Flo by Moen makes our second-favorite smart water shut-off valve. It now provides the $50 Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector, which can be utilized with that gadget or independently of it. It’s our new high choose on this class.
As we’ve reported many instances, your house is way more likely to be damaged by the presence of water in places the place it shouldn’t be than every other danger, together with hearth, earthquake, and even vandalism. The tiniest leak from a water valve, provide line, drainpipe, equipment, or a broken roof could cause devastating structural injury over time. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention additionally warn that water leaks could cause circumstances hazardous to your long-term well being, by selling mold growth.
This evaluation is a part of TechHive’s protection of the best smart water leak detectors, the place you’ll discover evaluations of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you need to contemplate when procuring.
The droplet-shape of the Flo by Moen base unit is cute, however not essentially purposeful. It may be positioned on the ground, the place its water-sensing probes will detect even the smallest quantity of water, and it’ll additionally monitor and report the ambient temperature and relative humidity degree the place it’s put in. The base unit will float, however the firm says customers ought to keep away from permitting water to get contained in the vents on high (these are wanted to watch temperature and humidity).
That could possibly be an issue if water is coming from above the unit, so the producer offers a wall-mount bracket and a distant sensing disk with a four-foot cable. Best observe could be to hold the bottom unit on the wall, plug within the cable, and snake the sensor disk to the place you suppose undesirable water may seem. For this evaluation, I connected it to the wood brace securing my water heater to the wall, and I positioned the sensor disk within the water heater’s drain pan, the place water shouldn’t gather until the water heater leaks or its T&P (temperature and stress) aid valve opens.
Should that cable not be lengthy sufficient to achieve the spot the place you wish to monitor for leaks, Flo sells a six-foot extension cable that you could plug the sensor disk into. Unlike the sensing disk’s cable, the whole size of the extension cable is delicate to water (this is likely one of the options that we like most in regards to the competing Honeywell Home Water Leak and Freeze Detector. You can be part of three of Flo’s extension cables collectively to get 18 ft of sensor protection, however each prices an extra $20 (Honeywell’s extension cables price the identical).
The Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector makes use of the identical cellular app because the Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff, so I already had the app on my telephone as a result of I reviewed that product in November, 2018 and forgot to uninstall it once I eliminated that gadget from my essential provide line (extra on the app in a bit). As you’ll anticipate, the 2 merchandise can work in live performance with one another, with the sensor triggering the valve to close off your water provide if it detects a leak.
You can assign every sensor a nickname whenever you add it to the app (“water heater,” “kitchen sink,” and so on.). Each sensor will produce a important alert if it detects water. You may also configure the sensor to ship two different lessons of alerts: warning alerts (gadget offline, excessive humidity, excessive temperature, low battery, low humidity, or low temperature) and informational alerts (gadget again on-line). These alerts may be despatched by way of push notification, textual content message, electronic mail, and even by way of a telephone name—in the event you subscribe to the corporate’s FloDefend service. FloDefend prices $5 per 30 days, and is most useful in the event you additionally personal the corporate’s good valve (you may see what’s included at this link).
You can toggle the humidity, temperature, and battery-level warnings on and off inside the app, and you can too set higher and decrease tolerances for humidity and temperature ranges. The sensor can detect temperatures starting from minus 20 levels Fahrenheit to 140 levels F, with accuracy of plus or minus 3 levels F from minus 20 levels to 40 levels, and plus or minus 2 levels F from 40 to 140 levels. A low-temperature alert can warn you of the hazard of your pipes freezing (and doubtlessly bursting), whereas high-humidity alerts could make you conscious of circumstances the place mould can sprout.
When I poured a small quantity of water within the water heater’s drain pan subsequent to the sensor disk, a not-very-loud native alarm sounded nearly instantly. But lower than 5 seconds handed earlier than I acquired a textual content message warning of potential leak and an alert appeared within the cellular app. Within 10 seconds, I acquired a robocall warning me of the identical. The response time was spectacular.
Flo by Moen’s gadget operates on a single CR123A lithium battery, which the corporate says ought to final two years. It’s outfitted with a single-band (2.4GHz) 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi adapter, so it connects on to your house Wi-Fi community with out requiring a central hub. That makes for a very simple deployment and a comparatively low barrier to entry when it comes to price. But if you have already got a sensible residence system that helps leak sensors—e.g., Ring Alarm or Samsung SmartThings—leak sensors suitable with these methods are typically cheaper, as a result of they don’t want their very own Wi-Fi adapters. Ring Alarm Flood & Freeze sensors, for instance, communicates over Z-Wave and price $35 every—$15 lower than this product.
The Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector is a superb answer for alerting you to the presence of water in locations it shouldn’t be. It’s a no brainer purchase if you have already got the Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff valve, however it delivers loads of worth even in the event you don’t.
I want to see Flo by Moen add IFTTT help, in order that the sensor’s alerts might set off different gadgets exterior the Flo ecosystem. It could be nice, for instance, if a leak or excessive humidity alert might set off a sensible bulb to flash a warning within the occasion you don’t have your smartphone at hand or its battery is useless. Perhaps that may include time. In the meantime, this water leak detector earns our robust suggestion.