Smart Home

The Best Smart Water Leak Detectors

These sensors will send alerts about frozen pipes, leaks, and floods right to your phone.

Honeywell Lyric WiFi Leak and Freeze Detector Credit: Honeywell

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Editor's Note: December 12, 2019

We've retested the four original smart leak detectors and included an additional six. The Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector remains our Best Overall. Our new Best Value pick is the Wasserstein WiFi Water Leak Sensor.

Whether it's frozen pipes in the dead of winter, a water heater that suddenly bursts, or a leaky washing machine, you need to keep your home protected against water damage. Luckily, there's a new crop of smart leak detectors that can detect leaks and beam alerts to your phone, even if you're hundreds of miles away. (And if you're dealing with significant leaks, allow us to recommend our best wet/dry vac.)

It can be difficult to know which detector is worth your money. That's why we selected the top-rated standalone leak detectors on the market and put them to the test. If you want the best of the best, we'd recommend the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector (available at Amazon for $58.69). Between the easy setup and intuitive app, there's a lot to love about the best smart water leak detector.

These are the best smart water leak detectors we tested, ranked in order:

  1. Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector
  2. Wasserstein WiFi Water Leak Sensor
  3. Roost Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detector
  4. Insteon Water Leak Sensor
  5. Samsung SmartThings Water Leak Sensor
  6. LeakSMART Sensor
  7. Govee WiFi Water Leak Detector
  8. Fibaro Flood Sensor (HomeKit)
  9. Zircon Leak Alert WiFi
  10. iHome Battery Powered WiFi Dual Leak Sensor
Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

A leak detector should be reliable, easy-to-use, and able to do its job despite being completely submerged in water; the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector easily ticks all of these boxes.

Best Overall
Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector

We’ve done another round of testing and the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector is still the best smart leak detector you can buy. It offers easy setup with no need for a professional installer, a solid app, temperature and humidity readings, and an optional cord sensor attachment that expands the detection area up to 150 ft. The detector works over WiFi for easy setup, doesn't need a hub, and should last up to three years on AA batteries.

In our tests, after it detected water, it took only 10 seconds to send an alert to a smartphone and is one of the fastest smart leak detectors at sending alerts over WiFi and data that we tested.

When we submerged it into the water, the loud alarm sounded while fully submerged for the duration of the test. However, the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector isn’t meant to sit in a bucket of water, so it did not work after the submersion tests. If power, and subsequently WiFi goes out, you won't receive an alert until power is restored. But that's the case with all of these detectors.

A leak detector should be reliable, easy to use, and able to do its job despite being completely submerged in water; the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector easily ticks all of these boxes.

Pros

  • Detection area includes up to 150 feet

  • Easy to set up

  • No hub required

Cons

  • Cannot be submerged

Wasserstein WiFi Water Leak Sensor
Credit: Wasserstein

The Wasserstein WiFi Water Leak Sensor is easy to use and install, sends notifications quickly, and has a battery life of six months or longer before it will need to be replaced.

Best Value
Wasserstein WiFi Water Leak Sensor

Wasserstein’s WiFi 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 WiFi and data, which is about on par with other leak detectors we tested from LeakSMART and Honeywell—but for a fraction of the price.

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.

Like the best smart leak detector, the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector, Wasserstein’s leak detector comes with a probe. This 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.

And, at under $25, the it packs quite a bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Easy to set up and install

  • Quick to send alerts

Cons

  • Feels a little flimsy

How We Tested

The Testers

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 a smart oven. 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 these 10 smart water leak detectors and retesting four of the 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.

The Tests

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 leak sensors. This led us to ask two different types of questions:

Is it a good smart home device?—How easy is it to set up the "smart" part of these smart water leak sensors? Does it require an app or a hub? How easily does it integrate into an existing smart home environment? Can the device be controlled remotely when you're not home? Does the device have trouble maintaining connectivity?

Is it a good water leak sensor?—Does the sensor actually detect water? Does it reliably sound an alarm or send out notifications? Could the sensor survive being completely submerged? Did it float?

Our favorite smart water leak sensors were both painless to set up and use, and consistently sensed and alerted us to the presence of water. The very best sensors were able to persist despite being completely submerged in water, or they floated.

What You Should Know About Smart Water Leak Detectors

What is a Smart Water Leak Detector?

A smart water leak detector is a small gadget with built-in sensors that can signal a leak as soon as it happens. The sensor works by sending a notification to your phone via the companion app when water is detected, as long as you’ve created an account and downloaded the app ahead of time.

For the most part, the leak-detecting sensors are located on the bottom of the gadget, which itself is small enough to hold in your hand. Some models come with a cable sensor attached to a cord that helps extend the reach of the detector. When the sensor sends out an alert, it should, in theory, give you enough time to get to your home's water shut off valves or make a quick emergency repair.

The Benefits of a Smart Water Leak Detector

Water leaks can be problematic for homeowners—and in most circumstances, it’s a situation that requires immediate attention from a professional. But, a smart leak detector can sometimes catch leaks before they become a giant headache, helping you avoid costly damage.

The biggest advantage is that these leak detectors can alert you to a problem by sending notifications to your smartphone or, with some leak sensors, your email account. This is especially helpful if the leak happens while you’re away from home so that you can address the issue in a timely manner instead of coming home to a flooded house. Most of the leak detectors we tested also come with an audible alarm.

Pipes can burst for a number of reasons. Too much water pressure or corrosion can cause pipes to explode, or pipes may crack and spurt out water due to cold weather. And when water seeps into your home, it can cause mold spores to grow and spread, and cause damage to drywall, flooring, and more. A smart leak detector can help you catch leaks (and frozen pipes) with a push notification and/or loud alarm before they become a major problem.

Where to Place a Smart Water Leak Detector

Since the main purpose of a smart water leak detector is to find leaks before they turn into a major problem, you should place the sensors in and around the pipes in your home like behind toilets and underneath sinks, and by large appliances like water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines.

Placing leak sensors throughout areas of the home that are prone to leaks or have experienced water damage in the past is also a good idea. This might mean making a trip or two up into the attic, but luckily most smart water leak detectors are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and are very lightweight.

They're also pretty simple to set up, and you should nave no need to get help from a professional installer.

Insurance companies sometimes offer discounts to homeowners who have water leak detectors, since they can help safeguard your home against major water damage. However, this varies by company. Be sure to check with your insurance provider about any available price reductions, as well as what models qualify for possible discounts.

What to Do if Your WiFi Connection Isn’t Great

Depending on how far your leak sensor is from your WiFi set up, it may have trouble communicating with your internet connection, which can hinder your ability to receive leak alerts.

In this case, we recommend using our favorite mesh WiFi router to bolster the connection. The Google WiFi three-pack ships with one router that connects to broadband, and two nodes to extend the WiFi 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.


Other Smart Water Leak Detectors We Tested

Roost Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detector

Roost’s Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detector was our previous Best Value pick, but it’s no longer available at major retailers because the company is primarily selling the sensor directly to insurance companies. However, you can still buy the sensor on the Roost website. Overall, our experience with this leak detector is almost as good as that of the best smart leak detector, the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector. The Roost comes with a slick and straightforward app, although the setup experience was a bit clumsier.

To pair with the detector, your phone has to play a loud tone that's reminiscent of dial-up internet. And our initial pairing didn't work because we had a case on our test phone. Roost points out this potential issue in its troubleshooting steps on its website, and once we removed the case, the pairing process finally worked.

After that minor hiccup, the sensor worked like a charm, acing our leak detection and reliability tests. But like the Honeywell, it could not survive being submerged in 2.5 inches of water. The sensor did continue to register a leak, and the app did so as well after the sensor died, but the Roost didn't live to alert of another leak or flood. The company informed me that it was not designed to be submerged, and it costs a lot less to purchase a replacement unit than it does to pay the deductible on your homeowner's insurance.

Pros

  • App is easy to use

Cons

  • Clunky set up

  • Not designed to be submerged

Insteon Water Leak Sensor

Insteon’s Water Leak Sensor is one of the fastest we tested, sending immediate alerts to the phone over WiFi and data immediately after coming into contact with water. This one isn’t as sleek looking as other leak detectors we tested like the oval-shaped Roost or Fibaro models. Instead, it has roughly a three-inch antenna spouting out the top and is rectangular in shape.

Overall, the app is pretty barebones and doesn’t offer helpful insights like leak history and battery life. It also requires an Insteon Hub to work, which is an additional cost for most people. The hub syncs with Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and more, but I didn't get any notifications on my smart speakers after linking my Insteon account.

When you factor in the cost of the Insteon Hub—and take into account the lack of features—you’re better off buying the best smart leak detector, the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector.

Pros

  • Sends alerts quickly

Cons

  • Requires a hub

  • App lacks detailed features

The Samsung SmartThings Water Leak Sensor is a responsive leak detector that sends alerts within seconds of encountering water. During our testing, it took a mere four seconds to send a “moisture detected” alert to my phone over WiFi, and just three seconds over my phone’s data plan. But, during our carpet tests, the leak detector wasn’t as quick. It took around 40 seconds to push an alert to my phone after sensing water on the carpet. Still, at under one minute, the Samsung SmartThings Leak Sensor is a solid bet.

One feature that most of the other leak detectors have that this one lacks is the ability to play a loud sound when it comes into contact with liquid. If you have young children who take daily naps, then the absence of an alarm may appeal to you. However, alarm systems on leak sensors are just one more layer of protection when it comes to quickly catching punctured pipes and leaky appliances.

Another tidbit to know about this leak detector is that it requires a Samsung SmartThings Hub (third-generation) to operate. If you already have a Samsung ecosystem up and running in your smart home, then the SmartThings Water Leak Sensor is a fantastic addition to protect your home against water damage.

Within the Samsung SmartThings app, you can view important vitals like the current temperature of where the leak detector is located, battery life, and activity history.

Pros

  • Quick to send alerts

  • App gives useful and detailed insights

Cons

  • No alarm

  • Requires a hub

LeakSMART Water Leak Sensor 2.0

If you live in a flood-prone area and have seen your basement turn into a swimming pool one too many times (hello, sump pump), then the LeakSMART sensor is the leak detector for you.

Unlike the Honeywelland Roost, the LeakSMART was able to beat our submersion test by floating, thanks to its watertight seal around the battery compartment.

There were only two downsides to the sensor: First, it requires a hub, either from LeakSMART or a third-party like SmartThings. Second, the companion LeakSMART app doesn't send you push notifications. Instead, you have to set up the sensor to send alerts to you via email and/or text message. It's definitely not a deal-breaker but seems like a strange omission.

Pros

  • Floats in water

Cons

  • Requires a hub

Govee WiFi Water Leak Detector

Compared to some of the other water leak detectors we tested, the Govee WiFi Water Leak Detector was pretty easy to set up. It didn’t take to my WiFi 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 a bit finicky. The leak detector sends near-instant alerts over WiFi, but the notifications never came when my phone was connected to data. Overall, Govee’s water leak sensor works great if you have a steady WiFi connection. But, if you’re solely relying on your phone’s data to receive alerts, you may not get them.

The Govee Home app is easy to navigate, but it doesn’t offer as many factoids about the sensor (such as temperature, humidity, and battery life) like the Honeywell or Roostdoes. The app does, however, keep a history of when leaks were detected. 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 water leak detector unless it’s placed in such a distant corner of your home that you’re afraid you won’t hear it.

Pros

  • Simple set up

  • App is easy to navigate

  • Ability to turn alarm off from app

Cons

  • Alerts over data don't always work

  • App doesn't offer helpful insights

  • Alarm sound is excessive

Fibaro Flood Sensor (HomeKit)

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 also the only other sensor we tested that is able to 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 or an Apple TV as a HomeKit 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. If you desperately want a HomeKit-compatible sensor, this is probably your best option, but it’s not a great one.

Pros

  • Works with Apple HomeKit

  • Sensor floats and holds up to flooding

Cons

  • Doesn't work with Alexa or Google Assistant

Zircon Leak Alert WiFi

The Zircon Leak Alert WiFi Detector is the largest and bulkiest sensor we tested. The setup process took us longer than anticipated, as we could not get the sensor to connect to WiFi after five attempts. When setting up the sensor, you need to enter the leak detector’s IP address into a browser like Chrome or Safari. For whatever reason, 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 XR.

Unlike every other leak detector we tested, 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 are one of the primary ways you can be alerted to a leak at home.

However, you’ve got some options. You can set the Zircon email alerts to push through as notifications that display on your phone’s lock screen. Or, you may be able to auto-forward the notifications from your email account and have them sent to your phone as text messages. Major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and others support sending and receiving emails as text messages. Your email address is your 10-digit phone number at your cell service provider's domain address.

In addition to email notifications, the sensor plays a very loud 105-decibel tone when water is detected. As for the timeliness of the notifications, over WiFi, 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. Another bummer? 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). I found removing the battery and letting the sensor air dry for several hours was the best before attempting to reuse it. A final note: The leak alert detector is splash- and water-resistant, but it is not meant to be submerged.

So, is it worth it? For starters, it’s only $24.99. If you’re looking for is a barebones water leak sensor that plays a raucous tone and only communicates via email, then the Zircon WiFi Leak Alert Detector is a safe bet. But if you’re looking for extra features like leak detection history and battery life, you’ll be happier with the Wasserstein Water Leak Sensor.

Pros

  • Detects leaks in a timely fashion

Cons

  • Larger than other sensors we tested

  • Only sends email alerts

  • No companion app

iHome Battery Powered WiFi Dual Leak Sensor

Of all the leak detectors we tested, iHome’s WiFi Dual Leak Sensor was our least favorite. For starters, the sensor cannot be connected to an Android device and an iPhone at the same time. According to customer service, we needed to “connect the sensor with the iPhone and then sign-in on the Android. The sensor will not work correctly in the other order when you have both the iPhone and Android.” (It’s worth noting that iHome’s customer service was responsive and thorough when it came to helping us troubleshoot the issue.)

This seems a bit problematic if you live in an Android-and-iPhone household. So, if you buy this sensor, don’t make the mistake of connecting it to an Android device first and then trying to log in on an iOS phone or tablet. Because of this issue, we were unable to receive any notifications over WiFi or data. However, during our tests, the sensor did beep when it came into contact with water. So, it does work, just not as it should.

Another major problem we had after testing two of these sensors was connectivity. We had problems setting up the first sensor during our initial tests. We ended up deleting and reinstalling the iHome app before we were successful. Not a great start. This sensor didn’t work after it was hit with a steady stream of running water, and ultimately submerged in a bin, so we decided to try out out a second detector in case the first one was faulty. However, after multiple attempts and creating a new account, we were never able to get the second sensor connected to a WiFi network.

One thing we like about the setup is that it includes a page about how and where to place your leak sensor. This wasn’t always the case with other leak detector apps, and we found this information helpful.

Pros

  • Detailed set up instructions

  • Responsive and helpful customer service

Cons

  • Connectivity issues

  • Set up is challenging

  • Unreliable

The Best Wet/Dry Vacs and Shop Vacuums
The Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers
How to connect a smart plug to Alexa
Study: This is when your smart home is most unsafe

Up next