Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff is an all-in-one security system for your home’s water system. By constantly monitoring your water pressure, Flo detects the smallest of leaks in your home and alert you of any potential issues. Flo now has a battery backup accessory to help defend against leaks even during a power interruption for up to 3 days.
You may remember that our 2018 review of the original Flo device was a glowing take on this powerful device that runs pretty much unnoticed unless it finds an issue. At this point, you may be asking yourself why we’re reviewing Flo again. Well, in June of 2019, Flo announced that they entered into a strategic partnership with Moen, one of the world’s leading plumbing fixture brands, in order to further their mission of preventing water damage. It also didn’t hurt that Moen’s parent company, Fortune Brands Home & Security, lead a $28 million fundraising round to help invest in the enhancement of Flo’s technology and service.
Since 2018, a lot has changed. Flo has been rebranded “Flo by Moen,” they released a dynamite new mobile app, and they also released a new battery backup accessory that can keep your Flo online for 3+ days in the event of a power interruption. Flo was kind enough to send us a brand new Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff device and battery backup so we could test them out with all of the new features. They even signed us up for their premium service FloProtect, which adds additional features to the experience.
Flo is installed (typically by a licensed plumber) in the main water line inside your home. This allows the water to pass through the Flo device so that it can continuously monitor your home’s water pressure, flow rate, temperature, and more. The backup battery accessory is mounted near the Flo unit and is the midway point between your power receptacle and your Flo device. After you plug the backup battery into Flo, you connect Flo to your home Wi-Fi network so that it can connect to the Internet and you can start the setup via Flo’s beautiful new mobile app.
The backup battery has a status light that lets you know the status of your battery. Solid red means that the battery is charging, solid green means that the battery is fully charged, and blinking red means that the battery has run into an error. The backup battery is said to last 3+ days during a power interruption, which will help during storms that knock out the city power supply. This allows Flo to keep an eye on your water system and automatically shut off your water in the event of a pipe burst even during a natural disaster. This adds huge value to the already fantastic Flo device.
The Flo by Moen app has been greatly improved since I reviewed it over a year ago. The user interface is clear and simple to use. On the home screen, you see the alerts on top, with your device(s) listed below, followed by the overall water usage, and if you have FloProtect, you’ll see the water usage broken out by fixture at the bottom. Clicking the alert button at the navigation bar at the bottom will list all of your alerts as well as an activity log showing the last 100 entries. There’s a “help center” button that helps you get in touch with Flo’s Water Concierge which offers live troubleshooting support.
If you click on the “Flo by Moen” device on the main screen, it’ll bring you to a screen that shows you the system’s current water pressure, flow rate, and water temperature. It also has a button that allows you to run a health test on your system. Flo automatically runs a Health Test every night to ensure your system is protected at all times. There’s also an option to turn off your water main with one simple click. Simply put, the app is easy to understand, easy to use, and a huge improvement over the previous iteration.
When Flo recognizes an issue, it will send a push notification to your mobile device(s) as well as call you to alert you of the situation. You can even elect to shut off your home’s water main during the phone call if you choose. Otherwise, you can hang up and check the alert on your phone. It’ll give you 5 minutes to either shut off the water or ignore the alert. If you don’t respond, it’ll automatically shut off your water main to protect you from water damage. This is how Flo by Moen will save you thousands of dollars in-home repairs due to water damage.
FloProtect is Flo by Moen’s premium service that adds a bunch of features to your home water protection while costing $5/month. It’s a really nice feature if you want detailed info on your water usage or are looking for additional coverage. Included in these benefits are the following:
- Water Damage Deductible Guarantee – Flo by Moen will cover the cost of your insurance deductible in the event of catastrophic water damage.
- Proactive Monitoring + Water Concierge – You get a team of live agents who actively monitor your home and are available for a live chat if necessary.
- Enhanced Water Usage Data – View your water usage by fixture and appliance
- Extended Product Warranty – Flo by Moen will extend your product’s warranty to 3 years vs. 1.
- Insurance Verification Letter – Flo Support will prepare customized letters for your insurance company verifying your home is protected from water damage. This could help save money on your homeowner’s insurance.
After testing the Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff again for some time, I can confirm that Flo by Moen is still our favorite home water protection device. It’s a smart, powerful piece of our smart home and something we have learned to count on in case of emergency. Although you’ll get false alerts once in a while, like when our reverse osmosis filter tank has been refilling for a while after filling our humidifier tanks, we know that we can trust Flo to recognize when there’s a real issue like a pipe burst or if we left the water running after leaving the home. After we had uninstalled it to test another water protection device, my wife had been asking when we were going to re-install Flo because she trusted it so much more. At $499.99 plus installation, it’s a bargain for the peace of mind you receive in return. The backup battery goes for $249.98, and while not a necessity, it’s a good idea if your home loses power often.
You can get yours directly from Flo at MeetFlo.com.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Great mobile app; Simple, smart alerts; Customizable alerts; Automatic water main shutoff; Backed by Moen, a company you can trust.
What Needs Improvement: Not inexpensive if you take into account professional installation.