This Old House - Automated Water Valves

A young couple I know are about to start building their first house on a beautiful piece of property. I'm trying to convince them that the one piece of automation they really need is a leak detection system with an automated main water valve.

So I sent them this clip from "This Old House", where they demonstrate the main water valve shutting off in about 30 seconds after a leak is detected.

While 30 seconds is impressive, at 60-70 psi that is still a fair amount of water.

I had a plumber working in my attic yesterday and while he was working, he got the leak sensor in the water heater pan wet. With Hubitat, it took about 6 seconds from the leak being detected to the valve being closed. That is phenomenally fast.

All of us here don't need much convincing about the benefits of home automation, or why we want fast local control.

So feel free to use this example to convince people considering home automation as to "Why Hubitat Elevation"

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What shut off valve are you using?

Waxman LeakSmart v1. Valve has worked well for ~6 years. And their customer service is excellent.

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@aaiyar - Looks like it's Zigbee, the kit on Amazon shows a hub in addition to the shutoff and sensor. I assume that you can pair the shutoff and sensors directly with HE, or do you have to install the hub and then communicate between HE and the hub?

Leaksmart valves can pair directly with Hubitat or other zigbee hubs. The sensors can too, but they are overpriced as far as zigbee leak sensors go. I suggest buying the valve only.

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It is zigbee (ZHA 1.2).

I use only the valve, and have other zwave and zigbee leak sensors. The shutoff pairs directly to Hubitat (use the Sinopé zigbee water valve driver). The sensors also pair directly to Hubitat, but I don't use the two I have.

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Coming from IRIS via SystronicsRF, I already have the Leaksmart shut off valve, but my leak sensors are glitchy. What sensors have worked well for others?

I have 8 original Aeon Labs water sensors (DSB45-ZWUS), which I converted to being hardwired. My other 7 sensors are Aqara sensors that are brought into Hubitat using zigbee2mqtt. All of them work fine.

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I have 10 at my main home, and 9 at a vacation home. All are SmartThings. Unfortunately, I don't believe they are available now. Samsung is getting out of the device market. My valves are LeakSmarts.

I wish I had option to install something. I have main water shutoff at street attached to city equipment or this next to house. I had some foundation repair and it is practically buried in heavy clay. Surprisingly it turns easily but no option to add an auto-close attachment.

I should really dig out around the valve in my free time.

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Are there no bare pipes from the valve to the first place the pipes split to your water heater, or whatever is the first junction? Remember, you will need to get power to it somehow. I have mine in my basement.

I wonder if this is a TX thing? I had a plumber come out to take a look and he basically told me that they would have to find where the connection from the from the city equipment went into the slab and put in a second valve there. They had no idea how they would get power to it, so I gave up on trying to get a whole house automated shut off. :man_shrugging:t2:

Not that I can see. There's a single pipe coming out of the wall to the water heater; no split. I have no idea what's between the valve in my picture and the water heater.

It's a southern thing I think, we just moved to Alabama from Illinois, the shutoff is about 240 feet down the driveway to the edge of the property. On my current todo list is to cut the line where it enters the crawl, extend it up thru the floor of my laundry room and put the shutoff there.

I hate not having a shutoff inside the house. I'm in the middle of a bathroom remodel and I've made no less than 5 trips to the edge of the property just to turn off water for a 5 min changeover.

Is it possible to dig out that hole, maybe put it in a sprinkler valve box and push some buried power to it from the house?

There’s also the issue of getting a signal there (zigbee, zwave), but I suppose one could always get a powered NC ball valve controlled by a zigbee/zwave outlet that is inside the house.

It's actually already in a valve box. Unfortunately I had a sinking foundation on that side of house so the contractor had to dig huge holes to install piers and jack the house up. They must have buried some of the pipe & valve when filling the holes.

I use the Leaksmart valve that paired natively with the Leaksmart driver.

Is there an advantage using the Sinope driver?

The LeakSmart driver is not a built-in driver. The Sinope driver is. They both work.

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Using a Dome water shutoff here. Have to say it's far more responsive than 30 seconds. Maybe a half second delay from when a sensor gets wet to shut off (I test random sensors monthly). It's been really reliable

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