I need a water leak alarm

kntryhumanOctober 2, 2010

Well, I didn't think I needed a water leak alarm since I haven't THAT problem in 37 years.

We gutted and renovated a 100+ year old house. I put Brazilian Cherry hardwood throughout the house except in the laundry and 1 bath.

We've been living here 6 months and last week I started noticing that 6 butted boards between the kitchen and dining area were cupping really bad. DH said I was seeing things. Last night, he finally realized I was right.

I went under the house and the foam insulation was dripping under the kitchen area but only in an area about 8x10.

Long story short, the ice maker tubing had started leaking behind the refrigerator. If I would have had an alarm, my 6 month old floors wouldn't be ruined. The water never came out from under the refrigerator.

I've looked on line but I'm not sure what to buy. I remember reading about these here when I was building.

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There are alarms that shut off if large amounts of water flow through a pipe when the alarm is set: Avoids washer hoses or frozen pipes from running undetected when you are on vacation. That type wouldn't help you.

There are others that detect moisture with a probe of some sort and are specific to the area. You would need a probe behind the fridge, under the sink, under the dishwasher, etc.

Re: Brazilian Cherry. Make sure that you are replacing it with sustainable harvested wood (LEED - MR7 designation).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 10:33AM
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Do a Google search for "Leak Frog." It's a silly-looking, green plastic frog that takes a battery. There are 2 contacts on the bottom and, when there is the slightest amount of water on the floor, it completes a circuit and sounds an alarm. You should be able to find this item for about $10. For some reason, they are $50 on Amazon, but mine was much cheaper and it works great.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 1:11AM
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Thanks. I'll look for one today.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 8:14AM
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My water heater is located in my attic. I have a drain pan under it but just to ensure I have no problems, I installed a automatic shut off valve. It runs off of a standard 110 outlet and it also has a battery back-up. You install the device on your inlet side to the tank. There is a sensor that you place in the pan under the water heater. Should a single drop of water hit the sensor, it immediately shuts the water supply to the water heater off. It does work. About a year ago, I wanted to remove a plastic check valve in the water heater. I forgot to move the sensor and when a few drops hit it, the valve closed. Once closed, there is a button to reset the valve. There are also ones for washers and refrigertors.

Here is a link that might be useful: Auto shut off valve for Water Heater

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 9:45PM
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The problem with very small but long term leaks is they may never touch a sensor to trigger an alarm.

If the water never made it from under the refrigerator the 'frog alarm' would never have gone off.

Use copper tubing for refrigerator lines (and ditch the 'saddle valve' while you are at it).

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 1:55PM
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