Skip to main content

Reversing the Trend: Partnering to Prevent Plumbing Leaks

PURE Staff

In 2023, more than 2,800 preventable plumbing leaks cost the membership over $120 million. While frozen and burst pipes account for less than a quarter of these claims, they drive about half of the cost, emphasizing just how damaging these losses can be and signaling a need to prioritize prevention. Toilet leaks, leaks originating from HVAC systems and water heaters also top the list of most frequent claims.

The most expensive water damage claim among the membership in 2023, a burst pipe, cost more than $5 million to resolve. While repairs are still being made to this home at the time of publication, it is estimated that the members will have been out of their home for more than a year by the time repairs are complete.

Advice to help you reduce the risk of plumbing leaks

  • While every home can benefit from the protection provided by a water shut-off device, for homes where you do not spend a lot of time, such as a seasonal home, or if you split your time among multiple homes, install an automatic water shut-off device. This is the best defense against water damage in all homes, especially those that are unoccupied for extended periods. It measures the flow of water and automatically shuts it off if abnormalities are detected, which can be a sign of a possible leak. These can only be installed in homes where the main water line is accessible. Use of a water shut-off device may qualify you for a credit on your Homeowners premium. Ensure that settings are at an appropriate threshold for your home and that alerts on the corresponding app are monitored closely.
    • A few vetted options include: Leak Defense®, FloLogic®, Phyn®, Flo Smart by Moen® or Water Hero®
  • For homes where you spend most of your time, leak detection sensors can provide some protection. These sensors can range from small devices that are placed under water-connected fixtures and appliances to a device that is clipped onto your home’s pipes to monitor water flow. If an irregularity is detected, you are alerted via a notification in the corresponding app. These tend to be battery operated, so batteries need to be checked regularly and replaced as necessary. Since they do not automatically shut off your water, they are not recommended for seasonal or secondary homes.
    • A few vetted options include: FloLogic, Phyn or Water Hero
  • Assess the water supply lines and connectors on toilets and washing machines throughout your home and replace them based on their recommended useful life. While certain materials are superior to others, all water supply lines and connectors have a lifespan, and it is critical that they are replaced prior to the end of it. Assess your supply lines and connectors to look for signs of visible corrosion, cracks or leaks. When it is time to replace them, the most durable options for supply lines are braided metal followed by rigid lines. For connectors, metal has a longer life expectancy but there are high-quality plastic options that can last 10 years if they are tightened.