Commercial vs Residential Leak Detection: What's The Difference?

Commercial buildings have a lot more at stake when it comes to water damage. Leaks can not only threaten the property itself, but also the businesses and residents that occupy it. That's why commercial leak detection is so important. In this blog post, we will break down the key differences between residential and commercial leak detection systems.


Residential Systems: The Usual Suspect

Residential water leaks are generally much more siloed events. For example, common household appliances like dishwashers and washing machines are monitored for leaks and, upon detection, can be quickly reacted to.


Commercial Systems: The Sleeping Giant

Commercial leak detection is meant to mitigate damage across the whole property. So when a leak occurs that could threaten other units, maintenance teams must react in a way that protects the entire property's system.

This is in contrast to residential systems, where leaks are generally considered more of an inconvenience than a threat.


Multifamily Commercial Building


The Differences in Detection Methods

Another key difference between commercial and residential leak detection is the way leaks are actually detected. Commercial buildings often use a variety of methods to detect leaks, including water meters, pressure sensors, and smart water sensors.

Residential buildings, on the other hand, usually only use water sensors to detect leaks. While this is an effective method, it's not as comprehensive as the methods used in commercial buildings.


The Importance of Commercial Leak Detection

As you can see, there are a lot of differences between residential and commercial leak detection systems. 

Commercial leak detection systems are often much more complex than their residential counterparts. This is due to the increased number of sensors and devices that may be necessary to cover a larger area. For example, batteries in individual sensors might need to be changed more frequently in a commercial setting, as opposed to a single-family home.

Gateways, which allow data from the sensors to be transmitted to a central location, are also more important in commercial settings. Too many devices and too little bandwidth can quickly overwhelm a residential gateway, but Commercial buildings with dozens of units can still operate effectively with just a few gateways.

Finally, the protocols used by these gateways use are often different. Commercial systems typically rely on LoRaWAN or other long-range protocols to communicate with sensors, while residential systems may use Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, or Bluetooth. This is due to the fact that most commercial buildings have a greater number of units than a single-family home, and thus need longer range communication.

Commercial Building HVAC

The Bottom Line

While both commercial and residential leak detection systems have their own unique benefits, commercial buildings have a lot more at stake.

When it comes to detecting leaks, commercial water solutions are often the best option for large buildings. With careful planning and a good understanding of the needs of your building, you can ensure that your property is well protected from water damage.

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