Coulda, shoulda, too late now (leak sensor)

Quick story of why not to put things off.

Been using Smartthings for about 2 years. In the first wave of “things” I put an Aeotec water sensor over by the sump in the basement. For 18 months or so I’ve been saying “I want to get a few more leak detectors, especially over by the 10 year old water heater.” Well… the inevitable finally happened yesterday. To be honest I think it might have happened Tuesday or Wednesday, but we didn’t find it til yesterday. The tank had a slow leak, and no catch tray. The water was all over the place and had even rolled over to the finished side of the basement. Needless to say, I ordered 2 more leak sensors today and they will be here Monday. In all this, the water never even got close to the sensor over by the sump.


Ugh. Sorry to hear that @LadySapphy!

Well if you feel bad, then don’t. I did you one better! I moved the one away from my Hot Water heater and put it next to the washer. Well you can guess what happened.


I am not beating my self up too bad. In fact, I am working on the wife to leverage this into more HA stuff, including a water shut off valve.

On the flip side, the cost of replacing the tank ate up all my 3D printer funds I had been saving up :frowning:

My wife is not into tech at all, so talking her into anything is a no go. She did agree on the additional leak detector. But I will get a water shut off as soon as I get the cash together. It is on my list.

The floor drain in my furnace room clogs up on occasion (mainly dog hair). I had 2 episodes in the past. During the summer when the condensation from the air conditioner running couldn’t drain & in the winter when the excess humidifier water couldn’t drain. Luckily not a big mess, just an hour sucking up the water in the carpet with a shop vac.

So I put a ST water leak sensor about a foot from the drain. A week ago my kitchen lights turn on red & IFTT calls me, telling me there’s water in the furnace room. Only took a minute to clean the drain cover which allowed me to spend more time with my main hobby. :beer:


There’s an infinite number of shouldas. Coulda been worse - everything wears out sometime. Thanks for sharing.

the non-networked leak detectors that just make a beep, can also work pretty well, without depending on internet, and cheaply. Battery shoulda be checked 1-2 times per year. Catch pan is good but pretty hard to add one after the heater is installed. Seems easier to put a rope detector around the heater.

Water heaters have a consumable/sacrificial anode that shoulda be checked every year or two, to see if its material is still available to reduce corrosion on the durable components. 10 years is a little short.

Also water heater bottom/drain shoulda be purged every year to remove solids that will otherwise accumulate and shorten the heater life. The OEM valve may be a disaster waiting to happen, if it’s plastic made to break. A replacement brass quarter-turn full-port ball valve is an easy upgrade - usually you want 3/4-FNPT to 3/4-GHT connection, MAY also need 3/4 NPT nipple.

Why oh why would you replace the tank ? I went tankless 6 years ago
1 Never have to wait for water to heat up or make sure I’m first in the shower.
2 Cost to heat the is about 1/4 what it was when we had a tank
3 No tank to rust out or leak

Gas or Electric? I’ve heard people complain about the electric (I actually had electric water hearer/gas furnace at my old house.) In my new house I’ve got a giant 60 or 70 gal gas water heater and may look at gas tankless, but based on what I’ve heard anecdotally from people I’m a bit afraid to.

Cost and speed. This was not planned, so I could not wait a week and a half for installation. Also installation was going to be more than the cost of the unit, which was going to put it way out of our budget. I like the idea of tankless, and had I planned the upgrade/replacement, I would of went with tankless

I’m probably jinxing myself. My gas 40 gal water heater has been running perfect for 22 years (my first one lasted 3 months). A friend researched a gas tankless & said they have to be professionally acid flushed every so often. Anybody know if that’s true? Is there more maintenance on a tankless?


Installation was definitely a downfall. Between parts & labor it cost more to install them than the water heaters themselves cost. Only one supplier in the area had the vent pipe and they took full advantage of that… As usual when it comes to things I get, the city inspector had no clue what it was . Insisted on a check valve on water line and high pressure release valve… Could not understand that there is no tank for pressure to build up in.
Even with all that our gas bill used to be $60-$80/month during the nonheating months just for water. Now it is $12-15 . If / when these die it’s just a matter of unscrewing the water & gas lines and the 4 screws holding it to the wall and slapping a new one in.

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I have to laugh, so I will not cry.

had a bad Lowes version of a shark bite connection fail. Guy at Lowes was all "wow never seen that happen before.

Fortunately I had not left for work yet, so minimal issues and clean up.

Get the 2 new SmartThings water sensors and guess what, mess up, will not detect water. Support says there is a bad batch of them out there. Sigh

We’re going a different direction on these.

We already had a $29 Leeo acoustic sensor so we would get notifications on our phones if any of the nonnetworked smoke alarms went off. This uses Wi-Fi and has its own IFTTT channel/service.

Since we got it, they have added the ability to recognize some standard leak detector alerts. ( it’s now available for android as well.)

If you just want spot alarms, the throwaway Honeywell RWD14 work with Leeo, and they usually sell in a four pack for $16.

Or there are other inexpensive nonnetworked water alarms which are reusable that work with Leeo.

So Leeo hears the alarm and then sends you the notification. So in our case we have one acoustic sensor (the Leeo) covering about 12 different nonnetworked sensors in the house, some for fire, some for water.

Anyway, the Leeo does need to have both power and internet available to work, but so does SmartThings, and I found this much more cost-effective than buying individual networked sensors for each location. :sunglasses:

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So… Never buy the shark bite like pipe fittings at Lowes. 3rd failure in 2 months. Done with them! But ST saved me, because as soon as one let loose, I got the warning and was able to get the step son to run and turn it off asap. IMHO all the money I have dumped into ST just paid for its self.

I’ve got a bunch of SharBites throughout the house, and have never had an issue. They are about the only way to go from the old copper pipes to new PEX tubing.

Maybe SharkBite Brand is better than the Lowes c r a p, maybe I did something wrong 3 times with them. I did end up getting a real plumber in to fix it up right, as I cannot seem to sweat a pipe. He showed up with real shark bites, and I told him NO, and explained why. He got the sweat fittings out and fixed it the way I wanted it fixed, but said he had never had one fail.

Never had an issue as well - water heater, water softener, a couple sill cocks and a water filter, all with sharkbite, the sharkbite style braided hoses (or look a likes). I did have one fault at install, had to dis-assemble , after buying THOSE tools and a re-do. There was a burr I missed on the tube.