Show Notes: Got A Leak? Got A Squeak?
Thank you for tuning in to fix your leaks and squeaks! And check in next week for more cool tips!
“Got A Leak? Got A Squeak?” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired Jan 9, 2020.
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Got a Leak?
What to know when purchasing water leak detectors
Monitoring for leaks is the best way to prevent water damage. Left unchecked, small leaks under your water heater, washing machine or sink can cause problems throughout your home or business, including structural and foundational damage. Modern water leak detectors instantly alert you about microleaks, frost and unusual water flow before these issues turn into broken pipes, a flooded basement or worse.
How does a water leak detector work
Water sensors detect and prevent excess moisture and flooding caused by broken pipes and faulty appliances. A leak detection system is made of sensors, shut-off valves and a centralized hub. The sensors are placed in areas where leaks are common, such as near faucets and beneath water heaters.
Home water leak detector systems trigger a water sensor alarm if they detect moisture in a location that should be dry. Some leak detectors also monitor for changes in acoustics. Since all leaks create soundwaves, the detector gauges the severity of the leak by the frequency of the sound it produces. For example, underground water leak detectors for finding slab leaks utilize acoustic technology.
Knowing that there is a leak is one thing, but being able to stop it from damaging your home and belongings is where the real power lies. Modern water detectors that combine moisture sensors and flow-based leak detection automatically shut off valves to prevent you from coming home to a big, watery mess. Automatic shut-off valves are installed near your water main and cut off the flow if the detector senses moisture or irregular pressure — this prevents the extensive damage that can be caused by water leaks that occur when you’re away from home and can’t access the water source.
Broken seals, clogged lines, loose connections, damaged joints; corrosion and excess water pressure are just a few of the most common causes of water leaks that sensors can detect. Water leak detectors also help prevent damage caused by tree roots and rapid or extreme temperature changes, which are difficult to discover on your own before it’s too late.
Water detector benefits
A water leak detector comes with many health, safety and cost benefits. Early leak detection helps prevent standing water, which can lead to mold growth and pest infestations. Some of the best water detectors have additional benefits that let you:
- Prevent costly repairs: If you can catch a leak early, you can prevent significant damage to your home and belongings. A small leak can be fixed rather quickly and inexpensively compared to an undetected leak, which often leads to paying for costly emergency repairs. A pricey call to an after-hours or emergency plumber can be avoided if you’re alerted of a leak right away.
- Protect your home: Water leak detectors alert you of small leaks so you can prevent damage to your furniture, walls, floors, carpets, electronics and belongings. Without a water detector, you might not notice a leak until the damage is apparent because of strange odors, wall discoloration or sagging ceilings. Being notified at the start of a leak also reduces the chances of water pooling in one spot and turning into a breeding ground for unhealthy mold and mildew.
- Avoid safety risks: Foundation or plumbing leaks can cause flooding in your basement. If the water rises high enough to interact with electrical appliances or wall outlets, it can carry electrical currents over long distances. Homeowners risk electrocution by rushing into their basements to save items from water damage. Flooding can pose a fire risk if light fixtures or electrical wiring get wet.
- Lower insurance premiums: Homeowners across the country pay billions of dollars each year in water damage-related costs. If you’ve had leaks or flooding in your home before, your insurance provider may increase your premiums. Many insurance companies offer a discount on premiums to homeowners that install water leak detectors in their houses.
- Reduce utility bills: Most of the time, an unexpected hike in your water bill indicates a leak in your home. Water leak detectors alert you when water is being wasted before you get an unusually high utility bill.
- Remote monitoring: When water leaks happen while you’re away, the water could cause significant damage before you have access to your water source and shut-off valves, which will then require a water damage restoration. Remote monitoring lets you check in on your water levels from anywhere and gives you quick and easy access to your shut-off valves and sensors in the event of an emergency.
How much does a water leak detector cost?
Water leak detector prices vary, but the average cost for a system is about $135. You can find water leak detectors as cheap as $10 or $20 or spend thousands on professional-grade equipment.
How many sensors should I get?
The number of water leak sensors you should get depends on how much space you want to cover. Generally, it’s smart to put a sensor under each sink, washing machine, water heater and dishwasher. You may want to get extra sensors for additional high-risk areas. Some leak detector systems can support up to 30 sensors, while others are equipped to monitor five or less.
How do you install a water leak detector system?
Water detection systems are usually installed by placing a sensor near any system or appliance that uses water. Integrating your smart water sensor with your devices is as easy as downloading an app. Some advanced systems may require the expertise of a plumber to sync the sensors and shut-off valve with your water main. Older homes and homes in areas prone to flooding can avoid costly damages by installing water leak detectors in areas where leaks are common.
We spoke with Mary Youkum of Schluter!
Pests in the Pantry?
Everything You Need to Know About Pantry Pests
Moths in your flour? Beetles in your wheat berries? Don’t panic. Here’s the lowdown on kitchen critters – and how to make them buzz off.
What are these bugs?
Where there’s food, there might be critters (hey, pests like to eat, just as we do). The most-common pantry pests are moths, weevils and small beetles. Yes, they’re annoying, but not really dangerous — they won’t bite or sting, nor will they damage your home.
But my kitchen is clean!
Pests can make themselves at home in even in the most-spotless kitchen, because they often hitch a ride in your food at the grocery store, during delivery, or even way back at the processing plant or warehouse.
What foods attract them?
Most pantry pests like to munch on grains, like flours, cereals and processed foods, as well as dried fruits, beans, nuts and spices — but they’re not picky. Nearly any dried food that is stored at room temperature can be a draw. Opened packages that aren’t sealed well are especially prime targets, because they allow easy entry, but many insects can get into unopened packages as well.
Should I worry if I spot a couple of bugs on the counter?
If you come across a beetle or two in an area where you don’t store food, it’s probably no cause for alarm — especially if the weather is warm (that’s when bugs flourish). But if you see them on the counter or floor near your pantry, or by a window (or other natural light source), it could be an early sign of infestation. It’s time to take a thorough look at your pantry shelves and packages.
Yep, there’s a bug in my package of rice. What now?
Throw away the box, and then check the packages stored near it. Can’t see to the bottom of a bag? Pour the food onto a baking sheet and check it with a flashlight. If you don’t spot anything in the other packages or around the pantry, the bug was likely an isolated incident and your other foods are fine to keep. If you want to be extra-cautious, freeze any potentially affected products for three to four days, or heat them in an oven at 140 degrees F for an hour or two. This will kill any eggs or insects.
Yikes! A colony of weevils has spread everywhere. How do I get rid of them?
Empty your pantry completely and vacuum out the shelves, floors and corners. Then, wash the spaces down with soapy water — but don’t apply bleach, ammonia or pesticides. They won’t prevent a future infestation and can be dangerous if they come in contact with foods. Before returning food products to the pantry, thoroughly check that each package is undamaged and uncontaminated.
Oops … what if I ate something that has a bug in it?
If you’ve just enjoyed a nice meal, and then spot a critter in that can of breadcrumbs or package of pasta, don’t worry. Pantry pests aren’t poisonous, and accidentally ingesting a bug or two won’t hurt you.
Now that my pantry is finally bug-free, how do I keep it that way?
First, the longer a product sits in your pantry, the more likely it is to become infested, so buy small packages you can use up in two to four months. Avoid packages that have dents, holes or scratches, and follow the “first in, first out” rule when using food up.
At home, transfer grains, cereals, nuts, dried fruit and the like to glass, metal or sturdy plastic containers with airtight lids. They keep insects out much better than cardboard, paper or foil. Store pantry basics in a cool, dry, dark place, and give your pantry a thorough cleaning every three to six months (which will help you stay organized and keep pests at bay).
Gas Vs Electical Heat: Which One is Better For Your Home?
Whether you’re considering upgrading to a more efficient home heating system or thinking about putting an offer in on a new home and curious about whether or not the existing system is ideal, you may find yourself wondering which is better—gas or electric heat?
Gas furnaces burn fuel (natural gas or liquid propane) to generate heat and distribute it throughout the house, noting that electric iterations power heat pumps within a central heating and cooling system; they use the outside air to both heat a home in the winter and cool it in the summer, moving warmer air from one part of your house to the other. They both are perfectly good options—and that determining the style best for your home has to do with several mitigating factors.
Factors to Consider
Ultimately, it all comes down to where you live, the size of your home, your comfort and efficiency needs, and budget. All of these impact a heating system’s lifespan and level of maintenance required. For homeowners living in mild climates—temperatures above 30 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take—the electricity-based heat system is most efficient. They can save substantially on consumption when not susceptible to the demands of colder weather,” he says. “Alternatively, for those living in colder climates that experiences freezing or subfreezing temperatures, a new gas furnace with a higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating would be recommended.” The most efficient iterations can convert as much as 97 percent of the fuel you pay for into heat.
- Upfront Cost
- There’s another factor to keep in mind before you make your choice: upfront costs. If you’re interested in low upfront cost, an electric furnace may be the best bet, adding that these types of units rely on an existing power source (electricity), so you won’t need to have an additional energy source installed in your home (like a gas line). However, when using electricity to heat the home, depending on the price per watt of electricity, you could see a spike in your power bill. So, while you may save money up front, an electric furnace may cost more in the long run.
- The Best of Both Worlds
- “When it comes to the environment and carbon footprint considerations, there are numerous factors that determine how efficient each choice may be. For example, an electric heating system is only as environmentally beneficial as the power grid that sustains it. So, what’s the best option? It might actually be a furnace that relies on both. The value of a dual-fuel system—installing both a heat pump and gas furnace—is that it will rely upon the heat pump on milder days and the furnace on the colder ones to capitalize on the most efficient operations of both systems.”
RECALL: King of Fans Recalls Hampton Bay Mara Ceiling Fans Due to Injury Hazard
The Hampton Bay 54-inch Mara Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fans were recalled and consumers should immediately stop using the ceiling fans and inspect the ceiling fans using the instructions at www.kingoffans.com/MaraRecall.htm or by visiting the QR code listed in the recall press release. If consumers observe blade movement or uneven gaps between the blades and fan body or movement of the clip during inspection, consumers should immediately contact King of Fans for a free replacement ceiling fan.
The firm has received 47 reports of the blade detaching from the fan, including two reports of the fan blade hitting a consumer and four reports of the blade causing property damage.
Sold Exclusively At:
Home Depot stores nationwide and online at homedepot.com from April 2020 through October 2020 for about $150.
~ Thank you~
A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming!
Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer
- Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer
- Sam Reed – Associate Producer
- Rico Figliolini – Digital Master
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