5 Essential Smart Home Automations

The 'Smart Home' is about more than controlling the lights from your phone, adjusting the thermostat temperature while away from home, or hanging out on the couch yelling commands to a voice assistant. It's automation that truly makes a 'smart home' smart! Here are 5 essential automation ideas you can use to level up your smart home.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.sharptools.io/five-essential-smart-home-automations/

Couldn’t agree more with the water sensors. Water damage is one of the leading reasons for home insurance claims. I have seen first hand the damage both small and large leaks can cause. It can be devastating and in some cases leave a home unlivable. When I worked for a home automation contractor, we installed Control4, the number one item I pushed was water sensors and a main water shut off. Full investment is less than $1000 even for large homes but the peace of mind is priceless. If your home is equipped with a ball valve you don’t even have to hire a plumber. The shut off device just straps on to the valve. The sensors work really well. I personally use the SmartThings sensors with my Hubitat (discontinued). They have never failed. I test regularly. Place one at each water source…sinks, toilets, washer, dishwasher, fridge, water heater. Create a simple rule that activates (shuts) the valve if water is detected. I have mine setup to send me an SMS which tells me which sensor the leak was detected at. Going on vacation? Shut off the valve. Really cool. Some insurance companies will give discounts for have a system like this.

Great article


It’s amazing how much damage water can do! :grimacing: My path to water sensors started when our Samsung fridge started freezing up and leaking water. It did some damage to the wood floors. I picked up a bunch of old SmartThings Leak sensors for cheap and put them throughout the house. I need to get a z-wave or zigbee shut off valve next!

@Gary_Collier, thanks for sharing your setup and experience. I had a couple water damages under the kitchen sink before, and it was a disaster. I placed the water sensors in every place I can think of after moving to our new house, and they have saved me a few times in the past 4 years. Plumbing repair is no fun, but repairing the water damage is the whole different level. :skull:

I was just looking at the https://www.thesmartesthouse.com/ and Zooz has a unique offering as well as what appears to be a nice water leak sensor.

Quick story. We sold one client easily on the system after his experience. He changed his refrigerator water filter. Everything was fine for a couple of weeks. Went on a three week vacation. Came back to find his house destroyed. Over $200,000 damage. The new filter had broken and eventually the fridge couldn’t handle the amount of water and opened releasing all the water as well as continuing to run. Sadly he had Control4 installed but no one had told him about water leak protection before us.


Agreed. I’ve used the SmartThings Moisture Sensors at all my potential leak sources (as I had one once but got lucky as I was at home) and they’ve worked flawlessly for 6 or 7 years Noe.

Will be installing the Dome main water shutoff I just received this week and then I’ll build some automations.

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@Ronald_Marsden, thanks for sharing your thoughts and it’d be great if you can share your Dome valve experience. Many users, including myself, are greatly interested to get zwave/zigbee valve at the coming holiday. :grin:

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Will do. Hoping to get it done this week.

Ron Marsden