My Smart-Home Integrations

Systems Integration

Since no single system offered everything I needed nor provided easy, off-the-shelf integrations, using three systems required some work integrating them together. In fact, one of the biggest down-sides of Ring and Flood Stop is lack of integration with other smart home systems. Ring uses Z-Wave technology to interconnect its sensors, but is closed. Flood Stop is self-contained with no smart-home network. Since Ring and Flood Stop don’t provide integrations, I integrate by soldering a few wires. There are three integrations I needed: 1) between Flood Stop and the whole-house Z-Wave, 2) between the whole-house Z-Wave and Ring and 3) between Ring leak sensor and a remote sensor. These are described in detail below.

And finally, I automate the whole-house functions using the Hubitat Z-Wave hub. Using Hubitat, I have an automation rule that says to turn-off the water to the whole house whenever any water sensor reports a leak. And I have integrated Hubitat with Ring so that turning off the water is seen as a leak to Ring, which then announces the leak (I keep the keypad near my bed) and sends a notification to the Ring app on my phone. I have also integrated Hubitat with Alexa so that is another way to control the system.

Integrating Flood Stop and Z-Wave

The Flood Stop controller automatically closes its connected water valve when a leak is detected and sounds an alarm. But that alarm is useless if we are not home. The controller does provide a “relay” closure that allows integration with standard alarm systems; this relay closure is why I choose Flood Stop. I connected the Flood Stop controller to the Dome Leak sensor such that when the Flood Stop closes its water valve, it also signals a leak to the attached leak sensor. I simply soldered the wires supplied with the Flood Stop unit to a 3.5mm male jack and plugged that into the base of the Dome Sensor. When a Dome Z-Wave sensor reports a leak, I have an automation rule to shut the water valve.

Integrating Ring and Z-Wave

The Dome Leak Sensor, ECO-NET valve actuator, and the Hubitat hub will shut-off the house water when a leak is detected. But unless I’m home, I won’t know that has happened. To handle notifications, I integrated a Ring Leak sensor with the shut-off valve such that shutting off the water looks like a water leak to Ring. I do that with a normally-closed magnetic switch connected to the Ring Sensor and a magnet attached to the valve handle. When the magnet/valve handle moves away from the full-open position, the magnetic switch closes and that look like a leak to Ring. I tried using the door open/closed sensor but Ring Alarm interpreted that as a break-in and set off the Alarm siren! While the Hubitat dashboard app may also provide a notification on my phone, I know the Ring app notification always works.

Adding a Remote Leak Sensor to Ring’s Sensor

The Ring leak sensor does not have a remote sensor option, though one would be easy to provide. The Dome Sensors I have come with a cradle to which a remote sensor can be attached and Ring could take the same approach. But rather than creating a cradle, I simply soldered a 3.5mm female plug to the Ring sensor and then plugged the remote sensor in. This does require opening up the sensor and doing some work but it’s a straightforward change. I think a remote sensor is a simple oversight in Ring’s product design and may be corrected, but for now my hack works. I use a remote sensor to detect high water in the sump pit without mounting the Ring sensor in the pit. Turning off the house water will not stop the sump pit from overflowing so integrating through Z-Wave is less useful. If the sump pump fails, even if the power is out, the Ring Alarm will notify me of the problem and I can ask a neighbor or relative to investigate.