The 10 Best Water Leak Sensors

Updated December 11, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Water Leak Sensors
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Save yourself the cost and inconvenience of flood damage to your home with one of these high-end water leak detectors. Just place them 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 and/or, in some cases, send a notification to your smartphone. 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.

10. Insteon 2852-222

The Insteon 2852-222 is incredibly easy to install, requiring no screws or tape or wires. Just set it on the floor and turn it on, and it will immediately begin detecting any unexpected moisture -- all you have to do is check the battery now and again.
  • offers text and email alerts
  • made from high quality materials
  • inside circuitry is not waterproof
Brand Insteon
Model 2852-222
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. 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 3.9 / 5.0

8. Honeywell RWD41

The Honeywell RWD41 comes with a complete starter kit, including mounting tape, six feet of leader cable, and five securing clips. Another four-foot leak detection cable gives this option one of the larger coverage areas on this list.
  • wires can be easily hidden
  • basic ergonomic design
  • alarm isn't very loud
Brand Honeywell
Model RWD41/T
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Ideal Security Inc. SK616

The Ideal Security Inc. SK616 is a wireless model that can either serve as a standalone alarm or be linked up to one of Ideal's auto-dialers for additional notifications. It's perfect for vacation homes and cottages that may sit uninhabited for long periods.
  • 60-foot wireless range
  • features a standby mode
  • no external dc power source option
Brand Ideal Security Inc.
Model SK616
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. SCS Direct Leak Bug Electronic

The SCS Direct Leak Bug Electronic can detect water that is as little as 1/32 of an inch deep, making it an extremely sensitive unit that can be used all over your home. The high frequency alarm only shuts off when touched by hand so you can pinpoint the exact damage site.
  • low battery indicator
  • beeps for weeks when wet
  • unique and whimsical design
Brand SCS Direct
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Everspring Z-Wave

The Everspring Z-Wave is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and includes a built-in status LED so you can stay up to date on the water situation in your home or business at all times. Use it near water heaters, toilets, or any other object that may risk malfunctioning.
  • mounting hardware included
  • comes with a good user guide
  • slim and unobtrusive design
Brand Everspring
Model ST812-2
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. First Alert WA100-3

The First Alert WA100-3 actually contains three separate units that can be placed in various spots in your home, and their durable design makes them shock resistant for a drop of up to three feet. They're also backed by a two year warranty.
  • alarm lasts up to 72 hours
  • splash and water resistant
  • includes 9 volt batteries
Brand First Alert
Model WA100-3
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Glentronics Basement Watchdog

If you're on a budget but you still want the peace of mind of knowing that your house is dry and water-damage free, then the low cost Glentronics Basement Watchdog is the choice for you. The best-selling unit features solid state circuitry, making it extremely reliable.
  • 6-foot sensor cable
  • battery-saver function
  • loud 110 db alarm
Brand Glentronics, Inc.
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Sump Alarm In/Outdoor

This 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 and a whopping 90 db horn for emitting loud and clear alerts during important events.
  • weatherproof enclosure
  • includes wall anchors
  • made in the united states
Brand Sump Alarm
Model S-PB
Weight 2.1 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 December 11, 2017 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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