Your home is your haven, and one of your largest investments. The last thing you want to deal with after a long work day is a disaster that could have been prevented.
Water damage from leaks or burst pipes can be costly to repair, but thankfully there are devices you can install that provide constant monitoring, alerting you to potentially catastrophic events before they occur. They’ve been on the market for a few years, and many products offer similar benefits, but the one thing they have in common is providing peace of mind—and that’s worth every penny.
Stop leaking as soon as it starts with smart pipe technology that detects water loss and prevents flooding.
Smart Pipe Considerations
Cost - When deciding on which system to get, price is probably first and foremost on your list of criteria. There are many types of smart leak detectors and sensors on the market, and some systems combine the detector with a smart valve that implements automatic shutoff when necessary.
They range in price from under $100 to well over $800. Monthly payment plans may alleviate the expense for products in the higher price range. Other products may require a monthly service fee, so factor that into your budget as you decide what kind of smart pipes fit your needs.
Difficulty - Another factor to consider is ease of installation. Some complex systems might require professional plumbing assistance, others advertise the ease of their installation. The amount of time, effort, and frustration you are willing to endure, not to mention the added cost if your DIY project doesn’t go as planned, are key items that should influence your decision.
Keep in mind that for systems with multiple sensors, placement is important. Under sinks, near the refrigerator, and by the toilet make sense, but it might be the one you forget (maybe near the water heater?) that could have prevented destruction.
Compatibility - With the ability to receive texts, emails, and phone alerts, your smart phone is command central. You can shut off water, monitor water usage, and even get suggestions on how to be more efficient. Control is at your fingertips, but not all products will link to your smart home hub, so be sure to verify that your product will play nicely with your other devices.
Flo by Moen - With installation on the main water supply line, the Flo water leak detection system can monitor all water entering the home. Three built-in sensors keep track of water flow, temperature, and pressure, combining data with Moen’s algorithms to discover leaks.
The system also performs nightly tests, and automatically shuts off water if a problem is detected in order to curb the extent of damage. The routine observation and automatic shut off might be reason enough to go for this higher priced option, but don’t forget to factor in the expense of hiring a plumber to install it.
Price as of writing: $500
Wally Home Prevention Bundle - This system incorporates multiple sensors placed strategically throughout the home, communicating with a central hub via WiFi or ethernet. Sensors monitor temperature and humidity, and an automatic shutoff valve on the main water line prevents damage when leaks are detected. Users can receive text alerts, emails, and push notifications to stay informed about what’s happening at home.
This system has a unique automatic shut off valve that can be installed on either a water or natural gas line. The most inexpensive bundle comes with two sensors and one shutoff valve. The next step up goes for $390 for five sensors and one shutoff valve, while the most expensive bundle is for twelve sensors and one shutoff valve.
Price as of writing: $325 to $575
Phyn Plus Smart Water Assistant - Phyn Plus is one of the higher priced systems, but offers benefits that other leak detection systems lack. It uses a pressure sensor and ultrasonic flow meter to take measurements that can identify leaks, and includes an automatic shutoff valve to help mitigate water damage. The system can be installed in multiple properties that can all be monitored on your smartphone app, and also allows you to assess water usage and efficiency, helping you make decisions that will save money in the long run.
It can identify drip leaks, pinhole leaks, frozen-pipe leaks, and burst-pipe leaks, and all this is provided with the convenience of installing just one sensor that monitors the whole home, rather than having to place multiple sensors throughout the house where you think leaks might occur. It’s one of the more expensive options, but its features and convenience make it worth considering.
Price as of writing: $699
DIY Installation of Water Leak Monitoring System
Guardian by Elexa - The Guardian Leak Prevention System Plus by Elexa (not to be confused with Amazon's Alexa) installs in minutes and automatically shuts off water if freezing temperatures or leaks are detected. The basic starter package comes with one valve controller and three leak detectors, but you can purchase additional leak detectors for further protection.
This is one of the easier installations and doesn’t require the extra expense of a plumber or any additional tools, giving the homeowner a financial break for basic protection.
Price as of writing: $399
Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor - With a five minute install and no tools necessary, water leak detection couldn’t be simpler. This particular device wraps around the intake pipe and strictly monitors leaks and records water usage. It doesn’t have the added benefit of being able to shut off water to the main line because it isn’t a valve, so this is something that should factor into your final decision.
Aside from the lack of an automated shutoff valve, its easy installation, minimal cost, and ability to monitor water usage may be enough to convince you to purchase this system for protection against water damage.