For the last year KPRC 2 Investigates has heard the same complaint from hundreds of water customers ‘DRAINED’ by huge water bills. They all say there’s *no way* they used the amount of water the city is charging them for. But when your water meter shows you have used hundreds of thousands of gallons of water there is no real way to refute it, until now. Investigative reporter Amy Davis shows one way to test the city’s reading.
“It was intriguing, your story, and so I thought well, maybe this will help with a lot of the confusion,” said York.
The Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff made by Moen is made to detect leaks in your home and alert you to avoid water damage. But because it calculates all of the water that flows into your home York thought it could work to confirm or refute the city’s water meter.
“You would be able to know for sure what you’re using and then you would be able to check that against what the city of Houston is charging you,” said York.
York’s crews installed one of the devices on my home in July.
“People don’t think a lot about the water in their house until they have a problem with that water,” said Mason Hall, Head of connected products at Moen.
The head of connected products at Moen, Mason Hall, told us the device can even show you where you are using the most water in your house. [More from Moen here.]
“It actually can provide you consumption information down to the type of fixtures you have in your home. So, whether that be a shower, a faucet, an appliance, like a washing machine.”
After the installation you connect the device to your Wi-Fi and then download the Flo by Moen app. For the first 30 days, the device is learning your habits. For example, when your family bathes or you’re cooking or doing the dishes or washing clothes. Every time you turn on the water anywhere in your house the device is keeping track.
When Amy’s son showered for 8 minutes, he used just over 22 gallons of water.
Flushing the toilet uses about 1.9 gallons of water.
Every night the device runs a health test and sends you a notification if it detects a leak, no matter how small. It helped Amy find a drip in a bathtub we hadn’t used in months. If the device detects a large leak or abnormal amount of water usage it would send you an alert. If you don’t respond the device shuts off the water supply to your home to protect you and your property.
“Annual household leaks accumulate to a massive amount of water waste every year,” said Hall.
Amy said at her house the water measured by the device matched what the city showed. While she questioned some of her bills the readings from the device never showed she was using hundreds of thousands of gallons, like some homeowners. The Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff runs about $500.
Moen and Southern Plumbing worked together to help us show you how all of this works.