The 9 Best Water Leak Sensors

Updated March 17, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

9 Best Water Leak Sensors
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Save yourself the cost and inconvenience of flood damage to your home with one of these water leak detectors. Just place the sensors near your washing machine, hot water tank, sump pump or in your basement, and they will sound an alarm before any major damage can occur. There's one for every budget and multipacks to give you expansive protection. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best water leak sensor on Amazon.

9. Honeywell RWD21

The Honeywell RWD21 sports a simple, yet functional, design that can prevent a disaster in your home. It's great for use around dishwashers, water heaters, or under bathroom sinks, but the alarm isn't as loud as higher end models.
  • compact size mounts in small spaces
  • simple to move around if needed
  • sensor is not hyper sensitive
Brand Honeywell
Model RWD21/A
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Prevalert P312L

The Prevalert P312L incorporates an alarm that produces a continuous high pitched sound of over 100 dB for up to 100 hours, so you're not going to miss this alert. It's also low maintenance, with a nine volt battery that will last up to three years.
  • includes a lifetime guarantee
  • detects minute traces of water
  • not the most durable construction
Brand Prevalert
Model P312L
Weight 5 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. First Alert WA100-3

The First Alert WA100-3 comes as a pack of three so you can place them in various spots around your home. Their durable design makes them shock resistant against a drop of up to three feet and they are backed by a two-year warranty for any defects.
  • alarm lasts up to 72 hours
  • loud enough to hear from a distance
  • batteries are easy to replace
Brand First Alert
Model WA100-3
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. SCS Direct Leak Bug

The SCS Direct Leak Bug can detect water that is as little as 1/32 of an inch deep, making it an extremely sensitive device suitable for use all over your home. It shuts off only through direct hand contact, so you can pinpoint the exact site of any damage.
  • runs on 2 aaa batteries
  • also available as a three-pack
  • unique and whimsical design
Brand SCS Direct
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Ideal Security SK616

The Ideal Security SK616 is a wireless model that can serve either as a standalone alarm or be linked up to one of the manufacturer's auto-dialers for additional notifications. It's perfect for vacation homes and cottages that may sit uninhabited for long periods of time.
  • 60-foot wireless range
  • features a standby mode
  • includes a 9v battery
Brand Ideal Security Inc.
Model SK616
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Sump Alarm In/Outdoor

The Sump Alarm In/Outdoor is an industrial-grade unit suitable for applications ranging from sump pump monitoring to pool or pond level sensing. It has a long-lasting LED pilot light that can be seen from nearly a football field away.
  • durable weatherproof housing
  • includes wall anchors
  • different cord lengths available
Brand Sump Alarm
Model S-PB
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Instapark IN07A

The Instapark IN07A is incredibly easy to install, requiring no screws or tape or wires. Just place it on the floor and turn it on and it will immediately begin detecting any unexpected moisture. It also has a suction cup for quick attachment to an appliance.
  • includes double-sided foam tape
  • very sensitive sensor
  • clean minimalist look
Brand Instapark
Model pending
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Glentronics Basement Watchdog

The Glentronics Basement Watchdog is a budget-friendly option that can save your home from potential damage and costly repairs. This best-selling unit features solid state circuitry, making it extremely reliable for fast detection of water.
  • six-foot sensor cable
  • battery-saver function
  • loud 110 db alarm
Brand Glentronics, Inc.
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Zircon Leak Alert

The Zircon Leak Alert comes as a convenient five pack to give you peace of mind in multiple rooms of your house. These battery-automated must-haves will sound an alarm and flash lights for up to 72 hours at the slightest detection of water.
  • audible low battery alert
  • float in case of a flood
  • can operate in very cold temperature
Brand Zircon
Model 68638
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Who Needs A Water Leak Sensor?

Water leak sensors come with different features and capabilities, but most detect water in the same way. When water is present, its electrical conductivity decreases the resistance of two contacts on a particular strip on the sensor. When these tools sense water, they sound an alarm so that the user can fix the leak before it causes major water damage. They're most commonly used in areas that contain reserves of water, like rooms with water tanks, drain pipes or ice machines, but they can be useful all over a home or business. Some are designed to measure the water level in things like pools and ponds, to prevent these from overflowing and flooding the surrounding area.

Art gallery owners cannot afford to go without a water leak detector. Keeping paintings away from any sort of moisture is an important part of caring for one's art collection. The tiniest amount of moisture entering a painting can drastically reduce its value. Anyone with a room that requires a lot of electrical equipment, like a recording studio, should have one of these tools because the combination of a small flood and electrical wires can be extremely hazardous. If your home has a washing machine, a water leak sensor is essential. Should the pipe that carries water to the unit burst, it can cause water damage inside of the walls, which can greatly hurt the structure of the home. Water damage inside of a wall can also cause a mold and mildew buildup, which can be dangerous to one's health.

If you live in an upstairs unit of an apartment building, failing to catch a leak before it turns into water damage can not only affect your home but that of the people beneath you. If your water leak damages a downstairs unit, you won’t have the luxury of taking your time to fix it; whether you can afford it or not, you will need to fix the damage immediately. Anyone who lives in a rainy climate should have a sensor, too, because a leaky roof can become weak over time, and even collapse.

Special Features To Look For

Setting up a water leak sensor is an important part of maintaining a vacation or secondary home. Some sensors have alarms that will sound for weeks, so even if you aren't on the property each day, you'll still likely catch the leak. Some alarms produce 100 decibels of sound, so there is little chance of not hearing them. The longer the detection cable, the higher the chances are that the sensor detects water. A system that comes with cable securing clips can help you make sure your sensor stays in place.

Make sure your sensor has a long battery life; some can last up to three years, reducing your chances of missing a leak because of a dead battery. Just like a good smoke detector, many water leak sensors chirp to let you know when their battery is low. The most effective units can detect a leak even if only 1/32 of an inch of its strip has been touched by water. If you don't want unsightly devices cluttering already small rooms like bathrooms, but you need to monitor for leaks around your toilet, some sensors are extremely compact and barely noticeable.

If installing gadgets isn't your strong suit, look for a model that doesn't require any mounting; there are some you can simply place on the floor and turn on. Since leaks rarely wait for a homeowner to come home, you may consider getting a sensor that sends alerts to your phone and email. If you are buying a water leak sensor because you live in an area that's subject to severe weather including earthquakes, make sure it is shock-resistant in case it falls.

What You Need To Know About Water Damage

Water damage is not to be taken lightly. If your home isn't made entirely of moisture-resistant materials, then water can spread rapidly through your walls, floors, and roof. After the initial water damage occurs, mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours. The only way to prevent mold is to dry out your property entirely before that 24 to 48-hour window.

There are three levels of water contamination. Level one is water that comes from a clean source, like a pipe leading to a dishwasher, and originates inside of a building. Level two also comes from inside of a building, but at this level, the water has permeated more of the property, seeping into the cabinets and walls. Level three is the most hazardous and includes water that comes from outside of the home, like from a sewage system or the ocean. The important thing to know, if your home has water damage, is that level one can become level three quickly.

Water mixes with other water in an instant, so if any of the leak inside of your home mixes with water that has come in from outside, then you are at a level three contamination. This can cause serious health hazards, which is another reason you must fix water damage immediately.

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Last updated on March 17, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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