When considering water damage to property, many people would first think of major events such as flash floods or rising groundwater as being the major potential culprits. And while these are real challenges across the globe, realistically water leakage can come from many different sources within our houses, apartments or offices.
“Pipe and fixtures within a building can produce many small or even unseen leaks, as can appliances that are connected directly to the water supply in rooms that are not water-proofed, with no drains in the floor,” explains Richard Drummond, business development manager at Danfoss Climate Solutions South Africa. “This could include dishwashers, refrigerators with water dispensers, or coffee makers installed in a house’s kitchen or an office building’s kitchenette that cause the damage. Poorer quality appliances and installation errors are some of the other causes of the rising number of water leaks.
“Whatever the source, moisture damage can have serious consequences for those affected by it,” he continues. “Hidden moisture damage can lead to damp, mould and other unpleasant conditions within our buildings, triggering health problems. Furthermore, in many parts of the world, and Africa in particular, water leaks pose a serious threat to an already limited water supply.
“Today, many people work with water leakage and water protection in buildings – from builders and consulting engineers to plumbers. However, we find quite frequently that building regulations have not been explained or communicated adequately to everyone, which means that we often occupy buildings that do not have any water protection in place, and this is where the problem starts.”
In many parts of the world, and Africa in particular, water leaks pose a serious threat to an already limited water supply.
Water protection is nothing new - the technologies already exist, says Drummond, and solutions for tackling water leakage in homes and businesses could include as simple a process as checking domestic hot water meters to measure pressure loss, which can be used to identify fluctuations in water consumption and thus see when there may be a water leak.
“There are also humidity sensors available that can be strategically placed next to the individual water installation, like a wash basin, or they can cover a range of installations via the building's main water supply.
“If the water pipe to your basin leaks, the sensor sends a signal to a control system that sounds an alarm and sends a signal to a solenoid valve, which then automatically shuts off the water, limiting damage as far as possible.”
As an organisation, Danfoss closely monitors developments in water leakage control and can provide customers with advice and services that are adapted to local conditions. Solenoid valves from Danfoss meet the highest quality standards and are delivered at competitive prices compared to ball valves of the same standard.
Advantages of the new Danfoss solenoid valves include:
- ECO brass housing - ECO brass contains no toxic additives, such as lead and nickel. It also has superior corrosion resistance compared to conventional free-cutting brass.
- EPDM sealing material - the sealing material is fully compliant with strict regulations and protects the consumer against bacterial and other hazardous contamination.
- Insensitive to dirt – its square armature design prevents dirt build up.
- A built-in, self-cleaning filter protects the pilot system.
- Safe functionality in humid environments - available with a full variety of coils that provide up to IP67 protection.
- Reinforced diaphragm and soft-closing design reduce water hammering, extending the lifetime of the valve and the pipes, as well as ensuring no noise in the leak detection system for the end-user.
- Single-piece, weldless construction ensures that the valves are built to last.
- Wide temperature ranges from 0 to 90°C, covering most cold and hot water systems.
- Compact design making it easy to fit in all systems.
- High quality and competitive price.
- Optimised for the prevention of damage caused by leaks, delivered by experts in the field offering local service.
Says Drummond: “Water damage can be costly, causing widespread damage that is difficult to contain and can be an ongoing issue, with even minor leaks leading to long-term problems. The solution, however, can be a simple one, which not only saves property owners but also has a significant environmental impact, critical to Africa in particular, which faces some of the highest water risk in the world.”