Water damage and flooding is a major area of concern, especially in the aftermath of this destructive hurricane season. It might surprise you to know that while natural disasters cause significant damage each year, preventable structural issues are the most common cause of water damage. Your property runs a greater risk of flooding from plumbing and appliance issues than anything weather-related, as seen on insurance claims reports.
One helpful way to protect property from water damage is by installing an automatic water shut-off valve, to stop the flow of water even when you’re not on site. This article is going to explain what automatic shut-off valves are, why residential and commercial properties should have them, and three of the best shut-off valves available.
What Is an Automatic Shut-Off Valve?
Automatic shut-off valves, often referred to as ASO valves, are used in both water and gas applications. In this article, we are going to talk specifically about the use of ASO valves in water applications.
Automatic water shut-off valves come in different varieties. There are several types of mechanisms designed to prevent flooding and/or control the extent of water damage.
Here are the three types of automatic water shut-off valves that all homeowners and property managers should know about:
- Point-Of-Use Automatic Shut-Off Valve
- Whole-House Automatic Shut-Off Valve
- High-Volume Commercial Leak Detection System
Point-Of-Use Automatic Shut-Off Valve
Point-of-use automatic shut-off valves work by controlling the maximum amount of water that is allowed to flow continuously through a system. An example of a point of use valve in action would be an ice machine. When a residential freezer makes ice, there is only a certain amount of water that is added to the machine at a time. Once the specified amount for the system is reached, the valve automatically shuts off the supply. The point-of-use shut-off system is ideal for low-volume plumbing systems, such as a house or a small store or office.
Whole-House Automatic Shut-Off Valve
Whole-house shut-off valves are integrated with the main water supply of your house or commercial property. These shut-off valve systems utilize wired flood sensors, wireless flood sensors, or both. When a leak is detected, the valve automatically stops the main water supply, minimizing the damage that an unidentified leak would have caused. This type of shut-off valve is a great example of sophisticated technology in action. It is a very smart design that can stop a leak or flood from happening. Sparing your from costly water damage, including emergency plumbing service and construction repairs.
High-Volume Commercial Leak Detection System
High-volume commercial leak detection systems are similar to the other two types of shut off valves on this list. There is one major difference that sets a high-volume commercial leak detection system apart. Whereas the other two are ideal for residential properties or small offices, the high-volume system is designed specifically for large commercial spaces. These systems are commonly installed at schools, hospitals, prisons, farms, office buildings, and shopping malls. These high-volume shut-off valves utilize a volume-based leak detection system in combination with a pulse reader. They identify potential leaks to prevent flooding or water damage that would likely become very costly and terribly inconvenient at a place of business.
Reasons to Consider Installing an Automatic Shut-Off Valve
- Stops floods before they happen
- Alerts you of a detected leak or broken pipe
- Gives you peace of mind while on vacation
- Provides an extra layer of safety during earthquakes or hurricanes
- More efficient use of water, especially for residential sprinkler systems
- Protects the assets in your home or building that would be ruined in a flood
- Qualifies you for certain homeowners insurance discounts
Top 3 Whole-House Auto Water Shut-Off Valves
While there are many different brands and models to shop for, industry pros have their favorites based on experience with installations and overall performance. The plumbing technicians at Garden City Plumbing & Heating have shared their top three recommendations for residential whole-house automatic shut-off valves. If you’re considering an automatic shut-off valve to protect your home and property, it’s highly recommeded that you consider one of these three models.
The leakSMART system is extremely fast-acting and will actually detect and stop a leak in less than 5 seconds! This plumbing mechanism has received several awards for accuracy and performance. Fully patented and trademarked, leakSMART technology is a professional-grade and time-tested success. According to many plumbing and construction professionals, leakSMART is one of the leaders in the plumbing industry. This system is a wise investment to protect your home or business from water damage. It’s also an effective way to control the use of water and minimize waste, keeping the cost of your water bill lower.
The Flologic brand is one of the highest rated on Trustpilot, and they make one of the best automatic water shut-off valves on the market. This innovative product is made in America and their super-smart technology figures out the average water consumption based on measuring and recording various activities in the house or property. The Flologic System keeps track of the patterns and notices when the water output levels go up or down. Using this information, the Flologic System will cut off water when there are signs of leaking or flooding, or a toilet is overflowing. If the water levels increase dramatically, the Flologic valve will immediately cut the water off until you return home to address the problem. This advanced technology is invaluable to homeowners and property managers!
The WaterCop leak detection system is an easy and affordable way to prevent water damage. Small, battery-operated sensors are placed along the water main and in various locations inside of your home or business. If a few ounces of water collects around one of the sensors, it triggers the water valve to shut. The maintainence for this type of system is higher than the other two because the sensor batteries need to be replaced at least once a year. While the other two systems are ideal for permanent and long-term arrangements, this one is an excellent solution for short-term renters or temporary commercial tenants who want to protect their assets. It’s an easy installation process and a very effective way to prevent water damage.
Protect Your Home or Property from Preventable Water Damage
It’s necessary to use preventative plumbing mechanisms to protect your space from serious water damage. These automatic water shut-off systems are foolproof because they are designed to stop a leak or overflow before it gets worse. Most plumbing issues go unnoticed until there are visible signs, and by then it’s too late. You can avoid water damage all togther by installing an automatic water shut-off valve, and it will pay for itself many times over. For homeowners and property managers, it’s a no-brainer!