Smart faucets: Are there faucets that can detect water levels in sinks and bathtubs so they don’t overflow?

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Are there faucets that can detect water levels in sinks and bathtubs so they don’t overflow?


My parents are becoming increasingly more forgetful. They leave the bathtub tab running until it flows over and often forget to turn off the faucet after washing their hands. Are there any motion sensor faucets for sinks and bathtubs we could have installed to prevent this?

Our answer

Flowban is a device that shuts off the water to faucets, so bathtub overflows are stopped. Even when a tub doesn’t overflow, it detects the water overflow in the waste drain and prevents excessive water waste. The product costs around $250 (USD), plus additional shipping fees, and delivers to Canada. A competent plumber should carry out the installation.

Here is a paragraph by Flowban explaining how their device works:

Flowban is connected to the overflow pipe between the outlet from the tub and the waste. The hot and cold pipes are connected to the supply ports either side of the float chamber. When the water level in the bath reaches the overflow outlet, water enters the central chamber and activates the float. As the float rises, the magnets that are set into each end of the float repel the magnets on the flapper valves in the supply ports. The flapper valves are pushed into the water flow where the water pressure holds them in the shut position. A trickle of water is allowed to bypass the flapper valve and out of the faucet. The trickle indicates the faucet is still open, but the water level will drop and the central chamber drain. This allows the float to revert to its rest position, but the flapper valves stay shut, held in place by the water pressure. Once the faucet is turned off, the pressure equalises each side of the flapper valve, it is then drawn back to the open position by the magnet on the float. The faucet can now be opened again and full flow will resume.

Overflow Alarms

Overflow Alarms work similarly by having a sensor near the potential overflow or flood point. Once the sensor picks up moisture, it sounds an alarm to notify you about the water breach. 

Motion Sensor Faucets

Motion Sensor Faucets have a motion-activated sensor. Put your hand within the sensor’s range; water will flow automatically and shut off once you remove your hands. Many sensors also come with timers that are turned off after the time elapses to preserve water.

  • Gangang Touchless Sensor Faucet (at Amazon Canada) costs around $70 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees. Four AA Alkaline batteries power this commercial electrical sensor faucet. Batteries last about two years for daily use.
  • Motion Sensor Faucet Adaptor (at Assistive Technology Services) attaches to your existing sink faucets by removing the aerators and screwing the sensor on. The device uses four AAA batteries that last around one year depending on your use. Also, a manual "on" bypass button gives you the ability to turn and leave the faucet running for cleaning or other tasks. The product costs around $68 (USD) plus additional shipping fees.
  • Glacier Bay Touchless Bathroom Faucet (at Home Depot Canada) costs around $130 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees. The faucet has four AA batteries and a three-minute auto shut-off feature to conserve water.
  • Symmons Metering Faucet Model SLS-7000 costs around $120 to $260 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees. The product is available online, including at Amazon Canada and Wayfair.

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