When you're making plumbing modifications, one of the best things you can do is think ahead about leak and flooding risks. Even the best plumbing work is subject to clogs, backed up drains, or loose fixtures over time. New plumbing also interacts with old plumbing which has a higher chance of leaks due to aging materials. But with a little foreward planning, you can build in a system that detects and even stops leaks as soon as they start.
As kitchen and bath renovation specialists, Edesia has more than a few ideas that can make your home as close to leak-proof as possible while installing your new sink or tub.
1) Install Leak Detectors in Risk Areas
Leak detectors can protect your home from the highest-risk leak locations - sinks, fixtures, and appliances. You can place a moisture detection device below each sink, below your washing machine and dishwasher, and in other locations where a leak can potentially occur. This will tell you if water begins pooling. Initial leak detectors resembled alarms.
However, modern versions can connect wirelessly to let you know through a smart app and can even connect to a smart shutoff valve to stop leaks before you have a chance to get home and use the manual shutoff for each sink or appliance.
2) Use a Smart Shutoff Controller
Smart shutoff valve controllers can cut off the water with a wireless signal either from a smart leak detector or a signal from your mobile app. Smart shutoff controllers consist of a computerized unit and a mechanical valve. At the signal, you can open or close the valve.
The computerized unit can do more than shut off at a signal, however. As it is also monitoring water flow, your smart shutoff controller can also detect the likelihood of a leak - such as water flowing for longer than it should or a constant trickle flowing outside the normal water usage of your home.
At the right moment, a smart shutoff valve can save your home from flooding by closing off the water as soon as a leak is detected.
3) Insulate Your Pipes
If you live somewhere that freezes in the winter, protecting your pipes from freezing is essential. The colder it gets, the more important pipe insulation can be. If your pipes freeze, the water inside the pipes will expand, which will cause a pipe burst and a water explosion, followed by a serious leak.
Pipe insulation can be done with foam tubing or with heat wire. Heat wire needs a power source, and provides a small amount of heat along the full length of the pipe, protecting even your hidden in-wall and below-floor pipes that cannot be easily insulated after the fact.
4) Keep Your Drains Clear
The first step is to take care of your drains. Have your plumber install a drain basket catch so that using a drain catch is both elegant and easy instead of resorting to the plastic kind later on. At least once a month, pour hot (almost boiling) water mixed 50/50 with white vinegar down each drain.
This will break down mineral deposits, called scale, and help to melt any clogs that might be developing. If your drains develop problems that hot vinegar can't solve, call a pro with a pressure line and drain snake.
5) Test & Replace Shutoff Valves
Shutoff valves are essential to preventing flooding, should a leak occur. The moment you detect a leak, you can use the shutoff valve for each fixture to stop the flow of water and prevent the flow of water from becoming a flood. However, older homes may have a few corroded shutoff valves, and some plumbing was installed without a shutoff valve close enough to each appliance or fixture.
If you find a shut-off valve you can't budge - or is missing - have a pro plumber install a new one during your next plumbing renovation.
Think Ahead for Your Next Kitchen or Bathroom Upgrade
Edesia Kitchen & Bath Studio specializes in renovations with integrated plumbing. But we don't just install sinks and tubs, we also make sure that your plumbing is the best possible quality. We'll ensure that every fixture has a working shut-off valve, and can even integrate the latest in leak prevention technology like a smart shutoff switch and moisture detection sensors.
Contact us today to discuss how to not just renovate your space, but also your whole-home leak prevention with your next kitchen or bathroom project.