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Home flood/freeze monitoring systems
Old 11-24-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Home flood/freeze monitoring systems

Do any of you have monitors that can alert you to a water leak or heat failure in your vacation hose (or regular house when away)? I am curious about whether there are simple solutions that use the house wifi to allow monitoring. My quick search found some high end security systems with water and heat monitors but nothing simple. I also saw some flood control valves to place inline by a water heater but I am more interested in watching the incoming line for a continuing flow symptomatic of a slow leak or rupture.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
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Our system at the lake house monitors for low temp. This is always caused by electricity being off for extended time in winter. We monitor electricity coming back on once we know it is off and watch the outside temp. Only once over last 15 years did we need to get somebody in to deal with it before the pipes froze. Not aware of any water leak alarms.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Do any of you have monitors that can alert you to a water leak or heat failure in your vacation hose (or regular house when away)? I am curious about whether there are simple solutions that use the house wifi to allow monitoring.
If you are good at configuring network devices without the aid of detailed instructions, Ubiquiti mfi mFi | Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. might do what you want. Temperature, motion, and door sensors available off the shelf, user forum has references to third party leak detect sensors being configured. I recently installed one of the 3 outlet wifi enabled MPower power strips to act as a "smart" outlet for data logging on power consumption for specific devices (i.e. beer fridge). The other sensors I've not used. With only 3 sensors that can be connected to each mPort it essentially a scaled-down remote I/O device communicating with an always-on PC acting as an automation controller.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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I have an inexpensive ($99) wifi enabled thermostat (Filtrete 3M50) controlling my A/C system that enables me to monitor and control my A/C system from anywhere via internet.
We snowbird in Florida in the winter and I check the temperature of my Ohio home each morning to be sure the temperature is maintained at 55 degrees. I also set max and min alarm points and it sends me a text if the inside temperature goes outside those limits. It really provides a lot of peace of mind knowing my furnace has not failed in the Ohio winter.
I don't have a wifi water alarm, but I'm looking for one.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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We have a simple standalone device that is plugged into 110v with a 9v battery back up that will phone out to our home and cell phones if the temp in the cottage dips below the set point. It has worked well in the past.

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Old 11-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
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Look up zwave or casaverde or look on the Lowes website. For a few hundred bucks you can have all the monitoring you want. Easy install.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:38 PM   #7
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We have a Homesitter which monitors water alert, temp alert, and electricity outage. It will dial up to 3 phone numbers.
The only problem is it requires a regular land line telephone.

We are currently getting our cable through the phone company and they require us to have a land line.
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:45 PM   #8
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La Crosse Alerts by La Crosse Technology

I do not have their product above but I have used their temperature sensors to remotely monitor the temperatures on my 2nd home. I recently installed a 5th sensor on the sprinkler water line to hopefully monitor freezing conditions.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
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There exist "pulse" watermeters that can be set up with pulse counters to record water quantity, eg:

3/4" Stainless Steel Pulse Output Water Meter - SPWM-075 - read water usage remotely

I don't know if they are sensitive enough to be "slow leak" detectors. The wifi feature may be harder to get, but a quick google led to this:

AutomatedBuildings.com Article - Water Submetering: Wireless Systems
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:58 AM   #10
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I have one of these to tell me via email and phone call when the clothes washer is done...

http://supermechanical.com/

This is just part of the whole house automation that I have been working on since 1978. It is my main hobby.

I found the above mentioned Twine device to be very good. It can be used for flood and temp at the same time. It will call or email or text. It uses WiFi (which you have to leave on 24/7! ).

I also have a SimpliSafe burglar alarm which has temp and water sensors and is vastly superior in performance and slightly superior in price.

Mike D.
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:39 PM   #11
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We have good neighbors. It helps.
Wireless thermometers to houses both sides. Plus a large outdoor circular thermometer that we leave in the window facing neighbors house, just in case.

Another item... A Honeywell Winter Watchman that we picked up for $1 at the resale shop. Plus in to wall plug, and then you plug in any light or other device that turns on when the temperature goes below a preset level. For us 45 degrees.

No phone alert as we turn off internet and the VOIP phone.
...................................
The failsafe, is RV antifreeze in traps and tanks, and we call the town, to have the water turned off at the street. A no charge, mind easing safety precaution.

One more thought... we used to leave thermostat turned down to 55 degrees, but have found it safe to reduce that to 45 degrees.
......................................
Even with the water turned off, a learning experience:
In Florida, in our mfg home, the shut off at the street... a bronze gate valve, seeped, allowing a build up in pressure in the home. The plastic fitting on the riser to the toilet tank, cracked with resultant flood and $7K damage. That fitting has a history of weakness caused by the flouride in the water. Since then (8 years ago) we had the supply pipes throughout the house replaced with braided metal and metal connectors and individual shut offs.... A good item to check... and a relatively cheap fix.
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