Hello, my name is Kevin Murphy, my company Water Heater Watchdog had its start in the late 90’s.
Where did I come up with that idea?
In the mid 90’s, I started a new company called Murphy’s Dryer Vent Service. http://murphysdryerventservice.com/.
I had many customers who had their dryers in the same room as the water heater. Usually multi floor condos.
Even though most had a water heater pan under the water heater there was frequently damage and mold creeping through the drywall and across the flooring.
I asked why this was happening and always received the same answer.
Either the water heater pan wasn’t attached to the PVC pipe correctly or the water heater pan was cracked. Sometimes it had been removed and never replaced.
Most condo associations have mandated battery powered alarms to alert you when there is a leaking water heater.
This would require you to be home during the leaking water heater event, making certain the alarm is properly positioned, upright, and has working batteries.
This doesn’t offer much help in single family dwelling where you need basement flooding protection that’s away from the living space.
And so my journey to develop the Water Heater Watchdog began.
My success criteria?
The product must have a water heater pan, an audible leak alert, and a pump to use as a basement flooding protection device.
My first design looked like a banjo. A large round water heater pan with a neck that housed the leak alert with pump.
I had my friend at Caldwell HVAC, https://www.caldwellhvac.com/ build me a prototype water heater pan with the neck to receive the leak alert with pump.
I started testing it and soon I had my proof of concept.
The next step was to see if this idea was patentable at the United States Patent and Trade Mark Office.
I did some research to see what was patented and how it related to my idea.
Everything I found in my category had a water heater pan but no pump.
I knew I was on to something and started asking friends and acquaintances if they thought the idea was something that they would buy if it was on the market.
After receiving mostly positive feedback, I hired Chipperson Law Group https://www.chippersonlaw.com/ to represent me during the long process of getting a patent.
I knew I had a homerun with this idea. I worked diligently to improve the prototype and make it a product that could be marketed to the public.
My next blog will explore the evolution of the initial idea into different iterations.