Avoiding Water Leaks

By: Frank Engelman.  Updated: November 12, 2021.


Problem description

Oh no! The laundry room floor is flooded!

We want to avoid water leaks altogether. Or, if that is not feasible, we want to get alerted as soon as possible after a water leak starts leaking, so we can intervene and minimize damage.


Water Leaks are a Problem

We all have experienced, or know of someone who has experienced, water leaks in their home that caused significant damage. This can be especially important if you are caring for a remote elderly loved one.

I have heard many anecdotal stories of water leak damage from friends and family that caused serious damage.

  • Two homes with water levels reaching to the power outlet level resulting in a 6-month restoration;
  • Undetected dishwasher water leaks ruined a kitchen floor.


A number of years ago I noticed the floor in the kitchen felt spongy when I walked near the dishwasher. We had a carpenter come to examine the floor because I wanted to be sure we did not have carpenter ants. He found that the dishwasher had been leaking and seeping under the linoleum to cause deterioration of the flooring.

Several years later we noticed water dripping from the ceiling in the basement. It was not below the dishwasher. Closer examination showed that the water traveled along a beam before falling. Again , lt was a dishwasher leak.


In both cases there was no obvious leakage. With the use of the new water and detection system we hope to avoid these problems in the future.

  • Even in my house!
    • Dishwasher and washing machine hose leaks
    • Dishwasher and washing machine drainpipe blockage


More Like This

This is part of a series of "Problems" and DIY Technology "Solutions" to the challenges faced by older adults, by Frank Engelman. 



Suggested Solutions

Detect Water Leaks, Shutoff Water, Alert Me

I wanted a solution that not only "detected" when there was a water leak at my elderly parent's house, but also could automatically shut off the water in certain situations before major damage occured. Here is my DIY solution, using sensors and a controllable valve.



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