Water leak detector inside drywall wall. Have anyone tried that?

It might sound like a crazy idea but have anyone tried a water sensor inside a wall?
I had a stain on my baseboard and when I removed it I found water was kind of destroying the wall behind it (see pic). After talking to a contractor he said this will eventually happen again because the sliding door is prone to leak.

That got me thinking, what if I put some sort of probe inside touching the floor and connected to a sensor attached the wall right there in the corner? The wire could come from a little hole that would be covered by the sensor.

If and when I get an alert I will know it is time to go outside and apply some calk around the door.
Also think about the potential inside bathroom walls.

My main concern is something build up on the probe and prevent if from work, like rust can build on metal, I don’t even know what these probes are mase of.


In general, it’s a bad idea to put battery devices inside walls. First, it becomes very hard to change the batteries. Second, batteries can and do outgas which can create a fire hazard.

On top of that, it may be difficult to get signal out through the wall.

So this is one of those things where if it were practical to do it, a lot more houses would already have it.

I would think any good contractor could come up with a solution to protect the wall going forward, it’s just not a common problem if the house is built right. But it’s a very common problem when the house was not built correctly, and you need to fix those deficiencies or the problem just keeps coming back.

Here’s a good article on why you need to do more than just replace the rotted piece.

I would get a second opinion on what to do next. :sunglasses:


That said, the Dome sensor has a remote probe. Put the dome in an accessible place and plant the probe in the area you’re concerned about.

This is what I did for my dishwasher. The probe sits under the dishwasher while the dome water leak sensor is sarlfely tucked away in the cabinet next to the dishwasher. All it took was one strategically placed 1/4" hole.


I agree with @JDRoberts as your situation isn’t normal and your door installation needs to be fixed. I recently had a large 4 panel slider installed to replace an aging French Door on my patio and I didn’t have any rotten wood like this. They put in spray foam around new slider, covered that with special metal tape and then put aluminum around perimeter of the door to prevent water from coming in. Your install isn’t right if water is coming in.

I would suggest getting a window/door installer over to evaluate situation because the rot you have will continue to get worse and attract bugs that like rotten wood like termites, ants, and roaches. A water sensor isn’t going to solve the problem.


Why not just fix the root of the problem and get a new door?


Thanks guys. All great advice and very helpful (@JDRoberts lots of good information in your reply).

You can’t really tell by the pictures but it is dry now and it has been dry for a couple of months (even after heavy rain).

I guess I didn’t explain it well. When I noticed the stains (right after I bought the house) I use a moisture meter and it detected high levels of moisture inside the wall. I looked outside and the caulk and stucco around the door it was pretty bad. I patched the stucco, sealed it with caulk and it has been good since then. The moisture meter indicated it was dry after a month. I guess this was the issue.

Based on @ritchierich the installers maybe have cut some corners, I didn’t notice any foam in there and I though it was funny to have wood touching the metal (which can get really cold) but the rotten part is only a few feet above ground so I just cleaned it up. I might consider replacing the door some day but it is a large door (around 10 x 8) and will cost me several thousand so for now I will just cross my fingers and hope it stays dry for at least another year or two.

I still see potential on the probe thingie mentioned by @nathancu.
For example, this is a two story home. If a pipe from the upstairs bedroom starts leaking we will only now when stains starts appearing in the sub-floor. A tray with a probe “inside the sub-floor” would catch the leak, alert me and even shutoff the water preventing any major damage, mold and all sorts of stuff. Using the technology to prevent such event would be great.

But back to this particular issue… it might be overkill after all. Looks like I just have to keep an eye on the door and make sure it is always sealed (for now).

Thanks again everyone.

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The probes work well (there are a couple of different leak sensors which offer this option), but those are for rare emergency acute situations, like a pipe breaking.

Wallrot is usually a chronic problem, one where there is a little bit of damage occurring over and over. For those you want to find the source of the problem and fix it. :sunglasses: