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Flood sensors ($62 at Amazon) don’t need bells and whistles to work well; they just need to tell you when your basement is flooding. You can make your own flood sensor and alarm for a couple bucks, but if you want one that sends you push notifications on your phone, one of the most affordable options is the $35 Aeon Labs Aeotec Water Sensor.

The big catch with some leak detectors, including Aeotec, is that you need a smart-home hub like SmartThings or Wink to use them. Why? Because the detectors function using a communication protocol called Z-Wave, which essentially allows them to work with low energy consumption, and send messages that the hub translates into alerts that it sends to your phone. If you want something that communicates directly with your phone without a hub, you’ll have to dish out more money for devices like the D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor or the Honeywell Lyric Leak and Freeze Detector.

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