Flood Detection Basics
Flood damage can be an act of God (storms, catastrophic regional infrastructure failure, etc) or it could be caused by a lack of maintenance, an older home, or just bad luck. We won’t touch upon acts of nature (the odds are you’ll already know a flood is coming) but water damage due to lack of maintenance is preventable, and easily identified by the average DIY'er.
Some items to review:
- Check your roof for damage, or your attic for water stains or mold/mildew.
- Check gutters, downspouts, and drains to make sure water is being diverted away from the house.
- Winterize your pipes; insulate outdoor faucets and crawl spaces.
- Inspect pipes (supply AND sewer) for corrosion and damage.
- Maintain an adequate minimum temperature, even if you won't be home.
- Maintain your HVAC system prior to the winter's onset; be sure you have plenty of heating oil (if oil-fired) and a back-up plan.
- Install and maintain a sump pump in your basement if you have chronic water infiltration issues.
- Inspect washing machine supply hoses as well as drains. Consider installing shut-off valves (manual or automatic).
- Refrigerator ice makers and permanently mounted dishwashers also have hidden water supplies that can cause a quiet, but steady leak that can go unnoticed.
- Add a flood water detection system, or whole-house water shut off.
In this example, we’ve paired a DSB45-ZWUS from Aeotec, with a WINK 2 hub, installed between the boiler and hot water heater.
The sensor pairs with the hub using a smart phone app. There is a small “robot” (scene) to automate what happens. Normally, the sensor just reports dry:
However, when water is introduced to the prongs, the sensor reports wet, and sends a notification to the homeowner.
This installation (sensor install and gateway pair/scene setup) took about 20 minutes (the gateway was up and running and this device was within sufficient Z-Wave range).
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