Damaged pipes and leaking faucets not only send your water bills skyrocketing, but they can cause significant damage if left untreated. Smart water leak detectors help you identify such plumbing problems before they get worse. "An effective leak detection system will pick up the hidden escape of water before it escalates into a larger issue," says Craig Foster, CEO of Ondo Insurtech.
To find the best water leak detectors for different needs and smart home setups, we spoke with plumbing and leak prevention experts and used hands-on experience and research to judge top models on their cost, user-friendliness, smart home compatibility, and app features.
Our top pick is the Moen 920-005 Flo Smart Water Leak Detector because it’s easy to install and use, comes packed with smart features, and is affordable and compact.
Here are the best smart water leak detectors.
Moen 920-005 Flo Smart Leak Detector
Small, compact design
Easy to set up and use
Track changes over time on app
Doesn’t work without Wi-Fi
Alerts require manual clearing
Easy to install, smart, affordable, and compact—the Moen 920-005 Flo Smar Water Leak Detector is the best smart water leak detector we’ve used. Its small, water droplet shape is subtle and inconspicuous, and because it runs on batteries, you can place this detector wherever it’s needed. We placed one sensor by our washing machine and another under our kitchen sink and synced each with the Flo by Moen app.
As well as sending notifications when the unit detects water, you can use the app and the unit’s built-in humidity and temperature sensors to track changes over time. This feature is useful if your home’s pipes are at risk of freezing in the winter or a rise in room temperature beyond your set limits—which could suggest your air conditioning isn’t working effectively or you have steam leaking from a plumbing fixture.
If you don’t want to use the app—or don’t have your phone on hand—a small LED fitted into the front sensor glows red when it detects water. It also sounds an audible alarm. The unit connects to the app via Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t work without it. If the Wi-Fi drops out, you get an alert warning that the detector isn’t working, but it won’t detect leaks until you reconnect it.
Some reviewers have complained about issues pairing the device to their phone or network but this wasn’t ever an issue we experienced. However, we did have occasional problems with alerts. Another drawback is that you have to clear an alert from the app manually. If you don’t, you won’t get any subsequent alerts until you do. This sensor doesn’t have an automatic shutoff valve, but you can buy one separately.
Price at time of publish: $130
Power: Battery-powered | Connectivity: Flo by Moen app, browser | Alarm: Yes | Automatic controls: No
Govee Wi-Fi Water Sensors Alarm
Network of sensors
Great value for money
Connection between sensors can be unstable
Notification delay when used via hub
For leak detection on a budget, try Govee’s Wi-Fi Water Sensors. Despite their low price, these sensors offer features found on more expensive rivals. Highlights include smart notifications, multiple probes to detect dripping from faucets, and the ability to create a network of sensors—up to 10—throughout your home. All sensors pair with the included Wi-Fi Connection Gateway out of the box, making setup straightforward. In our experience, this connection would occasionally drop out, but a reboot fixes this.
Probes on the front and rear can account for leaks on the floor and condensation leaks from pipes. When this sensor detects a leak, an audible alarm rings on repeat until you switch it off via the app or manually. This feature means you’re unlikely to miss alerts, like some of the more subtle or single alarms found elsewhere in this list. The use of a hub does add an extra layer of connection, but it can cause a delay between detection and notification—a minimal second or two at worst.
Price at time of publish: $63
Power: Battery | Connectivity: Govee Home app | Alarm: Yes | Automatic controls: No
Phyn Smart Water Sensor
Multiple alert options
Checks temperature and humidity too
Multiple sensors needed to monitor entire home
Black design looks out of place
The Phyn Smart Water Sensor is compact enough to fit anywhere in your home, basement, garage, or wherever you have flowing water, and it will check for leaks and changes in humidity. If it detects a problem, an alert is sent via text or to the Phyn app. You can also set it to ring an audible alarm alongside a flashing light on the front.
The app lets you customize thresholds to avoid false alerts and only issues warnings if the humidity and temperature readings reach damaging levels based on those customized settings. Notifications are instant because the sensor connects directly to the app via built-in Wi-Fi. The addition of the alarm provides a welcome safety net should your phone’s battery die or you don’t have it with you. Our one minor complaint is that the black design makes this sensor stand out and may not blend in well around your home.
Price at time of publish: $60
Power: Battery | Connectivity: Phyn app | Alarm: Yes | Automatic controls: No
Moen 900-001 Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff
No need for a hub or additional sensors
Requires professional installation
No automatic shutoff feature
The Flo by Moen Smart Water Monitor is one of only a handful of water security systems that don't need any additional sensors to detect and help prevent water damage. Nor does it need a Wi-Fi hub to connect to the Flo app or the wide range of smart speakers and smart home devices it's compatible with. It connects to your main water line—via professional installation—and uses MicroLeak Technology to identify leaks as small as a drop per minute, even behind walls and in foundations.
Through the Flo by Moen mobile app, you can see live water use, including flow rates, pressure, and temperature. The app sends a standard alert if the sensor detects a minor issue, like a leaky faucet. While this model doesn't come with an automatic shutoff feature or an alarm, if it spots what Moen calls a "catastrophic failure"—a burst pipe or water running—it sends a critical warning before giving you the option of manually shutting off the water wherever you are. If you want automatic, smart shutoff, you can opt for the FloProtect plan that offers 24/7 monitoring.
Price at time of publish: $500
Power: Outlet | Connectivity: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Ring, Flo by Moen app, browser | Alarm: No | Automatic controls: No
Best with Water Usage Monitoring
Flume 2 Smart Home Water Monitor
Accurate, full-home protection
Detailed yet easy-to-read usage graphs
Requires access to compatible water meter
The Flume 2 Smart Home Water Monitor takes a unique approach to leak detection. Instead of measuring water on a probe or checking for changes through pipes, the Flume 2 reads fluctuations in the magnetic field around your water meter. All of these readings—from the amount of water to where and at the time of use—go to the Flume bridge and connected app.
This app uses an algorithm to learn your habits and will flag any unusual activity. You can also use the app to set water usage budgets. When you’re set to exceed your threshold, the app sends a warning with recommendations on managing usage. Installation is simple but requires potentially getting your hands dirty if your water meter is outdoors. We also experienced delays of up to a minute between detection and the notification arriving on our phone.
Price at time of publish: $200
Power: Battery | Connectivity: Flume app | Alarm: No | Automatic controls: No
Best with Automatic Shutoff
Phyn Plus Smart Water Assistant + Shutoff
Measures water pressure 240 times/second
Easy installation and setup
Detection of frozen pipes can be temperamental
Requires pressure regulating valve (PRV)
For full-home protection, with the potential benefit of reducing your bills, the Phyn Plus Smart Water Assistant could be worth the investment. It’s not as discreet or compact as other sensors, but that’s because you connect it to your main water line. This setup means you don’t need multiple sensors around your home. It checks for leaks, monitors your system for microscopic water pressure 240 times a second, and automatically turns the water off in the case of an emergency.
Despite being plumbed into your water supply, the Phyn is simple to install beneath your sink without expert help. Once installed, the system recognizes how each fixture functions and instantly notices the smallest deviations. If the sensor detects an issue, the Phyn Smart Water Assistant sends a notification to your phone or to any smart speaker, where you can also monitor water usage. During use, we noticed the frozen pipe detection was temperamental. This sensor also works best if you have a pressure regulating valve (PRV) on your system.
Price at time of publish: $700
Power: Outlet | Connectivity: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Phyn app | Alarm: No | Automatic controls: Yes
LeakSmart Automatic Shutoff Valve
Automatic shutoff valve activates in seconds
Compatible with wide range of smart home products
Works with or without Wi-Fi and power
Requires professional installation
No built-in audible alarm
Needs leak sensors and a hub
While many water leak detectors now offer a range of advanced smart features, few do it as well as LeakSmart. This product offers the features you may expect—app support, Google Assistant and Alexa connectivity, and alert notifications. However, when paired with LeakSmart Sensors and a LeakSmart Hub, the LeakSmart’s shutoff valve automatically turns your water off in five seconds or less if it detects a large-scale leak or extreme temperatures. You receive these alerts even if your power and Wi-Fi go down. You can also switch the water off manually via the app.
While you need a hub and sensors to make the complete system, unlike the vast majority of smart water leak detectors, the LeakSmart range works with Zigbee and Samsung SmartThings. This compatibility means you can use a Zigbee hub and sensors and set up automations with other smart home products. For example, if you have a leak in the middle of the night, you could make your smart bedroom lights flash on or off to alert you if the LeakSmart system detects an issue.
Price at time of publish: $380
Power: Outlet with battery backup | Connectivity: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Zigbee, Nest, Iris, Samsung SmartThings, LeakSmart app | Alarm: No | Automatic controls: Yes
Best for HomeKit
Eve Water Guard Connected Water Leak Detector
Sensing cable included
Multiple alert options
Limited smart home compatibility
No automatic controls
The Eve Water Guard is one of the few smart water leak detectors with a standard sensing cable. This cable allows this device to offer the same spot-level detection as other compact sensors while monitoring wider, more far-reaching leaks. If the unit or sensing cable detects water, it sends an alert to the Eve app, sounds an audible alarm, and a light on the front of the device flashes on and off.
The Eve Water Guard is compatible with the Thread smart-home protocol, meaning it works with Apple HomePod straight out of the box. Any connected Apple device can control it, including the Apple Watch and Apple TV. The Water Guard acts as a so-called router node, which means that the sensor relays the data from any other Thread accessories in the home and enhances the stability and reach of your smart home. While smart home compatibility is limited, if you’re a HomeKit user, this option could more than fit your needs.
Price at time of publish: $100
Power: Outlet | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Apple HomeKit, Thread, Eve app | Alarm: Yes | Automatic controls: No
The Moen 920-005 Flo Smart Water Leak Detector is our top pick because it combines a compact design with easy-to-use smart features and a simple setup process. If you want a water leak detector that can help you reduce water usage and save money on your bills, we recommend the Flume 2 Smart Home Water Monitor.
What to Look For in a Smart Water Leak Detector
Smart water leak detectors run on batteries or receive power through an outlet connected to the main water line. A few detectors offer both power options, with the batteries acting as a failsafe should the power go down.
Battery-powered sensors that you can place under appliances or near pipes are the easiest to install because they’re highly portable and typically work straight out of the box. The downside is that they only monitor the appliances or pipes in their immediate vicinity. Sensors that monitor your entire home by connecting to your water main line can track changes in water pressure through your pipes or respond to changes in the magnetic field around your water meter. Some are battery-powered, while others connect to your network via a mains-powered hub or bridge.
Depending on your home’s plumbing and your DIY confidence level, the basic models of these types of sensors don’t require professional installation. You can retrofit them to existing pipes within minutes. If you’re not confident in your DIY or plumbing abilities or want a water leak detector with more advanced features, we recommend seeking professional advice before attempting installation.
Alarms and Monitoring
All smart water detectors offer leak detection and basic monitoring features. Alerts usually go to an app as a notification or via text or email. You can then manually switch off the water if the sensor comes with a shutoff valve, locate the source of the leak, and track alerts and water flow changes over time from within the app. Some detectors feature audible and visual alarms to alert you to potential damage even if you don’t have your phone nearby. These models are beneficial should a leak occur at night and you don’t hear your phone.
"If you want to receive alerts and control the sensor when you’re not at home, you need to make sure that the sensor you’re buying has a Wi-Fi radio or it’s part of a home automation system,” says Djamel Harkas from GH Plumbing. The apps that come with smart water leak detectors range in functionality, but most show you water usage trends and changes over time. Others go a step further to offer recommendations and insights that help you monitor usage and reduce your water bills.
The more advanced sensors and apps will let you customize water usage thresholds or set parameters for temperature and humidity. In these instances, you only get an alert if a sensor detects readings outside these set thresholds and parameters. For example, if the water in a pipe drops below a temperature that puts it at risk of freezing, the app will warn you so you can choose to cover up the pipes or take alternative action.
Smart Home Compatibility
All the smart water leak detectors on this list are compatible with iOS and Android at a minimum. Some are additionally compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, while a minority offer support for broader smart-home protocols, such as Zigbee and Thread, including Apple's HomeKit. The level of compatibility you need largely depends on the number and range of smart home products you already have.
This compatibility is built into the sensors themselves—meaning they connect directly to your phone or smart home device—or they run their signal through a hub. With the latter, you're adding an extra step in the connection process, and this can cause notification delays. These delays are usually minimal—from a couple of seconds to a minute at worst—but it's worth noting if real-time, instant notifications are important to you.
How do smart water leak detectors work?
Basic smart water leak detectors use probes to detect the presence of water in places where it shouldn’t be. Once these probes detect water, they notify any connected device to alert the homeowner of a potential leak. Advanced smart water leak detectors use algorithms and sensors placed within the main water line to look for abnormalities. These abnormalities can range from simple drops in pressure to disturbances in magnetic fields.
“Smart control systems use integrated software to monitor water flow rate in real-time, allowing the device to compare the flow rate versus customizable parameters,” says Steve Richmond, head of marketing and technical at REHAU Building Solutions. “Should any abnormalities be detected due to a burst pipe or drip leak, a notification will be sent to the homeowner’s phone via an app," adds Richmond. "If a major incident is detected, the system can automatically shut off the water supply to mitigate damage."
What sets smart detectors apart from non-smart ones is that the more advanced models learn a household’s typical water usage. If a family deviates significantly from this typical usage pattern, the sensor can alert the homeowner to a potential problem.
Where should I place water leak sensors?
“With basic DIY sensors, you should place them on the floor where you might get a leak, like underneath a sink or toilet,” Harkas says. “Some people have them underneath fridges or washing machines, too.” With these basic devices, Harkas recommends buying a multipack of sensors or one that comes with an extension cable that acts as an extra, long sensor. In both setups, you can detect water over a larger area without the need for plumbing or professional installation.
If you want to look for leaks in non-obvious places like behind walls, Harkas adds that it’s better to look for a leak detection system that monitors your water delivery system and integrates with your more comprehensive plumbing setup. “I would always advise getting help from a professional tradesperson in this case.”
How accurate are water leak detectors?
The accuracy of a water leak detector comes down to the sensitivity of its sensors and the software it runs on. The best sensors can detect water leaks from as small a millimeter or a drop a minute, known as pinhole leaks.
Devices covering your main water system are more accurate than basic DIY sensors with probes. Sensors that use machine learning and algorithms to learn your habits bring an extra level of accuracy and personalization.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science, technology, and lifestyle editor with more than a decade’s experience testing and reviewing consumer products. She’s had firsthand experience with several smart water leak detectors on this list and several others from different manufacturers and of various types.
To learn what to look for when choosing a smart water leak detector, Woollaston spoke with Djamel Harkas from GH Plumbing, Craig Foster, CEO of Ondo Insurtech, and Steve Richmond, head of marketing and technical at REHAU Building Solutions. Using these expert insights, she looked for leak detectors that are easy to use and provide accurate, real-time detection alerts. She also judged them based on design, price, the addition of audible and visual alarms, and smart home compatibility. She prioritized smart water leak detectors that were suitable for most homes and plumbing setups.