Skip to Content

What Is A Smart Water Sensor?

If you’ve ever had a dishwasher leak, flooded basement, or a busted pipe in the winter, you might know how crucial it is to find leaks before they become a catastrophe. That’s why a smart water sensor can be so critical to your smart-home, or any space you want to make sure is dry at all times.

A smart water sensor is a small device that will alert you when there’s a leak in your house. Placing these small, battery operated devices near hot water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines can give you notice of a leak or problem immediately, before costly damage occurs.

With each passing year, our homes are becoming smarter, and the latest gadgets are solving the problems that have plagued us for ages. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to know about smart water sensors and how they can help you save money, time, and effort. You probably have home insurance, but ideally you won’t be put in a position where you have to use it!

What’s the Purpose of a Smart Water Sensor?

Every day, approximately 14,000 water leaks (commercial and residential) are discovered in the United States. These leaks result in thousands of gallons of water lost, not to mention the financial issues caused for homeowners and businesses that are damaged by soaked subfloors, moldy drywall, and worse. However, all of that can be prevented if the leaks are found in time.

A smart water leak sensor is just the solution to this problem. This small device is installed near places susceptible to water leaks like hot water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and so on. Its sensors can detect water flow, moisture levels, acoustic signals, and even vibration.

If it senses anything out of the ordinary, an alarm goes off to let you know that there might be a leak. In addition, these devices can send your smartphone alerts and e-mail notifications by connecting to your home network thanks to wireless technology.

No matter you are, you can easily monitor your home for water leaks.

These sensors are highly efficient devices. You don’t have to worry about maintenance, battery life, or installation. Once installed, you’ll get regular alerts about device health and battery status.

The fact that the notifications are instant means you can respond to any leak immediately. In addition, most water leak sensors are compatible with smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and others, making it even easier to manage your home.

Some sensors come with extra features such as shut-off valves, temperature detection, LED lights, and more. These gadgets are straightforward to install, and this small investment can save you thousands of dollars.

How do Smart Water Leak Sensors Work?

Smart water leak sensors work by monitoring changes in the environment and sending alerts through a wireless connection. Usually, a smart water sensor consists of a central hub device connected with a long cable-like probe or multiple wireless detectors.

The hub device contains a battery and processing unit, and may also have a few sensors on it. A wireless system, such as Z-wave technology (a wireless communication tool used in home systems), is then used to send information to your smartphone or tablet. 

The long, cable-like probe is usually placed in difficult-to-reach areas such as behind the sink or under the hot water tank. On the other hand, wireless detectors are installed all over the house in leak-prone areas, such as the basement or garage.

The sensor will monitor changes in temperature, moisture, or sound. It sends immediate alerts to the hub device, which is usually fixed on the wall in the center of the house. From there, a wireless signal is sent to your smartphone. If you are using a smart home platform, you can also receive an alert there. 

Some water leak detectors also feature built-in ringing alarms, making it easier to keep an eye on your property even if the wireless signal is down.

Water sensors are typically placed in spaces near:

  •  Dishwasher and sink water line in the kitchen
  •  Laundry area
  •  Water heaters
  •  Water pipes in the basement
  •  Main pipelines of drinking and drainage water
  •  Water tanks

Types of Water Sensor Alarms

We broadly divide water sensor alarms into two categories:

Active Water Alarms

These alarms have a control panel linked to the main water turn-off valve. When a leak activates the sensor, it cuts off the home’s water supply to avoid further water loss and damage. The Flo by Moen water sensor (on Amazon), paired with the Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shut-off (on Amazon), is a great example of an active smart water alarm.

It comes with a great app and automated system integration that can cut off the water supply in case of a leak.  

These alarms are perfect for properties that go unoccupied for lengthy periods, such as vacation homes or farmhouses. However, you’ll need expert assistance to connect these alarms to the main water supply.

Passive Water Alarms

These water sensors work like smoke sensors. They ring a loud alarm when a water leak is detected, but they don’t have countermeasures like water valves. These alarms work well for homes where you can manually check the property and shut off the water supply until the leak is fixed.

Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor (on Amazon) is a small water leak sensor that can integrate with most smart home setups. As soon as it detects water, its Z-wave system sends a smartphone notification, and a built-in alarm starts ringing to notify the property owner.

You can easily set up passive water sensors in your home. They are usually battery-operated and are very cost-effective.

As we mentioned above, most water sensors now come with wireless technology to send alerts to your smartphone or smart home platform. These sensors also have dedicated apps to make installation and maintenance easier.

What are the Best Smart Water Leak Sensors?

To find the best smart water leak sensors, you should look for devices compatible with your home platform or app, have a long-range transmitter, have multiple sensors, and are easy to maintain. Also, choose a sensor that fits your property and is easy to install.

Good water leak sensors have sensitive advanced sensors that detect leaks early and send alerts in real-time. Below we have compiled a few highly-rated smart water leaks sensors you can get for your home:

1. Fibaro FGFS -101 Flood Sensor (on Amazon)

A fantastic and highly reliable water leak detector with long-range wireless technology and an iOS or Android phone app. The device has a temperature sensor for detecting possible pipe freezing in the winter.

  • Has a temperature sensor to trigger alarms on frozen pipes in winters.
  • Has a tilt alarm. If someone moves, it sends an alert.
  • Has a light and siren alarm.

2. Wally water leak sensor (on Amazon)

A smart water sensor from the makers of WallyHomes is a highly effective and easy-to-install sensor that detects water leaks with the help of its metal sensor pads. The Wally Water Leak Sensor has great features, including humidity sensing, iOS, Apple apps, and multiple person alerts.

In addition, the sensor works on batteries and has pretty good connectivity as well.

  • Fantastic water leak detector with humidity sensing.
  • Easy to install and configure, uses house wiring to communicate with the hub.

3. Govee WiFi Water Sensor

If your wireless network is not working, Govee will ring a 100db alarm to notify you of water leakage immediately. This versatile device can withstand high moisture and be placed under sinks, basins, aquariums, and toilets. In addition, the main hub device will manage ten detectors that you can place anywhere in your house for complete leak protection.

  • Can connect up to 10 wireless water detectors for complete leak protection.
  • Has iOS and Android apps.

How do I Know What Type of Smart Water Leak Sensor to Buy?

Since smart water leak sensors have so many features and new models are launching every month, it must be difficult to choose the right product. If you’re also hoping to get one right away, we recommend considering a few important factors before making a purchase. Here are a few aspects you must consider:

Your smart home platform compatibility

Some sensors are compatible with multiple smart home platforms, while others have dedicated apps. If you already have a smart home system installed, it’ll be better to choose a water leak sensor that works with your automation hub. Also, make sure your sensor can be integrated for app alerts by Z-wave technology.

Sensor range

If you have a small home or apartment, investing in a complete-fledged water sensor system is probably not the greatest option. However, for bigger houses where you’ll need numerous wireless sensors to cover all possible spots, you better choose a system with optimal coverage.

In addition, the ideal sensor must be able to work with your home WiFi or Bluetooth, depending on the requirements of your hub.

Battery life

Depending on the battery type, a single charge can last anywhere from a few months to a whole year. Some leak sensors also feature an AC adaptor to be plugged in. We recommend battery-operated devices because you can place them anywhere without having to worry about power outlets.

Types of sensors

Many water leak sensors come with additional features such as temperature and humidity detections, freeze warning notifications, and so on. It’s ideal to choose a detector that includes all of the essential functions, including temperature monitoring.

Size

Water leak sensors are needed in congested areas such as under the sink or between pipes in the basement. Choose a sensor that can be installed in tight spots and is simple to install.

False Alarms

As much as we want to stay safe from water leaks, you’ll find that many seniors are prone to false alarms. To avoid this, some sensors have a low sensitivity mode, while others offer a smart home panel with adjustable humidity and temperature levels.

Light indicators

Light indicators help you find the device in darker areas like basements and under the sinks. Also, an LED flash can help when the sound of the alarm gets muted in noisy areas.

Automatic Shut-off

Active water sensors can counter water damage by cutting off the water supply. These smart sensors need additional control panels and valves to work. Keep in mind that these systems are expensive and require professional installation.

Do Smart Water Leak Sensors Automatically Shut Off Water?

Most smart water sensors are not designed to shut off the water supply in case of a leak. They only send alerts for you to take the required actions, much like a smoke detector.

However, some water leak sensors are equipped with automated valves that shut off the water supply in case of a leak. Such sensors are expensive and need an external valve controller. Automatic shut-off comes in handy when you’re not at home; the system will notify you and then shut off the water supply.

One such water leak sensor is The Guardian Leak Prevention Kit by Elexa (on Amazon). It’s a fantastic water leak detection system that includes an automatic valve controller to cuts off the main water supply if any of its sensors are activated. It also detects temperature changes and can save your pipes in case of a freeze.

In addition, this system can detect earthquakes, help you avoid potential water damage to your home. It has an excellent wireless control system, good valve control, and compatibility with Android and iOS.

Conclusion

Water leak sensors are a godsend gadget for homeowners; they are easy to install and provide peace of mind while you’re away from home. So, install smart water leak sensors in your house, and take action to save thousands of dollars in potential water damage ahead of time!