We're getting ready to convert a dresser into a bathroom vanity. It's going to be a pretty neat project. The one thing is that there won't be a lot of room to see a leak if one starts until it gets really bad, so I need to be proactive. I'd like to know what leak sensors are most highly recommended here. What do you use and why? How is battery life, etc? I need to get one ordered before March 7th, but I'd like to tinker with it for a bit before I hide them in the back of the piece.
I like the SmartThings leak sensors. Either generation is good but the latest gen has a sensor and bowl on top and will go off if dripped on or water on the floor. I have 17 of them in service and they have saved me a couple of times. I get about a year in battery life. If you can find them PEQ's, are the same as the earlier gen SmartThings sensor.
I use this one, it's small and has some interesting accessories:
I use old Aeotec z-wave ones that I've had for 5-6 years. Batteries had to be changed every 45-60 days. So I converted them to run on mains using a transformer. Whichever one you go with, if you have an outlet behind the dresser, convert it to be mains powered - it'll beat the crap out of bending down to change batteries ....
I use the Samsung Smarthings leak sensors (they have contacts on top and bottom). Response to water detection is very quick. Also, you should insure that your plumbing is accessible (shut off valves, P-trap, etc) otherwise, any plumbing issue will be difficult to resolve.
Oh yes we're having a licensed plumber do the work. Usually a vanity has a door that makes the plumbing more accessible and easy to spot a leak. Our vanity has all drawers and the drawers are modified to accommodate the pipes, but it will make it difficult to see if something is leaking before it becomes a problem. The drawers are easily removed also. So, I'm just being proactive and getting something in place immediately. So there'll be a tub and a leak sensor under both sinks as a safety precaution.
Of all the warning devices in my home, the leak sensors are the only ones (so far, knock on wood) that have actually signaled a bonafide warning situtation. I use five (4 LeakSmart and one new-ish Samsung; both brands seem to perform well) and so far 3 of them have caught a developing leak condition at least once. Dripping DIY plumbing seems to be my specialty.
I'd have to say that given the event driven nature of HE (and SmartThings, for that matter) and the on-conditon-change warning messages that these devices produce, I don't feel 100% confident that their warning will be intercepted and relayed should the hub be having a bad day or in the middle of a scheduled reboot. So I like the fact that the LeakSmart devices have an audible alert (feeble though it may be; though I actually did hear it peeping in the middle of the night once, even though it was located one floor below me). They are pricey but well made and battery life (with the latest firmware) is about a year.
Here's a pretty good overview of some others; I'd have to say that the loud audible alarm of the wifi model they tested seems like a significant advantage: The Best Smart Water-Leak Detector for 2020 | Reviews by Wirecutter
I have LeakSmart, Xiaomi Aqara, one Insteon, and one Iris (Centralite). All have alerted me at some point when water was spilled next to them. The LeakSmart near my basement stairs has seen the most action from me forgetting to clear the snow from the back door before a fast melt.
All are equal in my eyes, but I do like the fact that the LeakSmart also beeps and flashes a blue light.
For the ultimate in leak detection and prevention, you probably cannot beat Flo (now owned by Moen). They have an insurance guarantee that goes along with theirs too (or at least they did before the Moen purchase).
I bought scads of the Samsung ADT Leak Sensors when they discontinued them. They were 5 and 10 dollars from eBay and Best Buy new. They are zigbee but I haven't had any problem with them.
The battery life on them has been pretty good. They are about one year old and most of them still show 99% battery. The exception is the ones that are near cold. Those ones shows 70 to 80%. They also have temperature which is nice.
They are puck like with 3 spring-loaded contacts on the bottom so they self level. They can get dripped from the top or contact water from the bottom. No false alerts so far. They have detected water every time they should. A few times my wife got a little zealous washing her face and water ran down the rod of the pop-up assembly mechanism. Once there actually was a leak. I have them near the AC drip plate, water heaters and in each sink cabinet. I should probably put one under the dishwasher.
If you can still find some on the cheap the model number is F-ADT-WTR-1. You can get them in lots sometimes on eBay for 5 bucks. Single they are usually around 10 but I have seen them for less. If you can't find them for cheap the current generation Samsung Leak sensor isn't expensive so it's probably better to go that route.
Gotcha … just wanted to confirm. Good luck with the project!
Also of note, the previous generation SmartThings leak sensor and the PEQ sensor are all the same hardware made by Centralite. They may have a little different firmware but they all work the same. I have a mixture of all of them. I think the Iris V2 sensor is probably the same hardware as well but I don't have one to compare. All pictured below.
I have probably 25+ leak sensors.
The ST ones (any version but the really old first version) are the best and give me the least grief.
I have PEQ and they are great but seem to drop off my seemingly robust network and run through batteries quicker
Utilitech with the leed has great battery life but is a pain to pair
Fibaro has been ok
Found these. Thoughts?
I have a few of them and they work really well. I like that it will sense on the bottom as well as drips on the top of it. The only thing I don't like is that there is no audible alarm in the sensor itself - which is a nice backup notification if hubitat wasn't working for some reason.
I have this version too. I like it for under pipes and the dishwasher since it sees drips and pools. Battery life has been great
I have 12 of these. They are very quick to respond to water (top and bottom) and trigger my rule to close the Dome valve and announce over Chromecast integration where the leak was detected.