Smart Water Monitoring for the 21st Century Home

By Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza

Everything in your home has a pulse, a rhythm, a readable pattern. Whether the predictable energy signatures of the appliances in your home or flagging signals of key systems—pretty much everything in your home can be monitored, measured, and optimized, and this data can be used to detect and diagnose problems before they become costly disasters.

Your plumbing system is no different. The EPA reports that household leaks can waste approximately nearly 900 billion gallons of water every year—that’s the annual household water use of 11 million homes. And the average home water damage insurance claim is just south of $7,000.

Phyn, a company launched by Belkin in 2016, has launched their first consumer product this year: a smart home water leak detector and water use monitoring device that goes by the name of Phyn Plus. The device is designed to work with as many plumbing systems as possible, and funnels data into the Phyn app so you can monitor system health from anywhere.

Phyn Plus is a single device that is installed by a professional plumber on your main water line and measures the tiniest fluctuations in water pressure to detect leaks and measure water consumption.

In the event of a major leak, Phyn Plus will automatically turn off the water with its built-in shut-off valve.

Mitigate water damage

Not only does water damage cost homeowners nearly one trillion in repairs every year (a burst pipe can run more than $10,000), water damage accounts for almost half of all property damage claims. If you can detect a leak or break as soon as it happens and then shut off your water, that costly damage can be curbed.

The daily diagnostic “plumbing checks” give you a pulse on the health of your system and anticipate problems before they become disasters. Detect pinhole leaks, faucet drips, and frozen pipe bursts. For those who own vacation or rental properties, this can be the difference between having to file a claim and not.

Phyn Plus alerts users through the app as soon as a leak is detected, and Phyn is precise enough to detect even even a dripping faucet. Large leaks will trigger an automatic shut off, but users can also control the on–off function from the app.

Monitor water use

Phyn Plus provides monthly, daily, and even hourly reporting of home water use with user-friendly water use charts. The device monitors temperature, flow, and pressure in your plumbing system 24/7.

The average American uses 88 gallons of water every day in the home, but the EPA estimates that we can cut that water use by 20% by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances. There’s evidence that monitoring consumption can also contribute to better water conservation practices.

For example, Phyn found that 10% of homes had leaks resulting from a faulty toilet wasting a staggering 36,000 gallons of water every month. With rising water costs, a leaky toilet could add anywhere from $248 in Dallas, $182 in New York, or more than $400 to a water bill every month in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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