If you live in an area where freezing temperatures can lead to burst pipes, or where flooding is a concern, an early warning system can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs. With the Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector you'll receive email, push, and in-app alerts when the temperature and humidity hit a certain level or when water is detected, but it doesn't interact with other home automation devices such as smart switches and cameras. At $79.99, it's not cheap, but it's a pittance compared with the costs associated with severe water damage repairs.
Design and Features
The Leak and Freeze Detector measures 3.1 by 3.1 by 1.2 inches (HWD) and has two small water sensors protruding from its rubberized removable back panel. It ships with a 4-foot cable sensor, three AA batteries, and a mounting screw. Inside are temperature and humidity sensors, a 100-decibel alarm, a Wi-Fi radio, and Bluetooth circuitry for setup with a mobile device. A small LED indicator on the face blinks blue during Bluetooth pairing, is solid blue when paired, blinks green during Wi-Fi setup, and is solid green when connected to a Wi-Fi network. A solid red LED indicates a dropped Wi-Fi connection, and a blinking red LED indicates a detected water leak.
You can lay the device down on its back in an area where you want to monitor water leakage or plug the sensing cable into the jack on the bottom of the device to detect water in hard to reach places (the entire length of cable detects the presence of water). The opposite end of the cable has a jack for plugging in another cable to increase the overall length. You can pick up additional 4-foot cable sensors for $19.99 each and extend the overall cable length to 500 feet. The detector can also be hung on a wall using the built-in bracket and included mounting screw.
The app is the same one used for the Honeywell Lyric thermostat. The main page displays all installed Lyric devices (thermostats and leak detectors) as shortcut icons. Tapping the detector icon takes you to a page where you can view the last updated temperature and humidity readings, a chart that displays temperature and humidity levels for the past 30 days, remaining battery life, and the time of the next temperature and humidity update. By default, the app is set to update these readings once a day, but you can change that to twice or three times a day using the Leak Detector settings. When one of the sensors is triggered, an alert will pop up on this screen; the Freeze alert has a blue background and displays the temperature and the time of the alert, and has a Dismiss button that tells the app that the issue has been resolved. The Humidity alert is similar, but with a purple background. The Leak alert is yellow, but instead of a Dismiss button it has a Mute button that mutes the beeping alarm.
At the top of the main page is an icon that takes you to a page that lists current alerts and an icon that takes you to a Lyric settings page where you can manage all of your Lyric devices. This is where you go to add users who will also receive alerts, add new devices, set temperature and humidity thresholds, and change the update frequency.
Notably absent is support for IFTTT recipes and the ability to interact with other devices such as the Lyric thermostat or one of the Honeywell dehumidifiers. It's worth noting that some smart home security systems, such the iControl Networks Piper nv, Samsung SmartThings, and SimpliSafe offer environmental monitoring, including moisture detection components.
Installation and Performance
To install the Lyric Leak and Freeze Detector I downloaded the app, created an account, and chose Add New Device (make sure your mobile device's Bluetooth is enabled before you begin). I installed the three AA batteries in the detector and when the LED blinked blue, I hit Next. Within seconds the detector beeped, the light turned solid blue, and the device was paired with my phone. Next, I named the detector and selected a Wi-Fi network to join. It took around 15 seconds for the detector to connect to the network, at which point the LED turned solid green. Once connected, the detector requires 48 hours to collects temperature and humidity data before the app will display this information.
The freeze detector worked perfectly in my tests. I set the low temperature threshold to 22 degrees and placed the device in my freezer. Within 20 minutes I received a push notification with a freeze warning showing the current temperature and time of day. I also received an email alert, but the actual temperature was not displayed.
The water sensor also worked like a charm. I attached the sensing cable and installed the device under my kitchen sink, which for some reason always seems to leak. I made sure the area was dry and placed the cable in an area that tends to puddle. Sure enough, I received push and email alerts later that evening while doing the dishes, accompanied by a loud beeping alert. There wasn't any puddling yet, but the area was moist. I also wet various sections of the cable and each time the sensor triggered an alert, but it took a minute or two to do so. The beeping alarm was loud enough to hear from every room in my house without being deafening.
To test the humidity sensor I set the threshold to 75 percent and placed the device in my basement. I received a high humidity alert within 30 minutes showing a 71-percent humidity level and an email stating a high humidity warning. I received email alerts informing me that each issue had been resolved after using the Dismiss button.
The Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector can help prevent major damage and expensive home repairs by providing an early warning when freezing temperatures and water leaks occur. It will send push and email alerts to you and anyone on your list when the temperature and humidity reaches a certain threshold or when water is detected while you're away. And it has a fairly loud siren that'll let you know when something is wrong while you're at home. Installation is fast and easy, and the mobile app displays a history of temperature and humidity readings as well as unresolved alerts. That said, this sensor would really shine if it worked with other smart home devices, such as a dehumidifier or thermostat, to resolve temperature and humidity issues automatically. Support for IFTTT recipes would also be a welcome addition. If freezing temps and humidity levels are not a concern, the D-Link mydlink Wi-Fi Water Sensor DCH-S160 does a good job of detecting moisture and is around $20 less. It works with other D-Link devices including the DSP-W215 Smart Plug but it doesn't have freeze or humidity sensors, and it doesn't support email notifications.