Anyone who has ever had water damage will know how much trouble it can be. It’s not unusual to spend several days or even weeks trying to dry out soaked walls or even ceilings. And if you don’t have the right insurance, the financial consequences are usually unimaginable. After all, a full-blown water damage incident often affects not only your own home, but also the premises of other tenants. A so-called water detector is intended to provide a remedy. To a certain extent, this is the equivalent of a smoke detector. The only difference is that the deafening alarm of the water detector sounds when it registers the same thing. In today’s X-Sense SWS54 water detector test, we want to take a closer look at a particularly clever representative of the favor.
Scope of delivery
The smart water detector from X-Sense comes in a rather small package. The scope of delivery is correspondingly small. In addition to three water detectors, you get the base station, pre-installed AAA batteries and an instruction manual. X-Sense also includes a power adapter and a USB-A to micro-USB cable. USB-C would of course have been more up-to-date here.
X-Sense water detector test: design and workmanship
At first glance, the three water detectors are reminiscent of classic smoke detectors. They come in a round shape and are made of matt white ABS plastic, which makes a high-quality impression. With a height of 29 mm and a diameter of 77 mm, they are pleasingly small. A low weight of just 77 g does the rest for uncomplicated installation. There are a total of three Phillips screws on the back of the housing. These are used to access the battery compartment. Inside, there is space for two AAA batteries per water detector. The batteries are already in place at the factory.
However, you probably won’t find yourself in the predicament of having to change the batteries too often. After all, the manufacturer states a battery life of a remarkable five years. There are also four feet on the underside, which ensure that the water detector stands reliably on the floor. X-Sense uses rounded corners on the housing, which gives the water detector a modern look. The four metal pins on the underside perform what is probably the most important task. These are the sensors that detect water. The only control button on the water detector is located between the sensors. Here you can not only activate a test mode, but also switch to pairing mode.
If you take a look at the top, you will find a small hole in the middle. This is a loudspeaker that sounds an alarm in the event of an emergency. Don’t be fooled by the small diameter of the loudspeaker. According to the manufacturer, the alarm should be able to emit 110 dB. This is likely to wake even the biggest sleepyheads from their slumber. If that’s too loud for you, that’s not a problem. You can adjust the volume accordingly in the corresponding X-Sense app. You can also see the company logo on the front, which is emblazoned at the bottom.
X-Sense SWS54 water detector test: Practical base station
The water detectors work in conjunction with the base station. If there is a water leak, a corresponding signal is sent at 868 MHz. The range should be up to 500 m. The SBS50 base station serves as the interface. At 90 x 90 x 36 mm, it is only slightly larger than the water detector itself. A weight of just 80 g does the rest in terms of practicality. X-Sense also uses a matt white plastic housing here, but makes a small difference to the design.
The base is a square with rounded corners. The X on the top houses an LED that can be used to display status messages. On the underside, there are a total of four rubber feet to prevent the base from slipping. The QR code that you need to set up the SBS50 using the app is also located here. We’ll find out how well this works in our practical test.
There is also a loudspeaker on the underside that sounds the alarm. Unlike the water detectors, the base has no battery or rechargeable battery compartment. Instead, it requires a permanent power supply. The necessary power supply unit and cable are included in the scope of delivery. As the base must be permanently connected to the mains cable anyway, the use of microUSB is not too important in my opinion.
In addition to the USB port, this is also where the only button on the base is located. This is multifunctional and not only enables muting. It can also be used to start pairing mode. I really like the build quality of the water detectors and base station. The matt design of the housing in particular makes a high-quality impression.
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X-Sense water detector test: Practical test
All beginnings are difficult? Not with the water detector from X-Sense. Setting up the set is lightning fast and completely straightforward. This is also ensured by the free app from X-Sense. This establishes a connection to the base station. Thanks to the easy-to-understand step-by-step instructions, nothing can really go wrong here. In my opinion, one small drawback is the requirement to have a user account.
Unfortunately, this is now common practice in the field of smart home apps. Once the base station has been set up, you add the water detectors individually. Once again, the app comes in handy here. Simply set that you want to add a device to the base station. Then simply double-click on the pairing button of the water detector. You will now find the detector in the list of your X-Sense app and water protection is active.
What’s really cool is that you can also connect the matching smoke detectors when the base is set up. In this way, X-Sense ensures that your household is effectively protected from fire and water damage. In practice, the smartphone application scores with a great overview and good comprehensibility. This is mainly due to the fact that X-Sense has clearly invested money in providing a good translation into German. However, the voice output of the base station is not yet available in German.
However, you can at least use the English voice output here. As already mentioned, you can also adjust the volume of the water detectors in the app. You can choose from a total of five different levels. You can also select the alarm sound itself. X-Sense offers you a total of three different sounds. Otherwise, the app does exactly what you would expect it to do. If the alarm goes off, you will receive a reliable push notification on your cell phone.
The big advantage over water detectors without a smart home connection is connectivity via the internet. This means you can receive a notification about possible water damage even when you’re on vacation and quickly ask friends or relatives to check on things. I tested the whole thing out once and left the water detector on a plate of water.
Afterwards, it wasn’t just the water detector itself and the base station that alerted me. I also received a push message via the app. Various adjustments can then be made to the notifications in the app. However, there is one small problem. X-Sense doesn’t integrate with well-known smart home systems such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple HomeKit at all.
With the smart water detector from X-Sense, you can ensure effective protection against water damage within your own four walls. Of course, the ability to be informed about water leaks while you are out and about is particularly practical. In practice, both the detection and the alarm functioned excellently. The lack of support for common smart home systems such as Alexa, Google Home or Apple HomeKit is a bit of a shame. I think the current price of 63.55 euros in a bundle with the base is very fair considering the features on offer. Especially as other gadgets such as the smart smoke detectors from X-Sense can be integrated when the base is installed. If you already have a base, you can also purchase the water detector separately for just under 15 euros.