Last Updated: Dec 22, 2021 @ 7:01 pm.

What's the best water leak detector? If you've ever had a water leak in your home, you know how devastating it can be—and discovering it early is key to limiting any damage. We tested water leak detectors from several major brands, looking for ease of use, reliability and overall accuracy. Then we asked our parent readers for their experiences—what worked best in the real world? Here are the ones we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best WiFi Water Leak Detector

Easy to set up
We loved these sensors, which sends fast push notifications of a leak to your phone. And it includes a LOUD alarm . . . 100 decibels! Very sensitive. Works with up to 10 sensors.
$54.99

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Best WiFi Water Leak Detector: Govee WiFi Water Sensor 3 Pack

Want to hear a scary story?

After buying a 100-year-old home, I was awakened at 3am on a cold winter morning to hear water rushing downstairs . . . a frozen pipe had broken, sending a cascade of water into our living room. 

Let me tell you, that experience leaves a mark.

And water leaks can happen from more than frozen pipes. Water heaters that fail and leak gallons of water are a big issue. As are busted washing machine hoses and sinks with leaky valves. 

The result? Thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars to repair water damage.

But there is good news: water leak detectors can give you early warning, sounding an alarm or sending you a phone alert about a water leak before it gets out of hand. 

We did a deep dive into water leak detectors after our own experience, testing several major brands. These detectors fall into two categories:

• WiFi-enabled “smart” detectors that can alert you via an app or smart device (Alexa, for example). Some have a physical alarm and others don’t.

• Simple detectors that sound a loud alarm when sensing water.

To come up with these recommendations, we also asked our parent readers for their real-world experiences with water leak detectors.

For the best WiFi water leak detector, we pick Govee’s WiFi Water Sensor 3 Pack. These detectors had the best combination of ease of use, accuracy and overall value. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Very sensitive! One big complaint we had with other water sensors we tried was lack of sensitivity–they didn’t provide the early warning we think is crucial. The Govee units, however, passed our tests with flying colors.

• Loud alarm! At 100 decibels, you won’t miss it.

• Fast notifications with app.

• Includes 3 sensors—can handle up to 10 sensors at once.

• Affordable.

• Real time alerts via WiFi and smartphone app.

• Easy to set up. Sensors are paired with the app right out of the box.

What Needs Work

• Doesn’t work on 5 GHz WiFi networks. You’ll need a 2.4 GHz network for these sensors to work.

 • Only works when the temperature is above freezing.

• Batteries included with sensors could be better quality.

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Best Alexa-Enabled Leak Detector

Also works with IFTTT
Excellent quality sensors send a quick notification to your phone or Alexa device when water is detected. Easy to install. Caveat: no alarm siren is included.
$79.99

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Best Alexa-Enabled Leak Detector: Yolink Smart Leak Sensors

If you have an Alexa-enabled device, these sensors can send a real-time notification—most helpful and easy to set up. On the plus side, you get four sensors (versus the three included with the Govee). On the downside, no alarm siren is included . . . that’s an extra purchase.

What We Liked

 Easy to install.

• Seamless integration with Alexa.

• Quickly sends message when water is detected.

• Also integrates with IFTTT. This service (which stands for If This, Then That) can send you a text message or even a phone call (membership fee required, however). We’ve used IFTTT for years and are impressed with the service’s ease of set up and reliability.

• Low battery alerts.

What Needs Work

• No audible alarm. Yes, you can buy a Yolink siren separately . . . but we wish it was included.

• Doesn’t work on 5 GHz WiFi networks. You’ll need to set up these sensors on a 2.4 GHz network.

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Best Water Leak Alarm

Low tech solution
This simple sensor sounds a LOUD alarm when it detects water—no fancy app needed. Sets up in seconds and works well. Easy on the wallet.
$12.48

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Best Water Leak Alarm: THE BASEMENT WATCHDOG Model MWD-HWA

Sometimes simpler is better.

If you don’t need smartphone notifications or Alexa integration, this water leak alarm does the trick—it sounds an alarm when it detects water. And that is what most folks need!

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy to use and set up.

• Sensitive.

• Affordable solution.

• Loud 110 decibel alarm.

• Six-foot sensor wire so you can extend the unit to a sump pump.

• Up to 100 feet more wire is available as an accessory.

What Needs Work

• No low battery alarm. 

• May not be loud enough to hear if your bedroom is long distance from basement. We thought the alarm was plenty loud, but you may want to consider an alternate solution in case your basement is two floors away from the bedrooms.

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Best Budget-Friendly

Very sensitive
Loved this two-pack of water leak sensors that are very sensitive. Favorite feature: low battery alert that chirps when it's time to replace the 9-volt battery.
$27.77

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Best Budget-Friendly: Zircon Leak Alert Water Leak Detector

We’ve used these sensors in our home for years and they work as advertised—when even the slightest amount of water is detected, they set of a very loud alarm (90 decibels). You won’t miss it!

One nice feature: they have a low battery alert feature—the unit chirps when the battery needs to be replaced. That’s great since some sensors we tested lack this feature . . . and you don’t want a sensor with a dead battery.

What We Liked

• Very sensitive.

• Affordable.

• Works on 9-volt battery—long battery life. 

• Low battery warning chirp.

• Easy to set up.

• Sounds alarm for up to 72 hours when water is detected.

What Needs Work

• Sensors are somewhat bulky. They can be hard to fit into tight or cramped spaces.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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