In our experience, water heaters seem to last from 8 to 12 years. A water heater leak, no matter how small it is, can cost a lot of money, even if you’re home when the leak occurs. You may have spent thousands of dollars finishing your basement, and the contractors boxed your water heater in – out of sight out of mind until it springs a leak. To protect against unexpected catastrophes, installing an automatic shut off valve is the easiest and most affordable approach.
Purpose of an Automatic Shut Off Valve
With an automatic shut off valve, the leak is detected early and the flow is stopped. The idea is to have a device in place that can measure small amounts of water and turn off the flow before major damage can result.
How Does it Work?
We place a sensor under the water heater that is able to detect the presence of water.When the tank leaks, or the relief valve goes off, the sensor gets wet. This closes a circuit in it and sends a signal to an electronic switch and the water supply to the water heater is shut off.
What Does it Cost?
The good news is that an automatic shut off for your water heater is relatively inexpensive. The Floodstop model on the left is $295 including installation. And before you balk at the idea of spending money on a protective device, take into consideration that tearing out carpet alone could cost you more, and that’s before any actual repairs are made to a water damaged floor.
If we were to recommend one unit, it would have to be the FloodStop FS3/4NPT. It has a 3/4″ inlet and outlet, a good sensor which is simply placed on the floor or pan below the water heater, and simply works. It’s great insurance to have.
Why Automatic Shut Off Valves Save Money
A little water on the floor is least of your worries when a leak happens. Carpet and rugs get ruined quickly, drywall absorbs water and turns into mush, wooden studs begin to decay, and that’s before you take into account the dangers of a water-logged floor– or ceiling space. Allstate Insurance reports that while home insurance may cover the cleanup after a leak happens, it will not usually pay to repair the source of the leak at all, and if the insurance company determines that the leak was due to homeowner negligence there may not be any coverage at all. When you consider the mounting costs of repair and cleanup, investing in an automatic shut off valve is a minor expense.
If your water heater is over 10 years old – we strongly urge you to consider replacing it. If replacement isn’t in the budget, then investing in an automatic shutoff valve might prove to be a wise investment