Flo by Moen family of productsSource: Flo by Moen

Best Smart Water Monitoring System Android Central 2020

When you think of protecting your home from disaster, what crosses your mind? Fire? Burglary? Natural disasters? Water damage often gets forgotten until the day you walk home, and your basement is flooded. Smart water monitors were created to prevent these very situations. Flo by Moen is our pick for best smart water monitoring solution, as it offers everything you could want in such a product, including monitoring your pipes for leaks with the ability to instantly shut off the water flow as soon as a problem is detected.

Best Overall: Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff

Flo by Moen family of productsSource: Flo by Moen

Flo by Moen isn't just a single product; it's a family of devices that are designed to detect water leaks anywhere they could happen in your home. In addition to the in-line Flo by Moen device that attaches to your main water line, Flo offers a Smart Water Detector that goes under sinks and behind large appliances to help detect leaks in all sorts of places.

These additional sensors are vital to catching every possible leak scenario, as there's no way for a water pressure detector to know that the bathtub is overflowing or the washing machine is leaking if it's not coming from a problematic pipe. In addition to that, Flo by Moen can be equipped with an optional battery backup unit, ensuring that water monitoring doesn't stop when the power goes out. This can be particularly important during severe weather when the power goes out, as monitoring for broken or frozen pipes can still occur, and water can be shut off in the event of an emergency situation.

The Flo by Moen app aggregates all the data from the Flo devices in your home and presents them in one easy-to-use dashboard, including the ability to shut off water to your home with the touch of a button. Flo by Moen also suggests handy tips for reducing water consumption and specializes in conservation, helping you reduce the price of water bills over time. The FloProtect service is an additional annual cost. Still, it offers supplemental insurance coverage, live support, and a host of ways to view your data and make your home more efficient.

Pros:

  • Can shut off water to the home in case of water leaks
  • Additional household sensors
  • Battery backup option
  • Several options for different pipe sizes

Cons:

  • Requires a subscription to access all features
  • Complicated installation

Best Overall

Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff

More options

Flo by Moen is the most versatile leak detection system on the market.

Best for businesses and large homes: Phyn Plus Smart water assistant + shutoff

Phyn PlusSource: Phyn

Phyn Plus is the most expensive single product on this list, but you get what you pay for. Phyn Plus is installed on the main water line going into your house, and, because of this, it's recommended that you get a professional plumber to install it for you. While the initial cost of Phyn Plus is substantially more than other options here, there's no subscription model to get to your data, which means a lower cost of ownership in the long-run.

Phyn Plus can be used to monitor not just the pipes in your house, but also the pipes for the irrigation system in your yard. Phyn Plus also uses an ultrasonic flow meter to detect leaks and frozen pipes, resulting in more accurate detection than other methods. Phyn Plus is weather hardened and can withstand extremely hot or cold temperatures. It also has no moving parts, giving this product a long lifespan.

The built-in shutoff valve can be configured to automatically shut off your water in the event of a detection, or via more manual methods like the smartphone app or the physical valve on the Phyn Plus. Phyn Plus supports up to 1.25-inch pipes, so if you have a larger home or commercial property with pipes larger than this, the upcoming Phyn XL is what you'll need. The biggest downside to Phyn Plus is the lack of a battery backup solution, but the unit doesn't require power to allow water to flow, just to collect data. That means, in the event of a power outage, you won't be without the flow of water.

Pros:

  • Can shut off water
  • Monitors the whole home including irrigation systems
  • No additional subscription costs
  • No moving parts means longer lifespan

Cons:

  • Complicated installation
  • Expensive up-front cost
  • No battery backup

Best for businesses and large homes

Phyn Plus Smart water assistant + shutoff

The most reliable one

Phyn Plus has most reliable and accurate readings around.

Best for Simplicity: Flume Water Monitor

Flume Smart Water MonitorSource: Flume

Flume Water Monitor is an excellent product for people who don't want to spend a lot and don't want a complicated installation. There's no need to cut into pipes or a plumber. Flume attaches to the outside of your main water meter and is said to be compatible with 95% of water systems found in homes. Since it attaches to the main water line, it can monitor both the water lines inside your home and the ones found in your yard for the irrigation system.

That makes Flume one of the easiest and most affordable ways to ensure your home's water pipes are operating normally. Flume's app delivers notifications when a problem is detected, but it's more than that, too. It also monitors water usage and helps you determine better ways to conserve water and lower your utility bill. Flume has deep hooks into Alexa and can be controlled by Amazon's popular virtual assistant, helping you link up additional smart home products for better home control.

The biggest downside to Flume's design is that it can't turn off your water in the event of an emergency; it can only alert you to the problem.

Pros:

  • Monitors the whole home including irrigation systems
  • Super-easy installation
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • No shutoff valve

Best for Simplicity

Flume Water Monitor

Affordable and easy

Flume monitors your home's plumbing without the need for cutting those pipes or complicated installation.

Best Value for Small Homes: leakSMART leak detection starter kit

leakSMART Starter KitSource: leakSMART

With leakSMART, your investment will net you a valve, sensor, and the hub that controls all of them. leakSMART utilizes this Zigbee hub to communicate with all of its components, meaning it's not reliant on Wi-Fi being available to work fully. It'll also work with existing Zigbee sensors, so if you already have one, you can save money by just buying the leakSMART valve. Unlike some other sensors, leakSMART relies on wireless sensors placed around your home to detect leaks instead of monitoring the water right from the valve.

These battery-powered wireless units can be placed underneath bathroom sinks, behind the dishwasher or washing machine, or in the HVAC closet to detect leaks from appliances that wouldn't necessarily show up from just a water pressure difference in the pipes. Aside from being very capable, leakSMART holds the title of being the most affordable system with a shutoff valve, and its additional components are very affordable as well. It's also got a battery backup system built-in making this the best value on the list.

leakSMART's system works best in smaller homes for several reasons, though. The Zigbee hub has a specified range, and if sensors are too far from the system, you'll run into communication issues. leakSMART sensors are also a bit pricey, so if you need more than a few, it makes more sense to choose a system like Flo by Moen.

Pros:

  • Most affordable system with a shutoff valve
  • Built-in battery backup
  • Can shut off water to the home in case of water leaks
  • Several options for different pipe sizes
  • Comes with Zigbee hub

Cons:

  • Complicated installation
  • Single hub might not have great wireless range
  • Sensors can get expensive
  • No water flow statistics

Best Value for Small Homes

leakSMART leak detection starter kit

Less money for when you have less space.

leakSMART helps you monitor your smaller home's plumbing without costing a lot.

Best for Rentals: Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor

Streamlabs Smart Water DetectorSource: Streamlabs

Living in a rental usually means one big thing: no modifications of the household structure like walls or pipes. That knocks most of the products off this list, but not the Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor. Steamlabs designed its water monitor to strap to the outside of any pipe easily and effectively monitor your home or rental home's pipes. Steamlabs utilizes ultrasonic sensors to detect water movement and volume, and can accurately detect changes in pressure or flow.

That allows the Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor to detect freezing pipes, leaking pipes, and to account for metrics and other vital statistical data to help save you money on water usage. When you leave home, you can set the unit to away mode, which will alert you if there is any water usage in the home when there shouldn't be. Streamlabs also has an additional subscription service that will provide more historical data, as well.

The real value isn't just the inexpensive price tag; it's the peace of mind that monitoring water leaks will bring you and your landlord. It will not only protect their property from water damage, but it'll also keep your belongings safe from the terrible damage that leaks and broken pipes can cause. While it won't shut off the water in the event of a leak, it's likely your landlord wouldn't let you work on the plumbing anyway.

Pros:

  • Ultra-simple snap-on installation
  • No need to remove pipes or do any plumbing
  • Monitoring and historical data via the app
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • No water shutoff valve
  • Requires a subscription to access all features

Best for Rentals

Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor

Water monitoring without the hassle

Streamlabs offers leak and frozen pipe alerts without the expense or complicated installation.

Best on a Budget: Govee Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector

Govee Leak DetectorSource: Govee

Sometimes you just need the basics, and that's where Govee has your back. For around fifty bucks, you get a three-pack of Govee water detection sensors and a wireless hub for Wi-Fi communication with your sensors. These battery-powered sensors are fully wireless and can be placed anywhere that you might expect a leak to happen, like underneath the bathroom sink, inside the HVAC closet, or behind the water heater. All sensors hook up to the wireless hub, and all that data is aggregated with the app on your smartphone.

Additional sensors can be purchased for around less than you'd think and can easily be placed in any location where you might have leaks. Between the loud alarm and the smartphone notifications, you'll be notified of a leak the second it happens without delay. It won't stop the water flowing, but it can help you take action the moment a leak starts and before it can cause real damage.

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Battery-powered
  • Local alarm and remote smartphone notifications

Cons:

  • No water shutoff valve
  • No water usage statistics
  • Single hub might not have great wireless range

Best on a Budget

Govee Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector

3-pack for a Grant

When all you need is a simple way to detect leaks under sinks, appliances, or near pipes, Govee has your back.

Bottom line

Protecting your home doesn't just mean locking the doors and ensuring that your fireplace has been extinguished at night; it also means making sure your pipes don't burst and flood portions of your house. Water damage is much more likely than a fire or burglary to happen to a home, so it makes sense to purchase a product that can help mitigate disaster without much hassle.

Systems like Flo by Moen offer the most comprehensive protection for your home by monitoring water flow through your mainline, wirelessly pairing to periphery sensors to detect leaks from appliances, and shutting off your water in the event of a leak detection. Plenty of other options exist for all sorts of scenarios and housing types, but one thing is clear; you want to monitor for leaks before they cause you massive headaches and tons of money in repairs. Your insurance company will likely even reward you for it with a discount on your premiums!

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Nick Sutrich Nick is a news writer and contributor to Android Central. He's been writing about tech since 2011 and loves robot vacuums, home automation, virtual reality, and any kind of gadget that's connected to the Internet. Find him on Twitter at @Gwanatu.

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