Updated January 25, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

The 9 Best Water Leak Sensors

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in October of 2015. 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 help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best water leak sensor on Amazon.

9. Honeywell RWD21

8. Prevalert P312L

7. First Alert WA100-3

6. SCS Direct Leak Bug

5. Ideal Security SK616

4. Sump Alarm In/Outdoor

3. Instapark IN07A

2. Glentronics Basement Watchdog

1. Zircon Leak Alert

Who Needs A Water Leak Sensor?

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 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.

The longer the detection cable, the higher the chances are that the sensor detects water.

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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Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on January 25, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously 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 has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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