Introduction: Homemade DIY Basement Water Sensor Hack!



Quickly and easily hack a smoke detector into a basement, sump pump water sensor,

Materials needed

1.) New/Used smoke detector with a test button
2.) Soldering kit
3.) Wire
4.) Wire cutters / strippers
4.) Duct Seal (or other non-conductive adhesive

Step 1: Add Your Wires

Remove the cover to the smoke detector, you should be able to find where and how the test button works. Next take 2 pieces of wire any length and solder them to each contact point of the test switch.

*TIP* (once soldered touch and hold the other ends of the wire together for a few seconds to verify that it works)

Step 2: Finish

I used Duct seal to hold the wires together, it's tacky, waterproof, and non-conductive.

Encase the wires in a gob of duct seal and place wherever you want the alarm to go off when water is present.

Retest again by splashing some water over both contact points to confirm operation.

You're all set!

Comments

author
haroldhill (author)2017-04-28

This is great and works.. a possible tip regarding fire alarm sound, I don't know if they all the same but I have UK smoke alarm with 3 wires going to sounder ( red white black) I cut the white one and this lowered the pitch of the sound so it has it's own distinctive sound rather than exactly like smoke alarm.

author
DongN5 (author)2016-03-03

Great timing! I can get one hand delivered to my home. Free

http://www.kgw.com/news/red-cross-installing-free-smoke-detectors/58505296

author
Thejesterqueen (author)2015-11-12

Great! I have needed something like this for a while. It's like my own EASY button. Thank you. I just love all the great solutions to life's problems I have found on this site. What I don't understand though is why someone always manages to post a retail solution in the comments. This site is for D.I.Y. !!

author
Eric7141 (author)2015-04-27

Yeah... just keep in mind that the sensor in the smoke detector is RADIOACTIVE. So, you may want to avoid this project altogether.

author
sylvain01 (author)2013-01-13

very very good

author
oautomation (author)2013-01-09

That's a pretty neat trick. If you don't have a soldering iron handy, check out PumpAlarm.com to find a ready to use water alarm that sends text messages.

author
CT55 (author)2012-04-02

Wow! That's a pretty cool trick. Thanks. Wet Basement Solutions

author
vkesara (author)2011-09-17

hi m vinesh, i need a help frm u frd. the thing is i have a drinking water pipe line which is not/doesnt come to a time. so, to knw the water pressure or its presence i need detector or alarm kind of thing with which i can knw the water pressure....

author
JTomM129 (author)2011-05-01

Also you still have the fire/smoke detector right near the water heater . . . all bases covered!

Good simple and very helpful idea!

author
Coolerman (author)2011-01-08

Need help here?? Regarding sump pump power. Specifically standby power. I have created a power failure standby system for my sump pump using a electrical contactor normally closed contacts & a 12 volt invertor. Power fails, contactor contacts close, turn on power invertor, level switch comes on in sump hole & 12V battaries power invertor to run 1/6 horse pump.

Simple so far, but??? what battaries to use as standby? Normal car or deep discharge?? And should they be on trickle charge all the time?? Since they would be seldom used? I can't seem to find info about which would last the best??
Look forward to comments or emails??

author
chrisnotap (author)2010-09-22

absolutely brilliant and unbelievably simple. From doing this hack myself and trying to hook it up to an existing previously devised water detector float circuit maker set-up of my own, I found that a smoke detector will start to chirp, on the test mode circuit ,with the minutest amount of continuity. What I am wondering though is when I place the wire into my sewer clean out pipe in my basement floor to detect if I get another root ball growing in my sewer pipe and water starts to back up, will it set itself off monthes before the event happens ,just out of shear moisture in the air around the 2 ends of the wire creating a circuit? I will connect and find out over time. I still can't beleive how simple and how well this works! Thanks genius boy or maybe girl!!

author
Smurphette (author)2008-02-01

Thats really cool...If you ran the wires down into the sump area, it would tell you when the pump wasn't working, too.

author
Robbie245 (author)2008-01-24

That's pretty cool. Don't get hurt! I found a good resource for wet basements at http://www.b-dry.com/wet-basement-solutions.html

author
pharoah (author)2007-11-04

Be careful with opening up smoke detectors, they contain a radioactive isotope that can be dangerous (see the warning label)

author
maker12 (author)pharoah2007-12-06

not much armicuim 124 in it! but it is still radioative!

author
_diyMATT (author)2007-10-06

Effing brilliant. My old roomate had all sorts of issues with a overflowing sump and pumps that failed on occasion. the only real solution is typically a 200 dollar sump-pump device. Great hack.

author
MD_Willington (author)2007-09-14

This would have helped out a few months back... we have a utility vault under our house, turns out the sewer line cracked and the grey water filled the vault to about 5 inches... Everything is fixed now, but man what a headache...

author
NikonDork (author)2007-09-10

SO SIMPLE!!! SO GENIUS! I rent in a area of PA thats prone to flooded basements. Last time we had a pretty heavy thunderstorm I found out that my basement likes to become a pond. I'm making one of these this weekend so at least I'll know when I got some wetvac'in to do.

author
!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-09-10

umm. lol i just keep my dehumidifyer on Normal setting, that turns on and tells me its wet down stairs :-) but, i guess this is cool!

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