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Hands On

I tested the mydlink Home app on both Android and iOS and the user interface was virtually identical. Since I've tested other mydlink home products and also have a D-Link DCS-2330L camera linked to a "mydlink Home" account, I have multiple devices. Here's the Home group shown on my Android phone.

D-Link DCH-S160 Home Page (Android)

D-Link DCH-S160 Home Page (Android)

To test the water sensor, I created actions within the mydlink Home app on both iOS and Android to turn on a DSP-W215 Smart Switch. Both worked and synchronized across platforms. I plugged in a lamp in my office so that it would be easy to see if a leak was detected. The gallery below walks you through creating the action to turn on the light when water is detected.

For the test, I plugged the sensor into an outlet near my bathroom sink and positioned the sensor cable in the bottom of the sink. I then opened the faucet so that it dripped slowly. The water sensor immediately triggered when the first drop water hit the sensor cable. The sensor beeped and the D-Link logo on the front of the device blinked red in sync with the beeping.

The flashing LED and the beeping continued as long as water was detected. The sensor also turned on the lamp and I got in-app notifications within a couple of seconds on both my iPad and my Android phone.

The beep, specified at 70 dB, wasn't very loud. So if the sensor had been in a utility closet, I doubt I would have heard it at the other end of the house. Since the sensor can be used to trigger actions on other devices, it's probably a good idea to use it to trigger either the DSP-W215 Smart Plug or the newly introduced DCH-S220 Wi-Fi Siren to provide additional visual or audible alerts to supplement the in-app notification. The composite image below shows the notification on my iPad (top) and Samsung phone (bottom).

D-Link DCH-S160 water leak notification on iPad (top) and  Samsung phone (bottom)

D-Link DCH-S160 water leak notification on iPad and Samsung phone

Closing Thoughts

The DCH-S160 Wi-Fi Water Sensor is a good addition to the mydlink product line. The sensor installed easily and worked seamlessly with the Wi-Fi Smart Switch. I have no doubt it would work well with the DCH-S220 Wi-Fi Siren, which we didn't test. In all my tests, the water sensor never failed to trigger and seemed quite sensitive. Even rubbing a damp cloth on the sensor cable was enough to trigger it.

There have also been some improvements in the mydlink Home app since my last look. The apps ran smoothly on the iPad as well as an Android phone and Android tablet. Devices installed using the app on one platform appeared in the app on the other platform. However, while the stability of the apps have improved, the mydlink Home app still lacks many of the scheduling and notification options available on other Home Automation products such as Belkin's WeMo.

As a final test, I wanted to see what would happen if I lost my internet connection. So I pulled the internet connection for the access point that connected all the mydlink products. I left the AP powered so that the devices could communicate with each other and then dripped water onto the sensor. The sensor responded immediately with the normal flashing light and beep. The lamp in my office also turned on. However, I didn't receive an in-app notification until I restored the internet connection.

Having been responsible for a water leak that damaged my downstairs neighbor's ceiling, I can attest that catching a leak quickly can save you a lot of money. So I'm going to permanently install the DCH-S160 near my air conditioner. Hopefully, it won't ever go off. But if it does, I'll know about the leak long before my neighbor knocks on my front door.

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