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Water detector

A water detector is an electronic device that is designed to detect the presence of water and
provide an alert in time to allow the prevention of water damage. A common design is a small
cable or device that lies flat on a floor and relies on the electrical conductivity of water to
decrease the resistance across two contacts. The device then sounds an audible alarm together
with providing onward signaling in the presence of enough water to bridge the contacts.
The computer room therefore became the early application for systems which would alert
the operator to a leaking pipe in sufficient time for remedial action to be taken to prevent a
disaster.
As computer rooms could be quite large simple "point of use" detectors were not really
appropriate although Point Sensors do have value where simple, single point detection is
required in, say, basements and sumps. Most modern leak detection systems developed around
the use of a water sensitive cable[2] which can be laid in long lengths and complex patterns
around the base of the floor; around the perimeter of rooms; as a "barrier" over which water
has to flow; following, tracing or attached directly to lines of water pipes.
A leak occurring within a floor void would therefore go unnoticed until the hydrostatic head of
pressure meant that the water found its way through to floors below where its dripping
through the ceiling would be noted or, and more disconcerting, the water would penetrate the
joints and connectors of the power or network cabling and cause system failure from short
circuit.
Current digital water leak detection systems can locate multiple water leaks to within 1 meter
resolution over a complex network of cables running several kilometers. This functionality
reduces the downtime and potential damage caused by inaccurate reporting that was common
with older analogue based systems.
Water leak detection systems can be integrated with Building Management Systems using
multiple protocols such as Modbus. Using SNMP protocols leak detection systems can inform IT
staff in charge of monitoring data center and server rooms. It is not only critical to detect a
water leakage but also adequately and promptly alert; if not taking automated corrective
actions.