The Great Christmas Flood That Never Happened

Preventing Disasters. Protecting Investments. Saving Christmas for One Family.

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Published: Sept. 5, 2019 

A few days before Christmas, Jason Schomer of Rochester, Michigan, woke to the sound of his home security alarm going off. His first thought was a Christmas burglar, but before he could even check his app or run to the control panel, he figured out it wasn’t a break in. How did he know? The time gave it away: two o’clock in the morning, a time that turned out to hold great significance in the Schomer household.


Go back in time a few weeks when Schomer met with Gregg Judge, director of Sales and Operations of Comtronics, a Resideo Premier Security dealer in Jackson, Michigan, to discuss installing a security system in his home. Together they went over all the options for a home security, life safety and home automation package with cameras, door locks, sensors, smoke and CO detectors and sensors that connected through a single app. While touring Schomer’s property, Judge noticed a small creek running through his backyard. Judge mentioned the benefit of adding flood detection for the basement in case the creek overflowed, but Jason didn’t think it was necessary since the creek hadn’t previously flooded the property.

Gregg Judge
In 2011 Gregg Judge started working for Comtronics, a Resideo Premier Security dealer based out of Southern Michigan that was founded in 1958.

While finalizing the security package for installment, Judge thought the water sensors were worth mentioning again. “I explained how flood detectors are inexpensive and extremely effective. I also mentioned that if he had valuables in the basement, it may be worth the extra protection.” Judge knew from experience and shared a personal story. “I have water sensors in my own basement and when my sump pump failed twice several years ago, I was alerted and responded before any damaged occurred.” With that personal example, Schomer agreed to have the sensors included in the package.

 

As it turns out, the creek didn’t rise that holiday season, but the Schomers’ water softener regenerated, like it does each week at 2:00 a.m. When it recycles, it purges 200 gallons of brine water, typically into the nearby sink to safely drain away. Unfortunately, someone had done some painting the day before and had used the sink to clean up – the paintbrush was left in it to dry and plugged the drain.

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In a panic, Schomer sprinted to the basement where he and his wife hid their kids’ special Christmas gifts, including expensive electronics, a gaming console and a ski jacket. After he unplugged the sink, he ran to what happened to be the lowest spot in the basement and scooped up the gifts.

To his surprise, the flood had only just started to soak the bottom of the wrapped gifts and did not damage anything. If the sensors hadn’t detected the water or Schomer hadn’t responded so quickly, the gifts would have been under 4-5 inches of dirty water within minutes.


He was able to quickly dry out the presents under a fan and the wrapping paper didn’t have the telltale wrinkles that it was once wet. The kids would never be the wiser and their family holiday was memorable – and for all the right reasons.

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The Schomer kids enjoying Christmas.

Schomer was so grateful that he reached out to Judge to tell him the story and thank him for saving Christmas. Schomer said, “I recommend water sensors to everyone who’s putting in a security system. We know that Christmas gifts can be replaced but the sensors are inexpensive and helped us save precious memories as a family, which can’t be replaced. We were lucky that Gregg was looking out for us.”