Whether it's frozen pipes, a water heater that bursts, or a leaky washing machine, there are lots of reasons to protect your home against water damage.
A smart water leak detector can identify leaks and send alerts to your phone, even when you're away from home. But it can be difficult to know which water leak detection system to buy, which is why we tested the top-rated standalone flood detectors on the market.
If you want the very best, we'd recommend the Flo by Moen Smart Water Leak Detector (available at Amazon for $49.99) . The fast alerts, easy setup, intuitive app—and even the ability to shut off your water on command with an added accessory—make this the best smart water leak detector we've ever tested.
For something less expensive, the Wasserstein Wi-Fi Water Leak Sensor(available at Amazon) is a value-packed choice. We’ve also got several other great options on our list to help you find the best for your home.
Flo by Moen Smart Water Leak Detector
Flo by Moen’s Smart Water Leak Detector is the very best that you can buy. It sends near-instantaneous alerts (imperative in a smart leak detector) to both iOS and Android devices, as well as email.
Moen's detector passed all of our tests with flying colors and even continued to function after being submerged in water. When a leak is detected, the sensor plays an alarm sound, flashes red, and sends alerts in a matter of seconds.
The Moen smart water detector isn't compatible with smart assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple's Siri. However, what it lacks in voice-control capabilities, it makes up for with a beautifully designed app full of useful data insights. The sensor also monitors temperature and humidity within your home, which can help with moisture control.
The compact design of the Flo by Moen detector fits easily where leaks are common, in tight spaces in bathrooms, basements, and under sinks. An adhesive wall bracket is included for mounting the Moen leak detector, as well as a 4-foot probe, which easily slides under washing machines and other hard-to-reach spaces where moisture can occur.
Although we haven’t tested it, the smart water leak detector can be paired with the Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff, so if a leak is detected, you can automatically shut off the water to your home in the Flo by Moen app.
Overall, the Flo by Moen Smart Water Leak Detector is the most intelligent leak detector we’ve tested thanks to real-time alerts when a leak occurs. The simple setup, quick installation, and ease of use add to the package, making this leak sensor a wise investment for any homeowner.
Wasserstein’s Wi-Fi Leak Sensor earns our Best Value pick for several reasons. Although it wasn’t the quickest at sending alerts, it still managed to send notifications in under 20 seconds over both Wi-Fi and cellular data.
The setup process is about as easy as it gets. There’s a scannable QR code in the instruction manual that takes you to the Wasserstein App, and it takes less than a minute to follow the prompts and get the leak detector up and running.
Wasserstein’s leak detector comes with a probe, which is a helpful addition if you want to slide the sensor into a tight space like underneath or behind a washing machine or dishwasher. It also comes with a wall anchor, so you can hang the larger portion of the leak detector nearby and place the probe where possible leaks might arise.
If you have a Ring alarm system, the Ring Flood Sensor is the perfect leak detecting device to integrate with your home security setup. The alarm system is a requirement for using the water sensor, which is why we only recommend it for homes with existing Ring systems.
The small, circular device is flat enough to fit under sinks, refrigerators, toilets, and other areas where leaks may occur. It doesn't come with an extension probe as some other leak detectors do, so make sure it fits your intended usage space before you buy.
Once in place, it works like a charm, sending timely smart alerts to your phone or tablet as soon as it comes into contact with water. It can also send you notifications when the temperature drops, alerting you to any potential frozen pipes. Currently, there are no Alexa integrations that work with Ring’s flood sensor—only push notifications. The sensor is managed via the Ring app, which also requires two-factor authentication.
The sensor runs on a replaceable lithium battery, which has a lifespan of up to three years. Using the Ring Alarm System’s Home Base station, the Flood connects over Z-Wave and must be within 250 feet of the hub to function properly. Additional range extenders are available for purchase.
Looking for a water leak detector that works with Apple HomeKit? The Eve Water Guard is more expensive than some other leak detectors, but it's one of the few options that plays nicely with Apple HomeKit. It does not support Android systems, so it's not a great pick for everyone. For Siri users, however, the Eve leak detector is a smart choice in more ways than one.
The device runs through the Apple Home app and connects via Bluetooth. For remote management, an Apple Home Hub like the HomePod Mini is required.
The Guard comes with a 6.5-foot sensing cable that is small enough to fit in tight spaces to detect water under the dishwasher or washing machine. Immediately upon sensing water, the sensor plays a blistering 100-decibel siren, flashes a red light, and quickly sends smart alerts to your Apple devices. It’s timely and impossible to ignore, which is crucial in a smart water leak detector.
Compared to some of the other leak detectors we tested, the Govee Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector was pretty easy to set up. It didn’t take to my Wi-Fi on the first attempt, but on the second try, the device was set up in under 60 seconds.
Despite a mostly smooth setup, the notifications were finicky. The leak detector sends near-instant alerts over Wi-Fi, but my phone never received notifications when connected to data. Overall, Govee’s water sensor works great if you have a steady internet connection. But if you’re away from your home network, you may not get them.
The Govee Home app is easy to navigate, but it doesn’t offer as many facts about the sensor (such as temperature, humidity, and battery life) like other smart water detectors. One of the best features of the app is the ability to go in once a leak has been detected and turn the audible alarm off. Most water leak detectors we tested don’t offer this feature, but it’s totally necessary to shut off this sensor’s ear-splitting alarm tone.
Of all the sensors we tested, this one by far is the least pleasing to listen to. It sounds more like a squealing car alarm, and that seems a bit excessive for a leak detector unless it’s placed in such a distant corner of your home that you’re afraid you won’t hear it.
The Wi-Fi-enabled Phyn Smart Water Sensor doesn't offer any integration with smart platforms like Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo, or Google Home. Rather, it runs through the Phyn mobile app, which sends smart alerts when water is detected.
For the most part, the sensor does a good job of reporting any leaks, but there were several occasions when it took too long to get alerts. It also plays an audible alarm tone, but the sound is too soft to hear from another room with the door closed. The only way to cease the sound is by pressing the button on the top of the device, which may be hard to get to depending on where you place it.
The device is comparable in size to a hockey puck, rendering it too large to fit under appliances. Instead, you can buy a Phyn extension node to ensure full coverage in tight spaces.
Additionally, the sensor tracks temperature and humidity numbers and can send you alerts when the readings drop below your custom threshold. It requires two AA batteries, which should last you about two years before they will need to be replaced. The app only supports nine water leak sensors per account, which can add up quickly if you live in a large home.
One of two leak detectors we tested that works with Apple HomeKit, the Fibaro Flood Sensor offers the unique ability to be checked during a chat with Siri. It is one of just two sensors we tested that can float and survive flooding, but those are the only real positives to the device.
It only works with Apple devices and runs over Bluetooth, meaning you'll need to use an iPad, HomePod Mini, or an Apple TV as an Apple Home Hub to receive leak alerts when you're away. As for the alerts, they would only come through the Apple Home app during our tests, not Fibaro's companion app.
The Zircon Leak Alert Wi-Fi Detector is large and bulky. Furthermore, the setup process took us longer than anticipated, as we could not get the sensor to connect to Wi-Fi after five attempts. When setting up the sensor, you need to enter the leak detector’s IP address into a web browser like Chrome or Safari. We were unable to get this to work on a laptop browser using Google Chrome but finally got it to work when using the Safari browser on an iPhone.
The Zircon sensor does not have a companion app. That means when a leak is detected, the device only sends email alerts to the account of your choice (you get to indicate this during setup). This part is a major bummer because push notifications from companion apps draw much more attention to themselves.
The sensor plays a very loud 105-decibel tone when water is detected. As for the timeliness of the notifications, the Zircon detector immediately played a sound as soon as it came into contact with water. However, the email notification didn’t come through until almost four minutes later.
The detector runs on a 3V lithium battery that’s included with your purchase. When the battery life starts to run low, the device will beep every five seconds. It doesn’t integrate with popular smart home ecosystems like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. And once it comes into contact with liquid, it’s almost impossible to dry off (which is what you have to do to stop the blaring alarm). A final note: The leak alert detector is splash- and water-resistant, but it is not meant to be submerged.
Hi, I’m Rachel Murphy, Reviewed’s smart home staff writer. I live in a smart home that’s full of smart cameras, smart plugs, smart speakers, and more. During my tenure at Reviewed, I’ve tested smart mini projectors, smart doorbells, and other gadgets that can be controlled remotely or via smart assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. I spent about a month testing smart water leak detectors and retesting leak sensors we previously tested.
Our original smart leak detector testing was conducted by Daniel Wroclawski, a tech-obsessed editor who co-led the news and features team for Reviewed back in 2016. Nowadays, he writes about the latest smart home products for Consumer Reports.
These detectors can detect leaks, changes in water temperature, humidity, and much more. We tailored our testing to determine how these products operated both as smart home devices and as water sensors, which turned out to be two different sets of criteria.
It shouldn’t be difficult to set up the “smart” part of a smart water leak detector. Beyond that, we looked at whether the devices required an app or smart hub and whether it integrated into an existing smart home environment. Lastly, we judged whether the devices could be controlled remotely and if they had trouble maintaining connectivity.
As important as the smart aspect is, these devices must function well as water sensors. Once a leak is detected, did the device reliably sound an alarm or send out notifications? We also tested whether a device sensor could survive being submerged or if it floated.
Our favorite smart water leak sensors were painless to set up and use, and they consistently sensed and alerted us to the presence of water. Ideally, they could persist despite being completely submerged in water, or they floated.
What You Should Know About Smart Water Leak Detectors
A smart water leak detector could very well become your new best friend this winter, as it could save you thousands in home repairs.
How Do Smart Water Leak Detectors Work?
This type of smart device has a built-in sensor that sends a signal and/or an audible alert when a water leak is detected. With most models, the leak-detecting sensors are located on the bottom of the device. Most models we tested have alarms that sound when there is a leak, but they may also send push notifications to an app and/or an email.
Where Should Smart Water Leak Detectors Be Placed?
Smart water leak detectors should be set up where leaks are likely to occur: near toilets, around pipes, under sinks, around pipes like those behind toilets and underneath sinks, and by appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters. Some models have probes that can be placed under appliances, too. Additionally, it’s a good idea to put sensors in areas of a home that have had past water damage, including the attic.
Are Smart Water Leak Detectors Worth the Money?
A smart water leak detector can save you money by catching a leak before it becomes a major problem. Once a leak is detected and you receive an alert, you should have enough time to turn off your water or make a quick emergency repair. Some insurance companies also offer discounts to homeowners who have leak detectors.
What to Do if Your Wi-Fi Connection Isn’t Great
Depending on how far your leak sensor is from your Wi-Fi set up, it may have trouble communicating with your internet connection, which can hinder your ability to receive leak alerts.
If that's the case, we recommend using a mesh Wi-Fi router to bolster the connection. The Google Wi-Fi three-pack ships with one router that connects to broadband, and two nodes to extend the Wi-Fi signal. It's simple to set up, guides you through the best placement of the nodes for optimal performance and coverage, and works great in apartment buildings and standalone homes.
Our guide to securing your smart home has lots of advice about how to protect your privacy. There are some simple steps you can take:
Purchase devices with two-factor authentication.
Use a unique, strong password.
Regularly delete voice recordings when using devices with smart assistants.
When using devices with smart assistants, mute the speaker’s mic when it’s not in use.
Rachel Murphy is Reviewed's home editor. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a freelance writer for publications like Insider and Mashable, and as an associate editorial producer for Good Morning America. Aside from smart home tech, her interests include food, travel, parenting, and home renovation. You can usually find her sipping on coffee at any time of the day.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.