoting the use of devices that detect leaks and shut off the flow of water. These devices can limit or completely prevent the destruction of flooring, walls, furniture and other items. They can even avert potential electrical fires and mold.

These devices are part of the “internet of things” market. They give homeowners the ability to control the flow of water into their home from anywhere.

Whole-house water detection and shut-off devices sense either moisture on the floor or flows in your pipes. They can alert you to anomalies so you can remotely turn off the water via an app on your smartphone or they can automatically turn off the valve on the water supply to your home.

The moisture sensors can be placed wherever you think you may get a leak. There are multiple sensors in a pack, so you can put them behind your toilets, near your dishwasher, next to your water heater, or under showers and sinks. The sensors are connected via the internet to an app you can install on your smartphone and to the automated shut-off device attached to your water main.

Some of these systems are designed to detect very small changes in water flow through pipes, which can help you discover split pipes and pinhole leaks that happen behind walls — before the leak causes widespread damage.

Using a system that has both moisture detection and water flow sensors is the best way to go. You might not be surprised to see heavy water flowing from a washing machine, dishwasher or shower that is running, but if you receive an alert from a moisture sensor collocated with that area, you may discover a dislocated drain trap or broken water pump. Being alerted to moisture or water flowing where it shouldn’t be can allow you to stop the flow of water and intervene before massive damage occurs.

These products can be used in single-family homes, townhouses, condos and apartments. All you need is access to the main that feeds your pipes and an internet connection so the devices can communicate.

It’s best to have a professional install these devices, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer, you may be able to follow the instructions and set the whole system up on your own.

Even with the aid of a whole-house leak detection and water shut-off system, it’s wise to practice good security if you are going away for a while. That includes having a trusted person check for leaks or other dangers. But the detection and shut-off app is a great layer of daily loss prevention that could stop you from losing things you love or having to vacate your home while repairs are made.

Talk to your insurance agent about a possible discount for installing an automated water shut-off to protect your home.