There is an APP to Protect Your Home From Water Damage & Leaks

We have the good fortune of providing insurance solutions for nearly 20,000 clients. We have witnessed the cost and inconvenience caused by broken pipes, faulty or failing plumbing connections. The long-term damage caused by a nearly undetectable leak below or above ground could be significant. We have witnessed the horror stories of clients away on vacation or visiting their second home to come back and find complete ruin caused by something as simple as a broken toilet valve. While we have lived through these moments with our clients, I would like to tell you about an experience I had first hand, in my own home.  

I would start by stating some statistics, you are 5 times more likely to have water leak than you are to have a theft claim. You are 6 times more likely to have a water leak than you are to have a fire in your home. National statics state that nearly 40% of all homeowners will suffer from a damage due to water loss. I do not sell leak mitigation devices, nor do I own any part of a company that does. When I was offered a pilot program through one of our homeowner’s carriers (Frontline Insurance Company) I jumped at the chance to test the device.  

The device I had installed is about the size of 32 oz. cup, it attached to the outside of the home and I would recommend using a plumber as it must connect to your main water line. It also requires electricity so make sure you have a power source near the installation site.  The support team walked me through the initial installation and within minutes the device was synced to my Wi-Fi, an APP was installed on my phone. For the next two weeks, I was told my device would be in learning mode and it would monitor my water usage to ascertain a range of ‘normal’ water usage. I laughed at the word “normal” as a household of five (3 teenagers) does not understand normal water usage. For the next two weeks, I proceeded to torture my family with text messages about “who was taking such a long shower” or why did we use 200 of gallons of water yesterday, was laundry necessary every day. Eventually, the newness of my device took a back seat to other life events, but there was something reassuring knowing that someone else was watching over my property. 

Now the two-week learning phase was over, and the glow on my phone went from “learning” to “monitoring,” I had no idea what that meant, but would soon learn. The pool needed some water and I had asked my son to fill up when he got home from school. It was about 3:45 when I got the first text message on my phone about critical water usage. Seconds later I got an alert, that linked me to the app saying if my device didn’t hear from me it was going to shut down the water going into my house. As I was frantically dialing all my family members my phone began ringing, it was the call center monitoring my device asking if I needed assistance. Turns out it was not a flood of biblical proportions in my home, it was my son, filling the pool. There is a learning curve with the system but together we learned for the next couple of months.  

About 6 months after installation I started getting notice of excessive water usage every morning. The device would pressure test the entire plumbing system every night and the last couple days it had been noting water usage throughout the night. I called the support team and they instructed me to check all the toilets in the home and make sure they were not running as the amount of water that had been leaking was minimal. Over the next couple hours, together we continued to monitor the water consumption which increased with every passing hour. We had just remodeled the home and most of the above-ground plumbing were new, there were no visible signs of a water leak, but we knew we had an issue. I could shut off the water supply to the home with the swipe of a finger, so we did. I called in a plumber who worked on the home and we went through the house “swiping” the water on and off, listening to the floors and walls until we found the leak.  

What we found was a broken pipe under the foundation of the home in the middle of the master bath. The pipe in the foundation was older and sleeved in a PVC jacket so the water was making its way into the ground. When the ground became saturated it began making its way up the PVC sleeve toward my bedroom wall. Had I not had the water monitoring device in my home there is no telling what the extent of damage would have been. It was a pin sized hole in the pipe with a slow and very undetectable leak. It would have probably filled several walls with water, ruined cabinets had we not detected it. The cost would have been tens of thousands instead of a couple thousand. The device looks to retail for 495.00 and is now offered at many of the local hardware stores. I am sure there are many brands, models and variances in the water monitoring field. The average deductible in the State of Florida is 2,500 for a claim of this nature, not to mention the out of pocket expenses not covered by insurance.  

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to give us a call, we would be happy to help in any way.  

Here is a link to the device:

Water damage app

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