Many years ago my sister and brother-in-law bought a house, and since it was just the two of them and they weren’t using the upstairs, they set the heat to lowest setting. What they didn’t know is the contractor that built the dormer ran the plumbing outside the insulation. So when they returned home Christmas day they found water flowing down their steps. The repairs cost over $10,000! Ever since then I swore that when I owned a home I would get a whole house water shut off system. Initially the solutions I found were either cost prohibitive or didn’t have the smarts I was looking for. Then one day walking through my local big box hardware store I found leakSMART
. So I started to do some research and quickly realized I needed to get this system since it checked all my boxes. This review will be handled a little different than our typical reviews. First we will go over the components of the leakSMART system, and then we will go over system performance with their proprietary hub, Iris by Lowes hub, the Wink hub, and then the SmartThings hub.
The main leakSMART system components are the shut-off valve, remote sensors, and hub. They all use the ZigBee protocol, which uses a mesh network for communication, but does require a hub for control. Initially I was attracted to this system because it works with Iris, Wink, and Smart Things; and can also integrate with Nest. While I have an Iris system, its second generation has had serious growing pains, so having the ability to move this to another platform was a major plus.
The leakSMART shut-off valve comes in ¾” and 1” NPT pipe sizes, which should be sufficient for any residential system. It is 4.25” x 4.5” x 3.5” device that has a FNPT on one side and a MNPT on the other. leakSMART also sells the appropriate SharkBite fittings to make installation even simpler. The controller for the valve is rather simple, it has three buttons on the front; one to open, one to close, and one for pairing. This controller is removable and can be rotated around the body to fit your installation requirements. Inside the controller are (4) AA batteries which will actuate the valve in case of a power failure. The back of the controller has the connection for the included AC power adapter. According to leakSMART this valve can be mounted in any direction so long as the controller is not upside down.
The leakSMART sensors are relatively small, measuring about 3.25” x 3.25” x 1”, with the leakSMART logo printed on the top. On the bottom you will find a large door held in place by a screw and a tab. Removing the screw gives you access to the battery compartment and pairing button which are sealed by a rubber strip. The batteries are designed to last approx. 5 months, though leakSMART is always looking at ways to improve this via firmware updates. Also on the bottom is the sensor which is simply two brass posts. There is also a status LED hidden behind the water drop in the logo on top.
Finally the leakSMART hub is super tiny, measuring only 2” x 2” x 1”. In this small package you have the brains to control the valve, the ZigBee radio, and antennas. One side has a DC power input and Ethernet port. The opposite side has a reset button and another side has a status LED.