Detecting Water Leaks with Iris
Update April 17, 2020: Lowe’s Iris closed their service but you can still use a Z-Wave water leak detector with any other smart home hub. We are using the Guardian to detect leaks and automatically shut off our water.
A few weeks ago our garbage disposal had a meltdown. We use it a lot and it had been struggling for some time, but it wasn’t until we needed something under the sink that we noticed that it was dripping every time we used it, creating a dirty mess where our garbage and cleaning supplies live.
While we were not able to find a smart garbage disposal to replace our old one, we decided that it would be nice to detect leaks in the future, so we installed a Utilitech Water Leak Detector under the sink. The home water leak sensor is easy to install, just mount the box and extend the wire to where you want to track for leaks.
Mounting it under the sink in a cabinet presented a couple of challenges. We needed to make sure that the sensor was in the right place so that a leak would flow towards it and not away. To determine this, we used a level to figure out the lowest spot in the cabinet and placed the sensor there. The other tricky part was getting the wire sensor in just the right spot where it doesn’t touch the bottom of the cabinet, but is low enough that the water would reach it.
We connected the detector to our Lowe’s Iris system and it will now notify us over email and audibly through the hub when it detects a leak.
The detector runs on three AA batteries – and if they start to run low, the Iris system will notify us that we need to replace them. This is handy because a dead water leak detector would be pretty useless, especially since it is under the sink where we won’t be thinking about it too often.
The water leak detector was so reasonable (about $30) and easy to use, we installed another one in the laundry room to monitor for washer leaks. So far so good – no leaks detected – and peace of mind achieved.