Jan 26 2013

No more leak surprises (I hope)

My home is still a freaking mess: walls are cut open, it’s dusty everywhere, furniture has been moved to other rooms and what’s left in the living/dining room is covered in plastic wrap. The latter makes a really nice crumbly, swooshy sound whenever the slightest draft hits it.

I was really lucky that the leak was detected early and that the pipe did not burst completely. Had water leaked at full speed, the damage would have been considerably more severe.

The insurance adjuster was here on Thursday, surveyed the damage and what has been done already. He took tons of photos and measurements and will compile a report that, along with the remediation company’s estimate, will be presented to the insurance company. That should happen early next week; then we can finally start patching the holes, stucco the affected areas, re-finish the concrete floor and bring back the rugs. I’m not holding my breath that this all will be done by the end of next week, but we’ll see.

While still in Germany, I vowed that this would not happen again and in case it should happen again, that I would be able to detect a leak sooner during my absence.

Step 1 is completed: I added two wireless cameras which I can access remotely. The cameras can be panned and tilted and allow me to survey a large area of my home. They even support remote audio, which allows me to hear what’s going in the house (wonder if I would have heard the wooshing of the water). Here are two snapshots of the cameras:



The first image shows the situation in my “living” room.

Motion and sound detection will be activated whenever I leave the home for a longer period. This means that if the cameras detect motion in my home or “hear” something, I’ll automatically get snapshots from the cameras sent to my primary email address. This will even work in the dark, because the cameras operate in the Infrared spectrum as well. If you’re interested, the cameras are Foscam FI8910W models.

Step 2 will be completed once the dust settles (literally). I will ask the plumber to install a new water meter in my utility closet in the garage. The Aquacue barnacle, which currently sits in our well house, will be attached to that new water meter. I will also install an automatic water shut-off valve that detects continuous flow for a certain period and automatically shuts off the water main. Some solutions are listed here: http://www.plumbingsupply.com/prevent_water_damage.html.

That should do it!

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