Washing machine floods due to a bad valve or a ruptured water hose are frequent enough that an automatic sensor is a good investment. Here's how to install one.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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An hour or less
Stop washing machine floods
Washing machine with sensor-controlled shutoff
The sensor on the floor cuts off the water if it gets wet.
The control unit is connected to the sensor, the shutoff and the power supply.
The valves block water flow instantly at a signal from the control unit.
The sensor is attached to the floor near the water hoses—the area that will most likely get wet first.
Water does more damage to homes every year than fire. And the washing machine is one common source of water catastrophes. When supply hoses rupture or valves inside the machine go bad, water flows freely until someone shuts it off. Several devices are available online or at plumbing supply stores that shut off the water automatically. The one shown here (called FloodStop) takes less than 10 minutes to install. Here’s how it works: When the sensor detects water on the floor, it sends a signal to the control unit, which sounds a screeching alarm and automatically closes the valves.
Shutoff systems for water heaters and other appliances are also available. To install the valves, you have to unscrew the supply hoses, so this is a good time to replace your old rubber hoses with safer, steel-sheathed hoses.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
Automatic sensor and shutoff
Screw-in anchors (for attaching control unit to wall)