Best Water Leak Detectors: Protect Your Home from Damage

One of the biggest issues facing any homeowner is water damage. A burst pipe, hot water heater or leaky appliance can cause you to spend thousands of dollars in repairs. Fortunately, there are now a number of smart devices that can not only detect water leaks, but can also notify you and shut off the water automatically, keeping a small problem from becoming a major catastrophe.

Credit: SamsungCredit: SamsungWe're in the process of testing all of these sensors, but in the meantime, we've researched some of the best models, based on their features and Amazon user ratings (if available). We also factored in each product's Fakespot grade, which is based on algorithms and determines whether the user reviews are of high or low quality.

Water Leak Detectors: Quick Buying Tips

Smart water leak detectors are generally very inexpensive — less than $100 — and will send an alert to your smartphone when they sense water. However, they will not shut off the water. Here are a few things you need to consider before you buy.

  • Battery or plug-in? Some leak detectors run on batteries, while others need to be plugged in; the former type makes it easier for the detectors to fit into locations that are far from an outlet, but their batteries will need to be replaced every year or so.
  • Built-in alarm: A detector with a built-in alarm will sound a siren, so that you can hear where the leak is coming from, without your smartphone.
  • Smart home integration: While not a necessity, if a detector works with other smart home systems such as Alexa or Google Home, you can have a light flash in your house, for instance, when there's a water leak.

There are dozens of smart leak detectors, but these are among the most popular and highest-rated on Amazon.

Samsung SmartThings Water Leak Sensor

Credit: SamsungCredit: SamsungAmazon Rating: 4 Stars
Fakespot Grade: A

Samsung's leak detector is one of the least expensive, but requires the Samsung SmartThings Hub ($99) to communicate with your smartphone. It doesn't have an alarm of its own, but because it integrates with Samsung's ecosystem, you can link it to a lot of other smart home devices, including lights, alarms and more. The sensor runs on two coin-cell batteries, which should last up to two years.

D-Link DCH-S160

Credit: D-LinkCredit: D-LinkAmazon Rating: 3.5 stars
Fakespot Grade:
A

D-Link's sensor connects directly to your Wi-Fi router, so you don't need to link it to a smart hub first. It also has a 70-dB alarm. The D-Link sensor needs to be plugged in to work, but it comes with a 3.5-foot extension cable and a 1.65-foot sensor cable. It also works with IFTTT.

Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak & Freeze Detector

Credit: HoneywellCredit: HoneywellAmazon Rating: 3.5 stars
Fakespot Grade:
B

Many pipes will burst when the water trapped inside them freezes and expands. That's why, in addition to water leaks, Honeywell's sensor can also detect temperature changes, and send you an alert when things get too cold. The Lyric sensor runs on two AA batteries, which are rated to last up to three years and includes a 4-foot sensor cable.

When the Lyric Freeze detects a leak, it will send an alert to your phone and emit a 100-dB alarm. It also connects directly to your Wi-Fi — no hub needed. Honeywell's Lyric products also work with a wide range of smart home systems.

Detectors with Shut-Off Valves

These devices not only detect water leaks, but can also shut off your water. However, they're more expensive, and will typically require you to get a plumber to install a device on your main water line.

Wally

Credit: Wally HomeCredit: Wally HomeAmazon Rating: 5 stars (1 review)
Fakespot Grade:
Not rated

Wally was one of the first smart home water leak detectors and has now added a gas and water shutoff valve to its suite of products. Instead of monitoring the water flow at the source, Wally uses a number of wireless sensors, placed at critical areas — such as your hot water heater — to detect leaks. It will also alert your smartphone and can automatically shut off the water, too.

The Wally will work with IFTTT, which you can use to connect it to other smart home systems, such as Nest and Philips Hue. A shutoff valve, two sensors and a hub costs $324; extra sensors cost $35 each. While installation is not included, the Wally Rapid Response support service will reach out to you if the system detects an issue and help troubleshoot the problem.

Flo

Credit: FloCredit: FloAmazon Rating: Not rated
Fakespot Grade:
Not rated

The Flo monitors your water flow, pressure and temperature. It can also tell you what's using water, and it runs periodic tests to determine if there's a water leak. In the event that a major leak is detected, it can automatically shut off the water. It currently does not work with any other smart home systems, but the company is working on integrations.

The Flo is available for early adopters for $399 and includes professional installation as well as a free upgrade for future devices. The full retail price of the Flo will be $699, which will be available in Q1 2018.

Guardian Leak Prevention Kit

Credit: GuardianCredit: GuardianAmazon Rating: Not rated
Fakespot Grade:
Not rated

Unlike other water shutoff valves, which require a plumber to install, the Guardian Leak Protection Kit sits on your water line and merely turns the shutoff handle already on your line. In fact, you don't need any tools to install it.

The Guardian comes with two wireless water sensors, which you place in the areas that are most likely to leak, such as under your sink. It also performs periodic tests to ensure it's in working order, and an optional battery backup will keep it running for 12 hours if your power goes out.

Buoy

Credit: Buoy Credit: Buoy Amazon Rating: Not rated
Fakespot Grade:
Not rated

Buoy's device looks like, well, a buoy. In addition to alerting you when there's a water leak, Buoy can also tell you how you're using your water; algorithms know whether you're using a shower, dishwasher or toilet, and it helps you identify ways to conserve water —  saving you money on your water bill.

If Buoy detects a leak, it will send an alert to an app on your smartphone and give you the option to shut off the water. It runs off a rechargeable battery, so you can still get alerts even if the power goes out. It also works with Alexa and Nest. The Buoy retails for a pricey $799, but that includes installation as well as lifetime support.

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