Using smart home to prevent a leaking washing machine from flooding your home – Poc Network

November 30, 2021 by No Comments

Nobody wants to come home to a flooded home. It can happen at so many failure points, such as your water heater, sinks, tubs, laundry area, or from random pipes within the walls wearing down. Thankfully, you don’t always have to run into something terrible if you have a smart home watching things for you while you’re away. Today, we are going to discuss a way to prevent a leaking washing machine from causing major flood damage.

The solution is finding a way to prevent a small leak from turning into something worse. You do this by making use of flood/leak sensors that can communicate with other devices. These devices, in turn, do something that puts a stop to the problem.

You have the option of putting an auto-shutoff device on your water main that can respond by turning off the main valve to your home. This makes for a great “solve-all” solution, but it doesn’t always work out. The valve has to be relatively easy to open/close, else it puts strain on the motor of these devices and they can’t always complete the job. Or, your pipe configuration may not be compatible with the device’s clamp setup.

So we decided to take a different approach in this walkthrough. If the leak is coming from an appliance (in this case, a washing machine), why not just cut power to that appliance so it stops filling with water?

There are also many ways to do this via smart home, using Z-Wave, Zigbee, or various proprietary smart home ecosystems. We decide to go with Z-Wave this round since it opens you to multiple hubs and devices to pick from that all work with each other (versus locking you down to a specific brand).

What we used
What we did

The process is quite easy. Smart Home solutions have gotten so incredibly user-friendly over the years. Hub solutions like SmartThings and Vera make it simple to create various scenes (or automations) that can accomplish every task your heart could desire (with compatible devices).

We took the Zooz Zen15 Z-Wave Plus Power Switch and connected it in-line between a washing machine and the wall. This adds a smart plug to the washing machine that has access to killing power. We added it to one of the Z-Wave compatible hubs (you can use SmartThings, Hubitat, Vera hubs, Ezlo hubs, or anything else that supports Z-Wave).

Zooz Zen15 Z-Wave Plus Power Switch

Then, we added the Zooz ZSE42 Z-Wave Plus Leak Sensor to the same hub and placed it on the ground next to the washing machine making sure it was as close as possible while still being able to get to it. This is one of the smallest leak sensors we have made use of, making it easy to place it just about anywhere, including underneath the machine if we wanted to (assuming that doesn’t have an effect on wireless connectivity to the sensor).

Zooz ZSE42 Z-Wave Plus 700 Series XS Water Leak Sensor – Size Comparison

With both devices added to the hub, we can set up a scene or automation (terminology depends on the hub you are using) that links these two devices together. Basically, if the leak sensor detects water, turn off the switch (this is what you are telling it to do). This cuts power to the washing machine and the water stops filling, …….



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