Delta Leak Detector review: Delta's hub-free Leak Detector is a little too moisture-phobic

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Delta includes the option to add multiple users for SMS and email alerts. I like this feature for extra insurance, in case I'm out of town or otherwise not able to respond to a leak notification. 

In addition to mobile alerts, the device also beeps and flashes its center LED when it detects a problem. Placed in a high-traffic area like under a kitchen sink or behind a toilet, this is a welcome back-up notification system. The beeps and flashes last about 10 seconds and occur every 30 seconds for three repetitions. However, if the detector were in a utility room or closet I doubt anyone would notice, as the beeping isn't very loud and doesn't last very long.

I tested water both above and around the device with success. With the detector sitting directly beneath one of my fake leaks, it took around 10 droplets for the water to roll down the device's edge and contact the metal rings. This is where I think Delta gets it right, by adding the ability to detect leaks before real pooling or flooding begins.

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Delta claims the battery compartment is designed to keep out water, but the device is not intended for full submersion.

Chris Monroe/CNET

There are some caveats to using this device for water sensing, though. First, Delta states in the user guide that the device is not designed for complete submersion. Delta does say the battery cover is designed to be tight enough to keep water out, but it also recommends replacing the device entirely if water reaches the battery compartment. For me, that's hard to swallow considering the $80 price tag. Last year's Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Leak and Freeze Detector debuted with the same annoying issue.

Second, this leak detector lacks meaningful smart-home integrations. Though it was developed with iDevices, don't be fooled. Delta's leak detector doesn't integrate with major voice-assistant platforms like Apple's Homekit, Google Home or Amazon's Alexa. Delta uses iDevices technology for Wi-Fi pairing, but you're completely dependent on the standalone Delta Leak Detector app for controls and notifications. 

Delta's leak detector is set to enter the market this fall at $80, making it one of the more expensive smart leak detectors available. While it does offer easy setup, a companion app with good customization options and a sleek design, the price tag seems high. 

This leak detector seems squarely aimed at competing with the similarly priced Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Leak and Freeze Detector. But for the same money, Honeywell offers a cable to extend detection range, IFTTT compatibility and humidity measuring.

That leaves Delta's Leak Detector as a visually attractive but pricey alternative. It comes with quite a few useful features, but it isn't without its waterproofing flaws. It is currently available for preorder, with a release date set for October 12. 

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