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Nick OHara
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My SmartThings water sensors have been nice for peace of mind, but I'm looking for more proactive measures. A friend has started a business in Minnesota called "True Submeter" for measuring water usage in a multi-tenant rental property. I'm researching on my own but wanted to throw this out there in case anyone already knows of something.

I envision an automated water leak detection system. Water flow sensors are installed at as many junction points as possible in your house (as many as financially viable). Then the water main is set up with a valve that will automatically close if one of two things happen (possibly others if you can come up with ideas):
1. A leak is detected by certain water sensors associated with water pipes (ex. the sump pump sensor wouldn't trigger the water main).
2. Water flow is detected at the water main but not at any of the sensors.

This idea came to mind when I recalled a pinhole water leak in a pipe along an exterior wall. I was exceedingly fortunate to have my brother visiting my house for the first time so I was giving him a tour that took us to the basement. Had we not gone down there I'd have missed it and the water damage would have been considerable. Had a system like the one above been in place, I'd have been notified that my water main was detecting water usage when none of my other valves were. Thoughts?

You would probably have to install sensors at each outflow of water to ensure no water was being demanded. Then you'd install sensors throughout pipes in your house to help you more quickly diagnose the source of the problem. A pinhole leak can cause a ton of damage before it's noticed. This system would also rely on the water flow sensor being sensitive enough to detect minute levels of water movement.

Overall, think of it as a network monitoring system, only with water and not bits of data.

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+Glen Kroese had asked me about my WiFi connected water heater in another thread.

This is my water heater's page on the subject;

I'm curious to find out how useful it is and I will make a post once I have enough experience to share. The WiFi connectivity was part of a larger upgrade that cost a couple hundred dollars over a heater without it, but I was told the other added features improved the efficiency enough that it should save me that extra money over the life of the water heater. I made a decision based on estimated 7 year cost and this was the best choice (the upgrade also increased the warranty from 8 years to 12 years).

FYI, this is being installed on 04/25 and it's replacing a 26 year old unit, so efficiency improvements will be skewed pretty heavily.

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Anyone familiar with this or similar connected car device?

I'd have already ordered it if it could remote start my car, but since I require that feature I may be looking elsewhere.

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So naturally the ecobee4 is leaked right as I buy an ecobee3.

Anyone think the upgrade has the potential to make it worthwhile to return the ecobee3 and wait? Or should I expect an iterative update with a small visual change but most functional changes being software based?

The rumor of a speaker indicates it'd function like an Echo Dot, which doesn't really interest me given SmartThings integration through Google Home.

I have had a Google OnHub router for a couple weeks now and just had an internet outage caused by a bad Mediacom splitter. I've tried searching the internet with this question without much luck so I'm asking this group.

Is there a way to have Google WiFi notify me if my internet goes down? The app will tell me if it's online but I'd like a push notification if the OnHub loses internet connectivity.

I have decided to pull the trigger on a WiFi-enabled thermostat. Pretty sure I don't want the Nest since I believe it's overpriced for its value (feel free to change my mind). It needs to work with SmartThings as that's what I use for my water sensors (or work with something that SmartThings also works with).

What are some features/functions unique to certain brands of thermostats? What does a $200 one provide that an $80 one does not? Is the Ecobee worth the money?

I will be doing my own research, but discussion is always a great supplement to online research.

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+Tim Fletchall, as I was saying about security....

PSA: Keep your Nest Protects clean by dusting them every few months.

I have a couple Nest Protects in my house and have loved them. Last night, I raged when it randomly decided there was smoke in the upstairs at 11:30pm and would not allow me to shut it off.

1. Original warning was good, exactly as I'd expect. Pressed the button to clear the warning and was happy I'd gone with something like this where it doesn't just beep.
2. Problems: warning goes off 30 seconds later and clearly states this cannot be manually cleared, then starts wailing. NOTE: this is right outside my 16 month old's bedroom. I am not happy.
3. Thankfully I'm tall and can quickly remove it from the ceiling and unhook it without a ladder. Thing still keeps beeping without a way to clear the warning.

(I should mention, there was no smoke, no steam, nothing.)

4. Get a battery warning. Remove the three Energizer Lithium AA batteries and replace them with three Kirkland AAs. Battery warning persists (even into the following morning).

After some research I discovered excessive dust can cause the Protect to "detect" smoke. I opened the case and blew in it and the warnings stopped (use canned air if possible).

Question: why can I not clear a smoke warning? If I'm in the room and see smoke I'm already stressed out enough without having to listen to a wailing smoke alarm. If I clear the warning it should "snooze" for a couple minutes to allow me to deal with the situation in relative peace.

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I have three Nest Protect devices in my house and love them. However, Nest doesn't seem to be on the same trajectory as Ecobee and more players are entering the fray, diminishing the effect of entrenched encumbents. I take this as a signal that Ecobee will soon take the throne of #1 Smart Home device maker from Nest.

Anyone familiar with Ecobee? I'm getting the itch to add a new smart home device and I'm eyeing their thermostat. Will the Nest Protect, Ecobee Thermostat, and SmartThings hub all talk together?

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In a post a few months ago I said I believed home automation tech was limited to the "nerd" customer who was willing and able to learn/understand the various options out there and configure them themselves. I did not see the average consumer getting into this world any time soon.

I read this a week or so ago and just now realized it pertains to this community. This is the avenue in which home automation tech will be adopted. As the tech matures it may move away from this, but given the current environment of lots of different companies, multiple back-end tech compatibilities, and a myriad of devices, most people can't, or don't want to, figure out how to maximize the benefit to their home. Sure they can get benefits, but the time required to figure it all out just won't be worth it. However, I believe they can be convinced to pay a company a monthly/annual rental fee for each service that's automated. The company would charge $XX/month/year for the person's ability to turn their lights on and off. That fee would go towards the devices, initial set up, maintaining the devices, and replacing/updating them as needed.

People would pay this company a premium to both not worry about which specific devices they have installed and how they work together, but they'd also be getting customer support, assurance their devices are up to date, and relatively low up-front cost. They don't see value in paying $3,000 for the equipment, but they see value in $200/month.
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