Water treatment companies often install water filters and similarly-related filtration devices at client locations. One claim that may result from these devices is that the installation develops a leak that is undetected for a period of time. Unfortunately, slow leaks are particularly hard to detect until the resultant water damage becomes visible to the client’s property. By then, the small leak may have evolved into a large property damage claim against our insured.
The Consequences of a Leak
A leak may cause what is known as a “loss of use” claim. If the premises becomes unusable during the discovery, treatment and repair for the water leak damage from those losses flows to you. Our insurance policy will pay these losses on your behalf. However, understand that your time lost from doing other jobs while making these repairs is not covered. This is opportunity cost and loss that you incur from this leak. While making repairs, you are not making money on another job, and loss to your work or parts you installed are also not covered.
Water leaks can result in damage to the building and to the personal property contained in a building. This may range from carpet to desks to sheetrock to damage to computers and software.
Leaks undetected can lead to mold and mildew, which takes into account a whole new and increased potentially large loss. This includes damage to repair, restore or any claim for injury by anyone exposed to the mold and mildew.
There are other consequences. If the leak involved your work, your business may incur a significant loss of reputation and opportunities for work may diminish for a long ensuing period of time. That can be very toxic to the future of the business. If you use plastic and do not install the detectors and a loss ensues, how does that make you look in the field? An ounce of prevention does equal a pound of cure. Be smart. If you discount on quality you may be discounting your future revenue and earnings plus creating large and uncertain liabilities that will show up later.
We recommend you use good-quality fittings and avoid plastic. Technology has evolved to include affordable automatic detectors that can shut off the water when a leak is detected, and using these will prevent loss before it happens.
Leak detection and shut off valve systems are very inexpensive, and could be added to the cost of the job. If the client rejects the installation, then the client should sign a hold harmless agreement for any damage caused by a leak. WCM staff has reviewed several domestic and light commercial devices ranging in cost from $25 to $100. Large commercial or industrial applications are also available. Here are some sources we’ve identified. Commercial industrial systems with remote read and alarm systems are also available at higher prices.
- ProTekk, Vertex Water Products, 5138 Brooks Street, Ste A, Mountclair, CA. 91763 (909) 626-2100.
- Leak Guardian System, 2275 Half Day Drive, Deerfield, Illinois 60015 (800) 436-1984
- Leak Block Sensor, H.M. Digital, 2629 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278 (310) 410 – 3100
- Trace Tek (for Commercial industrial) Koetter Fire Protection, LLC, 10351 Olympic Drive Dallas, Texas 75220, Phone: 214-358-3593 Fax: 214-350-9930
- The Detection Group, 440 North Wolf Road, MS #124, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, Phone 650-215-7300
- WaterLarm Leak Detection, 1945 West Copans Road, Pompano Beach, Florida 33064, PH 954 – 666-6222
- Aquilar Leak Detection Solutions, Weights and Measures House, 20 Barttelot Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1DQ PH: 011-44-140-321-6100
WaterColor Management is not affiliated with any of the product manufacturers or distributors listed above, and doesn’t guarantee or warrant their performance. However, we strongly recommend that each water treatment company explore the market for the most appropriate detection and shut off system for their activity, and implement a leak detection program. An example of a commercial leak detection application can be found at the link below:
WaterColor Management strongly recommends that all our insureds adopt a leak control program, and that leak detectors be installed on each job where water fittings are installed or modified in any way. WCM also strongly recommends that the type of leak detector be determined by the type of job done and whether anyone will be present to hear the sound of the detector alarm. If no one will be present to hear the alarm sound, then the alarm should be coupled with an automatic shut off valve.
We further recommend that if a client does not want a leak detection system installed, that the client sign a waiver releasing you, the installer or water treatment business from all liabilities arising form a leak.
Contact WaterColor Management if you would like more details on the waiver form for clients who reject the installation of a leak detection system
About Watercolor Management
WaterColor Management has insured the water industry for over 30 years. Our policies include unlimited defense cost coverage in the event of a lawsuit against you. Call us at (256) 260-0412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quick quote for your Water Business Professional, Products/Completed operations, Pollution and General Liability Insurance.