Water Sensor Alarms Installed At All Apartments

A water sensor alarm is installed in the bathroom closet of all Brandt Property apartments next to the air conditioner (AC) and water heater.  It is important that each resident know that the water sensor is there, what the purpose of the device is, and what to do if the alarm sounds.  A summary card has been placed on the back of each bath closet door for quick reference.

What is it?

The water sensor alarm is a small ivory colored, speaker-looking box that sits on the floor in the bathroom closet next to the water heater.  The speaker should face out towards the bedroom so that it can be heard outside the bathroom.  There are two dime-size contacts on the bottom of the box that sit firmly on the closet floor.  If water touches the two contacts, the alarm will sound.  Picking up the box and removing it from the water will immediately stop the alarm sound.  Residents should look inside their bathroom closets and check that the alarm box is there and is positioned properly.  As a test, residents may place the box into a small pool of water on a countertop to hear the alarm.  To see pictures of the water sensor alarm ==> Click Here.

What does it do?

The bathroom closet contains the electric water heater tank for each apartment and, above the water heater the AC blower unit for the apartment.  Both of these appliances have the possibility of leaking.  Any water leak in an apartment should be considered an emergency situation and immediately stopped, as soon as possible.  Just as a smoke detector can sense a fire, the water sensor can sense a water leak.

The white plastic pipes near the bottom of the AC blower carry condensation water out of the building.  If these pipes become clogged, the condensation water will back up into the AC blower, and will eventually overflow onto the top of the water heater and then onto the floor around the water heater, causing the water sensor alarm to sound.  Once the alarm box is removed and the sound stopped, the water should be cleaned up and the AC system turned off until the pipes can be cleared.  Condensation leaks are slow, continuous leaks at the rate of about 1 gallon per hours while the AC is cooling – condensation leaks run water but do not spray.

It is unlikely, but possible, that a water plumbing leak can occur in the bathroom closet caused by either a leak in the water tank or in the water pipes above the tank.  If the water sensor alarm sound and it is suspected that a plumbing leak has occurred, remove the alarm to silence it then turn off the water tank supply by turning the yellow valve handle on the top of the tank one quarter of a turn clockwise.  The water tank should remain off until the leak is repaired.

What to do if alarm is heard?

If you hear the sound of an alarm, first check your bathroom closet to see if your alarm is sounding and if there is water on the closet floor.  If so, follow the instructions above to silence the alarm and determine the problem.  If the alarm sound is coming from a neighboring apartment, do what you can to alert the neighbor.  In any case, immediately call apartment emergency services at (850) 727-0291 and follow the emergency prompts.