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Water leak detectors from Flumetech and Streamlabs

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    Water leak detectors from Flumetech and Streamlabs

    Looking for comments and experiences with real-time water leak detectors such as Flumetech's Flume and Streamlabs Water Monitor as opposed to standard wet contact water/flood detectors.

    These devices actually measure water flow and can send alerts when water has been flowing at specified rates over a period of time. The Flume device mounts on the water meter, so can detect leaks from the meter to all pipes in the house. The Streamlabs device is mounted over your supply line in your home, and after the meter so cannot detect leaks between you water meter and the device.

    Both devices are WiFi, both are strapped on, no plumbing modification required. The Flume does not work on a few models of meters, and may not be approved by your utility (90%+ approval) . The Streamlabs must be mounted on Copper Schedule M & L; PEX; CPVC supply lines. Both cost about $200 USD.

    Would love to hear from anyone that uses either of these, pros, cons, etc.

    Thanks.....


    #2
    Got one of the Streamlabs about a week ago. Installation was easy, there is a foot long section of exposed pipe in my basement and an outlet nearby. It just straps to the pipe with a couple of tie wraps.

    we travel a lot and I have always worried about a random leak happening when we are away, so this is for some peace of mind.

    it doesn’t integrate with anything, and there is a question about plans to integrate with IFTTT in the future on Amazon, the manufacture responded No. so if you need to integrate then it may not be a good choice. But it seems to work OK with the available dedicated app. I need to fill a gallon bucket to test it’s accuracy. It seems to be measuring a bit high but I haven’t actually tested that yet.

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      #3
      I bought both and have been testing them. The downside of the Streamlabs is that it needs power where you mount it, which to be useful needs to be on the main supply line for the house. In my case that wasn't easy. The Flume wraps around the water meter and has a long-life battery so no need to have power nearby. It then transmits to a WiFi hub in the house that needs power. The only downside I can see with the Flume is if you live somewhere that doesn't have metered water supply, or as mentioned earlier you have one of the meters it doesn't work with. There is no way to use it without a meter. The Flume also has been more accurate and gives me more confidence that I've covered all the water supply to my house (irrigation included).

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        #4
        Thanks for your replies

        Beerguy: did you encounter any difficulty from your water utility before or after you installed it?

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          #5
          I also purchased one of each for comparison. Both were very easy to install in my case. Both were able to notify me when there was suspicious water flow activity. I collected water usage data from each and compared to the mechanical "water company" meter readings. NEITHER tracked the utility company Neptune T-10 meter's gallons very closely (10-15% higher than the Neptune on each reading). I can understand that being the case for the ultrasonic unit, but the Flume is monitoring the coupling magnet that drives the mechanical digit display, so it should be quite consistently accurate. The vendor suggested a possible RF interference issue, so I will be doing some relocation of the receiver.

          After three weeks of comparison I put the Streamlabs up at a mountainside house with well water- it seems to be working as designed up there, and I have no utility meter to compare to and worry about the differences in readings! I am going to re-install the Flume and have it re-calibrate to see if it gets closer to the Neptune meter this time.

          The Streamlabs unit DOES offer API access, so if someone wants to get it talking to Homeseer it would seem feasible.

          https://developer.streamlabswater.com/docs/index.html

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            #6
            I just purchased the Flume from Amazon - I noticed in the comments that the manufacturer is stating they are very close to rolling out an API... I'm looking forward to installing the device.

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              #7
              Originally posted by OBH Peter View Post

              The Streamlabs unit DOES offer API access, so if someone wants to get it talking to Homeseer it would seem feasible.

              https://developer.streamlabswater.com/docs/index.html
              My device arrived in the mail today and I set it up. There is an API available from the settings menu...

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                #8
                Originally posted by OBH Peter View Post
                The Streamlabs unit DOES offer API access, so if someone wants to get it talking to Homeseer it would seem feasible.

                https://developer.streamlabswater.com/docs/index.html
                Consider it done. Big5 plug-in works with JSON APIs (the kind they have) over HTTP seamlessly.

                On another note you may check with your Insurance Company. They may reduce your premium if you have one of these installed (especially the ones with shut-off actuator).

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                  #9
                  I just installed Flume...took less than five minutes using the iPhone app, then enabled the Alexa skill from the Alexa app. There was a delay of about 10 min until Alexa recognized it had the new skill (that of course an Amazon thing) then I could ask Flume about water running, usage etc. There is a place in the Flume web interface to generate an API key if you need it. Flume has an API Guide and API Route Documentation on their website. API Type is REST, Cloud to Cloud and API Authentication is OAuth2 Password Grant.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by smcwilliams View Post
                    I just installed Flume...took less than five minutes using the iPhone app, then enabled the Alexa skill from the Alexa app. There was a delay of about 10 min until Alexa recognized it had the new skill (that of course an Amazon thing) then I could ask Flume about water running, usage etc. There is a place in the Flume web interface to generate an API key if you need it. Flume has an API Guide and API Route Documentation on their website. API Type is REST, Cloud to Cloud and API Authentication is OAuth2 Password Grant.
                    I purchased and installed one of these a couple weeks ago. Was almost free after local water utility rebate. (With the caveat that they have access to my usage data, of course.) Perused the API docs a bit, but not having done anything of that nature before I haven't tried HS3 integration. Guessing something like Big5 may be a good approach, but I'd gladly support anyone interested in developing a PI specifically for it.

                    https://flumetech.readme.io/reference
                    https://flumetech.readme.io/docs
                    https://flumetech.readme.io/docs/querying-samples
                    -Wade

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                      #11
                      Hi - just jumping on this thread. Steam Labs is $600. Flume is $169 and a z-wave shutoff valve is $35-125. So other than the fact that you would need to talk to the API to know that something was amiss in order to shut the water off, it would achieve the same result at half the price?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by simonmason View Post
                        Hi - just jumping on this thread. Steam Labs is $600. Flume is $169 and a z-wave shutoff valve is $35-125. So other than the fact that you would need to talk to the API to know that something was amiss in order to shut the water off, it would achieve the same result at half the price?
                        Yes, I believe so, although I can't speak to the relative reliability an accuracy of the two monitors. I know that my flume occasionally loses connection between the pulse reader and the hub, but that's not surprising given they're some distance apart and separated by 2 stone/plaster walls and a cast iron, in-ground meter box. There's a chance notification of water running could be delayed for some time period with my flume configuration, but the comm issues aren't frequent nor long-lasting typically.

                        Right now the flume is on my utility meter which meters both irrigation and in-home water--which split immediately after the meter. I'm considering installing a separate pulse meter on the house line and move the flume to that meter so I can monitor for problems in the house independent of whether my sprinklers are on. That takes away monitoring for leaks in the irrigation system so haven't fully decided whether to make the change. Another upside to the change is I can put the new pulse meter in my garage near my water softener and much closer to the hub.
                        -Wade

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by cc4005 View Post

                          I'm considering installing a separate pulse meter on the house line and move the flume to that meter so I can monitor for problems in the house independent of whether my sprinklers are on.
                          Are you thinking of moving it after the sprinkler because you want to monitor the house only or because the sprinkler kicking in gives the impression that there is a leak? I would want mine to monitor the sprinkler and the house. The reason I am looking at this is because I had a burst pipe on the sprinkler system yesterday and I gushed water for over 24 hours before figuring it out. It was in the back corner of the house where no one goes.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by simonmason View Post

                            Are you thinking of moving it after the sprinkler because you want to monitor the house only or because the sprinkler kicking in gives the impression that there is a leak? I would want mine to monitor the sprinkler and the house. The reason I am looking at this is because I had a burst pipe on the sprinkler system yesterday and I gushed water for over 24 hours before figuring it out. It was in the back corner of the house where no one goes.
                            I have two separate meters, one on the sprinklers and one for the house, for that reason.
                            HS 3.0.0.548: 1990 Devices 1172 Events
                            Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 126 Nodes on one Z-Net

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by sparkman View Post

                              I have two separate meters, one on the sprinklers and one for the house, for that reason.
                              This is the direction I'm leaning, but haven't figured out a good means of adding a separate meter and monitor on the irrigation line. Our yard is relatively small, and irrigation leaks unlikely to go undetected for a great length of time, but I still want to be able to monitor both. The household line is the priority, though.

                              One option is to keep the flume monitor on the main, add a 2nd monitor on the household line, and let logic determine whether there's water flowing in the irrigation system. The primary shortcoming is that the automation would have to know that there should be no household water use in order to evaluate irrigation flow--which isn't necessarily straightforward.
                              -Wade

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