Keep your home safe from water damage
Devices that alert you to leaks let you take action quickly to avoid costly damage.
Water in the wrong place can wreak a lot of damage. A leaky pipe, a failed water heater or faulty sump pump can all lead to mold, structural damage and thousands of dollars in repairs. And, the longer a leak goes undetected, the more damage it does. Fortunately, there are devices and smart systems that can alert you to leaks early so you can take action to quickly protect your home. Let’s take a look at a few.
Sensors that alert you quickly
Sensors that detect water leaks range from basic devices that sound an audible alarm to smart devices that send an alert to your phone wherever you are. Here are a few examples:
- The Glentronics Watchdog Water Alarm does one thing and one thing only: it sounds a 110 dB alarm (for up to three days) when it senses water. The sensor is at the end of a six-foot wire, allowing it to be placed in areas that are hard to reach. (It uses a 9-volt battery.)
- The D-Link Water Sensor is a battery-operated sentry that alerts you of leaks with a built-in 90 dB siren. You can also connect it to Google Assistant to get real-time notifications. (It uses Wi-Fi to send alerts to your phone.)
- The Wally Sensor detects water leaks as well as temperature and humidity changes. It notifies you of the leak via text and email alerts. Wally Sensors also allow you to designate others to receive alerts—a valuable service for those who travel or need assistance at home. (The Wally Sensor can also sense open doors and windows. This device requires the Wally Hub and Wi-Fi to operate.)
- Ring Alarm Flood & Freeze Sensor. Place this sensor on the floor and if water or freezing temperatures are detected, you’ll get an alert on your phone or by email. (This device requires the Ring Alarm Security Kit and Wi-Fi.)
Monitors sense what’s going on in the whole house
Sensors must be placed where a leak is likely to happen. But what if a leak happens someplace that’s not an obvious leak hazard? Monitoring devices that sense the water flow through supply pipes can provide peace of mind.
- The StreamLabs Smart Home Water Monitor keeps tabs on water use and alerts you by app if it detects a slow leak or a major one; has settings for when you’re away from home; and provides freeze alerts when the room temperature drops to dangerous levels. (It requires Wi-Fi.)
- Flume is another monitoring device with an app. If it senses a leak or unusually high water use, it sends a text, email or push notifications. (It requires Wi-Fi.)
Automated shut-off valves stop the water flow completely
A third class of devices take detection and monitoring one step further: automated shut-off valves. When these smart systems detect a leak, they turn off the water supply, preventing extensive damage. Plus, some allow you to turn the water off remotely via an app.
- Flo by Moen is touted as “the all-in-one security system for your home water.” Moen advertises that it can detect leaks as small as a drop per minute. In addition to automatically turning off water in case of a catastrophe, it allows you to turn the water on or off remotely from your smartphone. (It requires Wi-Fi.)
- The Dome Water Main Shut-off works with the Wink Hub and Wi-Fi to turn off the water supply when it detects a leak. It works with supply lines that use a quarter-turn ball valve.
- The Phyn Plus Smart Water Assistant uses LED lights to indicate water flow and can detect leaks based on water pressure. Water valves can be turned off automatically or by remote control. This device can be installed inside or outside. However, it needs to be plugged in to work. (Requires Wi-Fi; works with Alexa and Google Assistant.)
This list of water sensors, monitors and shut-off systems isn’t meant to be comprehensive—there are lots more options on the market. However, now that you know what options are available, you have a starting point for determining what will work best for your home.
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