Smart water leak detectors: should you get one?

These devices help you detect a leak before it causes damage, but is it worth purchasing one?

Smart water leak detector
(Image credit: Moen 920-004 Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector)

‘Water damage’ is a phrase that can send shivers down anyone’s spine. Whether it’s to do with your home or not, it’s a horrible thought. According to Traveller’s Claim Data from 2013-2020, plumbing-related leaks are one of the top 5 causes of property damage. Therefore, the importance of recognising and locating leaks is more prominent than ever.

Smart sensors are a great addition to any home, and smart water leak detectors are no exception. Smart water leak detectors are able to detect water in the early stages of a leak, helping to prevent excess moisture or even flooding that could result from faulty plumbing issues. When this occurs, sensors set off a physical alarm or trigger an alert to be sent to your phone or computer. Some systems can even automatically shut off valves to prevent major damage.

However, these smart detectors often come with a steep price point and a lack of detail when it comes to locating the leaks themselves. Not to worry – T3 is here to take you through the pros and cons, so you can make the best decision for you. 

Pros of Smart Water Leak Detectors 

They are built to detect even the smallest of leaks 

Whether it’s a few small drips or some serious damage, these devices are designed to pick everything up. One thing’s for sure  –  it’s definitely useful to have one rather than not have one!

Some can be economically priced

There are a few smart detectors that are fairly priced if you have a budget. However, this means that they can lack particular features so make sure you know what you’re looking for before you buy. 

The information is sent to your phone directly 

Having access to information transmitted by your detector when you’re away from home can put your mind at ease. However, this may mean that you will need to keep your wifi on permanently – not ideal if you’re away for a long period of time. 

Additional features 

A majority of smart detectors not only detect leaks, but also high humidity or a risk of pipes freezing over. Perfect for the changing seasons! 

Cons of Smart Water Leak Detectors 

Most detectors don’t actually tell you where the leak is

Whilst smart detectors are very good at saying that you have a leak, they’re not very good at telling you where it is. This will make things rather difficult if the leak is in a restrictive place or you’re not sure about its origin.

Some devices need to be fitted professionally

Some detectors will need to be fitted by a professional which can incur an additional cost. However, this won’t leave any room for mistake and it will be installed correctly. 

They are battery powered 

Battery powered devices can run down quickly, which can be expensive in itself. However, a majority of smart water detectors send a notification if battery life is low, so you know exactly when to replace them. 

False positive readings

Whilst this doesn’t happen often, it has been reported that a few smart water leak detectors can give a false positive, suggesting you have a leak when you don’t. This terrifying thought may have an effect on your blood pressure, but it may be helpful to know that a ‘false negative’ result is even rarer. 

Some of the higher end detectors are very expensive 

Some of the top devices are on the pricey side, but again, the price will reflect how many features it has. 

Smart water leak detectors are a very useful device to have in your home. However, whether it’s worthwhile or not depends on the cost of the system you choose and whether it works the way you want it to. Make sure to do your research before buying so that you are fully aware of the benefits and limitations. This will help you find the best one for you. Happy browsing! 

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Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.