Waterlock helps you to reduce the risk of water damage to your property in two ways.
First of all, Waterlock makes it really easy to switch off your mains water supply, via the Waterlock app, by pressing and holding the button on the front of the Valve Controller, or soon via voice control using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. By ensuring that your mains water supply is off when it doesn’t need to be on, for instance when you are away on holiday, the amount of water that can escape (and therefore the damage done) in the event of a burst pipe or a leaking appliance or water storage tank is massively reduced.
The second way Waterlock reduces risk is by detecting leaks, low temperature and high humidity with its sensors. If one of these risks is detected, Waterlock will notify you via the app and email so you can investigate and take action if required. If a Waterlock sensor detects standing water, it will also check if the mains water supply is turned off, and if it isn’t it will automatically do that for you.
Clearly, for the sensors to do the best possible job in protecting your home, they need to be in the places in the property where the risks of water damage are highest. What these places are will vary depending on the property in question as well as your own routines. We’ve put together some good “rules of thumb” and suggestions that are worth considering.
- Low to the ground – Waterlock sensors detect standing water using two metal prongs on the underside of the device, so they need to be in contact with water to trigger a leak alert. This means that the sensors are most effective at detecting water on a floor or as close to the ground as possible where water is likely to flow, not mounted on a wall or placed on a raised surface.
- Near to a potential water risk – In a typical property some rooms are at a much higher risk of water damage than others. Among the high-risk areas in most homes are:
- Kitchens and utility rooms – In most cases, this is where dishwashers and washing machines are located. The rubber water inlet hoses that appliances use can fail due to age or other factors (including rodents chewing through the hoses in unoccupied homes) and cause flooding. Flooding in kitchens causes large insurance claims because of the cost of kitchen cabinets, flooring and appliances, so this is an obvious place to position at least one of your sensors.
- Lofts and roof spaces – Because most homes are now centrally heated, we’re generally less aware of the risk of burst pipes due to freezing temperatures. However, even in a well-heated house, this risk is still present. Especially in homes with very effective loft insulation, very little of the home’s heat travels into the loft space, and as a result it is not uncommon for the temperature there to drop below freezing during cold winter nights. In most older UK homes, there are cold water storage tanks and water pipes in the roof space. If they burst, large amounts of water will escape and cause damage below so this is another obvious location for a Waterlock sensor.
- Bathrooms - The main risks of water damage in bathrooms are from bad seals around bathtubs and shower trays and overflowing baths, so if you think you’re at risk from one of these scenarios it may be worth placing a sensor in your bathroom. However, unless positioned in an appropriate place in the bathroom, the sensor may generate a lot of false alarms by harmless amounts of water hitting the sensor or the spikes in humidity you would expect to see when someone is having a long hot shower.
- Anywhere you’ve had a previous leak – Every home has weak spots for leaks, and despite your best efforts at repairs there is an above-average chance of further leaks in the same places. This makes it worth considering placing a sensor where you’ve had previous water damage, unless you’re very confident that the issue has been fully remedied.
Another point to bear in mind is that the Waterlock sensors are battery powered, and that the batteries will need replacing after approximately 2 years. This means that placing sensors in locations that are very hard to access (e.g. behind a built-in appliance or fitted kitchen cabinets) is not a good idea. We are planning to offer a sensor extension cable that can be connected to the sensor for such situations (sign up to be notified about this new product by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org).