Lowe’s American retail chain of home improvement and appliances, has added yet another resourceful device to its notorious Iris home automation line. This time, it’s a smart water valve that can automatically shut off the water as soon as it detects a burst in the pipe.
The smart valve is designed by LeakSmart, an Ohio-based company and was first demonstrated in January during the CES 2014, but wasn’t readily available for purchase back then. The Smart Valve is basically a motorized ball valve network connected and can be easily installed onto your home’s plumbing system. The valve can be effortlessly connected to your home’s wireless network and can also communicate with other Iris sensors in the house. The best thing about the smart valve is that it can be controlled from any part of the world via a simple tap of a smartphone app, and can also be customized to activate automatically keeping in mind various environmental triggers.
Let’s assume that, you’ve turned your heat off to save power before you leave for a 15-day holiday on some island in the Pacific Ocean. Now, if the temperate drops below freezing point and causes the pipe to burst, the Iris moisture sensors would immediately detect the leak and automatically communicate with the Smart Valve to shut off the water main. In fact, using Iris temperature sensors, the valve can be configured to automatically shut off the water, even before it dips below freezing point and prevent a pipe burst from happening.
“Many of our customers have experienced serious flood damage from burst pipes and leaks. The Smart Valve offers a new level of protection for their homes and gives them the peace of mind to know that if anything happens they will be alerted and damage can be minimized.” said Kevin Meagher, Lowe’s vice president and general manager of the Smart Home division.
Currently, the only drawback of the product is that its installation might be a bit tricky. The product is nothing like the Water Hero, another smart valve that recently showed up in the Kickstarter ecosystem. The Smart Valve will require a lot of cutting and soldering before it is installed, which might leave another dent in your pocket. Smart Valve is currently available for $160, while its nemesis water Hero isn’t expected to roll out until 2015.