Author Topic: Water leak detection and water shutoff control  (Read 2861 times)

Offline leedavidr

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Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« on: May 08, 2017, 06:40:54 pm »
We are being asked to install a water leak detection and water shutoff valve in our secondary residence.  I have a Vera Plus that I recently installed there and have a basic light control system along with motion detectors and a z-wave kwikset smart deadbolt integrated into the system as well.  I can do the basics.  The question is what kind of system works best.  Is there one that is integrated into the shutoff valve that senses when water has flowed for too long a period of time and just shuts the water off without having water sensors all over the house?  We do turn off the water when we aren't there but had a major leak causing about $50000 in damage before we started doing that.  Then we had a minor leak while we were there last winter.  The issues seem to be pipes buried in the slab and there is concern that the water to the outside lines which need to be left on to irrigate plants might also start leaking in the slab and into the house.  Thanks for any help with this.WTUXCY

Offline leedavidr

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 07:36:14 am »
No replies to my original query, so perhaps I should have posted initially in the general section instead of this section.  My brother and I started looking at various systems that are out there, and he came up one from Fortrezz--basically a flow meter and an automated shutoff valve, both zwave controllable:

http://www.fortrezz.com/flow-meter

http://www.fortrezz.com/water-valves

The Fortrezz website indicates that the automated shutoff valve is Vera compatible, but doesn't indicate that the flow meter is (but it is zwave controllable).  So I will need to call them on that.  Obviously, the proof of the pudding is whether I can get this to work with my Vera Plus.  I don't know about plug ins or drivers for these two devices.  This is the way I am heading.  If anyone out there has experience with either of these devices and a Vera controller, please let me know.  Thanks.

Offline Inzax

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 08:01:03 am »
Before there was an easy solution commercially available, I created my own system using leak sensors and a normally open valve.  It was back in 2012 and I was on ADT Pulse.  (don't hate me...I didn't know any better.)

With the components installed it was a matter of creating a simple rule.  When X water sensor detects water, activate the light module (that was connected to the normally open valve).  When the light module was "ON" the valve would close, shutting off all water to the house.

This has saved my butt with a leaky dishwasher.  I had forgotten I installed a water sensor under the appliance until it went off one day.  Would have been very expensive to fix water damage after a complete cycle.

Link to my original go by: https://inzax.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/adt-pulse-water-shut-off-valve/
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Offline leedavidr

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 08:14:40 pm »
Well, I called Fortrezz today and while the water valve (automated shut off valve) works on the Vera, the flow meter being much more complicated, doesn't have a plug in that works with the Vera.  There is one for SmartThings. I will probably use some of their water sensors along with the shutoff valve.  They indicated that they haven't seen enough demand for using the flow meter with the Vera to develop a plugin but hope to pay someone outside the company who is interested to develop that plugin.  Anyone who is interested should contact Fortrezz.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 10:35:17 pm by leedavidr »

Offline jswim788

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2017, 11:30:24 pm »
I'm surprised that it needs a plugin.  Seems like it presents itself as generic multi-level sensor.  The documentation is pretty good here:
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57363221555986b60e62f0f0/t/57d6ef86725e252bea53590d/1473703814674/Flow+Meter+Technical+Manual.pdf  I'm sure it would be easier to use with a plugin, but you might get what you need with a generic sensor.  The parameters seem reasonably clear.
 On the other hand, $230 plus installation cost is a bit steep for an experiment.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2017, 12:27:42 am »
I own the water meter and they told me the same thing before. Problem is without a plugin you don't get all the fancy data. With smart things they use their own fortrezz cloud to store data from the meter then graph and chart it to show usage.

If you add the device without a plugin (I use it on homeseer not vera) you get several child devices. You get a flow meter but it just starts at zero a keeps counting up until your reset it. So basically it reads what the meter reads. If you wanted to know how much you used in the last year, month, week, day, hour, min, your going to need somewhere to store the data every min and something to calculate the current meter read subtract the saved data on the date and time you want to tell you what you used from then till now. That's really what the cloud and plugin (which doesnt exist in Homeseer or Vera) does.

So the meter works and in HS I get 8 Child devices from it. They are:

1) Root device
2) Battery % (it runs on ac power and has battery backup)
3) Current total Gallons reading (with a reset button like a watt meter)
4) A general purpose sensor (gives a number code for water flowing or not, See #8 same data)
5) Heat Notification (tells if temp is too hot or too cold, adjustable)
6) Power Management Notification (tells if ac power is off, battery low, power restored and more)
7) Temperature (temp of unit???? I put a "?" since I'm not sure where the probe is. I see only wires going to pickup sensor outside not inside of meter)
8) Water Notification (tells you no water flowing, water flowing or excessive water flowing. Adjustable GPM to your needs)

More info on those can be found on fortrezz website technical manual for the device.

The device is nice and I could have bought a meter with a mag pickup on it and attached that to a mimolite and got almost the same data. That would probley cost around 150ish and be cheaper. But this is a nice setup has battery backup and I would say is worth it. In HS I am able to run my own script and creat virtual devices to create my (min, hourly, daily, weekly) start times and usages. Imperihome does charts for that data. So I would say you can make it work on VERA but yes if a plugin was made the data would be more refined and look like what they have for Smarthings.

My point of this post was to just say take what they say with a grain of salt about not working with anything but SmartThings since they are just talking about a plugin and graphs not the actual device and main data. They don't have any plans on making it work with HS either, but I'm happy with it the way it is.

Offline leedavidr

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 09:08:13 am »
Thanks.  That was pretty useful.  Since you are able to access gallons per minute data with notifications and are apparently able to modify the limit in gallons per minute to trigger that notification, the device would probably work for me.  Thus, if I had a major break (greater than 5 gallons per minute flow), the device could be made to trigger the automated shutoff valve to shut off the water.  I would also like to be notified when water has flowed for too long continuously at lower flow rates (say longer than 30 minutes) so that the water could be shut off.  I don't know if that will be possible. 

BTW, there is a plug in available on the Vera website (I just found it this morning).  I don't know how robust that plug in is, but probably at least sufficient to give rudimentary readings (I hope).

Again, thanks for your help, and if you have any knowledge about setting the length of time the water can flow using that flow meter, please let me know.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2017, 09:54:45 am »
Again, thanks for your help, and if you have any knowledge about setting the length of time the water can flow using that flow meter, please let me know.

That shouldn't be a problem to do depending on what your using to run scenes in vera. I used to use PLEG for all my logic and with the child devices (number 4 and 8) both or either could be used to trigger what you want.

For me the greater then 5gpm is not so useful. A flowing garden hose, sprinklers and other combination of things uses more water.  Also the leaks I have had around my house have all been minor leaks like sprinkler valves bad and not shutting off all the way. I also had a leak sensor trip under a sink and it was also a small leak from a water line going to dish washer. Neither were 5gpm floods. I also have a pool with an auto top off float valve. It keeps my water meter turning all day long so I'm currently working on a solution (timed fill) to get my meter to actually stop reading "Water flowing" all day long. The meter is pretty sensitive and doesn't take much to change from not flowing to flowing.

Offline RichardTSchaefer

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2017, 10:08:53 am »
I have a rain water collection system ... and a 1 GPM or 60 GPH or 1440 GPD leak would play hell on my 12000 Gallon storage tank.
If I use a continuous flow for an extended period of time  > 10 Minutes it will generate a repeating warning  every 10 minutes.

 

Offline leedavidr

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2017, 01:07:13 pm »
This would only be for the inside water, so I guess the >5 gpm would be useful.  However, I would like a way to shut off the water after say 30 minutes of flow even if it is <5 gpm, like a slow leak.  Hopefully that can be handled by Vera scenes with the flow meter and the automated shut off valve.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 12:45:04 am »
This would only be for the inside water, so I guess the >5 gpm would be useful.  However, I would like a way to shut off the water after say 30 minutes of flow even if it is <5 gpm, like a slow leak.  Hopefully that can be handled by Vera scenes with the flow meter and the automated shut off valve.

Can the stock vera Scenes handle turning off a device based on the "trip" time? Door opened for more then 5 min turn off a light? If so then you should be good to go if not a script or PLEG can I know for sure. 

Offline leedavidr

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 08:01:31 am »
I don't really know the answer to that question.  I will investigate in the scenes.  I know my lights are set to turn on at the same time every day, but I could set them to turn on 30 minutes before sunset or after sunset everyday.  Obviously that is quite different.  Perhaps someone who isn't a newbie with Vera could reply to this.  Thanks for the input.

Offline leedavidr

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 08:13:09 am »
I took a look at Vera Scenes, and despite not having the flow meter installed or integrated into my Vera system, it appears that I could develop a scene in which if the flow meter had water flowing continuously for 30 minutes, it could then send a message to an automated shut off valve to shut off the water.  This would be done using the manual mode in the Triggering menu on scene development.  Thanks for all for the help here.  I will almost certainly go ahead and purchase the flow meter and water valve from Fortrezz and try to set those up next month.  I will report back as to how all of this goes.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 01:33:51 pm by leedavidr »

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2017, 11:37:05 pm »
I haven't found a better option for the Flow meter but the water shutoff valve you have alot of options. I'm not sure if you explored any yet? I ended up with the 1" version from HomeSeer.
https://shop.homeseer.com/products/homeseer-hs-wv100-z-wave-plus-1-water-valve-controller?variant=23839022214

The Fortrezz one seems to be alot more expensive for both the 3/4" and 1" versions. Like double the price.

This one seems to be the same as the homeseer one and almost the same pricing. HomeSeer (like the light switches) buys the deivces and relabels and updates software. These both are probley made by the same company I guess it depends on which logo you trust more.
https://www.amazon.com/Z-Wave-Control-Leak-Gopher-Certified/dp/B01LE9OD3A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1494819087&sr=8-2&keywords=fortrezz+water+valve

They have great amazon reviews including use with VERA.

Offline leedavidr

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Re: Water leak detection and water shutoff control
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2017, 07:50:35 am »
I haven't found a better option for the Flow meter but the water shutoff valve you have alot of options. I'm not sure if you explored any yet? I ended up with the 1" version from HomeSeer.
https://shop.homeseer.com/products/homeseer-hs-wv100-z-wave-plus-1-water-valve-controller?variant=23839022214

The Fortrezz one seems to be alot more expensive for both the 3/4" and 1" versions. Like double the price.

This one seems to be the same as the homeseer one and almost the same pricing. HomeSeer (like the light switches) buys the deivces and relabels and updates software. These both are probley made by the same company I guess it depends on which logo you trust more.
https://www.amazon.com/Z-Wave-Control-Leak-Gopher-Certified/dp/B01LE9OD3A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1494819087&sr=8-2&keywords=fortrezz+water+valve

They have great amazon reviews including use with VERA.

Both my flow meter and automated shutoff valve will be located outside where my manual shutoff valve is.  I am a little worried about the product you cited here in terms of it being outside.  The Fortrezz valve can definitely be used outside.  In addition, since I will probably add their water sensors as well, the two devices work directly through the z-wave controller, according to the Fortrezz site.  Hopefully, this will give both my insurance company and me peace of mind, assuming I can get everything integrated and working well together.  Should know more by the middle of June when I will be going out there.