Hi all, I have a few smarthing water sensor that I want to start using again. What I want to do is get them recognized as devices in my Alexa app so that I can set up a routine with them. Specifically I am trying to, if there is a recognized leak, to have set up an Alexa routine that will trigger off the Alexa outlet that my washing machine is plugged in to. It has been a while since I have used these sensors so I do not even know what I need to have Alexa recognize the sensors as devices. I no longer have my Smarthings Hub, but I gather I will need a Hub, is that correct? I have an Echo Dot 5th Generation if that helps at all. Thanks
Yes, for Zigbee or zwave devices you will need to have a SmartThings/Aeotec hub.
(Otherwise you would need to use a Wi-Fi leak sensor that doesn’t require its own hub but still works with smartthings.)
What’s the model number of your leak sensor?
Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. The Smartthings Water Leak Sensor has the following numbers on the bottom:
S/N: 690US A3L9S1407
Does that answer your question. I hope it does.
So I should pick up the Smartthings/Aeotec Hub?
Thank you, John
OK, that’s a zigbee Device, so yes, you need a Hub.
You have two current choices.
You can get an Aeotec “works like a smartthings hub” which supports zwave, Zigbee, thread, and matter.
If you’re in North America, The manufacturer sells them through Amazon new:
Or, if you don’t think you’re ever going to want to use any zwave devices, you can get the less expensive “smartthings station“ hub, which supports zigbee, Thread, and matter. But not zwave.
Before we go too much further, we should mention that once attached to the smartthings hub and linking your smartthings account to your Alexa account, Alexa will know that the sensor exists but you won’t be able to use it directly in an Alexa routine because at the time of this writing, no leak sensors work for that purpose.
But what you will be able to do is use a SmartThings routine (not an Alexa routine) to synchronize your leak sensor with a virtual contact sensor, which Alexa routines CAN trigger from. So it will be leak sensor alerts, virtual contact sensor is opened, Alexa routine turns off Alexa smart plug. It’s tedious to set up, but it will work.
I cannot thank you enough. I will go for the Aeotec. I appreciate your help. Last time I played around with these devices, Samsung was still distributing them rather than a 3rd party. Regards, John
JDRoberts, I am not quite sure what is meant by synchronizing the leak sensor with a virtual contact sensor. Would you mind explaining that a bit more in depth please? I am not sure what is meant by “virtual contact sensor”. Regards, John
PS: I found this on Youtube and it is very helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_rb5C-7QK0
I’m tired now, so, if after reading the following FAQ, you still have questions, I’ll answer them tomorrow, or somebody else may jump in before then.
Basic point: with a smartthings account, you can create a “virtual device” which doesn’t have any reality outside of software, but which your smartthings account will treat something like a real device. It will show up on the device list in your smartthings app, and it can be shared with other platforms like Alexa. And if it’s a virtual contact sensor, there will be a way (the exact method may vary a little) to change it from closed to open and back again using just a smartthings routine. So these are used for a lot of different things, but one of the things they are used for is to trigger Alexa routines (not SmartThings routines).
Here’s the FAQ on that method:
Thank you JDRoberts, I will have my Smartthings HUB on Wednesday and will try to do with the help you have provided me. I will come back here to ask questions and/or give you an update on my progress. Good night and Regards, John
You will probably need this FAQ also:
Hi JDRoberts, I am just letting you know that I have not gone away. I have installed the Hub, added my water sensors to Smartthings, added vEdge Creator V2.94 to Smartthings, and set up the Smartthing rountines with the virtual contact sensor, linked the Smartthings account to Alexa and set up an Alexa Routine utilizing the vEdge virtual contact sensor. I am trying to work through some problems and will be back to update you either to ask for help or just to thank you for helping me successfully accomplish the Routine. Regards, John
Hi JDRoberts, it seems I need some help. I have been successful creating 2 working routines whereby when the water sensor is wet, it opens the vEdge Contact and when the water sensor is dry, the vEdge Contact is closed.
I have created two routines in Alexa, whereby when the vEdge contact is open or close, Alexa should be turning off or on, respectively, the Alexa Smart Plug. However, the Alexa routine does not function as a result of the vEdge Contact opening or closing. I can “run” the routines in Alexa and that will trigger Alexa turning the plug on and off.
I am not sure why the vEdge Contact opening and closing is not trigger the Alexa routines. I do see some discussion about requiring some updated or new vEdge virtual sensors in order to trigger Alexa routines? Perhaps therein lies the issue?
Would you perhaps have any thoughts please? Regards, John
Can you post a screenshot of your Alexa routine? Let’s start there and see if it looks like it’s set up right.
If it is, then you’ll need to ask your question in the author thread for VEdge creator, there may be something about the way the virtual device is configured.
JDRoberts, thank you so much again for responding. I will post them in the morning(I live in New York). It is late now and I need to sleep. Thank you again. I will post what vEdge applications I have installed on my Smarththings account too. Regards, John
Good morning JDRoberts, I am dropping a few screenshots here. Please let me know if these are what you need. I changed the default name of the devices so that I would be able to recognize them. If you need me to recreate them back to the default names, I can easily do that. Once again, thank you.
The Alexa routine looks fine.
The next step is to ask in the author thread for the VEdge Creator. It may be that you need to use a different virtual device profile: some work more reliably with Alexa routines than others. But someone there will be able to help you.
Also, I know this is a lot of work to set up something which seems like it should be so simple. . In this particular case it is a combination of incompatibility between the two platforms since SmartThings doesn’t see the outlet and at the time of this writing Alexa won’t trigger off a leak sensor. I’m sure you’ll be able to make it work eventually using a virtual device, but I know it must feel frustrating right now.
The alternative, of course, is to use a different smart plug that SmartThings can see. Then you wouldn’t need virtual devices and could just use a SmartThings routine. But of course that would cost more money.
JDRoberts, thank you again. I am not frustrated at all. I actually these kinds of things and feel that I am learning quite a bit. It is fun.
For the sake of practicality, I might actually get a plug that will work directly from Smartthings. This will be used to shut off a washing machine in case of a leak and that is something that I want to be as full proof as possible.
I will use your link and inquire in that group about what tools are necessary to trigger the Alexa routine in this case.
I will also come back here to give you an update.
Good morning JDRoberts, TAustin helped me to get this working flawlessly. As of now, it is working as desired. Thank you again for all your help.