Dan Sterling, CEO and Founder of Water Hero, a leak detection and automatic water shut off system for homes and businesses, discusses commercial leak detection and automatic water shut off for restaurants.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Dan Sterling, CEO and founder of Water Hero, a leak detection and automatic water shut off system for homes and businesses. Today we’re talking about commercial leak detection and automatic water shut off for restaurants. Welcome, Dan.

Dan Sterling: John, great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Restaurants, Water Usage, and Leak Detection

John: Sure. So Dan, talk a little bit about restaurants and how they vary from other types of businesses in terms of how much water they’re using.

Dan: Sure. Restaurants typically use a good deal of water. They have public restroom facilities, they have kitchen facilities that are using a lot of water, dish washing facilities that can use a tremendous amount of water. So with restaurants there is not only a lot of water usage, but there’s a lot of water devices and water fixtures. And so the more devices, the more plumbing you have, the more exposure you have to a burst pipe situation.

And typically these things happen in the wee hours when no one’s there. And you come into your restaurant the next morning to a catastrophic burst pipe. It not only can ruin the building, ruin equipment, can ruin supplies for your restaurant, but it also can cause mold damage. It can cause loss of business. Sometimes businesses need to be closed to remediate that damage. So it can be really catastrophic to your restaurant clientele if you have a burst pipe situation.

So more and more we’re seeing restaurants installing our Water Hero devices. We have a full range of sizes. So typically with a restaurant, it’s not going to be a little residential, one inch or three quarter inch size pipe coming in. You might have an inch and a half or two inch. We have Water Heroes on sizes from three quarter inch, one inch, inch and a half, two inch, up to, we even have 12 inch units for huge, huge complexes.

So we can size the right unit for your restaurant and give you that peace of mind that you have burst pipe protection 24 seven with automatic shut off. As well as, a lot of our restaurant customers find out that they’re getting bonus water savings too, that with Water Hero you get real-time water usage information. And so you can tell, just looking at the data. We’ll give you a rolling 24 hour bar chart, and you can tell.

If you’re closed and you’re still using 20 gallons of water at 1:00 AM, 2:00 AM, 3:00 AM, 4:00 AM when the restaurant’s closed, no one’s there, it could be that you have a toilet that’s been running. Or sometimes even a sink that … It’s amazing, like I’ll walk into the restroom at a restaurant and just, the sink’s running. People don’t even think to turn it off. They’re not paying the water bill, they’re not tuned into it.

So with Water Hero, you’d know about that instantly. And so we offer significant bonus water savings for people too. And then a lot of our restaurant customers are also getting premium discounts from their insurance company, because typically water damage is the number one claim on a property and casualty policy for a restaurant at over 30% of claims. And so a lot of companies are encouraging their customers to proactively install leak detection devices and offer them premium discounts.

We also have a temperature sensor that gives you the ambient air temperature in our Water Hero units. So that also gives you another layer of protection. And all our triggers are user defined for your situation. So if water runs for more than X number of minutes, you can get an alert. And if it runs beyond that, you can program a different level that it automatically shuts the water off. There’s a home mode, there’s an away mode for when you’re occupied or not occupied.

But the same thing with the temperature alerts. So my Water Hero’s in my basement, which is, year round, it’s between 45 degrees and 80 degrees. So I have it set that if the temperature ever gets below 40 degrees, I’ll get a text alert. And if it’s above 85 degrees, something bad like a fire could be going on in the basement.

So again, for your restaurant you could have all sorts of exposure from water damage, not only on the restaurant level but even in your basement. So it could be that your furnace broke and so you’d get a freeze alert heads up. And I get two premium discounts from my insurance company for having a whole building leak detection device, but also for having these freezer alerts.

John: Okay. Yeah. And in terms of a burst pipe or something like that at a restaurant, your restaurant is closed down, you just immediately don’t have any income coming in from customers. All your servers are out of work. Potentially your food is spoiled or your inventory is destroyed. And it can take weeks even before you’d be able to reopen the restaurant.

You mentioned mold growth as well. Whenever you have water damage you have to think about mold and then that could be an issue with health inspectors and et cetera. So just seems like restaurants are a prime example of a type of business that could really benefit from leak detection and automatic water shutoff.

Dan: Yeah, absolutely. And you know when you have one of these incidents, your health inspector’s going to be all over you. And they’re going to be checking for mold growth and things like that. So it’s just one more headache that you don’t need when you’re running a restaurant.

John: Right, right. And then people might be thinking, well, I don’t know there’s an expense to installing something like that. Am I really going to have burst pipes? But you’re saying is that just the premium difference on your insurance, and potentially being able to use less water because you’re detecting small leaks and things like that, that’s going to pay for itself.

Dan: John, we’ve had some restaurant customers, they get a pay off in the first two months. They found leaks that they didn’t realize they had in the facility, and they were able to mitigate those instantly. So just the water savings alone can be extremely valuable.

John: All right. That’s really great information, Dan. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Dan: Thank you, John.

John: And for more information, visit the Water Hero website at waterheroinc.com or call (877) 662-4496.