The final frontier for many smart home owners is water management. Things start innocently enough with a few intelligent light bulbs, a dimmer or two, and a motion sensor. Before you know it, you’ve automated the window coverings, installed a video doorbell, a security system, and bought into whole-home audio with an integrated smart assistant to control it all. With the visible home conquered, all that’s left are smart meters to measure your increased power usage, and of course, water, one our most precious resources. That’s where the new Phyn Smart Water Assistant comes in, a do-it-yourself water meter which this Belkin company says can help home owners conserve water, avoid trouble, and save money in the process.
Phyn works by attaching the Wi-Fi-based Smart Water Assistant to the hot and cold-water lines under your sink where it measures “microscopic changes in water pressure in high definition,” defined by the company as 240 samples per second. Over time it claims to learn the unique “voice” of each fixture in the home.
Here, let Phyn explain it:
The $299 Phyn Smart Water Assistant does pretty much everything the $699 Phyn Plus system does without requiring professional installation by a plumber. The one thing it can’t do is automatically shut off the water if a problem is detected. Instead, it’ll send alerts to your phone if it detects a leak or a potential freezing condition anywhere in your home, while also providing detailed insight into your consumption habits for each fixture used, the company claims.
Leaks that can be detected in the water delivery system include pipe bursts, toilet flapper leaks, and leaks in supply-line hoses to clothes and dishwashers. The company says the meter is smart enough to detect “pinhole” and “tiny drip leaks” through a “Plumbing Check” feature. Phyn will also alert you if your bathwater has been running longer than normal, for example, in order to prevent an overflow situation.
Such a meter could help you conserve water while also preventing costly repairs resulting from water damage or burst pipes. That’s the pitch, anyway, if you need help to justify the price tag.
The $299 Phyn Smart Water Assistant works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, and will be available to purchase in the US in late September.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said that the Phyn Smart Water Assistant works with HomeKit. It currently does not, but Phyn says it’s on the roadmap. The error was caused by incorrect information sent by Belkin’s Phyn to The Verge.