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I don’t throw around words like “must” and “have” very lightly, but I’m feeling pretty strongly this is a must-have item. See, shortly after I remodeled my basement last summer, our water-softener system developed a leak. It was only dumb luck that we spotted it before the water reached the newly finished floors — and caused who-knows-how-much damage.
My parents, meanwhile, had extensive water damage under their kitchen sink resulting from a slow faucet-leak they didn’t detect until much later. If only technology could offer some kind of detection system for this kind of thing!
OK, there are many such systems, but many (most?) of them deliver an audible alarm and that’s it. Here’s one that’s way smarter: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Govee WiFi Water Sensor 3-pack is just $23.49. Regular price: $50. Update: This deal was $31 last week with a promo code, but has now dropped to this even lower price, no code required.
If the Govee brand sounds familiar, it’s because I recently wrote about one of their LED light-strip kits (which is currently pulling bias-lighting duty behind my TV). Turns out the company makes (or at least rebrands) a variety of smart home products.
This one relies on a Wi-Fi hub that plugs into any outlet and three battery-powered sensors. (The batteries are included and installed; you just pull a tab to activate the sensor.) Although it took me two tries to get the hub properly connected to my home network, after that it was smooth sailing. (Your mileage may vary; if you look at the user reviews, you’ll see that some people had difficulty getting everything set up.)
I put one of the sensors alongside the aforementioned softener system, one under the kitchen sink and one under the master-bathroom sink. Before doing so, though, I tested one by placing it on a plate with just a little water on it. In a matter of seconds, its loud (but not deafening) alarm sounded. A few seconds after that, I received a notification on my phone. And in my inbox I found yet another notification.
The sensors also have built-in drip-detectors on top, so if you place one directly underneath a potential leak source (such as a faucet), it’ll catch those, too. And if you need more than three sensors, the system can accommodate expansion.
Here’s the potential deal-breaker for some buyers: The kit requires a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network; it can’t work on those that run only at 5GHz. (My Eero system can do both simultaneously, one reason I’m very glad I spent a little extra when choosing a mesh network.)
Obviously I can’t say just yet how reliable these are long-term, but the peace of mind alone is worth $23. And the sensors seem to work exactly as advertised.
Note: Originally published last week. Updated to reflect new sale price and/or availability.
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