Water leaks are one of the worst things that can happen to an RV. Depending on the type of leak, it can cause significant damage from flooding if the tanks fill. And water damage can affect the integrity of the entire RV if your RV has a leak and it is not discovered, and it will cause rot. This is one of the reasons why older RVs can be hit or miss, because they are often suffering from water damage, either from a previous water leak or overflow event, or from rain leaking in.
Why do you need water leak alarms?
Many do not realize that when the black or grey tanks get full, they don’t merely close and stop accepting any new liquids; they will begin to overflow. So if you accidentally leave a tap on and it fills the grey tanks, it will begin to overflow with all the grey tank contents in those tanks into the inside of your RV. Most RVs will start to overflow into the shower pan first, as this is usually the lowest point for it to flow.
Don’t forget that leaks can happen even in brand new RVs. A tap accidentally left trickling overnight can be enough to fill a grey tank up and start it overflowing into the shower pan.
Most people think they will notice a leak as it happens, but if you are asleep when it happens, a considerable amount of damage from water flooding inside the RV can occur, especially if it is a result of one of the tanks overflowing. And often people don’t discover the problem until they step in it when getting out of bed in the morning.
How do water leak alarms work?
With water leak alarms, the alarm will go off when it detects water, with a pretty loud 70db alarm. So as long as the water is in contact with the box the alarm is in, the alarm will go off to alert you to the problem.
Once the alarm goes off, you can figure out what is leaking to fix it and get rid of the water as quickly as possible before it starts to cause any problems.
These also work in places you are concerned about rainwater leaks too, as long as the alarm is in contact with where the water is pooling.
Where should you place the alarms?
- Behind the toilet
- Under the bathroom sink in the cupboard
- Under the kitchen sink in the cupboard
- On the floor of the shower (remove when showering!)
- In the cupboard where the water heater is located
- In an outside storage locker
- In locker with water connections
- In locker with outdoor shower
- On the floor next to the washer and dryer, if your RV has one
- Anywhere else you have a water tap or connection
- Anywhere else you have previously had a leak – this includes rainwater leaks too.
You won’t need alarms in every place depending on your RV set up since not all RVs have things like an outdoor shower or indoor washer and dryer. But the alarm will let you know the first sign of trouble.
How to place water leak alarms
You simply lay them flat, and when they contact water, the alarm will sound. So you want to ensure they are placed at the low point where water would pool if one of the tanks overflowed or if a water hose or connection were to break in the RV.
Water leak alarms have replaceable batteries, so you can continue to use them over multiple seasons. The alarms are very loud, so even if it goes off at the RV park while you are away from your RV, someone will likely hear it and be able to report the alarm to the office so they can contact you so you can return if necessary.
Most popular water leak alarms for RVs
8 pack for larger RVs:
- Contractor Pack includes 8 Leak Alert units, 8 9V batteries and...
5 pack for smaller RVs:
- Loud (90dB) alarm sounds for up to 72 hours with direct water contact
And you can also purchase them as singles if you just want one for the RVB bathroom.
- Loud (90dB) alarm sounds when even the slightest amount of moisture is...
If you store your RV for longer periods of time and the tanks are not drained, they also offer a version that will also send an email alert to any email address to alert you to any leaks. But you do need to have wifi access in order for these ones to work.
- The Leak Alert WiFi smart water detector connects to Wi-Fi and...
While water leak alarms are not mandatory, they do give you peace of mind if you are worried about leaks in the RV, especially if you have kids and are concerned you might not notice a tap left dripping. One experience with the grey tank overflowing into the RV through the shower pan is enough of a bad experience for most people to not want it to happen again!