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Salt sentry (or similar water softener monitor) integration with hs4?

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    Salt sentry (or similar water softener monitor) integration with hs4?

    I have searched and found some older threads regarding water softener monitoring but did not turn up anything somewhat plug and play. There were diy options with pi’s and various sensors, none were anything I feel like I could implement (I lost most my vision a few years back and have motor issues so Linux and soldering aren’t something I’m comfortable with at the moment). While researching home assistant (I know, I decided to run a test unit to play with don’t hate too bad), I came across this salt sentry and pentair monitor linked below. Both are Wi-Fi. Has anyone integrated either into hs4? The salt sentry integrates with haos, so I would think it’s possible for hs4. I have a difficult time telling when I need to add salt and often just completely forget. It would be much easier to top off with a small bag of salt frequently (I can’t lift the heavier bags anymore without incident) as opposed to lettting it go empty and filling it all at once. I tried tinkering with just adding a small bag Willy Nilly, like every other week but the demand is not constant so sometimes I overfill while other times I know there’s not enough. Thanks for any input.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...D&opi=89978449


    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...c&opi=89978449

    #2
    The salt sentry device would be easy to integrate as it has MQTT built-in (for Home Assistant).

    All you would need is a MQTT plugin (such as mcsMQTT which is free)
    Jon

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you jon00 ! I truly appreciate the response.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Dillon View Post
        I have searched and found some older threads regarding water softener monitoring but did not turn up anything somewhat plug and play. There were diy options with pi’s and various sensors, none were anything I feel like I could implement (I lost most my vision a few years back and have motor issues so Linux and soldering aren’t something I’m comfortable with at the moment). While researching home assistant (I know, I decided to run a test unit to play with don’t hate too bad), I came across this salt sentry and pentair monitor linked below. Both are Wi-Fi. Has anyone integrated either into hs4? The salt sentry integrates with haos, so I would think it’s possible for hs4. I have a difficult time telling when I need to add salt and often just completely forget. It would be much easier to top off with a small bag of salt frequently (I can’t lift the heavier bags anymore without incident) as opposed to lettting it go empty and filling it all at once. I tried tinkering with just adding a small bag Willy Nilly, like every other week but the demand is not constant so sometimes I overfill while other times I know there’s not enough. Thanks for any input.

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...D&opi=89978449


        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...c&opi=89978449
        I use this device below. It sends an email around midnight when a notification is necessary (i.e. low salt). I have an HS event that looks for certain words in the subject line to trigger the event. Easy peasy - no MQTT needed. Only Wi-Fi and an email address to send to.


        https://www.amazon.com/Pentair-40057...s%2C295&sr=8-3

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks avpman, that was an option but I wasn’t too sure about the battery life.

          Comment


            #6
            If I had a choice of the two, I would go with the Salt Sentry as it gives percentages readings every 5 minutes. YMMV...
            Jon

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Dillon View Post
              Thanks avpman, that was an option but I wasn’t too sure about the battery life.
              It takes three AA batteries. So I'm going to replace the battery dependency by wiring in a 5v DC power source to it. 👍

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jon00 View Post
                If I had a choice of the two, I would go with the Salt Sentry as it gives percentages readings every 5 minutes. YMMV...
                Why do you need such frequent monitoring/reporting of the salt level?? Seems like overkill. Once a day is plenty for me because I've still lots left after the low salt notice triggers.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by avpman View Post

                  Why do you need such frequent monitoring/reporting of the salt level?? Seems like overkill. Once a day is plenty for me because I've still lots left after the low salt notice triggers.
                  You probably don't but it is peace of mind that the salt level is going down, MQTT is local (no external email server) and you only need one trigger once it has reached the percentage threshold.

                  As I said YMMV but the Salt Sentry is built for Home Automation, powered from USB and has good reviews.
                  Jon

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jon00 View Post

                    You probably don't but it is peace of mind that the salt level is going down, MQTT is local (no external email server) and you only need one trigger once it has reached the percentage threshold.

                    As I said YMMV but the Salt Sentry is built for Home Automation, powered from USB and has good reviews.
                    Both are good choices! I even found a "mechanical" solution. It had a string attached to a micro switch with a small round weight at the end. The weight rests on top of the salt and when it depletes the weight goes down and eventually pulls on the string closing the switch. I guess you could call that an Analog (very) local solution! Of course, you have to hook the switch to something.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      well, I ordered the salt sentry so well see how that works out when it arrives from the Netherlands. Im even thinking it can help track usage and I could use that to auto add salt to my grocery delivery list, maybe...if I feel like getting creative. Thanks for the input!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Funny, there were 7 in stock a couple of hours ago. Now down to 4. I wonder who else here has ordered one
                        Jon

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jon00 View Post
                          Funny, there were 7 in stock a couple of hours ago. Now down to 4. I wonder who else here has ordered one
                          Hopefully not me! Ha! I had troubles when purchasing and it came up with an error after entering my cc info......twice......before it actually went through the third time. Maybe I got all three! Sometimes, it's frusterating being blind as a bat....and not so smart either! ha

                          Comment


                            #14
                            jon00 Thank you for letting me know about the stock depletion! I ended up with two orders despite errors stating the order could not be completed. Hopefully it gets straightend out, or I'll have a gift for someone!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I received the Salt Sentry device yesterday. If you know what you’re doing it’s simple to hook up. I, do not know what I’m doing! Basically, you plug the unit into a power source with a micro usb cable. It starts broadcasting a wifi signal. You join the Wi-Fi network on your phone and its setup page instantly loads, no need to open a browser as it’s automatic. Enter some basic information (your Mqtt broker ip, port, a broadcast topic name of your choosing, the distance in cm from the sensor to the top of the salt when full and when empty). Easy peasy. Open your mqtt plug-in and the device/topic should be listed. Subscribe to the broadcast topic you entered during setup and then (this was the hard part for me as I couldn’t access this information through my screen reader) publish the automatically created salt sentry and salt sentry distance. Go to the devices page, filter for salt sentry, and there are your two devices. One is a level gauge in percentage of volume of salt remaining. The other is the distance in cm from the top of the salt to the sensor, like a reverse dipstick. If you have a perfectly flat place to stick the sensor the included tape will suffice, my reservoir lid is made is a pressed abs material and was not a bit wavy. Just needed a little abrasion and some better tape with some meat to it like the rubber 3m stuff. After that figure out how you want to use the sensor data for notifications and automations. Thank you for your input with this.

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