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Leak Protection

In the MJ Sorority Program, 55% of property claims are due to water-related issues. The most common reasons for water damage are: water pipes bursting, frozen pipes thawing, and sewage and drain backups; but burst pipes, roof leaks, overflowing toilets and leaking appliances can also cause significant damage. These types of water damage can also result in business interruption, relocation costs, lost rents and can negatively impact your reputation as a business.

Though you do have broad water damage insurance protection, as the property owner, you should consider all types of tools to help you prevent water damage events and/or reduce the impact of a water claim. Installing leak detection and flow monitors also make your property eligible for a 5% credit at renewal, applied to your property insurance premium.

One of the best things that you can do to reduce and prevent water damage is to install a flow-based water leak detection device. The most comprehensive tool available is a leak protection system, which includes both a flow-based monitoring system and detectors or water sensors.

Below we explain the components of a comprehensive leak protection system. You can find specific technology and partner recommendations in this article.

How does a flow-based water shut-off device work?

Installed by a plumber directly onto your water line, a flow-based water leak detection device monitors the flow of water throughout your chapter house. If an unusual activity or flow of water is detected – probably caused by a leak somewhere in your plumbing or pipes – the device will alert you first, and then shut off your water supply to help minimize damage.

How do water sensors work?

The water sensors, placed throughout your property, can detect the presence of water, often by measuring the electrical conductivity of the water present and completing a circuit to send a signal to either an email or text.

Where should water sensors be placed?

Water sensors should be placed strategically throughout the chapter house to maximize detection. Performing regular maintenance and checking for rusty, corroded, or damaged water supply lines before you have a leak is one of the best ways to help prevent water damage.

You might want to install water sensors in areas near:

  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators with ice makers and water dispensers
  • Hot water heaters
  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Around exposed pipes
  • Furnaces connected to water systems, including hot air system humidifiers

If you are having a professional plumber install your sensors, they will be able to provide advice on how many to install and where to install.

Additional Tips to Consider

Choose a flow-based leak detection device. While individual sensors that detect the pressure of water are acceptable, they cannot test for microleaks, monitor water usage, or detect burst pipes in walls or under foundations. The flow-based devices provide enhanced protection, functionality, durability, reliability, accuracy, and great value for the cost.

Several MJ Sorority clients have installed flow-based devices and the cost for a typical sorority chapter house range from $2,500-$4,000 per location. As mentioned before, when leak detection and flow monitors are installed, your property will be eligible for a 5% discount to your property insurance premium at renewal.

Select a device that automatically shuts off the water when a pipe ruptures or another water anomaly occurs. These preferred flow-based devices not only detect trouble, but also help mitigate the problem itself.

Hire a plumber to professionally install your flow-based leak detection device. Your devices should be installed on your domestic water main pipe near where it enters your chapter house. These devices will need access to a power outlet and a wi-fi router signal.

Determine your water main pipe size to order the right produce size. Ask your licensed plumber, contractor or product vendor to assist you in picking out the best device for your chapter house.

As we mentioned in above, roughly 55% of MJ Sorority property claims are water damage-related. Any preventative action will certainly reduce, not only the amount of damage, but the disruption to chapter operations. Even when the claim is handled expediently and thoroughly, it often requires your member residents to have to relocate to other lodging, which impacts their member experience and causes additional headaches for the House Corporation volunteers and/or property managers.

For a more in-depth explanation of the leak detection technologies available and specific companies that we recommend, please refer to this resource.

For further reading on preventing water damage, refer to our printable infographic or this resource for additional tips. For further information on water damage claims for the MJ Sorority book of business, refer to this infographic.