Flo is a new way for homeowners to monitor their home water system even when not at home. I’ve had the Flo system in my home for the better part of 3-months, and this is the Flo review. Let me start by saying that this is by far the most difficult review I’ve ever done. I thought the Flo review would be simple and in some ways, it really is. I’m really not sure how long this review will actually be, considering I’ve had nothing go wrong with my water system, well, since I have lived here nor through the review period.
It’s not like I was hoping for some sort of catastrophe to happen at my home, but there was little to challenge Flo and that was disappointing. So, this Flo review will be mostly highlighting the advantages of what the system offers to homeowners. I do have some experiences to share but don’t expect any flood, water leak, or burst pipe stories. Read on for my full Flo review.
Flo has the following features and specifications:
- Mobile App with real-time notifications, water usage analysis, and goal setting features.
- Remote shut-off – from the mobile application, the user has the ability to shut-off water wherever they are.
- Automatic shut-off – if Flo senses a catastrophic leak in the home, it will automatically shut off the water supply to prevent damage.
- Proactive 24/7 monitoring with preventative alerts to avoid catastrophic damage.
- Microleak™ technology – daily tests to ensure your plumbing (not including sewage line) are secure.
- Configurable alert and notification preferences.
- Works with Amazon Alexa (skills).
What’s In The Box
- Flo device
- Threaded brass tailpieces
- Power supply
- Spare O-Rings
- Hex key
- QR code card
- Install guide
There’s not going to be much to cover on design, but I do have a few thoughts. While Flo is most likely going to be out of sight and out of the way, the company still made a handsome looking device. That is, relatively handsome to other types of plumbing hardware on the market. The unit feels sturdy and well built from good materials and attention to quality. All of the components are top notch and everything comes nicely packaged in a nice presentation.
Overall, the looks of the unit are of little consequence, but the materials and build quality are great, and that’s what really matters in terms of design.
Ease of Use
Flo Technologies recommends you have a professional plumber install your Flo unit. While you could do this yourself, I too would recommend a pro take care of it, which is what we did. So, I can’t speak to the ease of install, but I can say the plumber who installed my unit took less than an hour to do so. I would recommend finding a plumber who is familiar with Flo.
Once the unit was installed, we simply opened the Flo app and found our Flo device in Wi-Fi settings. We connected to our Flo unit and connected the unit to our Wi-Fi which then enabled the app to work as intended. We’ll go over the app more in-depth in our experience section. Once the Flo unit is installed, there is little else you need to do with the actual unit going forward.
Overall, if you get this professionally installed, it is super easy to get set up by following some basic instructions. It’s not unlike setting up a Google Home speaker or Wi-Fi connected speaker.
Before we get to the part of the Flo review that touches on the Flo app experience let me address the user experience. As mentioned in ease of use, if you get this professionally installed, the experience is seamless and really great. The only thing I have ever had to worry about is checking notifications and making sure those notifications were accurate. Basically, this is a set it and forget it device. There’s really very little to do other than watch the app, or, heaven forbid, have an actual major event.
Now, on to the app. The app interface is wonderfully designed and intuitive. During initial setup of the app, you will be asked a bit of information about your home and family. Flo will then develop goals for you based on that information, but you can adjust those goals anytime in settings. The goals set by the app for you are most likely based on an average along with your information. Our daily water user goal set by Flo for our family of six was 240 gallons.
When you open the app you’re presented with the Dashboard. Here you can see the overall basic information about your system including, monthly usage, gallons spent today, and your daily goal. There’s also a nice graph here that shows you an hour by hour breakdown of how much water you are using. This sort of gives you an idea of when your family is using water most often.
On the Dashboard, you can also set your status as at home, away or sleep. This will help Flo monitor your system best knowing if you’re at home or not. The Control Panel is probably my favorite as it gives you a real-time display of what is happening with your system. Here you can see the water pressure, flow rate, water temperature, run a health test, and you can turn the water main on and off.
Fixtures is a new addition to the app that requires Flo’s Home Protect coverage. Here the system will report usage by fixture such as faucets, toilets, irrigation and more. This is a paid subscription feature and we did not opt for this feature. The alerts tab shows any current alerts on the system and it shows an activity log that you can look back at. There is also a support tab which allows you to connect with Flo for any support you may need.
Finally, the Settings tab allows you to set your user profile, home profile, goals, alert settings, system settings, and add new devices.
During our use of Flo, everything thankfully ran without any issues. There was one time that we received an alert for water usage as we had 5 different people taking showers back to back. This triggered Flo to shut the water off. I missed the alert beforehand and was too late to tell Flo to ignore it. It was just a matter of flipping the water back on and then dismissing the alert.
The same thing happened when filling the kids’ pool. This time we caught the alert before Flo turned the water off and had the system ignore the warning for 24-hours. I will say that one time Flo detected that our hose was still on even though it was no more than a slow dribble, and that was impressive. Now, it didn’t specifically tell me it was the hose. Maybe if I had Home Protect it would, but I knew the hose had been used earlier so checked that first.
Overall, the experience here is amazing. I can control my home water system while I am away from home. So if Flo sends an alert that water usage is up and we’re not home, I can shut it down. Flo is supposed to detect water leaks, even pinhole leaks in your system which can lead to extended water damage. We thankfully didn’t encounter anything like that, but I am confident that Flo would do its job.
Price/Value is going to be very relative as Flo is not cheap at $499USD. One of Flo’s selling points is homeowners insurance savings. You’ll have to check with your insurance company to find out if they give price breaks for Flo. Our insurance company does not so we saw no savings through insurance. Still, I think there’s a tremendous value here as early detection of water leaks can literally save you thousands of dollars if something does happen.
This is the first smart home leak detection system I’ve used, but I think it’s really an amazing investment. You may never have to deal with a major water leak, but having Flo in place could save you big money should that water leak happen. That wraps the Flo review. If anything major happens with the system we will update this review.
*We received a sample of Flo for the purposes of this review.
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