Fixing a leak before major water damage occurs can save not only a lot of money, but also the potential for loss of personal possessions and unnecessary safety concerns. Water damage can result from a variety of household issues, like broken seals, clogged lines, loose connections, excess water pressure, and more.
Smart water leak detectors are able to detect water and thereby help prevent excess moisture or even flooding that could result from faulty pipes or appliances. When water (or high humidity, or a risk for freezing pipes) occurs, sensors set off a physical alarm or trigger an alert to be sent via WiFi to your phone or computer. Some systems can even automatically shut off valves to prevent major damage.
The engineers at Good Housekeeping Institute have evaluated numerous smart water leak detectors over the years. When we test, we first and foremost check the effectiveness of the sensors when doused in water. We also assess the ease of setup and intuitiveness of the companion apps, and look at things like integration with other smart home products. Based upon our testing, category expertise, and reviews of newer and innovative leak detectors on the market, these are the best smart water leak detectors for you.
How to find the best water leak detector for you
Here's what you'll want to consider when shopping for a water leak detecor:
- Smart home integrations: If you already have other smart home gadgets, you’ll want to check if you can integrate the water leak detector with cloud-based platforms like Amazon Alexa or with other smart home products in your established ecosystems (i.e., Apple HomeKit). Some smart water leak detectors integrate with a smart home ecosystem, or require a hub that works as a kind of “central command” to link devices together – others work independently via an app. Whether you choose to have a stand-alone smart water leak detector or one that is integrated with a smart home system is a personal choice — both are effective.
- Multiple sensors: If you don’t get a whole home system, look for options that allow you to add multiple sensors so you can keep track of everything together. For example, you may want a sensor located near your washer, another near the dishwasher, one underneath that pesky spare room window that often leaks in a storm. The number of sensors you should have is determined by your home’s needs.
- Automatic water shut-off: The ability for the system to automatically shut off the water source if a leak is detected is extremely useful. An unchecked leak and resulting flooding can cause substantial damage – and can be very expensive.
- Temperature monitoring: For those who live in cold weather climates, look for a system that can also monitor freezing temperatures so you’ll be alerted to potentially freezing pipes. Some also sense excess humidity which, unchecked, could cause mold.
- Battery life: Many of the sensors on the market can last at least a year, but some can last upwards of five years as claimed by the manufacturer. Some sensors send an alert if the battery needs replacing.