Plumbing Archives - PECO Heating & Cooling

Our Top Picks for Smart Water Leak Devices

Clean water has become scarce and expensive throughout the United States. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately one trillion gallons of water is wasted yearly from household leaks. To put this number into perspective, this is the approximate amount of water used by more than eleven million homes annually!

Leaks are a problem for several reasons. Not only do they cause waste and drive up the cost of your water bill, but water damage can be expensive to repair. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak as much as 250 gallons of water in a single day. The average cost of drying out your property – with no further damage or restoration needed – averages around $2,700 nationally. If you need to repair drywall or carpeting, this can cost up to $7,500. Not to mention, leaks can also cause fires if they come in contact with electrical outlets, encourage the growth of mold and mildew, and can cause wood or other organic materials to rot.

Our Top Picks | Smart Water Leak Devices

Given this, it’s recommended that every home have a reliable system to detect leaks as soon as they happen. Traditionally, leak detection relied on an alarm system. Leak detectors would be placed in areas of the home that were most likely to experience leaks, like underneath sinks or behind toilets. The problem with this system is that a leak can occur anywhere in the plumbing system, not just where the water sensor was placed.

Today, the best way to catch leaks is by using a smart leak detector. These smart devices monitor the flow of water in the home, catching leaks as they start. Here are a few of our favorite smart water devices we’ve installed:

Phyn Plus

When you flush a toilet or run the dishwasher, the pressure in your plumbing changes. The Phyn Plus monitors your plumbing system for microscopic water pressure changes 240 times a second to create individual profiles of your water fixtures and a baseline of your overall usage. This allows it to learn when you’re using a faucet or watering the lawn versus when there’s a leak. Once the Phyn learns your personal plumbing profile, it will enable an auto-shutoff feature that allows you to turn your water off directly from your phone. In addition, it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.

The Phyn gives you insights about your water usage, allowing you to spot trends about how much water you’re using. On average, most people can save approximately 10% on their water bills using this system. It also comes with a “Plumbing Check” diagnostic feature, which looks for tiny leaks within your plumbing system when you’re not likely to be using water. The Phyn will alert you to any type of leak – from pinhole leaks behind walls to frozen pipes in your attic. As a bonus, some insurance companies offer policy discounts for having the Phyn in your home.

Moen FLO

The Moen Flo works similarly to the Phyn Plus. The Flo is installed in-line on your main water supply line, which allows it to monitor all the water going into your home. The Smart Water Shutoff uses three sensors and a series of algorithms to actively monitor water flow, pressure, and temperature. The MicroLeak™ feature runs daily proactive tests to identify and notify you of any leaks in your plumbing system. The Flo can detect leaks as small as a drop per minute, which might be unnoticeable until you discover mold growth or water damage.

Your smartphone acts as your interface, allowing you to get alerts, remotely shut off your water, view water consumption, or contact your plumber directly for repairs. If you don’t have your phone with you, the Flo will automatically shut off the main water line. The Flo conveniently integrates with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, and comes with a 1-year limited warranty covering manufacturer’s defects. Moen also offers an optional subscription call FloProtect, which provides an insurance deductible guarantee. If the Flo device fails to protect the home from catastrophic water damage, FloProtect will reimburse up to $2,500 of the insurance deductible.

StreamLabs Smart Home Water Monitor

StreamLabs Smart Home Water Monitor uses ultrasonic technology for 24/7 real-time leak monitoring. The device doesn’t require pipe cutting or tools – it conveniently zip ties directly to the pipe on your main water line, automatically detecting the size and type of your pipe. StreamLabs works by sending soundwaves directly into your water line, then recording the time delay to measure the water flow. It monitors everything from usage to leaky pipes, appliance failure, freezing conditions, and running toilets. StreamLabs also includes an “away” setting for when you’re not at home. This is useful for vacations or weekends away, as it will monitor and notify you if there is any water flow for longer than 15 seconds.

StreamLabs allows you to monitor your system from your smartphone and is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Nest. Unlike the Flo or Phyn, you can’t turn your water off remotely, however, you’ll have access to live and historical water usage stats, a leak alert history, freeze alerts, and comparative usage chart. The app also remembers your settings, so you can use it even if WiFi isn’t available. StreamLabs comes with a 2-year full product warranty and 3 months free of StreamPlus, a subscription that gives you access to a range of additional features, including the ability to monitor and control more than two locations and an extended 5-year warranty.

Smart water leak detectors are an easy and affordable way to protect your home from water damage and expensive repairs. They’re also a great way to be more eco-friendly and reduce your water bills! At PECO, we regularly install these devices and can help you select the best one for your needs. Give us a call at 864-639-2424 or schedule your appointment online.

How to Find Good Plumbing Services Near Me

Having a lot of trouble finding good pluming services near you in your area? You’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to narrow down the massive list of service providers to find a plumber that works well for them and meets their needs, while remaining affordable and making you feel respected. Too often, a service provider doesn’t get the job done well, or you require a repeat visit or second opinion on an issue. How do you find a good plumbing service that gives you everything you need the first time? Here are a few tips from us to help you during the selection process.

How to Find Good Plumbing Services Near Me

1) Ask friends and family for recommendations. One of the very best ways to get a solid recommendation for a service professional is to ask people you already trust who don’t have an investment on “selling” you a particular service. If you know someone who’s had to have plumbing work done on their own home, ask them who they went with and whether or not they liked them. The horror stories can tell you just as much about a company as the positive experiences!

2) Make a list and contact several companies before you choose. You can always open Google, run a search, and go with whichever company paid for a sponsored post at the top of the page. However, it’s in your best interests to do some research before you make a hire. Call around, talk to people on the phone, ask for estimates, and get a general feel for the business before you make your decision.

3) Check out online reviews, but don’t bet the farm on them. Online reviews are a very handy way to learn about the highs and lows of a business. They should give you a general idea of who you’ll be dealing with, but bear in mind that people who post online reviews tend to post only about exemplary experiences or horrible ones. There isn’t much in the way of middle ground there, and it’s fairly easy to throw a one-star review at a business because the reviewer was having a bad day and was already irritable. Use reviews to your advantage, but don’t make them your only avenue for a decision.

4) Meet with plumbing contractors if you can. You can learn a lot on a phone call with someone, but if you’re having major work done, you really should request a walk-through and estimate so you can meet the person who will be working on your home. Seeing how a plumber works in person will tell you more than speaking on the phone ever could.

5) Consider local independent companies whenever possible. Especially companies with longevity in the area. Finding plumbing services near me is easier when you look for local companies that exist in town, and if they’re independently operated, it makes it more likely that they’ll work hard to keep your business. Competition is high and independent businesses can give you an extra touch and may even offer special deals for first-time customers or people near their offices.

 

If you’re dealing with a plumbing emergency, you may not have time to go through all these steps, so we recommend doing this research up front so you have someone ready to go if the need arises. PECO Heating & Cooling provides plumbing services for South Carolina residents and we’d be happy to speak to you about our service.