Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector review: This early-warning device can protect your home from water damage

    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).

    Michael Brown / IDG

    The mounting bracket may be secured to the wall utilizing this adhesive patch, however I’d suggest utilizing the offered screws for a safer set up.

    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.

    flo app ambient temp and humidity readings Michael Brown / IDG

    Flo’s app reveals the present relative humidity and ambient temperature the place the Smart Water Detector is deployed, together with developments for the earlier 24 hours and 7 days.

    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).

    flo sensor installed Michael Brown / IDG

    Flo Technologies recommends mounting the principle unit on a wall, in order that water doesn’t fall on high of it and injury its ambient humidity and temperature sensors.

    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.

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