November 30, 2018
Water Leak Sensor: What It Is and How to Use It in Your Lab
With the average cost of fixing a water leak now hovering around $2,500, water damage to your lab is going to cost you much more than a residential leak. It’ll be a lot of work, even if you get someone like ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba to help with the repairs. With the amount of equipment and research you’re responsible for, not having a water leak sensor system is going to cost you more than it’s worth.
But what can you do to prevent it? Is there a way to stay ahead of the game and stop a problem before it starts?
Here is everything you need to know about water leak sensors and transmitters and why you need them.
What Is a Leak Transmitter?
While most lab managers worry about damage caused by fire or external incidents, there is as much of a problem between your walls with water damage. If your pipes leak or burst, property damage, flooding, or eroded structures become your biggest threat.
A leak transmitter alerts you if a leak begins between your walls, under your floorboards, or underneath your roof.
Most homes have smoke detectors in every room and carbon monoxide detectors throughout their buildings, but few have leak detectors. Leak detectors need to be in places where damage could start. The most obvious locations are in bathrooms, staff kitchens but all throughout your lab, they’re necessary.
If your lab has a laundry room, there are more opportunities for you to end up with leaks. Leaks in water heater closets, boiler rooms, or near your roof signal major issues with your building structure. Finding a leak as soon as it starts could save you thousands.
When leaks are detected, the sensor registers them to the main hub of the unit that you’re using. If your leak detector is connected to a wireless system, information about that leak will be transmitted to your receiver. You’ll get information about where that leak is located, when it was detected, and even severity depending on the system.
What To Look For In a Leak Sensor
When you’re looking into a leak sensor, you need to ensure that it suits the kind of maintenance and monitoring system you use. Most leak sensors will cost you less than $100, so don’t be stingy when it comes to putting them all around your lab.
They are built to send you a message or send out an alert to your smartphone or to your lab manager. They don’t serve to shut off your water, so they need to be able to link to whatever system the maintenance staffer closest to your system uses.
There are detectors that plug into the wall while there are others that run on batteries. Battery-powered detectors are usually much smaller and more compact. They can fit in areas where your wall-powered detectors won’t fit.
If you go with battery-powered detectors, you need to make sure to schedule battery replacement.
Some sensors include a built-in alarm. These alarms will sound off to let you know where the leak is coming from if your smartphone doesn’t tell you or you don’t have the synchronized phone on site.
Many labs are becoming integrated with smart devices or are experimenting with these devices. Smart home devices can integrate with water leak sensors. If you’re headed toward building a smart lab, an integrated device might be the way to go.
Keep Your Spaces Safe
With the help of water leak sensors, you can ensure that your lab space remains safe. If you have guests coming in and out or lots of student traffic coming through, they don’t know about that “one leaky area” to watch out for. You should eliminate safety issues before anyone has to deal with them.
If you want to ensure that you lower your insurance costs, water leak sensors are considered precautionary devices. Much like smoke detectors or security cameras, insurance companies will reward the use of these devices with a lowered premium.
Leak sensors also keep your space safe by eliminating the risk of falling-related injuries. People may rush around a lab while working on a project and not be looking down for spills. If they have to deal with spills, they’ll hurt themselves, damage equipment, and even risk destroying research.
On top of that, leaks that make their way into your walls or near your wiring could result in an electrical fire. Pools or puddles created because of leaks become the perfect way for a loose wire to start a fire.
Secure Your Work
When you have leak detectors installed around your facility, you save money and protect your assets. Research costs time and money. Putting it at risk of being destroyed by water damage isn’t work the cost. Instead of letting water upset your productivity, get ahead of leaks with sensors and detectors.
If you hold on to paper files and research, water can destroy paper and books, attracting mildew and mold. If you have a data center on-site where you store your work and research, a leak detector will keep you from losing your work and equipment.
While having a server room to store and backup all of your on-site devices is a great idea, if you let water in, you’ll pour all that money down the drain.
Save Money During Downtime
One of the reasons to install water leak sensors is to monitor your site during downtime.
If your lab is a research facility with an off-season, like a university or an institute, having water leak sensors will save you money on monitoring. The cost of having someone walk around your facility for half a day is more than the cost of installing sensors.
By installing sensors, you can keep your facility monitored around the clock with better efficiency and none of the costs of staffing.
A Water Leak Sensor System Will Protect Your Lab
If you want your lab protected from damage and your staff to be protected from injury, a water leak sensor system is your key. Installing them ensures that your lab remains secure while the hard work you’ve done stays protected.
If you’re considering a temperature monitoring system, check out our guide to finding the right one.