Living in a century home within an old part of town definitely has its benefits. Classic architecture, charm, and big-time curb appeal. But it also has one common drawback: Leaky basements. It’s a fact of life that most of us who love these homes have just come to live with (no pun intended).
After living almost my entire life in 100 and 200-year-old homes with damp and (in some cases) annual basement swimming pools, this is one common problem I decided to solve with smart technology. Say hello to Phyn.
My current home in Ontario, Canada, has a cement basement, and, depending on the amount of winter moisture, how much rain we get in the spring, and how quickly the ground thaws, all have major impacts on how much moisture creeps into my basement. Sometimes it’s dry as a bone; in other years, an inch or two of water creeps through the floor and walls over the course of a few days. This is the perfect use case for Phyn.
By installing one of Phyn’s Smart water sensors in my basement and linking it up to my home’s wifi network, I will have immediate notifications when there are changes in moisture, humidity, and even temperature.
The Phyn Smart Water Sensor ($39 USD) is a small, round device powered by two AA batteries (included) that can be placed under a kitchen sink, washing machine, or basement where moisture leaks or changes in temperature may occur.
In the box, my Phyn Smart Water Sensor came bundled with an optional water sensor node ($9.99 USD), AA batteries (battery life is approximately two years) as well as an optional water sensor extension cable.
Pairing was as simple as dropping in the batteries, downloading Phyn’s free app on the IOS or Google Android store, and scanning the QR code on the bottom of the device. Once paired, Phyn’s app will ask you a few questions and allow you to customize the monitoring settings as well as input some data on the location of the device and allow you to name it for easy access on your network.
Once in place, Phyn’s app gives me a live view of my basement’s temperature and humidity levels. Once they drop below a certain level, I’ll get a push notification and/or SMS message letting me know what has changed.
I highly recommend purchasing the optional sensor cable, which allows you to mount the sensor to a wall or baseboard and then run a 4ft cable along the floor, which will alert you when any part of the cable comes in contact with water. Phyn’s smart water sensor will allow you to add a total of three sensor cables (12 feet) or two sensor cables and one extension node.
For additional protection, Phyn also offers Phyn Plus ($699.99 USD), which not only uses advanced water detection algorithms but also conducts plumbing checks, pre-freeze warnings, monitors water use, and will automatically turn your water off if something goes wrong or allow you to shut off your water remotely. This is a game-changer for anyone who winters in warmer climates and wants to be notified of frozen pipes or sudden leaks that could prove to be catastrophic if unnoticed.
What I love about my Phyn water sensor is that it just works. It’s intelligent, simple in operation, but I can rely on it to do a very thorough job letting me know when things change.
Another huge benefit to the Phyn system is that there are no monthly fees or subscriptions. This is a massive selling point in the age of app subscriptions, subscription boxes, and services!
There’s nothing I don’t love about the Phyn water sensor, but if I were to make one request for an improvement, I would love it to be compatible with a smart assistant like Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa. Phyn tells me that Google Assistant and Alexa integration, as well as IFTTT compatibility, will be added by the end of the month and that new features are constantly being added to the app.
This next year promises to finally be the year we all get to travel and get out and explore. Phyn’s water sensor is one way you can leave home for an extended vacation with absolute peace of mind. So leave home and let Phyn take care of things!