From manhole cover lock to remote monitoring IoT manhole cover open sensor/detector with real time SMS/Email/Siren alert notification


Manhole is the entrance to the underground supply systems that include telecommunication networks, water supply networks, gas supply networks, electricity networks, and so on. Although it is very crucial to a city’s operations, the manhole covers can be one of the least protected and most vulnerable assets.

Manhole cover, protecting its access, opened or closed status, and anti-theft, is crucial to a city's operations.

Manholes and manhole covers are everywhere.

Manhole cover missing is on the rise and becomes a considerable issue. An unauthorized opening of manhole is very dangerous, it can cause deadly fall-in accidents to people and also inflict potential damage to public property.

Manhole cover losses cause damages to public safety in China Manhole cover losses cause fall-in accidents in China

Manhole cover losses & accidents in China

The conventional manhole locks

To protect the manhole and prevent it from being opened by simply a manhole cover hook, conventionally, people like to use the manhole cover lock, as shown in below picture.

One problem is that it is hard for the manhole agency to manage so many manhole keys and increases the job difficulties, sometimes the worker on the spot may just forget which key to open the manhole.

Another problem is that it may make the road surface uneven with the additional key structure on the manhole.

manhole lock and protector to prevent people from opening the manhole cover.

Manhole cover lock and protector.

As substitutive solution, the manhole cover open monitoring remotely avoids the above two problems.

IoT Manhole cover open detector

With WiiHey's Manhole Cover Open Detector, we can deploy real-time monitoring and alert against metal cover theft, vandalism, and unauthorized access of manholes. The product utilizes a range of commercially available, off-the-shelf sensors to detect and prevent manhole related incidents. Signals are transmitted from the sensor device to a cloud platform via LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) technologies, such as GPRS, NB-IoT, Cat-M1, etc. The sensors in combination with the cloud-based dashboard will allow you to monitor and well plan the maintenance of manholes.

Manhole cover lock, manhole cover open detector, manhole cover anti-theft

Manhole Cover Open Detector

How it works?

The sensor detects two statuses of the manhole cover - opened or closed.

During installation, the sensor is sticking out of the manhole surface, indicating the manhole is in "opened" status.

Manhole cover open detector with the status of the manhole being opened, and trigger alarms.

Manhole cover is opened

After the manhole cover is placed on it, the sensor is bent over, indicating the manhole is in "closed" status.

Manhole cover open detector with the status of the being closed.

Manhole cover is closed.

If the sensor becomes straight again after the manhole cover is moved away, then it detects the manhole cover is opened and immediately send out alarm information to the management department to arrange people to check the relative manhole cover.


The sensor supports LPWAN IoT communications technologies, such as GPRS, NB-IoT, Cat-M1, etc. They combine high transmission ranges of up to several kilometers in urban environments, with low power consumption. Data is transmitted to cloud data center for processing and fusion. Eventually, operators could view every manhole status from a cloud-based GIS dashboard.

Architecture of manhole cover monitoring system

System architecture

Key Features

  • Network: NB-IOT, GPRS;
  • Battery and sensor health report: every 3 days;
  • Built-in Battery: 19000mAH Lithium Battery (5 years’ duration);
  • Ingress Degree: IP68;
  • Working Temperature: -25 ℃ to 65 ℃
  • One monitoring cloud server could connect more than 100,000 sensors;
  • Cloud based platform with GIS (Geographic information system) dashboard;
  • Automatic email and SMS alert notification support;


  • Low communication cost ( <10M bytes each month);
  • Monitor, report and optimize your manholes;
  • 24/7 monitoring and immediate alert;
  • Easy to install, wireless communication and free maintenance;
  • High flexibility and reliability, available to urban and rural environments;

Applicable to...

  • Manhole cover;
  • Sewer cover;
  • Sewer lid;
  • Pipe hole cover;
  • Cable hole cover;
  • Drain cover;

Hardware installation

Detailed information of manhole cover sensor could be found here - WiiMCO Sensor.

Installation of Manholes covers and WiiLSW sensors

Manholes and WiiMCO sensors


Cloud-based GIS manhole monitoring dashboard

GIS dashboard
It contains status monitoring, location information, statistical results & querying.

Extension & customization

WiiHey manhole monitoring solution is a framework. The hardware devices and the dashboard application is a perfect example of customization. Depending on your application we have range of sensors and technologies at our disposal. Whether it is for gas detection, heat detection or flooding detection through manhole monitoring, we can customize the solution and tailor them to fit your needs.


With WiiHey manhole monitoring solution, thousands of covers are monitored simultaneously, and every cover is individually identified and mapped. It allows immediate positioning of unauthorized attempts on each manhole. This facilitates an immediate focused response by security or management operators via the GIS cloud-based software application.

Data integration guide

For sensor data integration, 3rd party companies could view following programming guides to learn more about WiiHey's DaaS (Device-as-a-Service) Platform:

Sample Project based on NodeJS

WiiHey Manhole DaaS (Device-as-a-Service) platform client in Web Browser

WiiHey MQTT API references

WiiHey Manhole Cover Sensor Programming Guide

Ordering and Shipping

Details of the sensor hardware could be found here - WiiMCO Sensor.

Contact us by this E-mail for ordering and shipping information.