Author Topic: Water shut off options  (Read 436 times)

Offline col8eral

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Water shut off options
« on: August 19, 2018, 05:56:22 am »
I've got myself some fibaro flood sensors. I'd like now to have a mains water shut off valve contest by z wave so I can auto shut off water in the event of a flood.

What are my options. Can you convert a motorised valve using a fibaro relay or is there an existing integrated zwave unit u should go for?

Many thanks.

Offline jswim788

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 12:48:20 pm »
As far as I know there are 2 options for you.  The first is where a quarter turn ball valve gets a motor on top of it that is controlled by Z-wave.  These can be added on to existing ball valves.  They work great for some people, and others complain that either there isn't enough torque or it doesn't fully turn on or off.  If you have a relatively new ball valve that is easy to turn, they might work fine.  Possibly made by Dome among others.

The second choice is to go with an ISO mount ball valve.  WaterCop makes these now.  These are better because they can directly turn the ball valve without relying on a funky attachment, but you'll likely need to change your valve.  The WaterCop is integrated with Z-Wave: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C91B69P/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_cr_x__a_w

When I put in a valve WaterCop wasn't available, so I went with a Valworx electrically actuated valve.  These are expensive but beautifully made and have features such as a heating element to avoid condensation and run in a wide temperature range.  But you'll have to figure out your own method to hook Z-Wave to it if you go this route.  https://www.valworx.com/category/electric-actuated-brass-ball-valves-on-off

If you replace your valve, do be careful that you get a drinking water safe lead-free valve.  There are lots of cheap valves out there that might not be so good for your long term health.

Offline col8eral

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 03:08:31 pm »
Thank you and good advice on the build materials!

I'm in the UK. Are those products available for European z wave frequencies?

Offline jswim788

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 04:53:21 pm »
You might try having a look at Vesternet: https://www.vesternet.com/smart-home/energy-1/water

I'm really only familiar with the US market.  Maybe search on Amazon UK as well?

Offline col8eral

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 06:35:58 pm »
Thanks Jswim

Will take a look

Some of them have eye watering prices :)

Can you convert a motorised valve with a fibaro relay, or is it more tricky thank that?


Offline jswim788

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 07:21:29 pm »
The valve actuators I've seen have an up, down, and neutral or ground.  That means that you really need a Z-Wave DPST switch, but these are very hard to find.  Maybe Fibaro has them now?  The problem with 2 single switches is that you never want both on at the same time.  One alternative is to use one of the roller shutter motor controllers.  I have not been able to try them, but as far as I can tell they would likely work.  They are essentially doing what you want - controlling an up and a down motor.  The trick is that they calibrate themselves when they first turn on and I don't know exactly what they are testing for when they calibrate.  You can imagine that roller shade motors either stall and draw more current, or hit a limit and draw no current.  The latter is what the usual valve actuators do and I would hope that's what roller shutters do too.  But I don't know for certain.

https://manuals.fibaro.com/roller-shutter-2/ talks about hitting the limit switches during calibration, so it might just do what you need.

In my situation I eventually decided to not control this with Z-wave because I use it for my remote cabin and I turn off the water and drain it when I leave.  I want no chance of accidentally turning it on when I'm not there and pumping out water through the drain for a month or more without knowing about it.  Vera's just not reliable enough for me to count on it for this use.  Also, I have to go down to the basement to turn on the hot water anyway, so there's not much extra work to flip the switch for the water inlet.  But there are ways to control the gas water heater remotely and I could add some fail safe logic to be sure the drain is never open when the inlet valve is open, so I may come back to this.

Offline col8eral

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 03:04:00 am »
Yes, that would make sense and thank you for your advice. It's very much appreciated. I'll have to give it some more thought.

Offline intveltr

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2018, 07:30:25 am »
I used a bunch of 24v motorized ball valves for garden irrigation.  These have 3 wires: ground and power which are permanently connected; the valve opens when the 3rd wire is connected to the power supply, and closes when disconnected.  Perfect for a single dry contact Z-wave relay like the Fibaro units. 

These valves are sold as "industrial stuff" here and priced accordingly, so I ended up ordering 6 of them from China for the price of a single unit here.  They were about 40 euro a pop, and are available in 12v and a variety of threads.  Got mine from AliExpress; the ones I have are no longer available but if you search around there are many alternatives.


With that said, I went with the Popp gas/water mains valve to implement your idea.  This is a unit that you mount over the handle of the mains shutoff valve; it will push the handle to the open or close position.  Fairly pricy (I think I paid around 150 euro) but it looks like a reliable, quality product and it's super easy to install: no need to mess with the water mains if you already have a shutoff valve with a handle.  And if not, a plumber can install one of those for a few quid.  This unit is available for UK frequencies.
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Offline Sorin

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2018, 09:19:30 am »
http://getvera.com/portfolio-posts/dome-water-main-shut-off/

The Dome Home Automation Water Shut-Off Valve has official integration and works out of the box with all Vera lineup.
Hope this helps
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Vera Control, Ltd. ▾ Smarter Home Control  ▾ support@getvera.com ▾www.getvera.com ▾ +1 (866) 966-2272

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Offline col8eral

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2018, 11:02:53 am »
Many thanks

Offline cokeman

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Vera 3 in the summerhouse, Vera Plus at home
@Denmark

Offline col8eral

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2018, 12:56:26 pm »
Wow. That's cheap

Offline leedavidr

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Re: Water shut off options
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2018, 08:41:58 am »
And Fortrezz makes both an indoor and an outdoor shut off valve systems but they are fairly pricey.  You will need to install an "automation brass ball valve" in line as well to make either of these options work.  I had the outdoor shut off valve installed and it works great with my Vera Plus.   Again the disadvantage of this well engineered automated shut off valve is its expense compared to other vendors' valves.

https://www.fortrezz.com/shop?category=Water%20Valves



The Dome system may not work well if you have a stickier manual shut off valve, and I am not sure if it if works outside.  If your valve is outside like mine is AZ, you may also need to look into if the system works in a harsher environment in the winter.  I suspect most manual shutoff valves these days are located inside, so this may not be a major issue for most.