Water Leak Detector Battery Life and constant updates?

(Goldenpomcat) #1

Is anyone else noticing the quick battery drain on the Smart Things water leak sensor? I installed it less than two weeks ago and here’s how it is going: day one, 100%, day two 88%, end of first week, 77%.

I am new to Smart Things so perhaps this is what I can expect from the sensors but this thing is sitting next to my sump pump and I have no intention of going into that spidery area to constantly change the batteries in it.

Also, I am noticing a continual stream of updates from each of the new devices I’ve connected to my ST hub. Is there a way to reduce the frequency with which I am getting these updates?

Thanks for the help.

(Tracy) #2

Personally, I would see if it continues to drop. I’ve had some devices fall normally and others hit the 70%ish mark rapidly and then level off.

(Goldenpomcat) #3

The next day it was at 66%, and still is, as of today. It’s weird that I’m losing 11% every few days.


Temperature might be playing a large part of that.

Colder temperatures will dramatically affect the voltage output of the battery, which the sensor uses to determine the battery life. It doesn’t actually diminish the lifetime of the battery though, until it reaches extremely cold temperatures (below freezing is where things get serious).


Having a very similar issue. Down to 77% after first week. Lots of updates. Anyone have a solution.?

(Bryan) #6

I had the battery that was shipped with the sensor last 2 days then die. I attribute that to a cheap unbranded battery.

I just replaced with a Duracell so I’ll see how that one does.

(Ryan) #7

I would use a name brand photo battery in this case. I always use lithium batteries where I can, such as Energizer ultimate lithium brand batteries in AA and AAAs. They far outlast alkaline batteries and handle cold conditions very well. But these are CR-2’s which should be lithium anyway.

I’ve seen people having problems with water leak sensors draining batteries it situations where they sensor is getting wet often, such as when monitoring sumps or even protein skimmers in aquarium applications.
They often get a lot of false positives after a while too.
The problem is that these are “metal probe” style sensors and they work by measuring the conductivity between the probes, much like an ohm meter. If there is something conductive between the probes, then current is flowing and if enough current is flowing it will of course trip the sensor. I would recommend cleaning the probe with some isopropyl alcohol, at least when you change the batteries as a bit of preventive maintenance with this style of flood detector.

And a side fact is that water itself when pure is not very conductive, you could consider it non-conductive actually, but any time there is anything that adds ions to the water, like dirt, chlorine or salt it becomes conductive. And even if the probe is dry, there may be conductive residue left behind from when it was wet.

Not to say that a dirty probe is your problem, it may be a firmware issue where the sensor is not doing a good job of reflecting the actual charge left in the battery and they need to adjust the calibration factor. Or maybe the sensor is updating the hub more often than it should and transmitting is definitely the fastest way to drain the batteries.

I’d say wait and see how long the battery actually holds up, but being a flood sensor, you may not be inclined to attempt that approach…

(Joe) #8

Does anyone have an update on this issue. I just purchased 6 of these and have the first one on for a week now and it has dropped to 77%. any update on would be appreciated because i can still return them and get something different.


(David Hills) #9

Same problem. Second battery, constant temperature, rapid drop.

(JimMay3) #10

Any updates?

My first batt lasted over a year, now ate 2 Energizer Lithium in less than 2 weeks.