Why I bought this contraption:
It seems like every year we have a water leak in our irrigation system. Last year, a cracked irrigation valve cost me $200 more on my water bill. This year, another cracked valve cost me $500 (facepalm). I decided to do something this time because it stresses me out thinking I might have leak and not know until I get the bill. I looked into direct line systems but with installation, it would be over a grand. I mean, I guess it could be worth it since they can shut the water line off and be more “turn key” but just remember that they are also technology, and as they ware out, you will need to replace them. For me that, that means hiring plumbers ($$$). This solves that by being DIY and the price is way more affordable, even without factoring installation.
Once received, I began adding the bridge and monitor to my account using their attached bar codes. When I went to connect the bridge to WiFi, I couldn’t get it to connect. I was surprised, as everything seems really well thought out. They have a chat system within the app to assist with setup and they couldn’t figure it out either. They sent me a new unit right away. 1st class support! When I received the new unit, it worked perfectly. My water meter is outside the house so I had to install the water sensor there. It was disgusting, but thankfully they included some gloves. Nice touch! After removing a ton of dead bugs and cob webs, I attempted to attach the sensor but there wasn’t enough space. I ended up having to dig a little ditch next to the water meter so that it would have a full connection like the photos illustrated. Not really that difficult but something you may have to deal with if you have a similar setup. After installing the sensor, the app tells you to turn the water on a light stream. I did this and it did not “orient” at first. I tried a bigger stream and it worked perfectly. Overall, not that difficult. Might put some bug spray in the junction box after this…
It seems to have to every feature one would want for something like this and then some. You can make your own budget or create rules for leak notifications. You can look at detailed reports of your usage, which is awesome. It even allows you to see if your water is running or not (albeit with a bit of a lag). It is a very well done app. I am a bit confused by some of the screens while setting up, for example, they have you take a picture of your meter, select it’s brand, size etc but there doesn’t appear to be anywhere in the app where you can view/update this? I can only imagine it’s there for their own research. One feature I would like to see is the ability to set the dates for the reports to make it easier to compare with my water bill .
I worry a bit about battery life. I was told they should last about 2 years which is perfect but I know sometimes those estimates are WAY off. I am also not sure how well the sensor will hold out in the elements. I mean, it’s under a cover but there is still water and dirt/bugs that will most definitely cover the sensor with time. It looks rugged enough for the job, but I could see where there might be some future issues, in particular with the rubber strap losing its integrity. The company is still new, and the product feels a bit beta with the bridge looking like it was made in someone’s garage (glue and scratch marks all over it). I could careless about this, but I am hoping its a product that will last and not die out with the company no longer offering support. I guess it’s the risk you take when buying something this new and made by a bunch of millennials (my people).
I have only had the device installed for a few days but so far it’s working great. I tested it several times using a light stream of water and it had no problems detecting the usage. Toilet flushes register 1.5 gallons which matches the specs perfectly. I am actually more impressed by this then I thought I would. I figured in the worse case, it would at least help let me know when I get a leak, but now I am really fascinated by the amount of water we use. I sell insurance and feel this is something that should be offered by homeowner’s carriers as it would reduce the number of water damage claims significantly. Despite some of my initial concerns, I definitely recommend this and will be sure to update my review as time goes on.
Mertens' Water Monitor | Animals Anonymous
TJ from Animals Anonymous introduces the aquatic and carnivorous world of Gary the Mertens’ Water Monitor.