Last month we highlighted the fact that Ezlo has been working on a new smart water shut-off valve. The new product is going to add to a growing number of similar solutions, only with a few extra benefits. It is still within its development phases, so many things may change between now and the time it releases, but Ezlo is looking to make something special out of this one.
Smart water shut-off valves have slowly been growing in popularity as the number of consumers interested in smart home environments continues to rise. This is no surprise as a solution like this could potentially save you thousands of dollars in damages that can occur when you have a major leak in your plumbing. Instead of letting water get all over and destroy your home, a signal gets sent to the smart water shut off that kills the main coming into the rest of the home and preventing additional water through.
These products achieve it as a two-part process. You have the piece that can control the valve, and then you have sensors that you place around the home where water is most likely to be a problem (ie, in the garage by the water heater, under sinks, basement, etc). If one of these sensors detects a certain amount of contact moister, they deliver that signal to the shut-off to put a stop to everything.
We recently discussed this with Ezlo to see where they are with their development and what they plan to deliver with the end-product. This is where the extra benefits come into play.
Most shut-off solutions are either proprietary, expensive or limited in function. Ezlo is looking to change this by creating as much flexibility and expansion as possible in the product. It will not only connect with their hubs, but it will also support alternative Z-Wave controllers all the same. That way, if you already have a solution installed, you will be able to integrate this right along with it all. If you don’t, it also has the capability of acting as its own Z-Wave hub, with the ability to attach a few dozen or more compatible Z-Wave devices (including your sensors that you set around the house). This function is similar to their Plughub product (a smart plug and hub combination), where it simply just needs access to your WiFi network to make it all happen.
They will likely offer their own water-detecting sensor solutions, but will also support those of other brands as well, in order to maintain that user-friendly experience. For example, if you already have a sensor or two from Fibaro, then those will be able to interact with it just fine (both via your own hub/controller or using the shut-off valve as the hub).
All you need to do is make sure you have connectivity at the location it is installed. So this would include making sure your network has the capability of reaching the garage or anywhere else the valve is located.
“We wanted to take a look at this space and reinvent it” — Roger Gregory – VP of Product
The extras go further by making sure that you have plenty of options for various scenarios that may affect its performance. This includes the ability to be able to manually open and close the valve by hand like normal without having to remove anything. It features a built-in accessible handle that disables the motor when accessed so that nothing can block the normal feel and use of the physical valve. In case of a power outage, Ezlo plans to offer an optional attachable (rechargeable) battery solution as an upgrade. This way the valve can still be closed remotely by your devices in the case that water is detected during such an event.
They also plan to research further on how they can expand on the benefits and capabilities of the product in the future through modular upgrades, but that is all in the think tank as of right now. So there isn’t anything we are able to touch on just yet.
Clearly, they are putting a lot of time into this one to make sure it is unique enough to stand out when it launches. There is a solid focus on durability so that it will last quite a number of years, as a product like this should, and they are currently pushing through all of the certifications and testing to make that possible.
There is no release date or pricing information just yet, but they are pushing to make sure it is competitive enough for the average consumer’s budget (hopefully, making it more friendly than some of the alternative options currently available). They are pushing for a release sometime later this year, but nothing is set in stone just yet (as we have learned many times during 2020).