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Electronic Water Detector

We can't live without it, but too much of a good thing can be a major problem. After a six week drought, my area received 7-inches of rain in 24 hours causing major flooding problems for many homeowners including myself. It took 12-hours, but water finally began to seep into my living room which is slightly below grade.

I lost a good bit of sleep that night because of running downstairs to check on the corner where water usually seeped in. And towards dawn, I was standing at the window when the first trickle of water began to flow. I had already rolled the carpets back and was prepared with towels and buckets.

Fortunately, this only happens once a year or so, but with as much rain as we were having, I knew I was in for a flood that night. I have exhausted all the easy solutions to the seeping water and am left with two very difficult remedies. I can have the flagstone patio outside the window removed and the soil next to the house excavated to find out where the water is coming in or I can dig a hole in my living room ceramic tile floor and install a sump pump. Neither remedy is appealing.

In the meantime, I've done some researching on the web and found a little device that will at least allow me to sleep more peacefully during big storms until I come to grips with this problem. The little device is an Electronic Water Detector made by Zircon and powered by a 9-volt battery.

It's like a little plastic boat with two metal wires running over the sides and down underneath. When the wires get wet they set off a piercing 95dB alarm much like a smoke detector. The little plastic case will float and signals the alarm for up to 72 hours. Just the moisture from a damp finger will set off the alarm.

Now that I've seen how this alarm works, I have several other places in my home where I want to put one. My kitchen is upstairs over finished living space. In addition to the faucet at the sink, I have three appliances in my kitchen hooked to water with the potential for leaking ... a clothes washer, a dishwasher and the water/ice dispenser on the fridge. I plan to order sensors for under these appliances and another one for under the water heater in the utility closet.

Zircon makes a variety of sensor type tools. I've used their stud finder in the past.

Postscript: I haven't had any water problems since I first purchased the first Zircon last year, but it was tested the other night when the alarm sounded as the battery died. My son and daughter both were sleeping, but the alarm woke them up; they said the sound was piercing. However, I sleep in the back of the house and did not hear it.


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