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Trial run of http://meta.homeautomation.stackexchange.com/questions/17/are-questions-asking-for-home-automation-hardware-allowed, which got an overwhelmingly positive response. Answers must be detailed with real-life pros and cons.


I have a tradition of turning off the water to my house if I'm going to leave for more than a few days. Sometimes, though, I forget to do it, and it bugs me the whole time I'm gone. I'd like to be able to remotely turn the valve to the water main running into my house. The valve is a 'lever' type:

Valve of 'lever' type

Requirements:

  • The water main is in my crawlspace, thus the device will likely have to deal with close-to-freezing temperatures. It shouldn't ever get warmer than about 60 degrees F (= 15.56 degrees C), though.
  • I must be able to manually adjust the valve without much hassle.
  • It will likely only be used about a dozen times a year at most
  • Must be remotely controllable from my iPhone, I don't really care how

Nice to have:

  • It'd be nice if it was battery powered. It's possible to run power to it, but it'd likely be a pain.
  • It'd be nice if it was HomeKit compatible (I'm already set up for that protocol), but I'm fine with nearly anything.
  • I'd really like something that manipulates the current valve, as I'm not much of a plumber and the idea of taking the current valve off and having high-pressure water spray all over me doesn't sound very fun.

Is there a device that meets these criteria?

  • 1
    When plumbing it in, I would suggest turning off the current one, opening all the water outlets in your house (taps, shower, flush the toilet etc) and then you can add in another valve on the other side of it - with much less water escaping! – Tim Oct 30 '14 at 20:02
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So let's build your system. For a remote water valve, try

Fortrezz Z-Wave water valve

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

Once you have that working, you'll need a Z-Wave controller. I've had good luck with the SmartThings hub:

enter image description here

http://www.smartthings.com

And then you can just pair them and it will show up as a device you can control via the Smart Things web app.

Unfortunately it will require some pipe work. To do it in a way that pushes the current valve back and forth would require some kind of finicky hardware, in my opinion. I also don't have any sort of HomeKit idea on it, but this seems to be a fairly basic Z-Wave appliance so it should be fairly easy. It also runs on 12V, it does say you can hook it up to a car battery, but I'm assuming you could jury-rig some sort of 8-cell AA-system to get it up to 12 volts.

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