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Frequently Asked Questions

Is CarePenguin right for me?

In order to use CarePenguin, you must have the following

– Access to your loved one’s water heater (Keep in mind that CarePenguin does not work on water heaters with recirculation pumps.)
– Your loved one must have WiFi at their house
– You must have a smart phone to download our app. CarePenguin is now available on both iOS and Android!
– Someone to do the simple installation via a smart phone on site. See more on having another family member or helper do the installation.

How do I talk to my parent about CarePenguin?

You can start by bringing up the fact that CarePenguin is a non-invasive way to monitor if your parent is going about his or her day. CarePenguin is less invasive than motion sensors or cameras, and it doesn’t require that they wear a device. As it simply monitors whether or not water has been turned on in the house, each time your parent runs a little water, it is like them saying they are okay. In the end, though, it is ultimately up to you and your family to determine if CarePenguin is a good fit.

I’m not sure if my loved one uses water that often

Senior citizens use hot water more than you think! We’ve tested our sensors in senior citizens’ houses and found that the average senior citizen uses water about six to ten times a day, making it an excellent proxy for human behavior. CarePenguin can sense anything from rinsing a dish, brushing teeth, washing hands, doing dishes, doing laundry, taking a shower, etc. This is because hot water and cold water are usually mixed at the faucet. It’s rare that people just use cold water. When a faucet is turned on, some warm/hot water is moving through and even the smallest amount causes CarePenguin to detect an event of water use. Contact us if you have any questions!

I don’t have access to my loved one’s water heater. Can I still use this?
In order to for CarePenguin to work properly, you do need access to the water heater for a house or apartment.
My loved one doesn’t have WiFi, can I still use this?
No. CarePenguin needs to connect to WiFi in order to collect data and alert loved ones to problems.
Does CarePenguin require a smartphone?

Yes. CarePenguin requires the adult child or caregiver to have a smart phone in order to set up their account, view their loved one’s activity, and receive updates and notifications. The loved one does not need a smart phone. CarePenguin is now available on both iOS and Android!

Does CarePenguin work with any iPhone?
Yes, but it does require iOS 14+
Does CarePenguin work with Android?

Yes, CarePenguin is now available on Android!

Does CarePenguin require batteries?
No. The CarePenguin sensor plugs into a nearby outlet near the water heater. The CarePenguin sensor has a 10 ft cord, but you might require an expansion cord if your nearest outlet is farther away than 10 ft.

How it works

How does CarePenguin work?
The CarePenguin sensor simply takes the temperature of the hot water pipe output on a water heater. Whenever someone uses water in the house, the temperature of that pipe spikes up, indicating that someone in the house is up and active. The CarePenguin app displays this data, showing your loved one’s activity throughout the day. You can check anytime to see the last time your loved one was active and receive alerts if we detect a lack of activity, encouraging you to check in and make sure everything is okay.
Does CarePenguin require a wearable device?
No, CarePenguin detects a problem if there is a lack of activity in the house.
If CarePenguin detects a potential well-being issue, who will respond?
If we detect a lack of activity, we will send a notification to the family member or caregiver that made the account on our app encouraging them to check in on their parent.
Can CarePenguin automatically detect falls?
No, CarePenguin detects a problem if there is a lack of activity in the house when there is usually activity at that time.
My loved one doesn’t have WiFi, can I still use this?
No. CarePenguin needs to connect to WiFi in order to collect data and alert loved ones to problems.

Installation

Can I install CarePenguin myself?
Absolutely! CarePenguin is simple to install. All you need to do is zip-tie our sensor to the hot water pipe output on a water heater, plug it into a nearby outlet, set up your account on our app, and connect it to WiFi using our step-by-step instructions. If you can set up a Nest product or Amazon Alexa, you can set up CarePenguin.
Where do I attach CarePenguin on the hot water pipe source?
Our sensor should be attached on the hot water pipe output from a water heater. It should be as far from the water heater as possible, but before the pipe starts branching off into other areas of the house.
Can my elderly loved one install CarePenguin themself?
Installing CarePenguin takes a similar amount of skill as installing a Nest product or an Amazon Alexa. We recommend that you install the sensor yourself when you are visiting your elderly loved one or invite another family member to your CarePenguin account and they can install it.
Does CarePenguin work on water heaters with recirculation systems?

No, CarePenguin does not work on water heaters with recirculation pumps. If you’re not sure what a recirculation pump is, you can read our blog here to learn more.

Does CarePenguin work on tankless/on-demand water heaters?

Yes, CarePenguin works on tankless/on-demand water heaters. However, some newer models of tankless systems have a recirculation pump built in and activated. CarePenguin does not work with the recirculation pump turned on. More on tankless systems and recirculation pumps here.

Cost and billing

How much does CarePenguin cost?

The CarePenguin In-Home Activity Sensor is available at the affordable price of $99 and comes with a free version of the CarePenguin App. The free app allows users to see their loved one’s activity by hour. For an additional $48/year users can update to CarePenguin Premium to set up and receive alerts for lack of activity as well as invite other family members to their account.

What is included in free CarePenguin app vs. the Premium version?

The free version of the CarePenguin app that is included with the one-time $99 purchase of the sensors allows users to see their loved one’s activity by hour. They can see the first time their loved one used water that day, how many times they’ve used water,  and the last time they used water.

By upgrading to CarePenguin Premium for $48/year, users are able to set up and receive push notifications for lack of activity as well as invite other family members to their account.

Can I use the sensor without having to get the app?

No. The value that CarePenguin provides is in the software. The sensor is what gathers the data and our app is what observes your loved one’s water usage patterns and alerts you if something is wrong. You will not be able to see your loved one’s activities  if you do not download the app.

Is there an installation fee?
No, the CarePenguin sensor is easily installed by the buyer in a matter of minutes. However, if you need someone else to install it because you don’t live near a loved one you may have to pay a handyman to do the simple install.

Still have questions about CarePenguin? Get in touch