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An Inexpensive Water Leak Detector System  (Bob Munro)

Those of us in our community have had more that our fair share of water leaks. Some were catastrophic and happened while the homeowners were away. We had a water heater leak some time ago that was minor and more of an annoyance until we replaced it. Our water heater is located immediately adjacent to the main water shutoff in the garage where the valves for the outside water faucets are also located.

During the holiday barrage of email sales I came across the Govee WiFi Water Sensor and decided that for the sale price of about $33 I thought Iíd give it a try. This is simply a water leak sensor or detector but it interfaces with your home WiFi network. When a sensor detects a water leak, it notifies your cell phone and sends you an email! The sensor also produces an audible alarm that may be loud enough to be heard on the second level, maybe not. But at least youíd get a notification that thereís water somewhere that itís not supposed to be.

The package contains three battery-operated sensors and one WiFi Gateway module that plugs into an AC outlet. The latter is about the size of a computer mouse and sensors are about half that size (see photo). Thereís a plastic film that needs to be removed from the bottom of the sensor to activate the batteries. I had to loosen some screws to remove the plastic. The included batteries should last at least six months, depending on how often the sensor is activated.

The only downside for this system is that it needs to communicate with a 2.4Ghz WiFi network. However, there are plenty of dual band (2.4 and 5Ghz) routers in use and your router would probably work.   And of course, during a power outage, not much of anything works.

The system requires a smartphone and the Govee Home app to connect the WiFi Gateway to a 2.4Ghz WiFi network. Just plug the Gateway into an AC outlet and follow the instructions. Once itís paired to your network, you can pair one or more sensors to the Gateway. I made both connections sitting in the living room and then moved the Gateway and the sensor into the garage. I tested the sensor prior to final placement by putting it on a plate and adding some water Ė it didnít take long until it activated and sent notifications to my phone and my email. You have to shake the water off the sensor and dry it to silence the alarm.

There are many more water leak detectors on the market, and some of them have the capability of turning off the main water supply, but not for $50Ö Here is the item description as it appeared on Amazon, December 2019.

Govee WiFi Water Sensor, Smart APP Leak Alert, Wireless Water Alarm and Alarm with Email, Notification, App Alerts, Remote Monitor Leak for Home Security Basement (Don't Support 5G WiFi) -3 Packs for about $33 on Amazon. That was a sale price, normally $50.   Currently (September 2020) Amazon has a similar package with one sensor for about $21.  See it here .

Here's a link to the installation instructions .

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