A useful option for keeping your home free from water damage.
There are a lot of things you have to take into consideration when you become a homeowner. For one thing, you have to take care of your own maintenance. When I bought my house, I was moving from an apartment where all I had to do was call the manager of the building to have something repaired. It was a bit of a shock to the system when I suddenly owned my home and had to complete all the repairs without assistance. At one point, we discovered that there was a leak in our crawl space (one of the pipes was old and clogged) and after its repair it caused a backup in our entire system. The clothing washer ended up flooding our kitchen and it happened when we weren’t at home, too. That was one of those situations where it would have been great to have a ‘heads up’ when it first happened because we could have stopped the water from spreading. That’s where the Flood Sensor from Fibaro comes into play.
The Flood Sensor is a water leak and temperature sensor. It measures 71mm x 29.3mm and is rounded like a small dome. This particular sensor is HomeKit compatible and so you can ask Siri about the temperature in the sensor’s location if you like. Fibaro actually created two models of the Flood Sensor — one for HomeKit users and one for Z-Wave controllers. This way they could be used by more people. The system immediately pushes notifications to your mobile phone when a leak is detected or tampering has occurred. The sensor is buoyant so if the leak is large enough, the sensor will end up floating. After it detects a leak, the system equipped with electrovalves (Z-Wave) will close the water supply to minimize damage. Because of its small size, the Flood Sensor can be placed nearly anywhere. It also works in conjunction with heated floors. The Flood Sensor will detect the temperature and control floor heating as needed.
- Leak sensor
- Sound alarm
- Temperature sensor
- Tamper alert
- Telescopic stands
- Light indicator
- Bluetooth communication
- 2 years battery life
- Simple scene activation
- Voice control through Apple Siri
- Works with Apple devices iOS 9 and higher
- Sharing Home function
The setup of the Flood Sensor was surprisingly easy. There are no complicated instructions or parts assembly that needs to happen. You do have to twist open the top and pull out a strip of paper to activate the battery connection. Once you do, the sensor is ready to pair to the app. It’s free to download and it will connect easily to HomeKit. The first thing the app will signal you to do is to Create Your Home if you haven’t already. Mine was already created so I just selected “My Home” and moved through the app’s instructions.
If you select a home that is already created, all the smart devices that are controlled by HomeKit will appear within the Fibaro app. If the Flood Sensor is activated, it should appear on the menu when you select the “+” to add a new accessory. Once you select the Flood Sensor, you will be asked to scan its HomeKit code, which can be found on the back of the Quick Start Guide. The process at this point is very similar to what you find with other HomeKit devices. You select which room it’s going to go into and then label what the services should be called by Siri.
I actually found this app to be rather refreshing in comparison to other HomeKit compatible device apps. Each of the devices had their own icon within the Fibaro app. I found this made it easier to find devices within the menus.
When it came to operation of the Flood Sensor, I found that it was pretty accurate regarding the temperature sensor. It was reading 74º in a room where another temperature sensor was. The other sensor provided a 72º temperature reading, which I thought was close enough to consider the Flood Sensor temperature to be accurate. The sensor has a tamper alarm on it. At first, I didn’t know why it would have that. Then I thought, if you place the sensor in a certain place and it gets moved, then you would be notified of that and could check its placement again. The tamper alarm was actually quite sensitive. I picked up the sensor and tapped one of the prongs on the bottom. It was accidental, but it still made the tamper alarm go off. The sensor emitted a simple beeping sound and a notification flashed across the the iPhone’s screen.
When it came to testing the actual flood sensor part of the Flood Sensor, I though it made sense to place it in the floor of our shower and gently run some water from the back of the shower to the front so that there was a steady flow of water. The sensor’s alarm went off immediately after water touched the metal feet and a push notification popped up on my phone. I was really surprised at how accurate that sensor was and when I pulled it out of the water, it immediately stopped. I really thought that maybe the unit would have to be submerged or partially submerged in order to trip the sensor, but that is not the case. If the sensor was sitting on a table and glass of water was spilled, that would trip the sensor. It was really a very small amount. I was impressed with its accuracy and notification system.
I’ve had a lot of experience with environmental sensors and I sometimes it doesn’t seem that you will ever get use out of them. The Flood Sensor is a great option for people who have older homes and need to be aware of when there is water in a crawl space or if maybe the water heater has become faulty. It’s easy to set up and monitoring is maintenance-free. It works. It’s that simple.