Water Leak Sensors 101

Google “smart home products” and you’ll find a myriad of options that seek to automate daily home activities or make your home more secure from unwanted intruders. Set your temperature within your home with a smart thermostat. Shed light on dark areas outside your home with smart security lighting that sends you push notifications when triggered. However, there is one unique smart home device that doesn’t fall into these two categories that is both useful and affordable – the water leak sensor.

These devices are known as water detection sensors, flood sensors, water leak sensors, or plain water sensors. A well-placed water leak sensor potentially saves homeowners the headache of cleaning up, not to mention hundreds of dollars, with the ability to nip costly water damage in the bud. Outside of a fire or natural disaster, water damage is a homeowner’s worst nightmare, which makes the ability to detect such issues early on all the more valuable.

Why Are Water Detection Sensors Important?

It’s easy to spot a busted pipe or massive water leak quickly, but did you know that the costliest cases of water damage typically occur over a long period of time? Slow water leaks are the ones that lead to the most significant damage, and they also happen to be the hardest for average homeowners to detect or notice. Since water damage is typically irreversible - and often requires costly renovations such as flooring or drywall replacement – it is more important to catch early. This is where water leak sensors come into play.

Water leak sensors do not actually detect the presence of water, per se. Instead, the sensor detects electrical conductivity with at least two electrodes protruding
from the device (see image below). Water, among other things, conducts electricity.
FS-WLS200 Electrodes

When water, or some other conductive substance, touches both electrodes, a tiny electrical current goes between the electrodes and signals to the sensor that water has been detected.

Besides helping prevent water damage, a water leak sensor could prevent health damaging mold from forming, save homeowners money on water bills from a leaky pipe, and help save the environment by limiting excess water usage.

Superior Protection, Affordable Price

When it comes to dollars and cents, it is hard to argue against the use of water detection sensors. Even small incidents of water damage can lead to bills ranging in the hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, installing multiple water leak sensors could reasonably cost homeowners a fraction of the potential damage done by a water leak. The proactive installation of water detection sensors provides users with the unique opportunity to prevent catastrophic home damage from getting out of hand.

Traditional water leak sensors have built-in speakers that sound an alarm whenever water is detected. For this to be effective, someone needs to be within hearing range of the alarm. The advantage that smart water leak sensors have over traditional water leak sensors is the ability to receive app-based push notifications directly to a smartphone or tablet whenever a leak is detected. Between local alerts and your mobile alerts, a homeowner should be able to avoid greater damage from water leaks.

Effectively Installing Water Detection Sensors

As is often the case with smart home devices, there are lots of great options available at varying price points. When purchasing a water leak sensor, look for those that support seamless smart home integration, as many of the options available online are “dumb” sensors that don’t readily integrate with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Next, select the best locations for installation. Water leak sensors should be placed in the most problematic areas for homeowners, such as underneath sinks or near the central water tank. Other areas, such as underneath bathtubs or near internal piping, can benefit from the use of water detection sensors, but these spaces are typically harder to access. Some water leak sensors come with extension cables with additional electrodes for greater sensing range.
Wi-Fi Water Leak Sensor (FS-WLS200)

Once the right locations are selected, place the sensor near the ground where water is likely to pool in the event of a leak. From here, double check that your new sensors are connected to the internet, and presto, you’ve successfully installed an effective and affordable water damage protection system.

Proactive Protection = Less Damage & Huge Savings

It’s hard to overstate just how valuable proactive home protection measures can be in the long run. If you’re looking to expand your smart home with features that can help to protect your home, condo, or apartment, a couple of water detection sensors serve as an excellent investment.