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How to Prevent Plumbing Leaks Automatically

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey demonstrates a wireless detector that can shut off the water in case of a flood.


  1. Shut off the water supply at the main shutoff valve.
  2. Using the pipe cutter, cut into the pipe close to the water main.
  3. Install the automatic valve and connect to it, using the appropriate fittings based on the style of your water supply piping.
  4. Find a good place to place the receiver, close to the automatic shutoff. Connect the automatic shutoff to the receiver.
  5. Program the sensors following the instructions included with the kit.


Richard demonstrated the RDT Reliance Wireless Plumbing Leak Protection System, which can be purchased through plumbing supply houses.

Expert assistance for this segment was provided by Morris Merchants.