Flood or water alarms/detectors are electronic devices that detect the presence of water and set off an alarm when its sensors are triggered. They come in different shapes and sizes and with a wide range of features. They can have wifi capabilities, smart home integration, phone or email alerts, and temperature sensors.
Flood alarms come in two categories, spot detectors, and area detectors. Spot detectors have sensors that require moisture or water to come in contact with the device for the alarm to activate.
Area detectors, on the other hand, use sensor wires to detect floods. They usually include long cables and even allow extensions for multiple sensor wires. They typically cost more than the spot detectors, but the upside is that they have a more extensive area coverage.
What are the Flood Alarms Used for?
A flood alarm detects water leaks and overflows in places where such a situation could go unnoticed for a period of time, so action can be taken early to prevent further damage to the property.
It can be used anywhere where there is a risk of flooding, or water is predominantly present. Such places include wet rooms with water heaters, bathtubs, washing machines, sump pumps, toilets, dishwashers, and water pipes.
Why are Flood Detectors Necessary?
There are several reasons why flooding can occur. The most common occurrences are:
- A faulty plumbing system that allows water to leak from the pipes or from the faucet. Showers and toilets are common sources of such leakage.
- Heavy rainfall, flash floods, or typhoons that result in overflowing sewers and drains.
- Overflowing bathtubs that are not properly covered with stoppers or shower curtains.
- Leaking roofing material such as shingles, gutters, downspouts, flashing etc., which is often the cause of basement flooding.
- Overflowing water heaters or broken pipes in a water heater that causes the water supply to stop.
- Flooding from burst water mains or broken pipes.
- But flood alarms can also be set off when you are not in a flood zone for a few reasons:
- Mud, dirt, and debris in storm drains or sewers that clog up the cleaning systems, causing flooding.
- Hail storm damage can cause flooding.
- Unintentional activities causes by dementia or other causes, when people forget that they left water running etc.
How Do Flood Alarms Work?
Flood alarms contain specific electrical or electronic circuits composed of sensors and alarms. They are designed in a way that when water comes in contact with a single or multiple sensors; the electrical circuit becomes complete, thus, activating the alarm which then creates an audible sound.
The technology today allows the alarm to come in other forms than sound. This includes a blinking light, email notification, and/or text message to your phone. They can be integrated into smart home platforms which have various features.
Active or Passive Flood Alarms- Which Ones are Better?
Flood alarms come in 2 types, active and passive alarms.
Active alarms are integrated into the water system itself such as water pipes and water pumps. When the sensor is triggered, not only does the signal activate a sound, but it also shuts off the water supply to the water system.
Passive alarms, on the other hand, are placed close to appliances, equipment, or in certain areas of the house that have a higher risk of flooding. They contain flooding sensors which are sensitive to water contact. Once the sensors get wet, a signal is sent to the alarm system which emits the alarm sound.
The downside to this type of alarm is that you will have to manually close the water system, and turn off the alarm yourself. Many passive alarms run on a battery which needs to be checked regularly for them to be functional at all times.
What are the Advantages of Water Alarms?
Floods can be caused by a variety of natural disasters such as heavy rains and flash floods. They can also be caused by manmade incidents such as plumbing issues, damaged appliances, and pipes bursting.
All of these situations can occur at any time, and without warning which means appropriate preparation is needed. Having such a device is like an insurance policy that gives you peace of mind and an advanced notice in case something goes wrong with the water supply in your house. It can also save you a great deal of money as the leaking pipes that go unnoticed for a long time will increase the cost of repair work.
Some rooms like bathrooms, toilets, and laundry rooms are naturally humid and moist. When you add a leaking pipe or flooding underneath the sink of floorboards, this can cause mold and mildew to develop, causing damage to the floor, walls, and other parts of the room. A passive water alarm can help detect the leaks and rising water levels in the room, and warn the owners before the issue becomes serious.
1. Wifi Water Detector with Buzzer and Email/Text Alerts
This wireless water detector comes with a wifi water sensor and a 5ft sensor cable which detects presence of water in any location, any floor or surface, and notifies you of the situation through email or a text message.
The user interface makes it easy to set up for someone who has limited knowledge of computers or the internet. Plus, you don’t need to install an app. It just runs in your webs browser and it will work perfectly with any device.
Additionally, this product does not restrict you to a single email account. You can add multiple emails or contacts if you wish. Its wifi capability provides connectivity to your home or office network with no hub or gateway required. The sensors on this alarm combine audibles with text or email notifications. The audible alert can be programmed in three ways:
- Trigger normally, keep beeping
- Trigger normally, snooze after a set time period, and
- Turned OFF.
You can always change these settings any time through your phone or computer.
The device measures 3.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches and weighs 1.44 ounces and has built-in power module plugs which go directly into the wall outlet while the sensor lays on the floor.
If you want an excellent product with better customer service, then you might want to check out this product.
- Easy to set up with clear instructions
- No batteries needed
- Can be used with multiple email accounts
- Sends a warning when the device has not reported for a while
- Sends a notification when there is power loss
- Household power needed to operate
- Household wifi needed to be fully active
- Uses an intermediary source (Proteus cloud server)
- Compatibility issue between the wifi device and a some routers have been reported
2. Smartika SIGNAL Wireless Water Leak Sensor Detector
This is a state-of-the-art and energy-efficient wireless water leak sensor detector that will detect leaks, and send a notification either to your smartphone (through Smartika app), or alert you by emitting a loud sound. You can see the price and more product reviews here.
With no wires and a simple installation procedure, this can be conveniently placed in areas close to potential water leaks like under the sink or close to plumbing. You can also place it near washing machines, dryers and refrigerators.
This water detector contains some interesting features such as lighting, climate control, and security features. Installation and pairing is also relatively easy with this device- all you need to do is just to press a button. When you pair your smart home devices with the Smartika hub and a router; the remote functionalities such as dimming, geofencing and automation will become available. No pairing code is necessary.
This detector has matte finish, it weighs seven ounces, measures 3.4 x 3.4 x 1.1 inches, and runs on two 1.5-volt alkaline AA batteries.
- Modern style
- Easy installation and pairing
- Uses cutting edge technology
- Has remote functionalities or features
- Options to use the hub or not
- Uses rapid pairing technology
- Sound is loud enough to be heard
- Batteries needed
- Smartika hub needed to get phone notifications
- Need to wipe dry the metal contacts to stop the alarm
3. NEST Water Leak Sensor by leakSMART
LeakSMART has more than an 85-year experience in the plumbing industry and they claim to have one of the most intelligent water leak prevention systems on the market today. With the latest and improved 2nd generation water leak detection technology, this device detects and shuts down the main water supply in just five seconds or less preventing potentially extensive water damage. If you check with your insurance company you may even get a better quote if you say that you have leakSMART installed. It also works with NEST smart home system.
When you have the leakSMART app installed on your phone, it sends a instant notification when a leak is detected, which allows you to remotely turn off the main water system. You should be able to turn the water back on remotely as well, in case it is a false alarm. How it works is that the electronic motorized brass valve is connected to the main water line so it can cut off the water supply on demand.
You should place the sensor near the risky areas, on the floor (household appliances, water heaters, sinks, or water pipes). Another good feature leakSMART has that it monitors the room temperature as well. This can be especially useful if you live in colder areas and have the risk of frozen pipes that could burst. In addition, the Nest system integration allows integration with smart home devices or platforms. The product is small, but not tiny (1.5 x 3.2 x 6.7 inches), it weighs 4 ounces, and requires 3 Alkaline AAA batteries. Check the reviews and product details here.
- Latest 2nd generation technology
- Instant phone notification
- Shut-off valve is responsive to remote commands
- Integrates with major smart home platforms
- Can remotely shut off the main water line
- Easy leakSmart app installation and usage
- Can connect to a range extender
- It uses Nest smart home system
- Potential hub issues
- Potential offline sensor problems
- Batteries required
4.YoLink Smart Home Starter Kit
If you’ve not heard about YoLink, then you should know it has the world’s longest wireless range that is powered by LoRa technology. It provides the long range connection yet consumes low power to offer the world’s longest receiving range. The long range. Reaching up to 1/4 mile, the coverage enables one to use it in areas that can face challenges. It is helpful for residential Wi-Fi systems located in basements, outdoor patios, garages, sheds, remote buildings, and more.
The YoLink wireless Water Sensor is pretty easy to install. All you have to do is place it near or under the equipment you want to monitor and that’s it. Preferably, place it near or under sump pumps, water heaters, toilets, laundry machines, sinks, dishwashers, fish tanks, and other sites vulnerable to water leaks and floods.
This smart home starter kit receives real-time notifications to warn you early via text messages, emails, alerts or notifications to help you protect and prevent damage of property in your home. How? Well, YoLink made a water-tight design of the original water leak sensor, because an internal siren would obviously not be heard out of the range of an enclosed housing. But of you want an audible alarm, you can still have one with a siren attached to the Water Leak Sensor 2 which comes with it in-built.
- No fishy Wi-Fi requirements like other smart devices
- Reliable with long-lasting batteries
- Easy to set up
- Integrates with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home
- Easy to use
- Needs Wi-Fi connection
- Added accessories may make it expensive
- Have to rely on third party products for smart locks and security locks
5. FIBARO HomeKit Flood Sensor
If you’re looking for Apple HomeKit compatibility, then you could go for the FIBARO HomeKit Flood Sensor. This battery-operated, wireless sensor detects water leaks as well as monitors changes in temperature like most other smart flood sensors. As the device uses Apple HomeKit technology, you can even control it using Siri. With the Siri voice-control system, you can ask Siri on the status of the device, if there is a leak in your home, or ask about the temperature surrounding the water sensor. Now do keep in mind that you should only do this if you live together with the person you care for, otherwise Siri ( or Alexa or any other virtual assitant) can be really confusing for dementia sufferer and it not recommended.
The whole sensor setup is fairly straightforward and you can do it via the Fibaro or the Apple Home App. You can also control this water leak detector away from home through Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch( minimum requirement for operating system is iOS 9.3). What I do like about this technology is that, the Homekit security system encrypts communication data between gadgets to ensure privacy and the telescoping feet feature guarantees surface contact to the water sensor making it more sensitive to water levels. On top of that, the built-in tamper alert informs you if it is moved to another location.
Because of its small size, it is easy to place the sensor in the key places where potential water leaks can happen. This gadget has a nice modern design, weighs 2.08 ounces, and measures 3.8 x 3.7 x 1.4 inches. It is battery-powered with 1 Lithium Metal CR123A battery.
- Equipped with a temperature sensor
- Compatible with Apple HomeKit Technology
- Siri voice control
- Security though data encryption
- Easy setup and user-friendly interface
- Homekit notification is quick
- Homekit integration/code and software issues
- No email and text message notification
- Only works with Apple HomeKit
- Siri may be confusing for dementia patients
6. Govee Wi-Fi Water Sensor
You might have a leaking sink and you don’t know anything about it until the day the damage exceeds. But how long should you wait until you notice the leak yourself? With a Govee Wi-Fi Water Sensor kit, you can monitor any leaks and be alerted immediately any shows up.
We think the layout is quite simple to understand. The kit integrates a Wi-Fi hub that is connected into an outlet with triple battery-powered sensors. The batteries are then installed and one pulls a tab to activate the sensor. When you connect the gateway to the Wi-Fi, it immediately sends emails, alerts and app notifications to your device when the water leaks occur even while you are away.
One thing that is controversial is the loudness of the alarm system. If Wi-Fi is not available, the 100dB alarm will be heard far enough. This might be annoying to those who prefer to keep it less noisy but you can turn it off with the mute button to silence the alarm in the event of the leak.
- Easily monitor for water leakages on your phone even when you are away
- Perfect for basement protection and other hidden areas
- Multi-connected sensors
- Sealed IP66 waterproof design
- Govee does not support 5G Wi-Fi yet.
- The alarm might be too loud when Wi-Fi is not available.
- Hard to know when the sensor fails
7. WER Wireless Water Leak Sensor Alarm
Last but not least on the list is WER Wireless Water Leak Sensor Alarm – the best yet pocket-friendly water or flood leak sensor featuring a very loud buzzer.
WER Wireless Water Leak Sensor Alarm is quite easy to use. All one needs to do is just twist the round device to open and inspect for positive and negative battery poles. Fix the battery in and twist it once more to close without wiring. There are three electrodes at the bottom made to detect water and set the alarm on once the liquid reaches it. Unfortunately, this water leak sensor alarm does not come with a smartphone app. This only means you can’t get push notifications or any phone alerts.
- Easy to use
- Sends a notification immediately when the leak is detected
- Engage and turn the shut-off valve on and off remotely
- Integrates with other smart home software like Alexa and Google Home
- No smart buttons
- No battery warning
- No smartphone application
8. Watchdog Water Sensor and Alarm
This product sounds an alarm when the sensor at the end of the wire strip comes in contact with water. To stop the alarm, the sensor must be removed from the water. The alarm comes with an 11-inch sensor strip; but you can order a longer strip if needed. You need screwdriver and 9v battery to install the product
- Loud alarm: The loud alarm, similar to a smoke alarm, makes it easier to hear from another room, depending on one’s hearing acuity.
- Easy-to-install: A screwdriver and a battery will be needed. As it has a flexible wire, you can install it inside the cabinet door. A battery comes with the flood alarm, but it may only last a few minutes (as our’s did while product testing), so have a back-up in case you need it.
- It is always on once the battery is installed.
- This product does not turn the water off.
- Sound may be too low for people with hearing aids
Persons with dementia may remove alarm. You may not hear the alarm if you are in the garage or basement.
If the person is home alone and the alarm sounds, he/she could panic if unable to remember how to turn the faucet or alarm off or sustain a fall, as floors are slippery when wet, especially when one is rushing.