D-Link DCH-S160 Wi-Fi Water Sensor Reviewed

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rahlquist

Occasional Visitor
Thank you for the test and review. I have a couple of questions.

When you tested the disconnected state alarm and only got smart device notification once wifi was restored it makes me wonder. Does the device know a way to directly contact your phone, or is it being used through a 3rd party (in this case D-Link?) server which then contacts your device? I hate man in the middle in a situation like this because it adds the potential for more issues.

Secondly, do you feel the unit is really worth this price level? We are entering an age were single unit developer IOT wifi boards are $5. Shouldn't something like the be more in the $39 range?

Link to review https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/smarthome/smarthome-reviews/32797-d-link-dch-s160-wi-fi-water-sensor-reviewed
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
A couple of links (buy) or at least the prices in your area and a link to the review you're talking about would be helpful. :)

At almost $100 here, if the real threat of water damage was an issue, this would be seen as cheap insurance.

If the consideration is simply to buy more stuff, then $20 is too much.
 

Craig Ellison

Occasional Visitor
Thank you for the test and review. I have a couple of questions.

When you tested the disconnected state alarm and only got smart device notification once wifi was restored it makes me wonder. Does the device know a way to directly contact your phone, or is it being used through a 3rd party (in this case D-Link?) server which then contacts your device? I hate man in the middle in a situation like this because it adds the potential for more issues.

Secondly, do you feel the unit is really worth this price level? We are entering an age were single unit developer IOT wifi boards are $5. Shouldn't something like the be more in the $39 range?

Link to review https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/smarthome/smarthome-reviews/32797-d-link-dch-s160-wi-fi-water-sensor-reviewed

If your internet connection is down on the Wi-Fi network to which the water sensor is connected, there's really no way to contact the outside world. However, for the test, I disabled Wi-Fi on my Samsung S5, but it still had an internet connection via cellular.

Virtually all Home Automation products I've tested, including the DCH-S160 require some type of back-end server for notification. Most systems also require an internet connection to control the devices - even locally on your own network.

With a list price of $59.99, the water sensor is a bit on the pricey side. However, as far as I can tell, it's the only Wi-Fi water sensor that I've seen on the market. The build quality was good, and I liked the sensor cable. Most other water sensors rely on two or more "pin" contacts that detect current flow between them. That method requires that they sit flat on a surface.

Of course, there are cheaper, stand alone water sensors on the market that lack communications capabilities other than a loud alarm.

In addition, there are a number of Zigbee-based sensors that work with various Smart Home systems. The only other one that I've tested so was the $29.99 Securifi water sensor (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TBX3V2G/?tag=snbforums-20) which I covered as part of this review:
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/smar...-almondplus-home-automation-features-reviewed
 

Craig Ellison

Occasional Visitor
A couple of links (buy) or at least the prices in your area and a link to the review you're talking about would be helpful. :)

At almost $100 here, if the real threat of water damage was an issue, this would be seen as cheap insurance.

If the consideration is simply to buy more stuff, then $20 is too much.

The DCH-S160 is listed on D-Link's store for $59.99, but as of this writing, the site is showing out of stock.
http://shop.us.dlink.com/shop/shop-automation/sensors.html

Amazon currently has the product through one of its sellers is charging $76.89 - more than the list price. That seller claims to have 7 in stock.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...ld-keywords=dch-s160&sprefix=DCH-S160,aps,314

As noted in my review, a water sensor would have saved me far more than the price of the sensor. The water condensation line in my air conditioner got blocked, and the water backed up into the A/C which is located directly above my neighbor's condo. The water leaked through my floor and damaged their ceiling. I was responsible for the damage. I had to hire a contractor who had to replace sheetrock, tape, spackle and sand the patch, and paint the entire ceiling.
 

rahlquist

Occasional Visitor
If your internet connection is down on the Wi-Fi network to which the water sensor is connected, there's really no way to contact the outside world. However, for the test, I disabled Wi-Fi on my Samsung S5, but it still had an internet connection via cellular.

Virtually all Home Automation products I've tested, including the DCH-S160 require some type of back-end server for notification. Most systems also require an internet connection to control the devices - even locally on your own network.
See this is where I struggle. There needs to be a better way than to depend on someone else's back-end server. Too many ways your service could be interrupted, or you could eventually be gouged and/or stuck with a paperweight. Even if it came down to your own water monitor spamming out broadcast messages on your own LAN to a listening app on your phone..

With a list price of $59.99, the water sensor is a bit on the pricey side. However, as far as I can tell, it's the only Wi-Fi water sensor that I've seen on the market. The build quality was good, and I liked the sensor cable. Most other water sensors rely on two or more "pin" contacts that detect current flow between them. That method requires that they sit flat on a surface.

Of course, there are cheaper, stand alone water sensors on the market that lack communications capabilities other than a loud alarm.

In addition, there are a number of Zigbee-based sensors that work with various Smart Home systems. The only other one that I've tested so was the $29.99 Securifi water sensor (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TBX3V2G/?tag=snbforums-20) which I covered as part of this review:
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/smar...-almondplus-home-automation-features-reviewed
Yeah, my basement is below grade, and I have a Leak Frog situated next to the sump pump and also one next to but outside the drip/leak tray for my air handler and next to my water heater. For $59, I would think battery backup should be a feature too, even if only a few hours worth.
 

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