The Konnected Alarm Panel was designed to upgrade a residential wired alarm system, but the open and flexible nature of the Konnected hardware and automation integrations has inspired many other use cases. We got to visit one standout implementation recently in Sunny Isles, Florida where the Konnected Alarm Panel Pro, coupled with Home Assistant, is being used to monitor and and stop water leaks in several high-end multi-million dollar residential condominium buildings. Watch below:
Water Damage is Costly (and Annoying)
Insurance industry reports have established that water damage results in over $13 billion in damage and removal costs every year, and these costs are trending upward year after year. Especially in high-rise condominiums like this one, a leaking appliance or faucet in one unit can very quickly cause damage to multiple units. Many of these luxury high-end beachfront properties are vacation homes that may not be occupied year-round, so a small leak may go unnoticed and turn into a big problem!
Proactive monitoring and automated response is a relatively inexpensive way to mitigate the risk of plumbing-related failures and the associated expense, hassle, and stress of an uncontrolled water leak.
Water Intrusion Detection at Acqualina
The Estates at Acqualina is the newest addition to luxury Miami beachfront living. Two towering high-rises over Sunny Isles Beach feature two stunning residences per floor with floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular Atlantic ocean views.
In addition to the high-end finishes and appliances, the Acqualina residences are wired in every room (even the bathrooms!) with category 6 ethernet cable and are fitted with passive water leak detection sensors under every sink, toilet, and appliance.
Acqualina's building engineers wanted to ensure that residents and guests were protected as much as possible from the potential damage caused by an undetected plumbing leak.
Enter: Konnected Alarm Panel Pro
Konnected was approached by VIP Systems, a technology integrator with offices in Houston and Miami, about using the Konnected Alarm Panel Pro for this unique project. Under contract with the Acqualina developer, VIP Systems was tasked with developing a system that would not only detect and notify the facilities management immediately about water leaks in any unit, but would also proactively shut off the water supply to mitigate any damage until maintenance could gain access to the unit.
In collaboration, VIP Systems and Konnected were able to design a low-cost and easily scalable solution based on the Konnected Alarm Panel Pro, a variety of wired passive leak sensors, easily available and inexpensive 12V relays, and electronically controlled water shut-off valves that was able to be quickly deployed to meet the developer's requirements and budget.
Open Source Advantage: Cost, Speed, Flexibility
Leveraging the powerful Home Assistant open-source automation platform and Konnected's built-in Home Assistant integration, VIP Systems was able to deploy and configure a robust system of reporting, alerting, and monitoring in mere days! All without spending a dime on software licenses or custom software engineering.
Key Advantages of the Konnected Alarm Panel Pro for Leak Detection & Prevention
Selecting the Konnected Alarm Panel Pro for this project enabled VIP Systems and the Acqualina management team to rapidly and incrementally deploy a solution for water leak detection and prevention. Key advantages include:
- Ethernet and Power-over-Ethernet capability fit perfectly within the building's IT infrastructure plans.
- Low-cost hardware with no software licensing fees or subscriptions.
- Ability to use a variety of commodity sensors for different installation locations and no proprietary controller.
- On-site hosting of Home Assistant as a central dashboard enables secure, local control.
- The Alarm Panel Pro's low power consumption and 12V AUX and ALARM outputs provides safe and effective power for passive sensors and shut-off valves.
- Vast ecosystem of integrations and apps available with Home Assistant enabled instant rollout of SMS alerts (via Twilio) and a mobile app dashboard that could be easily deployed to building techs.
- Capability to upgrade and/or replace the firmware for future-proofing.
How To Do It Yourself
Leak detection is not just for multi-million dollar condominiums! You can replicate this setup at your own home or office. It works with either Konnected Alarm Panel Pro or the smaller (and cheaper) Konnected Alarm Panel.
The key is to run 12VDC from the Konnected panel's AUX output through the passive leak sensors, and use a 12V relay module between the water sensor and Konnected panel input. When water touches the contacts on the sensor, resistance changes on the circuit and it creates a path to ground, tripping the relay. Each zone on the Konnected panel connects to the dry contacts on the relay, opening or closing the circuit when the presence of water causes the relay to trip.
In this example setup, a 12V Ice Cube Relay is controlled by the ALARM output on the Konnected panel, triggering a 24VAC water shutoff valve.
There are many brands and types of water leak sensors available online.