House with running water . . . down the driveway.

tpenfield

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Greetings,

We have been on vacation for about 10 days. The neighbor called at about 7 PM and said that they noticed water running down the side of our house and out of the garage and down the driveway. o_O

I told them how to get into the house and they discovered that one of the water connections in the upstairs bathroom had developed a hole and was spraying water. Probably had been going much of the day. The connections under the vanities are the non-burst jacketed type, but I guess a pin-hole can develop.

Anyway, the neighbor was able to shut the water off. We went home the next morning to see the extent of the damage. Not as bad as we thought, but the first floor ceiling sheet rock had given way in a couple of places and much of the water ended up in the basement and the garage.

We spent the day drying things out and have some fans running. I turned off the water at the main for the time being. We will probably need to replace some wallboard and the carpet in the basement. The hardwood flooring looks like it may survive, but may need refinishing.

Since we are away from home for extended periods (days-weeks) and have 2 houses, I am wondering what would be good to have as home monitoring for incidents like this . . . water, power, heat, issues, etc.

I have the Ring Doorbell Cameras, but wondering what other things folks use for home monitoring.
 

Scott Danforth

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Friends of ours have cameras to check on their Rhode Island house. it offered a spectacular video of the water fall in the living room from a pipe bursting in the winter in the middle of the night and flooding the house. They have since fitted the moen leak detection valves.

I believe alarms like simply safe, etc offer power monitoring and can be tied in with most smart thermostats.

thermostats like NEST offer heat warnings.

a fool-proof method that my father used when he came down here to visit for a few weeks every winter.... He had an old-school pilot light space heater in the basement that had the thermostat set to 50. it would only come on when (not iff) the furnace failed or the power went out. it was enough to keep the rest of the house from freezing. he also used to simply shut the water off to the house.
 

Lou C

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You can get a water alarm system with multiple sensors that will quickly shut off the water if there is a leak where you have a sensor. Not 100% coverage but at least you can cover the most likely spots:
Bathroom (toilets)
Laundry room
Water heater
We had one installed when we installed a full house water filter system. Don’t trust Long Island ground water so we got a r/o filter for drinking water as well.
 

tpenfield

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Thanks guys . . . good things to think about.

In addition to the Ring doorbell, I do have the Ecobee thermostats . . . just need to figure something out for the water. Sensors and maybe an associated shut-off might do the trick.

Thankfully, we have a tight-knit neighborhood group who tend to keep any eye on things and notice when things don't look right. The summer house is a different story, a bit more isolated and only 1 year-round resident.
 

cyclops222

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Well water. Circuit breaker for it turned off.
All other pressure in pipes systems ? Shut OFF main valve !! drain and BLOW OUT ALL the water in ....EVERYTHING !!!!
Any water in well tanks & hot water tanks. Sagging water pipes?? Split open. Been there
 

Lou C

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One thing I do not like are those flex hoses that connect the water supply to the toilet; those can fail at the plastic fitting.
We have had 4 floods in this house over 32 years (all pretty minor because we were home when it happened)
Causes:
Pipe in attic froze & popped open, fixed by re-insulating the area
Flex hose for upstairs toilet failed
Pipe corroded a pinhole sprayed water all over boiler room
Vent valve failed on cast iron baseboard, sprayed out water into basement below I had to run downstairs to rescue my son’s guitars!
 

tpenfield

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I like the shutting the water main off thing.

I'll probably be replacing all of the flex hoses soon.
 

Scott Danforth

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I use the stainless flex lines vs the plastic because the plastic can fail.

I also run a 50 psi pressure reducer on each toilet as our sub-division water pressure was 110psi and forcing the toilet valves open. although thats great for filling the pool or supplying cooling water to the boat on the muffs
 

Lou C

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I like the shutting the water main off thing.

I'll probably be replacing all of the flex hoses soon.
If you have an underground sprinkler system if you do this your lawn will be brown when you get back from vacation!
Tried that once, no good! Get the water alarm it’s the best way…
 

rolmops

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There is a form of "house sitting" that exist in some areas.
The house sitters comes to the house once or twice a week just to make sure that everything is as it should be. Depending on the deal you make with the house sitter they will provide more or less services.
This is something to look into.
 

Bob_VT

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ANYONE can go into my basement and turn off specific water lines including the main and the circuit breaker (3/4 hp well pump)...... I have absolutely everything labeled with tags at each valve. Surprize water leaks can be tough. Even with a house sitter - we can't expect them to check everysupply line on a visit. Recently, the wife and I took off for 12 days and we had a neighbor watching the house.......... I had the water main off.
For the amount of money for the technology - I manually turn off the ball valves.

I experiened a flood about 20 years ago from a washing machine whose fill valve decided to get stuck open. There was even someone home but the damage was all the carpets on the 2d floor and ceilings on the first. It happened FAST!

Oh and brown lawns...... don't have to be cut as often! ;)
 

ejnichol

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If you have an underground sprinkler system if you do this your lawn will be brown when you get back from vacation!
Tried that once, no good! Get the water alarm it’s the best way…
Isolate house water supply from irrigation water supply via a valve and pipe.

Done this on two properties. Always cut off house circuit when I'm away for more than 2 days, mechanically with valve, electrically via 24v solenoid operated valve with wall switch or just cut off well pump if no drought and need for irrigation water.

Have experienced two inside floods at rural house and it was a job to dewater etcc..
 

dingbat

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There are a million ways to detect and report critical water flow faults to a control system. Have yet to find anything fail safe except turning the water off at the source.

At home, I simply turn off the pump with a switch on the wall.
 

Chris1956

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A lot of my neighbors go to Florida for the winter. Luckily there are very few issues with their NJ houses. I do not think they do anything but turn the heat down.

If I was to become a snowbird like them, I would turn off the water and drain the pipes, as my furnace has broken 5 times in 20+ years. All break-downs have been minor, but if the house was to have no heat over the winter that would be real bad.

The furnace breakdowns were caused by a broken igniter, broken temp limit, broken flame detector, bad fan start capacitor and a bad control board. All simple stuff, if you are home to fix it. Parts have so far been fairly easy to get.

The last breakdown was in March, so small chance of freezing. The mitigation was 5 blankets and a dog on/in the bed. Luckily it was only a 1 dog night.
 

Grub54891

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Friend of mines dad had a flood. When his son went to to check the place the water was at the top step of the basement. Pipe burst from the furnace going out. Long story short, pops had the sump pump unplugged as it never came on in the dry basement anyway. Cost him, furnace, water heater, washer,dryer and other things including the electrical panel.
 

Buster53

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Something like this would do the trick; it detects water flow anomalies and shuts off water where it enters the house.


The FLO by Moen is what I have in my house. In fact, my homeowners company gave it to me and paid for the installation.
Not only does it shut off the water automatically if it detects unusual water activity, I can turn my water off and on anytime I want from my phone from anywhere.
If it notices unusual activity, I get an automated phone call alerting me to a potential problem and I have 5 minutes to find and fix the problem. If I don’t the water will shut Off, but I can turn it back on quickly. I even get alerts if it detects a dripping faucet.
 
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