How Does a Water Sensor Work?

Water sensors work by detecting current flowing through a circuit, which is caused by water entering the sensor. Water is an excellent electrical conductor, so when water touches a part of the sensor, it allows a small electrical current to be conducted where previously there was no current. As soon as the water creates this circuit, your sensor knows it has been exposed to water. From there, high-tech home monitoring systems will instantly be able to notify you of the standing water issue.

How does a water sensor work?

What is the Purpose of a Water Sensor?

A water sensor detects the presence of standing water so you know right away if your plumbing is leaking. Whether you have an old home or a new one, leaky pipes, windows, doors, and foundations are a legitimate concern. Repairing water damage is expensive, and removing mold caused by excess moisture is a big job. Water sensors let you know the moment one of these issues begins.

  • Water sensors are meant to detect standing water on your floor, to alert you of a potential leak.
  • Leaky pipes, windows, doors, and appliances can all be detected by a water sensor.
  • Some water sensors detect high moisture levels, so you can be alerted when conditions could encourage black mold growth.
  • Top-of-the-line water sensors track temperature and notify you if your pipes are in danger of bursting.

Water sensors can detect more than just leaky plumbing. Water entering your home and pooling on the floor will trigger the sensor. So, an overflowing sink, a faulty washing machine, a leaky window, or floodwater coming into your basement will all be detected by a water sensor. Plus, the best water sensors monitor temperature to let you know when your pipes are in danger of bursting. This allows you to take quick action to prevent catastrophe and costly repairs.

How Does a Water Sensor Detect Water?

Water sensors detect water when they are directly exposed to water. For instance, when a water sensor is placed on the floor in your bathroom and the toilet begins to leak onto the floor, the rising water will enter an opening in the water sensor. Once the water flows in, it will conduct electricity to previously “dead” circuits in the water sensor. When one or more of these “dead” circuits is activated by the presence of water, the water sensor knows there is standing water in the room.

  • Water sensors detect water when rising water flows into an opening in the center.
  • Water flowing into a sensor connects a live circuit and an inactive circuit, resulting in power flowing to the previously inactive circuit.
  • Once the inactive circuit receives power due to electricity flowing through the water, the sensor can alert you to the presence of water.

Don’t worry, the amount of electricity in a water sensor is not enough to cause a shock or harm anyone. Home water sensors operate at extremely low voltage, so they will not electrify standing water. The presence of water will trigger your water sensor safely.

How Do Water Sensors Prevent Burst Pipes?

Water sensors with built-in thermometers can monitor temperatures to recognize and automatically prevent burst pipes. If temperatures dip toward freezing or rise dangerously high, the Vivint water sensor will send a message to your Smart Home thermostat. This will trigger the thermostat to increase the temperature to prevent a frozen pipe, or lower temperatures if the room is getting dangerously hot.

  • When you add Vivint’s temperature-sensing water sensor to your Smart Home security system, you’ll get automatic leak detection and prevention.
  • When Vivint’s water sensor detects temperatures lower than 40℉ (4℃) it can automatically trigger your smart thermostat to increase the heat and prevent frozen pipes.
  • If temperatures rise above 100℉ (38℃), Vivint’s water sensor will trigger your thermostat to cool the room, to prevent pipes from expanding and bursting.

It’s a great idea to put a water sensor in your basement, so it can detect leaks, prevent water damage, and stop pipes from freezing. Even if you don’t live in an area with freezing winters, a temperature-sensitive water sensor is essential. Vivint’s water sensor reacts when temperatures reach 100℉ indoors (38℃). High temperatures can cause pipes to expand and burst. So, having a water sensor that actively works to prevent plumbing leaks can save you from water damage in any climate.

How Do You Use a Water Sensor?

Once it is powered on, place your water sensor on the floor of the room where you wish to monitor for leaks. Bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, and kitchens are all great choices. Then, make sure to link your water sensor to a monitoring system so you can be alerted quickly if there are any leaks. A water sensor can only do its job properly if it can notify you as soon as something goes wrong.

  • Your water sensor should be placed on a flat portion of the floor, where it can detect leaks and standing water.
  • Water sensors are most useful when they are linked to a smart security system that monitors for issues and provides alert notifications
  • Speak to a Vivint specialist today to build a smart home security system that includes water sensors.

The best way to use a water sensor is to include it as part of a smart home security system. This way, the sensor is integrated with app controls and can link to your smart thermostat. With in-app notifications, you can receive alerts of possible leaks even when you’re away from home. Plus, integrating your water sensor with a smart home security system allows the sensor to detect and prevent dangerous temperatures that can cause burst pipes in your walls.

Detect Water in Places it Shouldn't Be
Vivint Water Sensors | Safety Alarms
  • Preventing flooding with water leak detection.
  • Identify leaks and standing water before major flooding occurs.
  • Instantly notifies you if water is detected in an area it shouldn't be.
  • Built-in temperature control to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
*The editors of Pepper's Home & Garden own a Vivint Smart Security System and highly recommend the company and their products.

How Long Do Water Sensors Last?

Water sensors last for 5–10 years, as long as they are not damaged. The Vivint water sensor has a 5-year battery life, so you won’t have to worry about replacing it for a very long time. Other water sensors offer shorter battery lifespans, but batteries can easily be recharged or replaced. A good water sensor is like a smoke alarm—it will continue to function as long as it has battery power and it is not damaged.

  • Your water sensor will last for 5–10 years in most cases.
  • Water sensors may require battery replacement every 1–5 years.
  • Due to their relatively low cost and long life, water sensors are a great investment for homeowners.

Because water sensors do not need to be replaced frequently, they are a great household investment. By purchasing water sensors, you can respond quickly to potential problems. A simple water sensor can save you thousands in water damage repairs.

What Sensor is Used to Detect Water?

Water sensors detect standing water in a room, which may indicate you have a plumbing leak. Here’s what you should know about water sensors:

  • Water sensors detect standing water caused by faulty plumbing, flooding, or leaking.
  • Linking a water sensor to a smart home security system allows you to receive phone notifications if the sensor detects a potential leak.
  • Smart water sensors track room temperature and automatically change the settings on your smart thermostat to prevent frozen or overheated pipes.
  • Place water sensors in the basement, bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, or anywhere else there is a risk of leaks.
  • Using water sensors can help you avoid thousands in home repairs.

Because water sensors alert you once they make contact with water, you can respond before a small leak becomes a big problem. This allows you to stop water leaks in their tracks.

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