Reliable water main shutoff?

I’ve searched the forums for recommendations on a reliable water shutoff valve and what I’ve found is a bit old and doesn’t seem conclusive. My primary concern is reliability - the thing can’t leak (that would kind of negate the point of having it in the first place!) and I need to know it will work if and when I need it. Cost is not an issue. If anyone out there has experience with something that they can recommend I’d love to hear about it!

SmartThings itself does not offer guaranteed reliability. Their own terms of service say so:

https://www.smartthings.com/guidelines

Data accuracy and consistency from SmartThings sensors, including those provided by SmartThings directly, resold by SmartThings, or supported by SmartThings, is not guaranteed. Therefore, you should not rely on that data for any use that impacts health, safety, security, property or financial interests. For example, because temperature readings may vary significantly from reading to reading on an individual device, between devices, or over time, those readings should not be used to control heating and cooling in environments where food spoilage, health risks, or damage to physical goods could occur.

So if you really need something with very high reliability, you should not be basing it on smartthings.

That said, there are a couple of different zwave valve controllers which are normal residential grade as far as reliability goes. But they can’t improve the reliability of the SmartThings platform themselves.

There are four different brands on the official “works with smartthings“ list, any of those would be worth looking at. But again, they can’t be any more reliable than SmartThings itself unless you are just going to use zwave direct association with them to have them react to a specific leak sensor.

But if cost is really not an issue, I would just sidestep smartthings all together and look for a reliable residential product.

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May be worth reading this topic, you can get top mounted valves which are pretty reliable:

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@JDRoberts of course you make a good if somewhat depressing point. I wonder when/if smart home devices will ever reach the level of reliability needed for this type of control?

@RBoy thanks for the link, I didn’t see that one in my search. I probably should have mentioned, my existing shutoff valve is not the knife style, but instead has a round handle you have to crank multiple times to shut off the water. I figured I would replace this w/a powered shut-off valve that would respond to an ST command, rather than one of the add-on devices like the ones shown in that thread.

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I like my WaterCop for this, but it does show as offline every so often - I haven’t dug into it but I suspect it happens after some number of days or weeks of not being used. Usually it still responds to a “close” command in those situations, then either resumes normal operation or stays offline and refuses to open. If it stays offline, power cycling it does the trick.

thesmartesthouse.com has had very good prices on these in the past…

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Sounds like you will have to call a plumber to replace the water valve anyways. I would personally recommend a good quality ball valve and then a mounted z-wave valve controller (like those explained in the thread) instead of a inpipe water valve controller because if the inpipe controller get fried or stops working you’ll have to call a plumber again have it replaced, while the top mounting one you can do it yourself.

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Good point, I was actually thinking maybe I should go that route. I replaced all the shutoff valves in the house w/quarter turn ball valves already, except this one. And the mounted controller does seem like a safer option since it doesn’t interfere w/the mechanics of the valve itself.

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The nice thing about the watercop is that the valve and the controller are independent; it also has a lever you can turn by hand and backdrive the motor (takes a little extra force but not unreasonable). There are open/close buttons on the controller that continue to work even if ST is offline.

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That sounds reasonable. But isn’t this the one that ATT (for some weird reason) bought a bunch of and is now trying to dump, but that have a flaw and don’t work very well?

At 6:36 in this video they show an EcoNet water shut off that can be placed on your existing valve. Don’t have one so I have no idea about reliability.

you mean a screw-type shutoff handle instead of a blade type? link doesn’t work so i can watch the vid.

The video showed the device turning a quarter turn lever (90 degrees) upon activation of the water sensor.

I bought generic ones off eBay for around $75 and they work very well. I have two of them. One controls the water mains and the other one works as a pressure relief valve mounted in line with my water heater that drains to the water heater relief valve drain. If a water leak is detected it will close the main valve and open the other valve to relieve pressure. Remember that if you have a leak and you only shut off the main water line the leak will continue until the pressure bleeds off. That extra water leaking can do damage. I have wood flooring in my kitchen so I made sure all sources of water have a leak detector.

Anyone know why the Zooz doesn’t appear to be produced anymore? I can only find them refurbished.

Cool solution. I hadn’t thought of that. Not sure if my water heater has a line like that, that I could open but worth investigating.

@TheSmartestHouse

The Valve Control was discontinued when we partnered with Dome who offered a similar solution with upgraded hardware.

@joecooler the WaterCop is by far the most robust solution we’ve carried for water shut-off mechanism so far. AT&T closed down their whole automation business so they sold whatever devices they had left, WaterCop was just one of many (it’s cheaper to sell it for close to nothing than not pick up from the supplier who’ll sue). We would never list a product we didn’t pretest to make sure it was fully functional, especially when it comes to crucial water damage prevention devices. These are the very last pieces in stock, we must have sold a few thousand to SmartThings users alone in the past couple of years so we’d all hear from them here if there were any major reliability or quality issues.

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