Sencentric SimpleSence Capteur review: this water sensor goes a long way

Of all the things that can go wrong in a home, a water leak is the worst. It is especially dire because it can start without warning, slowly causing damage over days or weeks until it is too late, causing flooding of the substructure and causing toxic mold growth.

The good news is that it is becoming easier to detect when water leaks occur, and when we last reviewed Sencentric’s SimpleSence in 2019, we declared that it is an effective yet simplistic way to detect both water leaks and frost. Now that the product has been modestly updated for 2021, and has been given an extension to its name, Capteur, we are reviewing the device.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best water leak sensors, where you will find reviews of competing offerings, as well as a buyer’s guide on the features to consider when purchasing this type of product.

The biggest change with SimpleCence Capteur is the inclusion of a “tail” in the box, a 3-foot-long braided cable that significantly improves the usefulness of the device. Instead of water having to come into contact with the SimpleSence device, the conductive glue provides an additional three feet of surface area along which you can detect a water leak. If the water touches the tail at any point (or hits the end probe wires), your alert will sound.

simplicity sensor Sencentric

Wrap the sensor tail around the water heater and you will receive an alert no matter which direction you decide which water to flow.

This allows you to wind your tail around a water heater or washing machine, or loop under the kitchen sink, giving you insurance against water running in a different direction than you expected (or that something in the way is preventing you from hitting the device itself). ). If three feet isn’t enough, up to five total tails ($ 25 each) can be daisy-chained, for a maximum of 15 feet of coverage. If you need to detect water leaks along the entire wall of a room, say, the Capteur has you covered.

simplesense app 3 Christopher Null / IDG

The log includes only the most recent events, not the entire history.

simplesense app 3 Christopher Null / IDG

The log includes only the most recent events, not the entire history.

An additional design change has been made to the device, including the removal of the speaker holes present on the original. Sencentric says this solves two problems: making the unit airtight and reducing the chance of false alerts in very humid environments. On the other hand, that obviously reduces the volume of the unit’s internal alarm slightly; Although that is difficult to judge accurately, in my tests, the alarms weren’t easily audible even from a room away.

Aside from these settings, the device looks largely the same. It’s still powered by two AAA batteries (two-year shelf life specified) and sets up quickly with its basic mobile app, connecting to Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only) quickly. The app doesn’t appear to have changed significantly as it offers measurements of battery life, wireless power, and the time / date of the most recent water and freeze events. There is no history of running alerts yet, but as our previous review pointed out, since emails and / or texts are sent when the sensor is triggered, these can work as alternatives.

As with our 2019 review, I found that the device responds during live testing, albeit not instantaneously, and it takes about 10 seconds of sustained contact with water (and about 15 minutes in the freezer) to set off the alarm, already either on the device itself or on a segment of the queue. Email and text message alerts invariably came soon after, giving the user plenty of time to react to a water leak.

However, the biggest problem is the same as in 2019: this is a standalone device that does not fit in with other smart home ecosystems nor does it work with smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, which could herald a basement water leak. that would otherwise go unnoticed if you didn’t have your phone in hand. If you already have some type of smart home or security facility, it probably makes more sense to install a leak / freeze sensor that is designed to work with that unit. The tailpiece will be lost, but the interconnected characteristics of a specially designed sensor should more than compensate for that loss.

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