Smart Water Sensors Make Water Damage Easy
Water damage can take a big bite out of the bottom line of buildings but smart water sensors can help. Huge repair costs, unhappy residents, and increasing insurance premiums create a nasty water damage trifecta.
If you want to protect building assets and the people in them from this axis of evil, you’ve got to learn the first rule (um, equation) of water damage:
TIME = DAMAGE
The longer a leak or flood goes unnoticed the worse the damage gets at a near exponential rate.
While we can't predict the future, facilities and operations teams now have access to another kind of superpower: smart water sensors that detect water damage events the second they happen. Instant alerts locate the source of water damage which can then be fixed immediately, making both sides of the time = damage equation as small as possible.
But what is a smart water sensor?
Very quickly, a smart water sensor is an internet-connected device that usually sits on the floor. When the sensor comes into contact with water, leak alerts are sent via the internet to users' phones.
More importantly, though, is what kind of water sensor is best for your building?
Here are 5 questions to consider.
What kind of smart water sensor alerts?
The best water sensors allow you to choose how you want to be alerted. Options such as flood phone calls, text messages, emails and instant notifications within the water sensor’s app make sure you’ll be alerted wherever you are. You should also be able to add the emails and phone numbers of other staff who need to be kept in the loop. Oh, and stay away from those sensors that only alert you with a loud noise. If no one's around to hear it, does it actually make a sound? Whoa, that's deep.
Installs without WiFi?
If you’re thinking about WiFi connected water sensors, consider this: each WiFi sensor needs to be paired to a WiFi network. For school buildings, this often means requiring IT support which adds another layer of complexity. For condo and apartment buildings, their residents have their own internet connection. In a 100-unit building, that’s 100 (or more) separate connections – each one a potential point of failure.
Regardless of building type, it’s much faster and easier to use sensors that connect to the internet through a cellular connection. So fast, in fact, that cellular connected water sensors can be installed at large campuses or a 100-unit building in less than a day! And there’s another advantage to that cellular connection....
How about power outages?
If your sensor relies on WiFi it won’t work when the power goes out, but a cellular connected sensor will. And if you have to plug your water sensor into an electrical outlet, then you’re out of luck, too. Smart water sensors that run on batteries (or include a backup battery) will keep monitoring your entire building while the power is out. The sensor you choose should also send low battery notifications to keep your water damage detection system battery-death proof.
You might be tempted to hop on Amazon and pick up a water sensor for $10. Sounds like a bargain, right? That is, until you realize that these water sensors aren’t waterproof and are one-time use only. They break after they get wet or stop working quickly due to normal wear and tear. Often, these sensors give noise alerts only so someone has to be within earshot to do anything about the leak. Better to get a waterproof sensor that can be reused for years.
Part of a complete water solution?
Water damage is only part of the water problems that buildings face. Another big challenge is high water costs due to leaks. By combining different cellular connected water sensors for leaks and floods, you’ll be providing maximum protection against the many risks that water poses.