This plumbing safety tip is coming from first hand experience of a major water leak in my personal home. I wanted to share this information with you because a water alarm could help prevent a major water leak in your home or business.
The first thing I will admit is that having any type of water appliance up in an attic or higher than ground level is not a good idea. My tankless water heater “used” to be in my attic until last month when disaster struck. I was at work that morning when I got a frantic call from my wife and she said that water was coming out of the ceiling! I rushed home and turned off the water but it was too late. There was so much water on top of the sheet rock (in the attic) that it slowly started caving in and then collapsed into our bathroom! It was like watching a horror movie, my poor wife started to cry and I was stressed to the max! We were having a baby in one week and how was I supposed to get this fixed in that amount of time! Luckily my parents have “connections” and we were able to get everything repaired within the week.
What I learned through this ordeal was that a water alarm would have helped notify my wife that water was running into the emergency drain pan. She could have turned off the water and maybe prevented this disaster from happening. The other lesson that I learned was that putting my water heater in the attic was a bad idea. An emergency water pan can only hold so much water and even though I got hot water a lot faster than I do now, it was not worth the risk.
Since this disaster I have relocated the tankless water heater to my garage and I have included a water alarm. The water alarms sensor is located inside of the emergency drain pan, underneth the water heater, so that if water ever touches the sensors it will sound a loud alarm. These are very inexpensive alarms and can pay for themselves if you can catch the leak in time. So if you have an air conditioning system in the attic, a water heater upstairs, or any appliance that can leak water, I would highly recommend that you install an emergency drain pan and a water alarm.
I wish that I could have written this plumbing safety tip under different circumstances but maybe it will help one of you prevent a similar accident from happening.