Water alarm - audible or inaudible for guests?

I had guests yesterday that set off a water alarm under the tub (it responds to water splashes or pooling). It went off in my phone and my response was to ask one of the guests (the hubby) to mention to the wife (who was taking a shower) to leave the liner inside my cast iron tub, and to clean up whatever water is on my floor asap.

The alarm has option to be heard at the source - it can be low/med/high volume - and I am wondering if I set it for audibility would I also need to (for example) put a note on it so that when a guest hears it and tries to turn it off, they are told why it went off? FYI, Asian couple that altho were extremely friendly and nice used every towel in the place (altho all clean and try except for one) and left me with 2 rolls of TP and 6 coke cans in the ‘do not bring food or drink in here’ bedroom. Mentioning this because (1) I have heard many stories about bathrooms in Asia that do not have shower curtains etc and drain mid-floor and (2) the ‘selective’ reading of house rules.

I think my question is - if you heard a loud sound under the tub (or toilet or sink) how would you react?

How would I react? I’m not Asian, but I’d fonking freak out if some unknown alarm went off in the bathroom!! Have never heard of a Water Alarm! I’d also freak out if you called me to tell me somethinig like this out of the blue.

If you make this thing audible to Guests, you’d darn well better have a simple explanation of what it is, how to turn it off, and what to do about it printed in large plain type right there inside the bathroom door.

FWIW bathrooms all over the world – not just Asia – do not necessarily have curtains or doors, and do have central floor drains. The last canalboat I was on in England was set up that way. An AirBnb listing is Spain hd the same thing. My neighbor’s house here in Florida was remodeled that way, too. It’s free-standing cast-iron tubs with a wraparound shower curtain which are the anomaly these days – It’s a good thing I’m old enough to remember those antiques!


It would scare me. I think it would be a good idea to have a sign in the bathroom explaining the purpose of the alarm.

How would I react? Well, I doubt I would ever set one off unless I had an accident…like running a tub to have a soak, then slipping down in the tub of water HARD (instead of easing in) and splashing water out. I’d be embarrassed and, if I didn’t know what the alarm was for, I’d be alarmed. :joy:

I can see why the alarms are a really good idea from the host’s POV, but if you have them, audible or not, I think the host better explain clearly to the guests what they are—in person or in a phone call and not in a way that relies on the guest to actually read the information. An additional sign in the space to remind them of what the alarm is would be an good idea too, to jog their brain.


I think that I’d be a bit freaked. I’ve never heard of such a thing before.

What I’m wondering is why you find this necessary? In all the years I’ve been hosting I’ve never had a bathroom flooded. Is there something particular about your bathroom/s that makes them liable to flooding?

As @KenH says, there are many places that use a wet room rather than the typical American style bathroom. Boats are one example, also caravans and smaller homes. Some are tiny and very ingenious. They may become more popular in years to come.

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I don’t quite understand. You have an alarm that goes off in the bathroom and you don’t explain that to guests, and what sets it off, when they check-in?

I’'ve never heard of such an alarm and would be freaked out if I were a guest. It’s not like a smoke alarm on the ceiling that most people would be familiar with.

Yes, I’ve read of many Asian guests flooding the bathroom, as they are not used to it mattering. But you should be explaining it to all guests or have a graphic on the wall that pictures the shower curtain inside, as opposed to outside the tub.

And here in Mexico most construction is concrete and tile, so it isn’t just Asia. I don’t have a drain in the floor, but I also don’t have shower curtains- it doesn’t matter if the floor gets wet.

But… I have a wooden floor in my bathroom, and it matters if it gets wet. The issue is that if the shower curtains are pulled out of the bathtub to take a shower my floor and the floor below will be damaged.

These little alarms are very ubiquitous these days. Obviously, if somebody is flooding my bathroom, I should know about it immediately. Just like a smoke or CO2 alarm, it’s protecting us. And, as you say, in many parts of the world a bather would never think that this would be an issue for them, since they’re used to a central drain etc.

Obviously, I needed it yesterday! I have a 100 year old cast-iron tub sitting in 100 year old house with a wooden floored bathroom. To take a shower in a cast-iron tub, the shower curtain needs to remain within the cast-iron tub all around. It would appear obvious since not only do the pictures in my listing show it that way, but there are magnets hanging off of the shower curtain that stick it to the inside of the cast-iron tub. But as we all know, there is no end to the ingenuity that a guest will have when they decide that despite everything you’ve done to show them something like this, they will go against it.

I also have one under each sink for the very same reason. A pinhole leak or worse can be very damaging to a 100 year old wooden structure like my house


here it is. Fyi, they are awesome devices and really useful - I have 2 scattered in my basement under the water heater and next to a wall that sometimes ‘weeps’ water:


I would probably pee myself which wouldn’t help your floors at all :rofl:

To answer your question, I think that you should get the alarm and that it shouldn’t be audible to your guests. It seems kind of inhospitable and will mostly serve to embarrass them.

We have 122-year-old wood floors and cast iron clawfoot tubs too. Fortunately, the bathrooms in our guest/tenant apartments were already tiled when we bought the house. If you wanted to “guest proof” the bathrooms, you might consider having them tiled. Otherwise, I think you have to just go in afterward and wipe up the water. The water will not cause damage immediately, you have time to go in and clean it up if they don’t do so thoroughly.

I’ve heard the stories about people who put the shower curtains on the outside of the tub too. And that seems like the biggest threat so it’s worth your time to figure out how to make that really clear to your guests. But an alarm going off in the bathroom isn’t the best way.

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Yes that was my question. The ‘alarm’ goes right to my phone, and is inaudible at the location. I was thinking that if it beeped, the guest would notice it and see water accumulating, and hopefully stop the mess.

I understand what you’re thinking; however, it seems more like an ounce of prevention situation. I.e. it is likely easier for you and more comfortable for your guests for you to instruct them on how to use the shower curtains instead.

Yes, I understand that. I had a 100 year old wooden house in Canada. And even though my bathroom was tiled, if the floor was actually flooded and stayed that way for awhile, I’m sure it would seep down into the wood subfloor.

The way that I’d handle this - and I realise that it wouldn’t suit or be right for everyone - is explain during the house tour about the wood floors that would be damaged by water.

Then I’d tell them about the alarm. I’d probably bung in some fictitious story at this point about a previous guest who had caused expensive damage and that “although I know that you’ll be careful of course” this why you have the alarm.

This alone might make the guests be extra careful. Maybe.

Worth a try?


My place, unfortunately, is self-check in and I almost never meet my guests face-to-face, which works great for my usual guest population - businesspeople who are here to sleep. These folks came with backpacks and spare TP.

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It was just a thought and how I’d handle it Maybe it can help other readers. :slight_smile:


I completely sympathize since my house is 210 years old and has the same clawfoot arrangement. It once flooded into the bathroom below which had just been installed two weeks before! I use these alarms in a LTR basement prone to flooding to protect my furnace and water heater. I wish that I had discovered them years ago. I agree with comments that no one reads. Pictures with a few words seem to work best. (I had to create a picture sign for guests to open drapes correctly!) If you orient your guests in person I think that you could have the alarm at the lowest audible level with both verbal and simple printed instruction on how to turn it off. If it is self check-in I might opt for the alarm only going to you. I would have some written/pictorial mention in welcome information or in the bathroom itself so that guests know what the device is in the event that you need to call. You don’t want them thinking its a weirdo camera in the bathroom.


I commented before but I just saw this ad for a shower curtain liner and thought it might help with a graphic: image


I also vote for having the alarm on the lowest volume setting. I’d be super freaked out if a host called me about something I was doing in the bathroom with no warning. But a soft beeping from under the tub would just make me check it out - maybe you can label the alarm (“water leak alarm”) so that if someone does find it because it’s beeping, it will be clear why.


Upvote on the signage.

I know there’s some controversy about scattering signs about, but speaking as the laminated sign queen who has never gotten a complaint about the numerous instructional signs in my small suite, and as a frequent Airbnb guest, an informed guest is a more relaxed and better guest.