Orbit Irrigation’s B-Hyve Smart Flood Sensor ($99.99 for a pack of three) is a DIY leak detection system that comes with three tiny water sensors and a plug-in hub that connects them to your home Wi-Fi and your phone. Ideal for placement under washing machines, refrigerators, hot water heaters, and sinks, the B-Hyve does an excellent job of detecting even the smallest amount of water, and it will warn you of freezing temperatures that can lead to burst pipes. That said, it doesn’t work with other smart home devices or support voice commands like our Editors’ Choice, the $50 D-Link DCH-S161 Water Sensor.
The B-Hyve Smart Flood Sensor includes a plug-in hub, three water sensors, a quick setup guide, and a user manual. Additional sensors go for $34.99 each, but you can save money if you buy a five pack of sensors without a hub for $99.99. Or, you can order an eight pack with a hub for $189.99. For larger homes, a pack of 20 sensors with two hubs will cost you $469.99.
The hub looks identical to the one used by the Orbit B-Hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer. It measures 4.7 by 1.5 by 1.0 inches (HWD) and resembles a large thumb drive. It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (2.4GHz) radios, and plugs into a wall outlet.
The hexagon-shaped water sensors measure 0.5 by 1.7 inches (HW) and are attached to a 6-inch tether line for easy retrieval from underneath appliances and behind cabinets. They each have a built-in temperature sensor and are powered by a single CR2032 button battery that can be accessed by prying off the top of the sensor. There are two tiny water sensor terminals and a pairing reset button on the base of each device, and the top has an LED indicator that glows white during setup and blinks red when water is detected or when a temperature threshold has been breached.
B-Hyve 12-Station Smart WiFi Sprinkler Timer and the above-mentioned Faucet Timer. It opens to a home screen that displays all installed sensors and their locations. A green check mark next to the sensor tells you that everything is OK, and a red exclamation point indicates wet conditions or temperature readings that are outside of the threshold. Tap the sensor to see what type of alerts have been triggered and when. Here you can also check the battery level and the current temperature. Once the device senses dry conditions or the temperature level has returned to an acceptable level, the green check mark will return. Each event generates a push notification and an email.
Back at the home screen, there are three buttons at the bottom. The Alerts button takes you to a screen where you can view current alerts, as well as a history of alerts and their resolution. The Home button takes you back to the home screen, and the Settings button takes you to a screen where you can manage your B-Hyve account, view device information such as MAC address and online status, add a new device, and configure notifications. There’s also a Help button with frequently asked questions.
You can link the Flood Sensor to an Orbit sprinkler controller to have it shut off your sprinklers, but it doesn’t interact with other devices such as smart fans, thermostats, and smart plugs. It also lacks supports for Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, IFTTT applets, and Apple HomeKit.
Flo by Moen Automatic Water Shutoff is your best bet and is also an Editors’ Choice winner. It detects system-wide leaks and will shut off your home’s water supply when it detects abnormally high flow rates or a rise in water pressure, and it works with Alexa and Google voice commands and IFTTT applets. However, it carries a $500 price tag and requires professional installation, making it a much more costly alternative.