6 Insights & Analytics Your Water Sensor Should Have
Water sensors detect water leakage, however, your water sensor should be more than a water leakage detector since this indicates that damage is already done.
The Flowie water sensor – which can easily be installed by strapping it on to your municipal water meter without tools – does more than just detecting leaks. It provides you with the following 6 insights and analytics directly to your tablet or smartphone using the Alert Labs app (Alert Labs being the manufacturer of Flowie water sensor):
1. Water Consumption
Unusual high-water consumption is a sign that you have a water leak at home. Using the Alert Labs app, you can view your water usage right down to the minute.
You can monitor your water consumption even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection at home as the Flowie water sensor works with a cellular network.
The Flowie water sensor knows your usual water consumption. When it detects an abnormality in the water consumption, the Flowie automatically alerts you via your mobile devices.
The Flowie provides peace of mind by alerting you when there is unusual water consumption. Through this alert, you can then check or ask someone to look for the source of the leak and fix it. These automatic alerts will help you catch water leaks while they’re still at an early stage, minimizing the possible damage.
The Flowie water sensor will also provide you with insights and analytics about the weather in your area. Weather is one of the biggest predictors of the likelihood of flooding or pipe freezing in your home.
In addition to the weather report, your Flowie water sensor also provides you with the actual temperature inside your home. Knowing the actual temperature inside your home is important as temperature is a good predictor of the likelihood of pipe freezing.
Many homeowners lower the heat when they leave the house. A lower temperature saves costs for space heating, but this could have negative repercussions; during cold spells, pipes could freeze or burst.
The Flowie’s insights and analytics will notify you of abnormal temperatures, for instance, extremely cold weather, allowing you to increase the temperature in the house to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
4. Pipe Freezing
When water freezes, it expands. When water in a pipe is exposed to extreme cold conditions, it freezes and causes the pipe to burst.
Homes are generally built with pipes located inside the building in order to protect the pipes from the freezing weather, however if there are holes in the building, during extremely cold weather the pipes could freeze or burst.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), pipe freezing is one of the biggest risks of property damage when the temperature drops. It added that a frozen pipe can cause a pipe to burst and result in over $5,000 in water damage. 37% of frozen pipe failures happen in a basement, IBHS said.
Flowies alert you when your pipe freezes. A pipe freezing alert will warn you that pipe bursting is possible, giving you time to take action to prevent further damage to your home.
Here are some measures to prevent frozen pipe damage:
- Keep doors on cabinets under bathroom sinks and kitchen open during cold spells to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes; and
- During cold spells, open faucets to keep water flowing through the pipes. Ice may still form in the pipes during cold spells but an open faucet enables water to get out before the pressure builds up to the point where a pipe can burst. If no more water comes out, this means that ice is blocking the pipe. Keep the faucet open still as this step relieves pressure inside the pipe.
5. Power Outage
The Flowie water sensor gives you alert on your mobile devices whenever there’s a power outage. A power outage notification during cold spells is particularly important. During power outages, your important home appliances like a heater will no longer function. Space heating is particularly important to prevent pipe freezing.
A power outage notification allows you the oppportunity to take measures to prevent pipe bursting.
The Flowie will also give you humidity insights and analytics. Humidity refers to the dampness or water vapor in the air.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60% – ideally between 30% and 50%, if possible. High levels of humidity can be a source or a contributing factor for mold growth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) people have different reactions to molds. CDC said “exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin.”
“Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath,” CDC added. “People with a weakened immune system, such as people receiving treatment for cancer, people who have had an organ or stem cell transplant, and people taking medicines that suppress the immune system, are more likely to get mold infections. Exposure to mold or dampness may also lead to development of asthma in some individuals.”
Unattended indoor flooding is also one cause of mold growth. The Flowie’s companion device, the Floodie sensor, alerts you whenever there is a small or big flooding in your home.
With your Flowie water sensor, Floodie sensor and the Alert Labs app, you’ll have access to insights and analytics regarding leaks, flooding, water consumption, weather, temperature, pipe freezing, power outage and humidity.
Learn moreand prevent a flood in your home today.
How to Protect Your Home from Water Damage via Flowie & Floodie Sensors
Water damage is the number one reason why homeowners make insurance claims. This household disaster can be prevented through the use of the Flowie water sensor and Floodie companion sensor.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), water damage trumps fire damage as today’s primary reason behind homeowner insurance claims.
Insurance companies typically don’t cover flooding in areas where flooding is a regular occurrence (since insurance isn’t designed to cover regular occurrences), but rather to protect against random, unpredictable risks. Damage to a home caused by the sudden and accidental bursting of plumbing pipes and appliances, according to IBC, is usually covered by all home insurance policies.
According to Northbridge Insurance, many of these water damage insurance claims are preventable through the use of the Flowie water sensor and Floodie companion sensor. The insurance company offers homeowners annual savings of up to $150 on home insurance when they purchase an Alert Labs Home Solution package, consisting of a Flowie water sensor and a Floodie companion sensor.
What is Flowie? What is Floodie?
The Flowie is a water sensor that can be installed in less than 2 minutes without the need of tools or technical expertise; it just straps onto the municipal water meter.
The Floodie is a sensor that can be installed in flood-prone areas of the house such as toilets, sinks, under or near hot water heaters, laundry areas, window wells, dishwashers and garages.
The Flowie gives you real-time notifications regarding leaks, water consumption, pipe freezing warnings, weather, temperature, power outages and humidity. The Floodie gives you real-time notifications whenever your toilet, sink, nearby water heater, laundry area, window well, dishwasher or garage is flooded.
Both the Flowie and Floodie – made by Alert Labs, an IoT technology company based in Kitchener, Ontario – send notifications to your computer or mobile device in real-time whenever the above-mentioned incidents take place. Both sensors are fitted with a back-up battery and can work without a Wi-Fi connection. Each sensor uses a cellular connection which guarantees continuous operation even during a power outage.
“Our technology tracks and analyses water consumption and customers are notified of incidents that could point to a leak, such as continuously running water,” said Alert Labs CEO George Tsintzouras. “This makes us different from a lot of other solutions that focus on alerting customers after a flood has taken place. Our goal is to help homeowners avoid the expense and hassle of water damage in the first place with technology that’s easy to use.”
Facts on Leaks
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a leaky faucet, dripping at the rate of one drip per second, can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year – this is the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers.
EPA added that more than 500 gallons per year can be wasted by a shower leaking at 10 drips per minute – this is the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
According to EPA, the most common types of leaks found in the home, such as worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets and other leaking valves, can be easily corrected.
Here are some of the traditional ways to detect water leaks:
- Observe water usage during colder months, including January or February.
- If your household only consists of 4 family members, yet your water usage exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, this is a sign that your home has serious leaks.
- Check water meter prior to and after a 2 hour period when water isn’t being used. If there’s a meter change, most likely your home has a water leak.
- Put a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, then you have a leak. After this test, flush immediately to prevent staining the toilet tank.
- Check pipe fittings and faucet gaskets for any sign of water leakage.
How Flowie Water Sensor Works
When the Flowie water sensor is strapped onto your existing municipal water meter, it measures how much water your home is using – it basically reads what your meter is reading.
The Flowie uses its own antenna and internal cellular device (similar to a smartphone) to communicate the information that it senses to Alert Labs’ servers.
If the sensor observes something out of the ordinary (perhaps a leak or water left running), a text message, email and in-app notification alerts will be sent to you right away. You can also set up “delegates”, such as a property manager or neighbor, to be notified of events.
You can monitor your home through the use of the Alert Labs app. Using your computer, tablet or smartphone, you can view data analytics that capture various statistics for your property, such as daily or monthly average water consumption and basement temperature vs. outdoor temperature.
This sensor also provides you with the following analytics and insights:
Relating to Water:
- Usage, flow rates, costs, trends
- Leaky toilets, running taps, water left on, burst pipes, etc.
- Abnormalities identified and flagged for investigation
- Flood alarms (start and stop)
Relating to Power:
- Property power status
- Power outage notifications
- Power restored notifications
Relating to the Environment:
- Outdoor/indoor temperature
- Outdoor/indoor humidity
- Storm warnings
- Drop in temperature warnings
- Freezing pipe alerts
Here is How to Save Money with Flowie
According to EPA, homeowners can save up to 10% on their water bills by fixing easily corrected household water leaks.
With the Flowie water sensor and Floodie companion sensor, $600 can be saved annually from a single leaking toilet; $42,000 can be saved from a flooded basement (average repair cost); $150 per year can be saved for insurance coverage that offers up to $150 or a 10% discount for installing Alert Labs’ Flowie and Floodie sensors.