Best Water Leak Sensors of 2021

We evaluated 17 brands on the way to choosing our top five picks for the best water leak sensors.
Best overall
Resideo Wi-Fi leak detector
Resideo
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Sensor cable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Temperature sensor
  • Icon Pros  Light
    3-year battery
Best sensors
Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector
Flo by Moen
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Sensor cable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Temperature sensor
  • Icon Pros  Light
    3-year battery
Best budget
Kangaroo Water + Climate Sensor
Kangaroo
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No sensor cable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Temperature sensor
  • Icon Cons  Light
    1-year battery
Best support resources
D-Link DCH-S161 Water Sensor
D-Link
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Sensor cable
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No temp sensor
  • Icon Pros  Light
    2-year battery
Best shutoff kit
Snap by LeakSmart Starter Kit
Snap by LeakSmart
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No sensor cable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Temperature sensor
  • Icon Cons  Light
    1.5-year battery

A leaky pipe flooding your home is enough to ruin your day, your furniture, and your home maintenance budget. That's why we chose the Resideo Wi-Fi Leak & Freeze Detector as our top pick because it's a smart water sensor with Wi-Fi capabilities and an easy setup.

It senses changes in water, humidity, and temperature to protect against mold and frozen pipes. Still, it doesn't have a companion shutoff valve like some competitors, so you need to turn off the water supply during a flood manually.

Each of our picks effectively guards your home against water damage and cuts your water bill with clever alert systems and long battery lives. Read on to see how they compare and find the best for you.



Compare the best water leak detectors

Product
Price
Detects
Notification
Smart home compatibility
Learn more
Best overall
Resideo Wi-Fi leak detectorResideo
Water, humidity, temperatureMobile app, sirenAmazon, Google, IFTTT
Best sensors
Flo by Moen Smart Water DetectorFlo by Moen
Water, humidity, temperatureMobile app, beeping alarmAmazon, Google *
Best budget
Kangaroo Water + Climate SensorKangaroo Water + Climate
Water, humidity, temperatureMobile appAmazon, Google *
Best support resources
D-Link DCH-S161 Water SensorD-Link DCH-S161
WaterMobile app, sirenGoogle, IFTTT
Best shutoff kit
Snap by LeakSmart Starter KitSnap by LeakSmart
Water, temperatureMobile app, beeping alarmAmazon, Google, Zigbee

Amazon.com list price as of 08/30/2021 at 11:10 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.
*Smart home compatibility requires an additional purchase on Flo by Moen or subscription on Kangaroo.

See also:

Water leak detector reviews

1. Resideo Wi-Fi Water Leak & Freeze Detector: Best overall

Best overall
Resideo Wi-Fi leak detector

Amazon.com list price as of 08/30/2021 at 11:10 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Resideo Wi-Fi leak detector gracefully straddles the line between smart and simple. You can connect it to your Wi-Fi, and it notifies you if it detects any problems. We like this leak detector because it's clever but not enough to outsmart you.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Loud siren
Pro Bullet 4-foot sensor cable included
Pro Bullet Humidity and temperature detection
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Detection takes up to 60 seconds
Con Bullet No water shutoff valve add-on

Loud siren

If you're home when the sensor detects an issue, it's hard to ignore its alarm. At 100 dB, it's one of the loudest alarms on our list—it's louder than a blender, garbage disposal, or even a diesel truck. This is helpful for folks without a mobile device nearby when a flood begins.

Sensors

We like the suite of sensors that spot significant changes in humidity, temperature, and water level. Although you'll know as soon as it detects water, it takes up to 60 seconds to spot a plumbing leak (to preserve battery life). This is slower than the other sensors on our list, which all notify you immediately, but fast enough for most small leaks.

We're big fans of the four-foot sensing cable that you can extend into tight spaces where a water leak sensor normally wouldn't fit, like behind a washing machine.

Smart home compatibility

We like that the Resideo is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, so you can check the sensor status on your smart speaker or have other smart devices react to a flood. The three-year battery life is a nice bonus too.

No shutoff valve

Unlike Flo by Moen, there's no companion automatic water shutoff valve for this Resideo leak detector, so turning off the water during a flood is more of a hassle. Automatic valves are a nice feature to have, but they can easily blow your budget.

Overall, we think Resideo is one of the best water leak detectors on the market, even with the slower detection speed.

Notepad
Formerly Honeywell Home

Honeywell Home rebranded as Resideo in 2018.1 While many of its products still bear the Honeywell name, this formerly Honeywell water leak detector isn't one of them.

2. Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector: Best sensors

Best sensors
Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector
Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
$45.98

Amazon.com list price as of 08/30/2021 at 11:10 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector is easily one of the best options for early leak warnings in your home. It sports water, humidity, and temperature sensors that react faster than its main rival from Resideo. We're fans of the slick mobile app that tracks temperature and humidity over time so you can spot problems before the pipes leak a drop.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Super-sensitive sensors
Pro Bullet 6-foot sensor cable included
Pro Bullet Humidity and temperature detection
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Weak audible alarm
Con Bullet Expensive shutoff valve add-on

Sensors

This detector comes with a generous six-foot sensor cable that squeezes into narrow gaps behind your appliances. Although you can rest the leak detector on the floor without a sensor cable, it's less secure than wall-mounting the sensor and using the cable. Wall-mounting is great for homes where children might move the sensor from the laundry room to a toy bin.

When a water sensor alarm goes off, you'll get a notification on your smartphone, and the smart device will start beeping. The quiet beeps are no match for a proper siren—you may as well rely on the mobile app to tell you when there's a leak.

Smart home compatibility

Unlike the Resideo sensor, Flo doesn't offer any smart home compatibility—at least if you don't want to buy the Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff (about $550), which costs more than 10 times as much as the water alarm sensor (yikes). With the valve, you gain access to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integration, but there are cheaper options for smart home and shutoff valves.

Overall, we like Flo by Moen's fast sensor speed and optional shutoff valve as an alternative to Resideo, our top pick. But its weak alarm sound and expensive smart home upgrade requirements keep it from snagging the top spot.

3. Kangaroo Water + Climate Sensor: Best budget

Best budget
Kangaroo Water + Climate Sensor
Kangaroo Water + Climate Sensor
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$29.99

Info current as of 08/30/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The Kangaroo Water + Climate Sensor manages to shave a few bucks off other Wi-Fi leak detectors to claim the budget pick in our lineup. This bare-bones sensor is handy for mobile-device leak notifications but isn't as flexible to install as competitors.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable price
Pro Bullet Mobile app controls
Pro Bullet Humidity and temperature detection
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No sensor cable
Con Bullet Short battery life
Con Bullet Smart home perks require a subscription

Sensors

Despite its low price, Kangaroo manages to cram humidity and temperature sensors alongside the water-detection capabilities. Considering that the pricier D-Link and LeakSmart models don't have as many sensors, this is a win for Kangaroo. Beyond that, Kangaroo's lack of a sensor cable hampers its water leak detection abilities in cramped spaces.

There's also no audible alarm on this unit, so you need a mobile app to find out when your toilet leaks. You might consider pairing Kangaroo with a cheap water leak alarm like The Basement Watchdog for a piercing siren, but it won't save much money compared to Resideo. Kangaroo also has the shortest battery life on our list, with a meager one year compared to Resideo and Moen's three-year battery lives.

Smart home compatibility

Kangaroo manages to outsmart Flo by Moen's smart home skills for a much lower price, but you need to pay for a subscription ($99 per year) to unlock Alexa and Google compatibility.

Overall, Kangaroo is a great option for folks who need basic sensing and mobile app controls. But if you expect the complete smart home and loud siren experience, we recommend sticking with Resideo.

4. D-Link DCH-S161: Best support resources

Best support resources
D-Link DCH-S161 Water Sensor
D-Link DCH-S161
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$49.99

Amazon.com list price as of 08/30/2021 at 11:10 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The D-Link DCH-S161 stands out for its customer support options more than its sensors. D-Link's the only brand on our list that has everything we want out of customer service. It offers standard support fare like phone and email support, but the added online forums and live chat are more effective when you need help troubleshooting a problem.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Excellent customer support
Pro Bullet 6-foot sensor cable included
Pro Bullet Loud siren
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No humidity sensor
Con Bullet No temperature sensor
Con Bullet No Alexa support

Smart home compatibility

You'll find Google Assistant and IFTTT compatibility on this D-Link spot leak detector. But there's no support for Amazon Alexa, so Resideo is ultimately a better pick for Alexa users. Still, we like that D-Link doesn't charge extra for smart home compatibilities like Kangaroo and Flo by Moen do, making it more accessible overall.

Sensors

D-Link uses only a single water sensor instead of the extra humidity and temperature sensors included on other leak detectors. Still, the water leakage sensor is lightning fast, and the six-foot sensor cable's flexible installation keeps D-Link in the running against cheaper detectors like Kangaroo. The sensor also has a loud 90 dB siren that backs up the D-Link's mobile device alerts.

Overall, we like D-Link for its robust customer support and simple, effective water leak sensor. It's a great alternative to Resideo, especially if you're looking to expand your Google smart home.

5. Snap by LeakSmart Starter Kit: Best shutoff kit

Best shutoff kit
Snap by LeakSmart Starter Kit
Snap by LeakSmart Starter Kit
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$495.00

Amazon.com list price as of 08/30/2021 at 11:10 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The price tag for the Snap by LeakSmart Starter Kit is steep (almost $500) but for a good reason. You get three leak sensors, a shutoff valve, and a smart hub to tie everything together. If you own rentals, vacation homes, or just travel often, LeakSmart's automatic shutoff feature can stop the problem before it begins so you don't come home to puddles on the floor or under the sink.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Automatic shutoff valve
Pro Bullet Includes 3 sensors
Pro Bullet Long warranty with pro install
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Steep price tag
Con Bullet No humidity sensor
Con Bullet Pro install recommended

Affordable shutoff valve

Shutoff valves are hardly a unique feature, but LeakSmart is one of the more affordable options for this kind of setup. Although the list price is close to $500, it usually sells for about $250 on Amazon, so the price isn’t as bad as it seems—Flo by Moen charges over $500 for its shutoff valves. (We use list prices on SafeWise because they're more stable, but they often don't reflect actual retail pricing.)

Installation

Unlike LeakSmart's in-line valves, which require some plumbing skills, Snap quickly attaches to ball- and gate-type valves. Still, the company recommends having a professional install the valve for the best results, going as far as offering a five-year warranty instead of the one-year option on DIY installs.

This Zigbee smart valve connects to the Wi-Fi-enabled smart hub, allowing it to communicate with the leak detection system around your house. You can set these sensors to tell the valve to shut off the water flow or alert you to a problem through a text, email, or push notification.

Overall, we're fans of LeakSmart's connectivity, sensitivity, and option for a long warranty. But paying a pro for a longer warranty likely won't save you much money.

Checklist
Automatic shutoff valve reliability

A common complaint we see about smart shutoff valves is that they have connection issues. A big reason for this is that a metal water pipe can affect wireless signals. It's not always easy to put your hub or router closer to shutoffs that aren't in a central location in your home. Consider getting a range extender to improve your signal.

More water leak detectors we considered

Fibaro Flood Sensor

The Fibaro Flood Sensor is one of few leak detectors that support Apple HomeKit, so it's worth considering if you're deep in the Apple smart home ecosystem. Unfortunately, it doesn't connect to Wi-Fi without a HomeKit hub, so there's no remote access when you're out of Bluetooth range. It doesn't have a sensor cable, though you can attach up to 10 feet of wire for similar functionality.

The Basement Watchdog

The Basement Watchdog is a low-tech moisture alarm that doesn't connect to smartphones but is an incredibly affordable way to hear a loud 110 dB siren at the first sign of a leak. It doesn't detect humidity or temperature but comes with an impressive five-year warranty. We like this alarm for its low price (around $12) and flexible sensor cable. If you want a no-fuss, classic sensor to keep your home safe for a modest price, The Basement Watchdog is a great option.

Zircon Leak Alert

For its size and simplicity, the Zircon Leak Alert is a powerful device. App-controlled devices are a nice bonus, but it's hard to beat Zircon's affordability and ease of use. Setup has two steps: add batteries and put the sensor under your sink, washing machine, or toilet. There's no sensor cable like The Basement Watchdog, but it comes in cheap multipacks to help cover every room in your home.

HydroCheck WaterWatcher

The HydroCheck WaterWatcher caught our attention for its unique ability to turn off water-using appliances when it detects a leak. Plug it into a standard outlet and connect the appliance you want to control, like a washing machine or dehumidifier. When there's a leak, the WaterWatcher cuts the power to the appliance to keep flooding to a minimum. It's a little pricey (about $80) for a simple sensor without a mobile app, but its controlled outlet fills a useful niche.

Final word

The Resideo Wi-Fi Water Leak & Freeze Detector is one of the best water leak sensors because it's discreet until there's trouble. We like that this smart water leak detector emits a loud alarm and sends push notifications when there's a problem. While it's not as fast at detecting leaks as the competition, its strong smart home compatibility helps make up the difference.

If you're looking for more information on preventing home flooding, check out our home flooding resources, tips for what to do when your house floods, and our sump pump reviews if you need to get water out of your house.

FAQ

Water leak sensors use two metal contacts that form the positive and negative ends of an electrical circuit. Electricity can't travel between the two contacts in dry conditions, leaving the circuit incomplete until it touches a conductive fluid like water. When there's a leak, the water links the contacts together, completing the electrical circuit and triggering an alarm.

Chances are your home has multiple spots vulnerable to leaks and flooding. The number of leak detectors you have depends on the size and age of your home, but it's a good idea to have a sensor near each appliance or fixture involving water:

  • Water heater
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen sink
  • Bathroom sinks
  • Dehumidifier
  • Sump pump

Not every location requires a pricey Wi-Fi water leak detector. You can save money by adding cheap water alarms like The Basement Watchdog and Zircon Leak Alert into the mix.

There are two ways to install a water leak detector. The method depends on whether you use a sensor cable or not:

  • Without a cable: Install the batteries and set up the mobile app (if applicable). Place the sensor on the floor in your desired location (preferably out of walkways). Make sure the metal contacts on the bottom of the device touch the floor.
  • With a sensor cable: Install the batteries and set up the mobile app (if applicable). Mount the primary sensor on a wall and attach the sensor cable. String the end of the cable down to the floor in the place you want to monitor.

The price of a leak sensor depends on the type:

  • Simple water alarms with an audible alarm and no mobile app cost $10 to $15.
  • Smart water leak detectors with an app and smart home compatibility cost $30 to $100, with most popular models clocking in around $50.

Water and electricity don't mix, so most leak sensors use batteries—the type of battery typically depends on the brand. Some leak detectors plug into outlets like the Eve Water Guard and HydroCheck WaterWatcher, but these are expensive and uncommon.

Once your water leak alarm triggers, remove it from moisture and take out the batteries. Dry it overnight to prevent an immediate alarm when you replace the batteries. Many smart water sensors also have an option to silence the alarm using a mobile app.

A smart water sensor generally sends a low-battery notification to your phone or email, while simple water alarms chirp like a smoke detector to signal a low battery.

How we reviewed water leak detectors

Our quest for the best water sensors began by digging through professional and customer reviews. We focused on smart water sensors with mobile app controls and looked at some budget options without Wi-Fi. In our search, we considered 17 different brands and narrowed our list to 9 detectors.

After assembling our list of star players, we scoured resources like owners manuals, product specs, and unboxing videos. These were all instrumental in the decision of which water leak detector reigns supreme. Learn more about our methodology for this and other guides on our site.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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  • surethom

    No Samsung Smartthings water sensor? That’s a great device.