sparc

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Everything posted by sparc

  1. sparc

    ST and Sense Saved My Butt

    SmartThings and my Sense energy monitor saved my basement the other day. I was awoken by the alarm sounding off at 3:00 AM. When that happens a recorded message plays through the Aerotec doorbell, all the lights in the house come on, and if it's a security alert then the siren will sound. In this case it wasn't an intruder alert or perimeter security breach. It was a leak in my water system. A PVC fitting (check valve) broke (split at the threaded connection) and was gushing water at 60 PSI and about 3 GPM. I have three of the IRIS 2G leak detectors spread around the basement at potential problem areas. The mechanical room where the water heater and boiler are, over by the water treatment system where the line from our well enters the house, and by the air handler and AC coil where there is a condensate reservoir and pump which collects water from condensation on the AC coil or from the dehumidifier in the Summer. All three of these are set to send an alarm to my phone and to sound a local alarm in the house and turn on the lights. By the time I got downstairs in the basement I had about 50 gallons of water on the floor [that's based on how much water we hauled out during cleanup]. When I went back through the notification list in the ST App I saw that the first leak detection was at 2:55AM at the well pump. The second leak detector by the air handler tripped a couple minutes later. There is a sump in the floor next to the well tank and water treatment system, but we don't have a sump pump in it and have never needed it in 22 years and the previous owners didn't have one either. It's not really big enough to do much, it's just a piece of 12 inch square clay flue lining set in the concrete and filled with stone. I don't know how deep it goes as I've never dug out the stone, no reason to. But apparently the leak started minutes earlier because the Sense energy monitor sent an alert at 3:05 that the well pump had been running for over 15 minutes continuously. I set that up to let me know either A - the sprinkler system was running or B - there was a failure in the domestic water system, either of which are the only two scenarios I could think of where the pump would run more than 15 minutes. So 15 minutes after the pump came on I got the alert from the Sense app on the phone, and it came within a minute of the SmartThings app alerting me of the leak detector trips. I believe the delay in the ST leak detection was due to the water initially running down into the sump so it didn't set off the leak detector when the leak first occurred. I guess once the sump became saturated with water and it started backing up is when the flooding of the floor began. Ironically if IRIS were still up and running I would have found out much sooner as I had a different leak detector, the Utilitech which has a remote sensor, installed with the sensor down in the sump. But that sensor does not work under SmartThings so I had substitute one of the IRIS 2G Leak detectors. Came down in the basement and saw what the situation was. Luckily the split was on the side facing the wall and all the water was spraying into the corner and not across the room so no water damage to anything up high just some stuff that was on the floor in the area near the pump. I couldn't shut off the pump at the disconnect switch because the area had standing water on the floor. So had to go to the breaker panel on the other side of the house and open the breaker before it was safe to enter the area. I shut off a 1-1/4 valve that isolates the house and the well tank from the well so I was able to hold back all that water from draining into the basement. That meant I only had a small volume of water in a few feet of pipe from the valve to where the line comes in the house and there is a check valve. It was that check valve which split and was the cause of the leak. The valve was as old as the house as far as I know. We've been here 22 years and I have not replaced it. Was part of the original plumbing as far as I know. Anyway it is PVC and has a FM threaded connection at each end. PVC FM threaded fittings are something to be avoided in my book. You can never get them tight because the PVC stretches so easily and you end up overtightening them. Spent the next 4 hours sucking up water and hauling damaged stuff outside to take to the dump. Mostly junk we didn't need anyway and some area rugs on the concrete floor so no real loss in dollars. If I hadn't had all 'that stupid electronics stuff' deployed as SHMBO was fond of telling me we most likely would have had much greater damage. The pump would not have stopped until the flooding reached the disconnect switch or the breaker panel and shorted them out. I don't see what else would have stopped it from running for hours had I not been home. If it had happened during the day and we were both at work or away who knows how long or how many thousands of gallons of water would have filled the basement. Basement is roughly same footprint as the house so about 2100 SF. That's a lot of water before you reach the breaker panel and start tripping breakers. I think I may add a NC float switch in line with the pressure switch so that as long as the float switch is not tripped by high water the pump will run. But should this happen again the float in the sump would interrupt the power to the pump and stop the worst of the flooding.
  2. sparc

    ST and Sense Saved My Butt

    Oh, I like the drain idea. I wonder if the GE 240 volt switches are still available. I would like to be able to interrupt the power to the pump. And your tank drain idea is good too. I was thinking of something independent of ST or any HA system, something more foolproof that will always work no matter what. A self-contained float switch seems like it would accomplish that. But I am still open to adding the GE 240V switch. I toyed with getting on a couple years ago just to have it and now I wish I did. Did a quick search and they are still out there. I may get one even if I do go with the float switch. I looked in the ST app but didn't see this particular switch from GE (or JASCO who actually makes the switch) listed. SO not sure it is compatible. How did you get it to work with ST Otto? Thanks for the ideas Otto. Stay dry. 🙂 On order, should be here tomorrow. 🙂 Amazon had the best price + free shipping. I wouldn't mind having one of those 40A 240V switches for my shop. I could put it in line with the sub-panel and be able to shut down all the power to tools when not in the shop.
  3. Iris has been gone for a while now, and everyone has found a new HA/Security platform. But I wonder, do you miss Iris or any of the features of Iris that have not been replicated on another platform? Yes, I know Iris had it's bugs and other negative attributes, as does every other system. I miss the web portal John created. I'm using SmartThings because I already had a ST v2 hub and a couple devices so it was an easy switch. There are other features that are not in ST but there are of course features of ST that Iris didn't have. If I had a choice I would rather be back with Iris vice SmartThings. With Iris and Alexa integration it was working pretty well those last 6 months.
  4. I can do the Dick Tracy bit with my Samsung Gear watch connected to the SmartThings Hub, as well as manually control lights and such. If it were possible to view cameras on the watch that would be handy. When I'm in the shop and Alexa announces "motion on breezeway" I could take a peek at the breezeway cameras from the watch. Watch can connect directly to Wi-Fi, doesn't require interfacing with a phone.
  5. I don't know if this is the best place to ask this question, but it didn't seem to fit anywhere else. I am wondering what the capacity of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi is. My question comes because I have been seeing for a long time issues with Wi-Fi that I can't explain otherwise. I have a NetGear NightHawk C7800 router/modem combo and my ISP is Comcast. The modem is about a year old, I bought it new, it's not a refurb or used item. I have a hardwire camera system of which the deck is connected by ethernet to the LAN. There are no Wi-fi cameras on this system though it can support them. I just don't use any. So it puts little if any load on the LAN or Wi-Fi. Storage is internal and it records 24/7. The only time it might impact LAN performance is when I access the Camera DVR from a PC on the LAN to review some footage. I have 9 Wyze Wi-Fi cameras. I also have 4 Wi-Fi switches connected to my ST Hub. I have 6 Amazon Echo devices, they are all connected by Wi-Fi. I have one NetGear dual-band range extender. Also occasionally two smartphones, one Android and one iPhone. Three Amazon Fire tablets. One Eye-Fi SD card in my DSLR which sends copies of images to a network drive when the camera is in use. All the 4 PCs in the house are on ethernet. The SmartThings hub is connected by ethernet. The three TVs are also using ethernet for Netflix, etc. They are Wi-Fi capable but I have that turned off. A ZumSpot digital mobile radio hotspot. It uses WiFi to bridge local handheld radio RF signals to the internet. It's low impact and only active when I am using the handheld radio. The TiVo DVR uses ethernet too. On 5GHz is usually only the smartphones, but sometimes depending on where you are in the house they swap over to 2.4GHz I come up with 25 devices, of which the 9 cameras probably use the most bandwidth. But this AP is supposed to be able to handle 100 connections on each band. What happens is performance is fine then randomly WiFi will drop out. Ethernet still works fine so the ISP connection does not seem to be at fault. Nothin connected by Wi-Fi works. It can happen multiple times in one day or it might go without a problem for a week or more then BAM it's all dead until I power the unit down, physically disconnect the power and the coax from the unit, wait about a minute, then connect it all back up and reboot. After which once everything reconnects it might be good for 5 minutes, an hour, or 14 days, there's no telling as it just randomly drops out. NEtGear only gives you 90 support on these things and I didn't start having problems until about 6 months in which is when I believe Comcast pushed out a firmware update. You can't do the update or roll back to a previous firmware even though it's your own equipment. Only Comcast can install firmware updates. SO I argued with them that the problem is their doing since I have no control over the firmware and have made no changes to the hardware. Speaking of which all my network equipment is powered through APC UPSs which filter and limit voltage spikes and dips, so I don't think anything has been damaged from a surge or lightning strike. I tried turning off all the Wyze cameras but it made no difference. I've tried shutting down all the HA stuff but no change. I've looked at what channels my neighbors are using on both bands and set my access point to open channels on 2.4 and 5GHZ that are not used by anyone that can be heard at my location, didn't help. The only thing I have not tried yet is going back to my old hardware, which was a NetGear C1000 modem and a LinkSys router, separate units. The modem is DOCSIS 3.0 and I don't remember if it can be updated. To do that I would have to get Comcast to reauthorize the old modem which is not difficult but then I would have to do it again to go back to the C7800. Anyone have any ideas I might try other than what I have so far. Am I missing something else that could be the cause.
  6. sparc

    CR123A Batteries

    Anyone have a good source for CR123A batteries. I have looked on Amazon and even ordered some recently but what I received were knockoffs not Duracell. They were made to look like Duracells but when you look close no manufacturer information, no disposal information, and other telltale signs. Got my money back from Amazon (seller didn't offer returns, I wonder why) but now looking for a reliable place to buy. Locally they are expensive, even at Walmart it's two batteries for $7. I have a few Aerotec multi-sensors and they take CR123A batteries. They can run on one or two or on AC from a wall wort but in a couple locations I don't have power nearby so need batteries. One battery usually lasts over 18 months. TIA.
  7. sparc

    CR123A Batteries

    Thanks, looks good. I couldn't use 50 of those batteries before they went bad though. I'll have to combine with other battery needs to make the $50 minimum for free shipping. I need 36 AAs for window candles at Christmas time and now is a good time to get them. We usually buy AAA, AA, etc. in bulk from Costco is packs of 40.
  8. sparc

    My Apps

    Where do we get the app from?
  9. Good to hear the 1G keypads will have another life. Guess I will hang on to my three for a while. I've been using ST but I wish it could use the 1G Iris keypads. We liked having three because I had them set to chime when ever an exterior door was opened. That way if the cat figured out how to open the door and took off for parts unknown we would be alerted. :-)
  10. What is the source of this device? I have a couple Sanyo mini-split systems that I would like to be able to control. They have an IR remote but no provision for BT or Wi-Fi connection. I found this unit from Sensibo which looks promising. https://sensibo.com/products/sensibo-sky Any chance this can be controlled by SystronicsRF ?
  11. sparc

    Do You Miss Iris? and General BS Thread

    "If I don't like the route, I can manually change it. In my case, for problem devices, I can create a manual route that only uses Gen 2 smart plugs, which creates dependable routes. " Something that Iris needed but never appeared. But to be fair I don't think anyone gives you that capability except for SystronicsRF. Did they ever come up with a better name? SystronicsRF sound like a company name, not a product name that people will remember.
  12. sparc

    Iris WIFI V1 Smart Plug

    It's a shame they've been bricked once registered with an Iris account and Iris shut down. What about one that had never been used, still new in the box, would the situation be any different?
  13. sparc

    Home Depot not a great place

    No, I do not carry it with me, no need to, but after being denied three times at my local HD in as many months just showing my ID card, I brought a copy with me on the fourth try. When they shot me down the last time (reason given was not active duty status even though I argued that doesn't jive with your stated policy) I said that's it, I'm outta here. I even showed them a HD receipt from another HD where I had bought a lawn mower because they didn't have the model I wanted in stock. They gave me the discount no questions, just showed my card. On the receipt it's printed right on there Military Discount. Didn't matter. So I went across the street while I had everything with me and got signed up at Lowes. Then the copy of my DD214 went back in the file cabinet.
  14. sparc

    Home Depot not a great place

    "Home Depot's official statement even said they give a discount every day of the year" Except that they don't. I had a hard time with them too. After a couple times being denied I showed a copy of my DD214 and my ID card ... Nope … so I said "See ya, I'm heading to Lowes". So I went to the customer service desk and got signed up, showed them the same information that I showed to HD just 15 minutes earlier (since the stores are only a 1/4 mile apart), and I was all set. So now when I go in Lowes. I get the 10% every time, no problemo as Arnold would say. :-) That story off FB may be false, but mine is not. Now I only go to HD when they are the only one that has what I need, and that's not too often.
  15. sparc

    Do You Miss Iris? and General BS Thread

    OK, that is a different path than I tried originally ( Automation -> Smart Apps -> Add a SmartApp -> My Apps ) When I try Marketplace -> SmartApps -> MyApps it is a blank page, no apps listed. So my error must be back when I created the app.
  16. sparc

    Do You Miss Iris? and General BS Thread

    Ok, then I must have done something wrong somewhere. Have to retrace my steps.
  17. sparc

    Do You Miss Iris? and General BS Thread

    yes, does it not work with the old app? I have both installed on my phone but usually use the older (classic) app.
  18. sparc

    Do You Miss Iris? and General BS Thread

    Ok, I got the code and created the SmartApp and published to My Apps. But when I go to Automation -> Smart Apps -> Add a SmartApp -> My Apps on my phone it's not there.
  19. sparc

    Do You Miss Iris? and General BS Thread

    Oh thanks for that Otto. Yes, I miss everyone here too. I think Simple Device Viewer will go a long way to filling the gap. Thanks again. One question though, where the heck do you d/l the app from? I don't see anything at that link you provided that directs me anywhere to d/l or install the app.
  20. sparc

    GE/Jasco Wall Receptacles

    Is it possible to program the GE/Jasco wall receptacles so both outlets are switched or to disable the one outlet that is always on? I'd like to use one of these in a location where I could have both outlets switched. It doesn't matter that they would be switched on/off at the same time for my purpose. I just don't want a hot outlet at this location unless I enable it. The only other way I can see to do this would be to use a standard duplex receptacle and place a in-wall switch inline to control the outlet. Or maybe there is another brand duplex receptacle that both outlets can be controlled on.
  21. sparc

    GE/Jasco Wall Receptacles

    Thanks I'll look into getting a couple of those, didn't know they were on sale and I was just there 2 days ago. update: unfortunately there are none available at my local Lowes, closest store with any in stock is 35 miles away and it's in a direction I don't normally go so won't be near there any time soon unless I make a special trip. :-(
  22. sparc

    Non-resettable V2 keypad giveaway

    That's unfortunate. I have three V1 keypads that I wish I could make use of.
  23. sparc

    Leak Smart Valve Alternatives

    Anyone have experience with valves similar to the Leak Smart brand that Lowes sold? None of the stores in my area ever stocked them and I was hesitant to buy sight unseen. I know I could return it if I didn't like it but still I would like to eyeball the thing before I buy a couple of them. I believe the Leak Smart valves will work with other HA systems, so hopefully I can still find them or an alternate. I could uses for two or more. One would be a whole house shut off in case of emergency like a leak developed somewhere in the house. I can think of other uses around the house too.
  24. I read where GE & Jasco have brought out what I guess would be the third generation of their wall switches. Supposed to have better connectivity and more secure and some other tweaks. https://www.digitaltrends.com/news/jasco-ge-z-wave-smart-home-line/ Been pretty dead here just trying to drag up anything to keep this place half alive. :-)
  25. Anyone heard from John. He is hard at work on ARCUS I guess.