Water leaks can be devastating. Even a small leak while away on vacation can lead to tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. That’s not only a financial hassle—you still have to deal with repairs. When you have a home with a larger workshop or garage, opportunities for water leaks really begin to add up. Having something like the SimpleSENCE water leak detector with WiFi alerts can truly save the day in the event of a leak or freezing event. We tried out the system to see how it would perform.
Placing the SimpleSENCE Water Leak Detector System
We counted no less than 8 locations that could cause major headaches should a leak not get detected quickly. That included bathroom and kitchen sinks, the laundry room, water heaters, AC air handlers, and more. We prioritized and grabbed a 5-pack of sensors to spread around areas most likely to have a leak event.
Since the SimpleSENCE Leak & Freeze Detector works directly with your home’s WiFi, it alerts you whenever water is detected. It also requires no hub and manages to last up to two years on a pair of replaceable AAA batteries. While the sensors don’t come cheap, not needing a hub does save you a bit if you only want 1-3 sensors.
The system also lets you configure locations (zones) for each sensor. I configured one for the shop and one for the house then placed my sensors and labeled them accordingly. This helped me quickly distinguish between the water heater in our shop and the one in my home.
How Does the SimpleSENCE Water Leak Detector Work?
Twin sensor strips run across the bottom of the unit and up the sides. The device raises those ever-so-slightly off the ground so that if water runs underneath, the sensor reacts. It creates both an audible alert as well as an email and/or text message to let you know something is amiss. The audible alert measured around 73-74 dB(A). It’s loud enough to get your attention, but not if you happen to be upstairs watching TV.
To use the SimpleSence sensor, download the iOS or Android app and initiate setup by touching (shorting) the two metal strips on the device. One at a time, you can connect them to your existing WiFi network and assign them a name and location. We utilize a Netgear Orbi mesh network, and the SimpleSence leak detectors grabbed the nearest access point. This helped them maintain the strongest possible signal.
The app lets you configure alerts (multiple contacts are possible), monitor battery life, and also view the most recent leak events.
Testing the Leak Detector
Testing the water leak detector had me setting it down on the tile floor and pouring water next to it. Once the water trickled underneath, it took just several seconds before I heard the audible alert. After a few more seconds, I received a text alert on my iPhone as well as an email.
The SimpleSence sensors also include a temperature threshold sensor. So, in addition to water, it also sends an alert when it detects a temperature below 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though it’s winter, we live in Florida.
Into the freezer it went…
After about 15 minutes, we received both text and email alerts that a freezing event had occurred.
Overall, we like the price and functionality of the SimpleSence water leak detection system. It compares favorably to other systems on the market from Zircon, Honeywell, Roost, and others. Current pricing has it at around $70 for a single sensor, $210 for a 3-pack, and $350 for a 5-pack. We’ve also seen it for less online.
If you’d like a humidity sensor, the SimpleSence lacks that feature, so it won’t help to notify you of potential mold build-up. The devices also work only on a flat surface. You get no extenders for placement on vertical surfaces or underneath a washing machine or refrigerator. You also cannot wall-mount the sensor.
SimpleSence also works as a solo service and currently lacks Alexa, Google Home, or IFFT support.
While not inexpensive, the SimpleSence WiFi leak and freeze detectors do what they say. If you want to get notified of leak and freeze events, this system should deliver two years of reliable service before you need to change the batteries. Because you don’t need to pay for an ongoing monitoring service, this offsets the steeper cost of entry for the sensors. The best deal is to buy them in multi-packs and place them wherever a leak can occur.