Now that longer and colder nights are well and truly upon us, you’re likely tending towards longer, warmer showers. But as temperatures continue to drop, the risk to your water pipes begins to rise, and there’s nothing worse than a burst pipe in the winter (preventing you luxuriating in the bath after a cold day). Here to protect you from such a fate is a new smart home water device called Buoy. This new Internet of Things gadget can be installed onto your existing water line, providing real-time and segmented water usage data, as well as alerting you to costly leaks and giving you the option of shutting down your water system even from afar.
“Whether it’s their long shower at the end of a long day or the sprinkler where their kids play, every homeowner understands that easy and affordable access to water is critical to their quality of life,” said Keri Waters, CEO and co-founder of Buoy Labs. “If we’re going to protect our way of life, we need to better understand our home water: How we use it, where we need it, and where it is needlessly wasted. That’s why we created Buoy: To give homeowners the tools they need to protect their water and their quality of life.”
Buoy not only seeks to help protect homeowners from potentially damaging issues to their water pipes and water lines, but also hopes to help give individuals a clearer sense of their overall water usage. Independent and Buoy-collected data suggests that 10 percent of water is wasted in homes as a result of running toilets, leaky toilets, malfunctioning washers, and other leaks that are easily fixable .
And that’s where the Buoy comes in, telling folks where their water is actually going. In cases of emergency, the Buoy gives users the option of shutting down all household water with just one tap. Otherwise, homeowners can constantly monitor their water usage habits, getting periodic reports, and seeing where problem areas may lie. The companion mobile app displays how many gallons a family uses to shower, keep the lawn green, or run the dishwasher every day. And because the app separates water use into verticals like outdoor irrigation, laundry, sink, and more, you’ll be able to see where you’re using the most water, and perhaps adjust your behaviors.
Installation promises to be relatively straightforward — you’ll need a licensed plumber to install a Buoy next to a home’s water shutoff valve, and then simply connect the device to the app and your home network.
You can buy Buoy for $799 (including installation) from the company’s website.