Even the smallest water leak can cause extensive damage if it goes undetected for long. With the D-Link Water Leak Sensor Kit ($79.99), you can monitor trouble spots under sinks and refrigerators, laundry rooms, or any other area and get alerts the instant a leak appears. The system works with plenty of third-party smart home devices and alerts came through quickly in testing, making it a particularly good choice if you already use other D-Link devices. That said, the kit lacks both temperature and humidity sensors, and you can't trigger a water shut-off valve like you can with our Editors’ Choice winner for smart leak detectors, the Flo by Moen ($44.99).
The DCH-S1621KT is a two-piece system that comes with a plug-in water sensor hub (DCH-S162) and a battery-powered, long-range water sensor node (DCH-S163). You can get a pack of three additional DCH-S163 nodes for $85.49, and can pair a total of 16 nodes with each DCH-S162 hub. In this kit, you also get a 19-inch water sensor cable, a 40-inch extension cable, an installation guide, and cable clips.
The DCH-162 is the brain of the system. The white device measures 2.2 by 2.1 by 2.2 inches (HWD) and has a two-pronged plug on the back. The front sports a waterdrop-shaped LED indicator that glows green once the sensor is connected to your network, flashes green during pairing, and flashes red when it detects a leak. A white strobe LED along the bottom edge also flashes when the sensor detects water. The enclosure houses an 802.11n/g Wi-Fi radio and a 100dB siren.
You use the RJ-11 jack on the bottom of the base to connect the sensor cable. The entire cable is a water sensor, so if any part of it comes into contact with water, the hub sends out an alert. This sensor does not monitor temperature and humidity like the Phyn Smart Water Sensor and the Flo by Moen, however.
The DCH-S163 sensor measures 0.75 by 2.5 by 2.5 inches (HWD) and has a waterdrop-shaped LED indicator that glows green when the device is paired to the hub, flashes red when it detects water, and remains unlit when a power-saving mode is active. It has four metal probes and a reset button on the base. The sensor runs on two AAA batteries that you shouldn't need to replace for up to five years; when they run out, simply remove the four screws on the base to replace them. The sensor communicates with the DCH-S162 hub over the 915MHz wireless frequency and boasts an indoor range of up to 300 feet.
The DCH-S1621KT does not work with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit, but it does support Google Assistant and IFTTT. You can also configure it to trigger other D-Link devices such as the DCS-8600LH camera.
This kit notably cannot prevent further water damage by shutting off your home’s water supply like the Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector does. Granted, you must purchase an expensive Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff Valve ($767.70) to set up that feature, but this cost is relatively affordable compared with that of repairing floors, walls, or ceilings with water damage.
The DCH-S1621KT kit uses the same mobile app (available for Android and iOS) as other D-Link devices including the HD Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8010LH) and the Outdoor Wi-Fi Smart Plug.
Each sensor appears in a panel on the home screen that shows its current status. Tap the DHC-S162 panel to view the five most recent events and to enable the siren. Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner to edit the sensor name, view associated devices (nodes), add a designated contact, edit Wi-Fi settings, and update the firmware. Tap the DCH-S163 panel to view the sensor’s battery life, view the five most recent events, add a designated contact, and see the paired hub.
Back on the home screen, tap the overflow icon in the upper left corner to create scenes and automations, set notification schedules, add another node, and configure Google Assistant settings.
Installing the DCH-S1621KT is simple. Start by downloading the companion app and creating an account. Tap Add Device on the welcome screen and use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code that's in the setup guide.
Then, connect the cable to the bottom of the DCH-S162 hub sensor and plug the device into an outlet near an area that you want to monitor for leaks, such as a laundry room or a basement. Tap Next when the LED starts flashing orange, and wait for the device to connect to the app (around 10 seconds). Follow the app’s instructions to connect the sensor to your home Wi-Fi network, give the device a name, and enter a designated contact phone number that you can call with the tap of a button when the sensor triggers.
To set up the DCH-S163 sensor node, tap the overflow icon in the upper left corner of the home screen, select Add Device, and scan the QR code on the bottom of the sensor when you get the prompt. Press and hold the button on the bottom of the sensor until the LED begins to blink orange, tap Next, and within a few seconds, the sensor pairs with the hub. Then, simply give it a name and place it on a surface you want to monitor for water.
Both sensors worked without fail in our tests. The DCH-S162 siren began chirping the second its sensor cable came into contact with a small drop of water and the LED flashed red. The 100dB siren was loud enough to hear throughout the house, too. Additionally, I received a push alert and my Google Nest Hub informed me of the leak at the same time. Results were identical with the DCH-S163 sensor; it doesn't emit sound, but the DCH-S162 siren goes off when any node triggers. An automation I created for the siren and spotlight of a DCS-8630 camera to turn on when a node detected water worked as intended.
With the D-Link Water Leak Sensor Kit (DCH-S1621KT ), you can monitor areas of your home that are susceptible to leaks and thus avoid costly water damage repairs. The system is easy to install and responds instantly when one of the sensors comes into contact with water. It also integrates with other D-Link devices, plus it supports Google Assistant. But the kit doesn't work with Alexa or HomeKit, nor does it offer temperature and humidity readings. If you need to monitor temperature and humidity in addition to water leaks, the Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector is a better choice that, in combination with a Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff Valve, can even shut off your water supply to help prevent further damage.
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