Tricks of the Trade

How do smart water leak detectors work?

Frank Hohman, a Ferguson Expert

by Billy Stutz


As smart home technology continues to develop, so do the business opportunities for residential service plumbers and HVAC professionals. Because many smart home products are designed to prevent property damage, it makes sense that smart leak detectors were the next evolution in smart technology. Smart leak detection systems can give your customers the peace of mind that if a leak is detected in their home or property, the water can be shut off in about five seconds depending on the brand of the smart leak detector. This can help them save thousands of dollars in property damage, and this can also help your residential service business. Learn more about how smart water leak detectors work and see how to incorporate this technology in your plumbing or HVAC business.

Three things you need to know about smart leak detectors


1. Smart leak detection technology is dynamic.


Smart leak detector systems vary from brand to brand, but it’s common for a system to include three main components that are controlled by an app for smartphones or tablets:

  • Sensors - These can be placed at specific points in a home where leaks are possible, such as with faucets, appliances and water heaters. This allows you to customize a leak detection solution based on your customers’ needs or concerns.

    Pro tip: Select sensors monitor water temperature, which can help your customers be aware of and avoid the risks of frozen pipes.

  • Shut off valves - As with the sensors, shut off valves can be installed at strategic locations. Installation by a licensed plumber is usually necessary since cutting into a water line can be required depending on the type of shut off valve.

    Pro tip: Certain brands, such as LeakSmart, offer shut off valves for use in both HVAC and plumbing applications. This makes it possible for you to provide a versatile offering of smart leak detection solutions for your customers.

  • Hub - A centralized hub seamlessly integrates the sensors with the shut off valves and relays information to the system’s app.

    Pro tip: Look for a smart leak detector system that has back-up power and is capable of transmitting information through radio frequency. This will provide your customers with an added level of security should the power or Wi-Fi go out.


2. Smart leak detector system installation often involves little time and effort.


As mentioned above, certain shut off valves must be installed by a licensed plumber if cutting into a water line is required. For plumbing professionals, however, this is no different than installing a standard brass valve. Again, the specific shut off valves vary from brand, but they are available in standard domestic sizes for easy installation.

Once the shut off valves and other components are in place, the smart leak detector system setup is often done through the respective app on your customer’s smartphone or tablet. This allows your customers to choose their settings and preferences based on their needs.


3. Smart leak detectors can integrate with other smart tech.


Depending on the brand, your customers can integrate their smart leak detector system with other smart home products. This will allow you to help your customers upgrade their smart home and further enhance their security. Smart home product integrations include:

  • Thermostats - One particular popular smart home product that offers a smart leak detection integration is the Google Nest thermostat. When combined with a smart leak detector, this makes it possible for customers to turn off their HVAC unit wherever they go.

    Pro tip: Are your customers interested in upgrading to a smart thermostat? Help them find the right one.

  • Smart speakers - Voice assistant skills are available for certain smart leak detectors. Through a simple voice command, your customers can turn off the water in their house at their convenience.

Ferguson is proud to offer smart leak detector products from leading brands, including LeakSmart. In addition to our inventory, we provide expert support for LeakSmart products. Contact us for help with LeakSmart products, or visit to learn more about their resources for trade professionals.

Billy Stutz, a Ferguson Marketing Manager
Billy Stutz

For more than 10 years, Billy has been a dedicated supply-chain strategist delivering quality information to his customers and offering solutions to drive actionable results to their bottom line.