How to Install a Water Leak Detection System

Leak detector systems alert you of leaks in your home and turn off the water before damage occurs, which could save you thousands in repair costs.

Kits like this well-rated Guardian by Elexa Leak Prevention System GVD3, $350, are easy to set up. (Check our water leak detector ratings for more options, and read our water leak detector buying guide as you shop.)

What You Need
• Detector Kit (With App)
• Smartphone (With WiFi Enabled)
• Flashlight

Spec Check

Your pipes should be a half-inch to 1 inch wide, with a quarter-turn ball shutoff valve and 4½ inches of space around it.

Illustration of checking your specs

Illustration: Guilherme Henrique Illustration: Guilherme Henrique

Secure the Shutoff

Clamp the shutoff unit onto the pipe so that the center fork fits on the valve. Plug in the power adapter.

Illustration showing how to secure the shutoff

Illustration: Guilherme Henrique Illustration: Guilherme Henrique

Place the Sensors

Connect to the app and WiFi, then place water sensors by sinks, toilets, and water heaters.

Illustration of where to place the sensors

Illustration: Guilherme Henrique Illustration: Guilherme Henrique

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the November 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).