Here’s what you need to think about when you buy smart leak detectors and install them in your home.
Placement and sensorsA: If you don’t have one problem area or device that you want to monitor, you will probably need multiple leak detectors. Most have cables with sensors on the end, some have cords with water sensors, and others are standalone. You can also use extension nodes with some detectors. Think about the areas you want to cover when deciding which type of detector will suit you best and how many you need.
AlertsA: All smart water leak detectors we tested send push notifications in the event of a leak, but some also send emails and text messages. Most have some sort of built-in horn, but some offer separate sirens or can be configured to send alerts through smart speakers or other devices. It’s worth checking if your choice supports disconnect alerts to alert you when the connection is lost, which can happen if the power or Wi-Fi goes out.
PowerA: Most detectors are battery powered, but you can purchase one that plugs directly into a power outlet. You can set and forget plug-in detectors, but batteries give you more placement flexibility, and the companion app usually alerts you when the batteries need to be replaced.
WiFi access: Most smart water leak detectors connect directly to your Wi-Fi router or hub, so make sure you have a decent signal wherever you put them. Most of the devices we tested only connect to Wi-Fi in the 2.4GHz band. Remember that they need internet access to alert you to any leaks or problems when you are away from home. If your internet goes down, they will just act as local alarms.
Smart home integration: While companion apps and mobile notifications are typical, some detectors support smart home standards, allowing you to access detectors in your smart home app of choice and set up triggers or automation. For example, you can set a water alert to make your smart lights flash, or choose the temperature at which the heating or air conditioning turns on.
Automatic water shutoff: On some high-tech systems, you can install a water control device with an automatic shut-off function that allows you to shut off the water supply when a leak is detected. But these systems are usually expensive and may require professional installation.
Temperature and humidity monitoring: Some smart water leak detectors can also monitor temperature and humidity, potentially alerting you to frozen pipes or wet environments that could indicate a leak nearby. Typically, you can view temperature and humidity over time to immediately notice any noticeable changes that need to be studied. With smart home automation, you can also turn on the heat or fans at certain levels to reduce the risk of damage.