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Aeotec DSB45 Z-Wave Water Sensor
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Aeotec
Source: ebay
Purchase: ebay
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Page: 2 of 3 [ 1 2 3 ]
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February 27, 2017

The Basics:

The below left image shows the Aeotec DSB45, which has a two pronged water sensor at one end of the cord, and the balance of the smarts found in a compartment at the other end of the cord. I was eager to see just how long the cord was, as some promotional material makes it look like it is about six inches long, while some user reviews stated it was about six feet long. The point of the cable is to be able to mount the sensor at an elevation where it could contact water, and to have the controls and batteries higher to avoid getting wet. Measuring the cable shows that it is 39 inches from where it connects to the components on either end. To me, that is a much better length than six inches or six feet.

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The middle and right images above show the door removed from the battery compartment, where we find two batteries have been included (with a protective strip of plastic placed on one end to keep them from draining before you are ready to use them), and we also find the only two buttons required... Wake up and Z-Wave. The only one you will definitely need is "Z-Wave" as that is the button used to pair the sensor to your Z-Wave network. These are just common AAA batteries, which is good, since I was a bit disappointed to see the battery level reported as 80% when connected to Wink just moments after removing the protective plastic strip. Many Z-Wave devices that are battery powered use less common types of batteries which can be more expensive to replace.

In Use:

For my installation, I installed the sensor against the base of my water heater, with both prongs touching the ground. This location will allow me to sense water from four sources found in the same area of my basement... The water heater, the well buffer tank, the whole house humidifier, and the whole house water filter. Leaks from any of these will reach this sensor rather quickly. The battery compartment end of the device was then mounted to the top of the water heater controls, as it was high enough to stay dry, and flat enough for the device to rest there with the help of some of the included double stick tape. My only issue with this double stick tape design for the sensor is that it does not feel as secure as I would like it - there is a bit of flex/wobble to it that I would rather not have. I have seen customer reviews online where they have modified the mounting system, and I may look in to something where perhaps the sensor is zip tied to a heavy item (maybe a small block of steel) that will hold it exactly where I place it.

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The setup within Wink was very easy. I started the process of adding a new Z-Wave sensor in the mobile app, and when directed I pressed the Z-Wave button on the Aeotec device. It was paired and ready to use in one try, which is actually rather impressive to me. The images below show the progression from successful pairing, to naming the device, to verifying the details of the sensor, to finally seeing my list of water sensors. For now it is just the one device in my furnace room, but soon there will be one in the laundry room and by the kitchen sink / dish washer.

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So, all of the above was completed between about 6:10 and 6:13 PM one night, and in the images below you can see a handful of tests between 6:15 and 6:17 the same night. At 6:15 we see it was reporting that it was dry, then when dipped in a shallow puddle it reported it was wet and then when removed from the puddle it almost immediately reported that it was dry again. I kept pulling it in and out of the water (seen in the third image), and then in the fourth image we see an example of the push notification delivered to my phone to indicate that the Robot I had created for notifying me about the presence of water was working. I have the robot set up to let me know immediately, but you can put a time delay in there, which may be useful for only telling you there is water if the water is present for a minute, or whatever time interval you would like.

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As mentioned, you can use this device to tell you when something has run dry, too. You would just have to place the sensor in water and set up a Robot to tell you when it no longer sensed water.

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