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Water-leak alarms

research by Richard E. Gordon
last updated February 23, 2010

Water alarms? Leaking water can cause big damage in a condo building. Imagine if a fifth floor apartment owner forgets about water filling up his bathtub while he's wrapped up in answering his emails. Water flows across the bathroom floor and leaks into the condo below. The fourth floor owner is asleep. By the time she wakes up several hours later, her new living room rug is soaked.

  1. QVC offers an alarm, two for the price of only $19.78 ($5.47 shipping and handling), but do note the negative review at the bottom of the QVC page. Unfortunatley only one review is given. The model number is WA-100, manufactured by Excalibur. Another WA-100 alarm from Supco that looks different from the Excalibur model. Here there is more information on where to place the alarm, e.g., undersinks, and claims the alarm will keep ringing for up to three days (and nights, too?). Nothing here --at QVC or Supco -- about the volume of the alarm. So we don't know if either alarm could be heard in adjacent condos.
  2. Amazon offers many, many alarms. I've dealth with Amazon over several years now and have always been pleased with the way Amazon (1) delivers its advertised products and (2) handles the billing. Note that alarm information has links to customer reviews. Reviews for the first alarm shown, the Zircon model, indicates the water detection alarm is as loud as a smoke-detector alarm. I wonder if most room, battery operated smoke detectors can be heard in neighboring apartments.
  3. Water heater cut-off valves. Perhaps the biggest potential damage of water leaks can come from water heaters. This possibility might be a serious concern in our building where many of the water heaters may be far beyond the recommended years of use before requiring replacement. Here are some links to water-heater cut off valves. We would have to factor in the installation costs by a licensed plumber.