I have a few places in my home that I really, really don't want water to be. I've had bad experiences with water in the past (read: whole-house flooding from an upstairs toilet valve), and I'd like to make sure I can catch a slow (or even fast) leak before it becomes a huge pain.

There are a few places that I'm suspicious of, namely a couple sinks, the line running into a refrigerator, etc. We currently have some water alarms that beep when they detect water, but that won't help much if I'm not at home and thus can't hear the beep.

What's a reliable, long term, cheap way to get notified (SMS, push notification, IFTTT action, etc) of a water leak?


Apart from notification, cut off the main water line when detecting a leak. For example WaterCop. It may connect to your existing automation system; see their FAQ:

WaterCop systems are equipped with auxiliary input/output contacts and can be wired into your existing home automation system with simple low voltage wiring (wiring not included). Please consult your security system manual or installation professional for details on other systems.

I haven't used any such system.

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An interesting leak detection system you can find in industrial processes can be implemented with a flow sensor (or level sensor) on the PVC pipes leaving the building :

  • the flow (or level) is monitored real-time
  • whenever on a particular day, min(flow) > 0 ; there is probably a leak
  • whenever there is a flow > 0 between 02:00:00 and 03:00:00 ; there is probably a leak

Such a process can allow you to monitor multiple houses.

You can reverse the process and monitor the water supply counter of your home.

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  • Not sure how I understand how monitoring water leaving through the drain system would detect water that leaks out of the plumbing system. – Michael May 10 '17 at 23:04
  • It means that if you cannot monitor water adduction system, you can monitor the drain system. Of course that does not detect leaks provoked by holes in the pipes. – JB. With Monica. May 11 '17 at 7:41

Embedded system: (not inexpensive)

Universal Devices makes a controller which is very useful for many home automation tasks including alerting. with it you can create a simple If/Then statement which will alert you when an insteon water leak sensor triggers.

with open source software you can definitely accomplish this for a lower cost using the same sensor.

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I would suggest a simple home automation system, such as Insteon or Z-Wave for remote or local, live continuous monitoring of leaks.

The Insteon Leak Sensor is one such device, when paired into your Insteon System, you simply place it near any places you wish to monitor and when a leak occurs it triggers a response to your Insteon Hub which then will send you a notification anywhere you are on a smartphone or other internet device. You would need an Insteon hub for this to work as you wish.

Z-Wave has a number of leak/flood sensors, the best being the new Flood Sensor from Fibaro, which we are a US dealer for, or any similar products from Fortrezz, which are good as well. Again for remote control and montioring you need a Z-Wave controller like Vera, Smarthings or others, the Vera will send you SMS, Emails etc anywhere, anytime.

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  • Do you have any leak sensors that are inline to detect when water is flowing in a pipe when it shouldn't? Seems like all the flow sensors around don't detect flow below something like 0.1L/min. – Michael May 10 '17 at 23:06

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