SmartThings Community

FortrezZ Water Flow Meter

watermeter
flowmeter
fortrezz

#1

As the title says, looks like they’ve just released this device:

http://fortrezz.com/index.php/products/itemlist/category/25-flow-meter

Amazon Listing: (3/4"and 1" available)

Document specific to SmartThings:

http://fortrezz.com/index.php/component/jdownloads/send/2-user-manuals/94-flow-meter-guide-with-smartthings

Github code for the DH and SmartApp:

Looks like I have another ST project to work on! I really like how the DH looks too.


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I need help keeping a history
(Lee Ross) #2

This pretty awesome. It’s something that will definitely be hooked up inside independent of any county meters. Most water authority around here don’t like you messing with there equipment. Can’t result in 1 year in jail and $10,000.00 fine


#3

Yup, same here. My main meter is in a box by the street, so this would certainly be after the city’s meter and inside my home.

I just updated my original post with the price…ouch, but you do get what looks to be decent equipment.


(Lee Ross) #4

As a plumber for my day job we usually pay around $125.00 for 1" water meters with wired remote reader for commercial building applications. So that does seem little high.


(Lee Ross) #5

Would be awesome project. Also would be interested to see if counties meter and that meter are reading same usage. Thru the years the water authority has been know to misread or over bill and I’ve been called out for possible water service leak. And come to find out was a defective meter


#6

I just got this flow meter delivered yesterday and I installed it last night. Amazon had reduced the price, and using points I was able to get a decent deal.

On day 1:

Everything seemed to work fine, especially after making a tweak to the reporting frequency. By default, flow was reported every 60 seconds, which is too long in my opinion. The lowest is 10 seconds, which is OK; but I wish it had a smaller threshold or could be configured like Aeon’s HEM. The meter worked and the device was properly updating in the phone app. I was also able to switch between the 3 different chart modes.

On day 2, well…

Issue 1. Some time last night the charts for 2 of the 3 chart modes stopped working, and live logging was throwing the error “java.net.SocketTimeoutException: Read timed out”.

Issue 2. I noticed that battery usage went from 97% to 69% in 24 hours - but I’m not running it on batteries. It’s plugged in to AC power (verified there is AC power). I have no idea why this is happening. Unplugging and plugging back in AC power properly sends the right alarm notices to SmartThings.

Issue 3, and most concerning, the physical flow meter started having a really weird harmonic sound coming from it whenever water flow would start or stop. Water still flowed fine, and the meter was measuring properly, but this is very annoying and concerning. This was not happening last night after it was installed. When I came home from work today and turned on a faucet, I was like “what the heck is that noise?”.

Regarding all those issues on day 2, I’ve emailed FortrezZ support (tagging @dantheman2865). I’ll wait to see what response I get before returning it.

The other thing that needs a little work is the device handler (for ease of use). It works, but since there are parameters that can be adjusted (flow reporting interval for example), the device handler should be built to be able to make those changes without having to modify the code.

The meter itself looks to be a well built device (except the harmonic noise now coming from it), and isn’t cheap in it’s construction.

I’ll post back any updates I get from support, and If I don’t hear back, it’s back in the box and on it’s way back to Amazon.


(Daniel Kurin) #7

Hi @johnconstantelo,

I’m sorry that you’re having problems with the device! I’m jumping in on here since I work with FortrezZ on all of their ST integrations. I can’t speak to all of your questions, but I have a couple of answers for you:

Issue 1. This was caused by a negative number being submitted to the web service. I’ve removed the suspect data points from the database and updated the device handler code on GitHub. Your graphs display correctly now.

Issue 2. Can you tell from your logs if the AC power was disconnected while this was happening? My only thought is that the cable might have come loose even if it looked like it was plugged in.

Issue 3. I can’t speak to this one as well as the others, but I have heard that the meter needs to be installed strictly parallel to the ground or strictly perpendicular to the ground. If it’s on an angle, there’s an opportunity for extra friction to enter the system.

Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, I don’t get on ST forums very often.

Thanks,

Dan Kurin


#8

Thanks Dan, works like a charm now!

Last night before I went to bed I thought about swapping which USB port the meter and power plugged in to. I know they’re interchangeable, but I thought what the heck. As soon as I made the swap, my battery report became 100% and it properly reported being on AC power, and the meter reports flow as always:

For sure issues 1 and 2 are resolved, so we’re all good there. Issue #3 still exists, but you guys have been great working with me on the phone, and a replacement meter will be here next week. Thanks goes to Steve at FortrezZ! The meter was slightly angled, not by much though. I did take care of that and made sure the regulator face was pointing straight up. Still no luck, so we’re swapping it out. Here’s what is sounds like:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RX7FC0e5S-ty6ZLu4GPqNdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

No worries at all. I need to spend less time on the forums…

I am looking forward to getting this up and running. I had a perfect use case (still do) for this. My kids’ room and bathroom is upstairs, and I don’t go up there a lot. Just last week when I passed the bathroom I could just barely hear the toilet cycle water on/off, and realized that the float in the tank started failing. Of course my kids are clueless about letting my wife or I know of problems like this, so I though what a perfect excuse to buy another device for SmartThings!. Having this meter as part of my HA environment, I can now catch stuff like this, as well as contractors taking my water to mix their concrete, fill water tanks, etc. (new construction next to my house).

Thanks again for your reply, and everyone back at FortrezZ for the help you guys provided me.

  • JC

(Daniel Kurin) #9

I’m glad that we were able to resolve your problems. Have you used the Leak Detector SmartApp? Let me know how you like it.

P.S. Holy cow, that meter sounds terrible!


#10

Yes I have, and I set up a continuous flow alarm. I tested it with a very short duration, and it worked perfectly to close my water valve. I actually thought about keeping a small duration value for those in my family who enjoy taking very long showers… :wink:

It sure does! The replacement was sent today, thank goodness.


#11

I’m not sure who’s following this discussion, but I thought I’d give an update since I posted my issues above.

All is great, and working as expected. I’m a happy camper again! The replacement meter came today, and took less than a minute to replace.

I now have FortrezZ’s SmartApp deployed, and I tweaked their DH a little for my liking: (@dantheman2865)


(Daniel Kurin) #12

Looks great. Thanks for the update!


#13

Hi Dan, I tweaked it a little more. Here’s the code if you want it:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/constjs/jcdevhandlers/master/devicetypes/jscgs350/my-fortrezz-flow-meter-interface.src/my-fortrezz-flow-meter-interface.groovy

This is what it looks like on a Samsung Note 5:

Flowing:

Not Flowing:

(another version)


(Mark) #14

Just wondering abut the temperature measurement in your screenshots for the device handler. Is the device measuring water temperature in the pipe? Or is that the air temperature in the area where the device is installed?


#15

It is the air temperature in the area where the meter/controller is placed.


(Mark) #16

Thanks. Would be kinda cool if it could measure flow and water temp.


#17

I agree, that would be nice to have.


(Brian) #18

Are you able to do anything with notifications on the device?

I am looking at capabilities, and I see possibles like: Water Sensor (dry or wet only), Power Meter, and Energy Meter.

I want to do a few things. Use it like occupancy a bit. Also possibly shut off sprinklers during showers. Also warn on excessively long flows (pool water left on, hose left on, shower run too long). Also graph the flow using Initialstates.

How would we do this? I see there is no switch/actuator functionality (which I would hook to flow on/off).

I can add some things to the DTH for this if I’m not missing anything already there.

BTW, this thing is cool.


#19

Yes you can. The FortrezZ SmartApp can send notifications if flow is detected during a specific Mode (like Away), a time period, accumulated flow, and even continuous flow. This device is pretty simple to work with, so even developing your own SmartApp for notifications shouldn’t be a problem. The FortrezZ app is pretty good though. Here’s an example:

The Actuator capability should be there now, but not Power (Only Energy). Water Sensor is there so that it can be used in SmartApps using those (flow detected implies leak detected in certain scenarios).

Yes to all. With regards to Initial State, you’ll have to tweak the DH a little and probably the Initial State SmartApp. The DH already sends data to their (FortrezZ’s) cloud for chart creation, but extracting the data isn’t available. It’s certainly doable, and I’m playing around with Google Sheets right now.

Like I mentioned above, the FortrezZ SmartApp will help you do almost all of that. I also have a monitor watching for continuous flow that would indicate a toilet running all the time, or even a slow leak somewhere.

The DH is very easy to play around with, and if you have any experience playing around with the Aeon DH for the HEM, this will look very familiar to you. Without a doubt, this is one of the cooler devices I have, and one that adds value to my data needs (experimental for now) and my automation needs.


(Brian) #20

Their app as the monitor or something else? I’ll experiment with their app, but I really want to tie this into CoRE and SmartLighting so I can make some rules.