Here’s what you need to think about when you buy smart water leak detectors and install them in your home.

Location and sensorsA: If you don’t have a single problem area or device you want to monitor, you’ll probably need several smart water leak detectors. Most have cables with sensors at the end, some have cords that sense water, and others are standalone. You also have the ability to expand the nodes with some detectors. Think about the areas you want to cover, and think about which detector will suit you best and how much you will need.

AlertsA: All of the smart water leak detectors we tested send push notifications when a leak occurs, but some also send emails and text messages. Make sure your selection also supports disconnect alerts to alert you if a connection is lost, which can happen if the power or Wi-Fi goes out.

PowerA: Most detectors run on batteries, but you can get some that plug directly into an outlet. You can install and forget the built-in detectors, but the batteries give you more flexibility in placement, and the accompanying app usually warns you when the batteries need to be changed.

Wi-Fi access: Smart water leak detectors connect directly to your Wi-Fi router or hub, so make sure you have a decent signal wherever you install them. All devices tested by us connect only to Wi-Fi in the 2.4 GHz band. Remember that they need access to the Internet to warn you of any leaks or problems. If your internet is turned off, they will just act as local alarms.

Smart home integrationA: While companion apps and mobile notifications are typical, some detectors support smart home standards, allowing you to access detectors in your selected smart home app and configure triggers or automation. For example, you can set a water alert to flash smart flashlights, or perhaps turn on heating or air conditioning at a certain temperature.

Automatic water shutdown: In some high-end systems, you can install a water monitoring 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 expensive and require professional installation.

Temperature and humidity monitoringA: Some smart water leak detectors can also monitor temperature and humidity, potentially warning you of the danger of frozen pipes or a humid environment, which may indicate a leak nearby. You can usually view the temperature and humidity over time, so you may immediately notice any noticeable changes that require investigation. Combined with smart home automation you can also run heating or fans at certain levels to reduce the risk of damage.

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