How I’m Trying to Outsmart Calvin’s Water Obsession
I mentioned in a previous post that I’m monitoring Calvin’s playing with water in the bathroom with a combination of motion and water sensors.
Welp, it took one day for Calvin to figure out the water sensors.
Calvin knows that I’m electronically monitoring him with sensors. How do I know that he knows? He’s literally picking up the water sensors whenever he wants to play in the water and putting them on a shelf. Even if he’s not “flooding” the bathroom, he knows that the water sensors are watching him. So he’ll just pick them up.
I’m toying with a few ideas:
- Buy a plastic “cover” to hide the sensor, maybe a fake safe that masquerades as a product . . . (1) it would have to allow water to seep underneath and (2) it would have to be a product that he’s not interested in
- Add a motion sensor to the water sensor area . . . but that’s too vague and would fire off a ton of false alarms.
- Is there a flow sensor that can detect when water is running in the pipes? That would probably be the most accurate–that’s really what I’m interested in knowing. I think this is the answer.
I’m not pulling the trigger yet, but I think the flow sensor is the answer. The StreamLabs Smart Home Water sensor looks really cool. It clamps around the pipe and uses sound waves to measure water usage. While this is exactly what we need, it doesn’t support Z-Wave. I need to be able to check time of day, etc. before I fire off alarms. I don’t want it to just wake me up every single time it detects water flow.
Instead, I think this is this guy is the right choice–the FortrezZ Flow Meter. It supports Z-Wave and it can detect even a running toilet. Because it supports Z-Wave, I can look at the water flow data, check if Calvin is home, check if Calvin is in the bathroom, etc. and then make decisions based on that. If this truly works the way I’m hoping, I would feel much safer letting him go to the bathroom alone at night.
Any other suggestions?