April 20 2022 Urgent Update - Insteon ceased all sales and service operations abruptly in mid April of 2022, as covered by arstechnica here. Their abrupt closure left customers without access to their hubs to change any settings, myself included. While smarthome.com hasn't been taken offline yet, I would not recommend ordering anything. This shut-down has been confirmed by Insteon, see @danwroc's tweet linking to insteon.com/news2022. It's also not quite as bad operationally as it first seemed, with my own home's sunset/midnight/sunrise programs all still running fine, at least until the next Daylight Saving Time change on November 6 2022 here in the US. There also might be some paths forward to keep the installed hardware going, see details in My Hub is now offline thread on reddit, where rszostak writes:
Folks just to clear up a few things, the issue with the servers being done impacts the Insteon App which uses the Insteon servers to process the requests from the App. The timers are actually stored on the hub thus the reason those still work but you need the App to make changes so we are screwed to make changes as long as the Insteon servers are down, the Insteon App is effectively dead. However the good news is the hub can still be used with software that runs locally and does not rely on the cloud.
This is a shameful example of poor company behavior, and of the risk taken when investing in gear from any cloud-connected IoT device company. Such stories hurt the IoT industry as a whole. I'm glad that the prospects for some level of local Insteon device control may make the pain felt much less keen that it would be for other sad story endings such as Wink, and hopefully I can keep my dozens of Insteon devices away from landfills for at least a little while longer. All my local light wall toggle switches will continue to keep working, and a while back I moved from Insteon leak and smoke sensors over to the monitored service of (Amazon owned) Ring Home Security System.
Article as it originally appeared below.
Insteon Leak Sensor 2852-222 on Amazon here.
This is going well. First, Smarthome kindly replaced my Insteon hub, to make good on the promise of an easy configure smartphone + cloud home automation solution, chronicled here. Because of some early-adopter pain I had with the first revision of that hub, Smarthome also mailed me an Insteon Leak Sensor, for free. I didn't ask, they just shipped it out. That's good business.
Finally, today, I took the time to test this tiny, super-simple sensor. It works. It works well. Setup was very easy. Should have done this weeks ago. It's all in the short and simple video below. You'll see the simple unboxing, configuration, triggering of a test alert, using a real puddle of water.
It would seem the device doesn't have a replaceable lithium battery, but it arrives with the battery pre-installed, with a 10 year estimated battery life. The range is estimated at 150 foot range. In my home, the sensor worked 2 floors away from the nearest dual-band (RF) Insteon device, about 40 feet and 2 sheetrock walls away. My second test was done later, using a shallow (<1/8" deep) test puddle, at the actual final chosen location for the sensor, so I could be more sure of adequate signal strength for any future actual leak events. I'll retest the sensor every year or so, when replacing my smoke detector batteries. For folks who work far from home, looking into integrating this sensor with an automatic shut off valve could make sense.
Here's a list of the 4 most common homeowners insurance claims:
- Water Damage
- Animal Attacks
- Fire Claims
Here's a list of water woes.
- Washer Machine
- Leaky toilet
In my home, I'm going with locating the battery powered sensor in an unfinished basement area near my sump pump. This happens to also be near most of my home's plumbing, and is down-slope from my water heater. This should provide a fairly early warning of trouble. Buying more of these for upstairs sinks or toilets would also be advisable.
Coupled with my Insteon Smoke Bridge 2982-222 to alert me to fires, I now have a little more piece of mind that my phone will alert me to trouble back at home, even when I'm not home. With no monthly monitoring service bills. Nice!
Interested in other Insteon devices? Check out the comprehensive TinkerTry Superguide: Insteon Home Automation.
Additional Insteon Leak Sensor resources:
Feb 26 2015 Update
I don't seem to see 4 or 6 packs on smarthome.com any more, but I do see a 4 pack for $99 at Costco here, with no membership required.