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When a flood occurs, your first instinct may be to think “how can I use a water shut off to stop this flood?”

But there are a few factors that contribute to why early detection is more beneficial than full water shut-offs. 

It’s More Cost Effective at Implementation

The implementation of an early detection system is more cost-effective than shut-offs, due to the complexity of plumbing systems in high-rises.

With a basic flood prevention sensor layout, the most basic components required are the sensors themselves, and the gateway to communicate between the sensors and the dashboard. Although there are multiple sensor attachments available, they are all non-intrusive and do not require cutting of pipes for installation.

Shut-off valves require significant amounts of hardware, labour and money. Valves need to be placed in the lines that are going to be shut off, and they require an actuator to shut off the valves when necessary. Especially in retrofit buildings, the install can require significant amounts of plumbing work, which can be costly and disruptive to tenants.  

It Helps Prevent Damage

Once the flood has occurred and shutting off the water systems is required, damage has already been done.

With early detection, the flood can be identified before the damage is done, helping to protect the integrity of the building. 

Limited Incremental Benefits from Shut off Valves

With an early detection system, you’re able to gain access to valuable water insights. The robust functionality of sensors allows you to measure how much water is being used in various parts of the building, right down to the individual units in tenant spaces.

Water sensors offer more functionality than just flood detection in commercial buildings: they can also be used to help provide water for remote communities, maintain accuracy over aging meters, and pipeline monitoring. They’re becoming increasingly essential for providing worldwide access to safe drinking water. 

With shut-offs, the functionality is limited to the exact designated purpose: shutting off water. 

Shut-Offs are More Disruptive

Shutting off the water means that water will have to be shut down across the building, and it means that a flood is already occurring. Without any warning, the tenants will have to lose access to their water for an undetermined amount of time. Furthermore, once the flood has occurred, tenants may need to be displaced out of areas where flood damage has already occurred.

We hope that this article has helped display the differences between an early detection system and a shut-off system. While the two can be used in conjunction, in our experience in response to floods, the difficulty is finding where the flood is, not where the valves are to be shut off. To learn more about the benefits of an early flood detection system, contact us today.
The Connected Sensors Team