Quick Guide to Water Leak Detectors & Sensors
A water leak detector can save your home hundreds if not thousands.
But, how do you know if your home has a water leak? The old fashion way is to look at the water meter and call the billing department. Even worse, wait till it’s problem. Then you have to go through and examine every square inch of the house to determine where the water leak is.
If you’re not a very “handy person” the possibility of finding the water leak is close to none. By the time you see it or even know of the leak, the problem may worsen.
In this piece, we’re going to show you the benefits of a smart water leak detector and how home automation can save you money.
Prevention is the best cure and seldom is this truer than staving off a potentially ruinous water leak in your prized smart home.
Imagine coming home to find your 65-inch TV reduced to a useless hunk of metal and glass. Your carpets absolutely trashed. Your robot vacuum absolutely useless, and all your other smart home products in tatters.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The Tale of a Dutch Folk
Much like the boy in the Dutch folk tale who knows the small crack in the dam will lead to its eventual collapse – he plugs it with his finger to take action and save the day – a small water leak will assuredly develop. You can avoid catastrophe by thinking ahead and making sure you stay abreast of any leaks so you can take swift and decisive action. Luckily, you won’t need to use your finger like the little Dutch boy, either.
Traditionally, the only way you could really determine whether or not you were suffering from a leak was to physically check your water meter then contact your billing department to see if consumption suggested something was leaking. Obviously, this is not the kind of solution any tech-savvy smart homeowner is looking for. Not only is it laborious, you’ll need to follow up by scouring your home from top to bottom in search of what you might never even find. Indeed, if you don’t have practical chops, your chances of success are close to zero.
The More Efficient Approach
Since time is of the essence when you’re trying to isolate and deal with a water leak, you need a more efficient approach. Water leak detectors are tailor-made for the job and we would suggest almost an essential addition to any smart home worth its salt.
So today, we’ll give you a snapshot of 3 of the very best water leak detectors on the market. Since there are so many options at your disposal, we’ve curated a trio so you won’t end up suffering from overwhelm and end up putting off the decision completely. Remember, fail to plan and plan to fail. This is not something you should procrastinate over. Postponing the purchase of some new kit for your home theater is one thing, risking the very integrity of your whole connected is another thing entirely so we really would urge you to act on this and we’re here to help out today.
Before we highlight those 3 water leak detectors, we’ll give you a real-life example of how they actually work. If a picture speaks a thousand words, a video is even more descriptive. We’re fortunate enough that our good friend Jason Donahue was kind enough to record a demo of the Insteon water leak detector in full swing.
We think you’ll agree it’s a pretty effective piece of kit and we’ll laser in on what makes it tick after looking at some of the benefits of the best water leak detectors.
How Water Leak Detectors Work
Since water leak damage is the most common cause of all home insurance claims, it’s well worth avoiding being one of those statistics.
Whether water leaks from appliances that break down, from the plumbing or from the roof, the net result could be an tedious claim process followed by increased premiums…
Unless, of course, you nip that tiny leak in the bud with a water leak detector.
Where the more traditional water leak sensors simply triggered a piercing alarm when water was detected, you obviously needed to be at home and within earshot. With the advent of smart technology, water leak detectors developed so you could be alerted to any leak with a notification sent to your cellphone. It’s this type of smart water leak detector we’re dealing with today.
All you need to do is pop a battery-powered leak sensor near any area susceptible to a water leak – think pipes, sump pumps, appliances like washing machine, sinks, toilets – and you’ll get intelligent alerts pinged to your phone when anything more than a minor spill occurs.
The bulk of contemporary water leak detectors can be integrated with your smart home through a central hub. This allows you to add carbon monoxide detectors, thermostats and motion sensors for a more rounded approach. You’ll be able to keep tabs on everything in-app and you can stay fully apprised of what’s happening at home whether you’re on the couch, at the office or away on vacation.
You’ll also have the option of introducing shut-off valves that can pull the plug on the water leak on your behalf, the very essence of home automation at its best.
First, our good friend Jason Donahue is kind enough to show us a walk-through example of his home.
5 Reasons To Invest in a Water Leak Detector
Invest is the key word here. Water leak detectors are firmly in the camp of an investment rather than an expense. The ROI is the security of preventing the calamity of a flooded smart home and a troublesome insurance claim. Or, even worse, discovering you forgot to make your monthly payment and being left to foot a five-figure yourself.
Here are 5 direct benefits from choosing to install water leak detectors:
- Reduce The Cost of Your Water Bill
- Do Your Part For The Environment
- Protect Your Smart Home
- Prevent Damage To Other Properties
- Get The Most From Your Water Supply
Reduce The Cost of Your Water Bill
With almost 30% of water running through distribution systems being lost to leaks and a minor household leak causing the loss of a full 10 gallons, putting a stop to leaks can save you on your water bill. Considering the price of water these days and the overall cost of living continuing to skyrocket, any saving like this is always welcome.
And that’s before you think about the environmental side of things…
Do Your Part For The Environment
As you know, not only is water not free, it’s also becoming somewhat scarcer. Aquifers are starting to dry up and the exploding population around the world is placing tougher demands on the water at our disposal. Droughts are commonplace, snow packs are reducing and reservoirs in many states and across the globe are running low.
Just as you wouldn’t see fit to leave taps running when you’re not using the water, plugging leaks by detecting them and then taking action is in the interests of the planet as well as your own bank balance.
Protect Your Smart Home
A selfish reason for sure, but it’s vital to act in your own self-interest.
After all, you didn’t spend all that time and money to set up a fully connected home only to have it ruined along with your leather furniture and plush carpeting.
Just as you use smart home security to keep burglars at bay, do the same thing with water leak detectors and that’s one fewer menace you need to squander your energy worrying about.
Prevent Damage To Other Properties
You should also think of your neighbors since a water leak that develops into a full-bore flooding scenario could just as easily overspill into abutting properties.
So as well as protecting your own home, saving money and the general water supply, do your part for your neighbors too and you can sleep easily for the price of a restaurant meal.
As you’ll see in Jason’s video, you can make use of your favorite digital butler to turn the water back on once the water leak detector has alerted you and the water line has been shut down with a valve if you choose that more advanced route.
While this might not be an indispensable extra, connecting your sensors to either Google Assistant or Alexa is a neat touch and just one more reason to consider investing in some water leak detectors.
Now you’ve got a solid overview of why you really should get yourself a water leak detector, we’ll tail off with a glance at 3 of the most effective models in a crowded market.
One of the most horrific scenarios as a homeowner is the damage water can do to your home. From ruining essential documents, your favorite pictures, to the foundation of your home. A leak turns into a burst, and there you have thousands of dollars wasted. Smart Home technology allows water leak detectors to not only notify you via text message or email if there’s a water leak but also shuts off the water. The smart home technology nips a small problem in the bud.
Best Water Leak Detectors
Now you have an idea of what traits you would like. We think you’re ready to uncover our best water leak detectors. We’re going to give you the SmartHome.com recommendations. Please note, most of these products run off a hub to transmit a communication from your smart home device to your mobile phone or Home Assistant.
1.Insteon Water Leak Sensor
A fantastic way to get started with water leak detection is by investing in this complete kit from Insteon. You’ll get the enduringly popular Insteon Hub Central Controller thrown in which gives you the ability to control a broad spread of Insteon smart devices remotely. You’ll also get a half-dozen sensors so you’ve got everything you need to get started.
And we say get started advisedly, since you can create an even more robust system by opting for an IO module and shut-off valve meaning you can stop leaks from developing further without lifting a finger.
With alerts and notifications pinged to your smartphone, you’ll never need to worry about your water heater, sink or toilet leaking and spewing out water again, even if you’re away from home or even out of the country.
Check out a live demo of this awesome piece of kit in action right here so you can see for yourself how effective this Insteon kit is. While a water leak detector might not be the most romantic gift to give someone else, why not treat yourself this Christmas instead?
- Hub included so you’ve got the foundation of a smart home not just water leak detectors
- Receive real-time alerts to your smartphone the instant a leak is detected, ideal if you’re away from home
- 6 leak sensors included so protect all major flashpoints and keep your smart home safeguarded around the clock
- Build out using a Plug-In Low Voltage controller and a Water Shutoff Valve so you can ensure the leak is cut off with no need for your input
- Ideal for everything from water heaters and dishwashers through refrigerators and washing machines
2. Samsung SmartThings Water Leak Sensor
Monitoring moisture the SmartThings sensor is a reliable product for any home. Very similar to the Insteon product; connect your smartphone devices, receive text or email notifications, and monitor water leaks while you’re not home in the palm of your hand. The sensor monitors humidity in the air transmitting communication to the hub, then directly to your smartphone.
Insteon has a solid reputation in the domotics vertical and Samsung obviously needs absolutely no introduction either. This SmartThings Leak Sensor calls for a hub but that will give you the ability to do far more than keep tabs on leaking pipes.
Although you’ll need to shell out more for a hub, that’s reflected in the remarkably keen price of the sensor although you should be aware in advance you’ll get just a single sensor. If you only intend to use this leak sensor in one sensitive location, that’s clearly a non-issue. For a more complete system, we’d urge you to consider the Insteon kit instead. Only you know which would make the best sense for you so choose accordingly. We’re not here to give you the hard sell, we just want what’s best for you.
Whatever your preferred smartphone, stay fully abreast of any potential water problems in your smart home with this nifty little SmartThings sensor. You can thank us later but hopefully, you’ll never experience a leak in the first place!
- Exceptional brand heritage and the build quality you’d expect from a smart home titan
- Nimble SmartThings app works equally well on iPhone or Android
- Ramp up protection further with other connected devices in your smart home
- Monitor temperature and sump pump for a wide-reaching protection system
- Instant alerts to your chosen device as with all the best water leak detectors
3. Fibaro Z Wave Wireless Flood Sensor
Last but certainly not least, Fibaro might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of home automation, but this wireless flood sensor punches above its weight and fully deserves its place in our top 3.
As with all these water leak detectors, you’ll need to get yourself a hub but that’s something you’ll either already have in place or will make full use of when building out a fully connected smart home so it’s far from a wasted purchase.
Compatible with Echo and also the vast bulk of security systems, you’ll get all the reliability you’d expect from a Z-Wave device alongside outstanding interoperability and functionality. Z-Wave is not the ideal solution for absolute beginners but makes perfect sense for tech-savvy smart home fiends.
If you’re sold on the idea of keeping on guard against the heinous damage an unchecked water leak can cause, we’d urge you to consider this water leak detector as you’re the first line of defense.
- Easy to build out so you can create Scenes or trigger sirens in addition to the alerts you’ll get on your smartphone
- Sync with Amazon Echo Dot if you can’t get enough of Alexa
- Get visual and audible alerts in the event of any sudden shift in temperature
- Works in tandem with pretty much all wired alarm systems
- You won’t need the expense of professional installation and maintenance is effectively nil so this is a set-and-forget solution
The extravagant Z wave sensor is a wireless flood monitoring device measuring temperature and tilt. Receive instant notification to your smartphone, tablet, or email if there’s a leak. What’s interesting about this product is you can trigger lights, activate scenes or sirens when there’s a threat. Fibaro does require a hub and application, like the other devices but the customization options are endless.
Smart Home is a trusted adviser for Home Automation products bringing the best, quality solution for your home. If you have any questions feel free to contact us. Did we miss something? Want to give us feedback? Let us know on social media!