Water leaks aren’t a house security situation, like a fireplace or an accumulation of carbon monoxide, however they’ll trigger great harm to your house that’s very expensive to restore. To keep away from the issue, you possibly can deploy a reasonable Wi-Fi-connected leak sensor just like the Honeywell Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector, or you can also make an even bigger funding in a sensible water valve that analyzes your water movement and routinely shuts the water off if one thing goes awry. The Flo by Moen is a good instance of the latter. Sinopé’s Sedna water-leak detection system takes a 3rd strategy.
Sedna combines leak sensors that talk with a digital water valve in your principal water provide (there are 0.75- and 1-inch fashions accessible), in order that if water seems someplace it shouldn’t be—pooled round your washer or water heater, for example—the valve will flip your water off to forestall a small leak from turning right into a catastrophe.
The Sedna equipment (I evaluated the 0.75-inch Sinopé mannequin quantity VA4200WZ-K5) consists of the valve and 5 leak sensors, two of which have extension probes that reach their attain. The elements are additionally bought individually, however the equipment is geared toward householders on the lookout for an easy-to-install resolution. A cellular app—accessible for Android and iOS—ties every part collectively.
That mentioned, some individuals may choose to rent a plumber to put in the valve component of the equipment, as a result of it requires you to chop your principal water line and—if in case you have copper pipes—solder new threaded fittings onto the road. I didn’t discover this to be a very tough DIY undertaking, nevertheless it shouldn’t be terribly costly to rent a professional for the job, both. It all depends upon what you’re snug with.
Unlike the Flo by Moen sensible valve (and the Phyn Plus sensible valve that we’re within the strategy of reviewing), the Sedna valve can solely be put in indoors. You’ll additionally have to have an electrical outlet close by to energy the valve. Unlike these options, nevertheless, the Sedna can function on 4 AAA batteries within the occasion of an influence failure. A serendipitous wind storm precipitated a multi-day energy outage whereas I used to be evaluating the equipment, and I quickly found that the battery backup doesn’t final lengthy—two to 3 days on the most.
Sinopé Sedna valve and sensors
The Sedna valve makes use of a ZigBee radio to speak with its leak sensors, and it has an onboard bridge to connect with your Wi-Fi community (2.4GHz networks solely). The distant sensors ought to considerably cut back the quantity false alarms that trigger the valve to close off your water provide in error.
The Flo by Moen and the Phyn Plus sensible valves monitor movement price and water strain to detect leaks. And in our expertise, something from watering the landscaping outdoors of a longtime schedule to washing a automotive can idiot them into pondering there’s an uncontrolled water leak that should be handled instantly. On the opposite hand, if a water line breaks far-off from a Sedna sensor, it might be hours or days earlier than the water reaches considered one of them and triggers the Sedna valve to show off.
As with the Flo and Phyn Plus sensible valves, Sinopé’s valve continually measures the water temperature (as do the distant sensors) and might warn you of freezing circumstances which may trigger a pipe to burst. But for the reason that system can’t measure water strain or movement price (Sinopé says its engaged on a brand new mannequin within the Sedna line that may), it could’t ship insights in your water consumption or if there are different plumbing issues—a foul flapper in your bathroom, for example, or a leaky faucet or exterior hose bib—losing water and costing you cash.
Each Sedna sensor measures 2.5 inches sq. and 0.75 inches excessive. You can plug 4-foot extension cables into two of them for deployment in hard-to-reach places, corresponding to beneath a dishwasher. Both sorts are extremely delicate and might detect as little as 0.015 inches of water in addition to freezing temperatures.
The sensors are powered by two AAA batteries, which Sinopé says ought to last as long as 4 years, and the app reviews the life remaining for every of them. Each sensor might be independently programmed in order that some will set off the valve to shut if water is detected, whereas others will merely ship you an alert to the app and/or a textual content message and go away the motion as much as you. The sensors additionally beep domestically when leaks are detected, in case you’re round however don’t have your smartphone with you.
Dry peace of thoughts
The Sinopé Sedna water leak safety equipment isn’t low cost, however it’s street-priced about $150 lower than the $500 Flo by Moen sensible valve, and it’s lower than half the value of the $850 Phyn Plus. While its lack of ability to measure movement price and water strain makes it much less sensible than both of these gadgets, its community of sensors renders it extra foolproof—to a level. If a leak happens in your plumbing someplace apart from the place you’ve positioned a sensor, you possibly can expertise an terrible lot of water harm earlier than the system alerts you to the issue and shuts your water provide off.
The battery backup is a good characteristic, though you may plug the Flo or Phyn into an uninterruptible energy provide (if you could find a reasonable weatherized mannequin, that’s). But Sinopé’s requirement for the Sedna to be put in indoors will likely be a big drawback in case your principal incoming water provide is accessible solely from the skin. Leak detection and prevention will prevent some huge cash, however you’ll have to weigh the professionals and cons of the Sinopé Sedna in opposition to your house’s infrastructure to find out if it’s the proper system to your wants.