Last updated on December 21st, 2020 at 11:15 pm

Do you have a way to inform yourself immediately if there is flooding at your home? If your answer is No, then Home Assistant and Shelly Flood Sensor will help.

I will show you how to use Home Assistant and Shelly Flood Sensor to detect any leakages at your home immediately. We will use some Home Assistant automations and MQTT protocol.

HOME ASSISTANT and SHELLY FLOOD | Detect any leakages immediately

Why flood detection is important?

Very recently I had a small leakage, drop by drop from the pipes under my kitchen sink and I found out about it after a day, but the damage to my kitchen cabinets was already done.

Accidental flooding at your home from defective valves, pipes or connections can be very expensive if you don’t catch the leakage immediately. Fail to do so and you will have to fix the flooring, change furniture, paint or all of these things at once.

Now I’m determined to put as many flood sensors as needed to catch eventual leakages on time. To accomplish that I will integrate Home Assistant and Shelly Flood Sensor. I will use a MQTT server to help me with this integration. After that I will be able to trigger all sort of notifications like calls, messages, mails and so not using Home Assistant automations.

I will show you the whole process step by step, but first let’s smash the subscribe button for my weekly newsletter together, to scare all floods and leakages and then to see how the Shelly Flood Sensor looks like.

What is Shelly Flood Sensor?

Shelly Flood is a battery powered sensor, that allows you to receive an instant notification if there is water or liquid leakage detected. You can also monitor the temperature of your home. And because Shelly Flood is wire free you can place the sensor anywhere at your home where unpleasant events may occur. Only WiFi coverage is required.

Shelly Flood Sensor that soon will be integrated with Home Assistant.
Shelly Flood Sensor that soon will be integrated with Home Assistant.

The needed battery for the Shelly Flood sensor is (Amazon affiliate link follows) CR123A. It is stated in the manual that the Shelly Flood can last from 12 to 18 months with one battery. To add the battery you have to twist a bit both parts of the Shelly Flood Sensor to open it.

You have to open the Shelly Flood to place the battery.
Open the Shelly Flood to place the battery.

The other parameters of Shelly Flood that worth mentioning are:

  • Operational range: up to 15m indoors and up to 30m outdoors.
  • Working temperature: -40C to +60C
  • Size: 70x19x19mm
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ 2.4 GHz
  • Sound Alarm
  • Embedded WEB Server

To Cloud or not to Cloud?

Any of the Shelly products that I reviewed till now can be added to the Shelly mobile App and Shelly Flood is no exception.

Of course you can decide how to control or monitor your device. And you have several options:

  1. Using the Shelly Cloud – that will allow you to monitor and receive notifications from anywhere.
  2. Using the device only locally – that will allow you to monitor the device only in your local network and you have to manually take care for the notifications part.
  3. Hybrid of the two options above – Cloud + local MQTT and Home Assistant integration. Which I’m using at the moment and we are going to do exactly that down below.

The choice is entirely yours.

Initial Shelly Flood Setup

First you need to connect Shelly Flood device to your WiFi. That is very easy and well described in the Shelly Flood user guide. In simple words do the following:

  • Put Shelly Flood in pairing mode (the LED should flash slowly). This is done automatically by putting the battery for the first time. You can also force it by press and hold the Reset button for 10secs.
  • Use the Shelly Mobile App for iOS or Android and click on Add device from the menu.
  • Enter your WiFi name and password that you wish the Shelly Flood to join.
  • Then choose Shelly Flood picture from the devices list.
  • The app will ask you to join in shellyflood-XXXXXX WiFi network afterwards.
  • Then the app will guide you through the adding the device to a room and to give it a name.
  • And you are ready.

Home Assistant Shelly Flood integration

Let’s now integrate Home Assistant and Shelly Flood Sensor. Doing that is piece of cake easy, unfortunately is not enough at least for now. Read till the end of this section to find out why.

Go to Home Assistant > Configuration > Integrations and search for Shelly and click on the result.

  • Wake up your Shelly Flood Sensor by single press of the reset button, located next to the battery.
  • Enter the Shelly Flood IP (you can get it from your router) in the Home Assistant dialog and click SUBMIT.
  • Click FINISH on the Success dialog and you should see your Shelly Integration with one device and three entities detected.
Home Assistant and Shelly Flood integration.
Home Assistant and Shelly Flood integration.

The temperature and battery level sensors seems to work Out of The Box in Home Assistant, but unfortunately the binary flooding sensor is like in a freezer and it won’t move whatever I try.

I tried multiple times and different methods to change it’s state automatically to anything other than Dry, but It did not work.

This is because Home Assistant support for battery-powered Shelly devices is limited. This mens that the Home Assistant and Shelly Flood integration is not yet polished and it needs some bug fixing.

Shelly Flood sensors that are working Out of the Box with Home Assistant.
Shelly Flood sensors that are working Out of the Box with Home Assistant.

I believe that the Home Assistant and Shelly integration for battery powered devices will be fixed sooner than later.

Meanwhile we are not going to just sit and wait. On the contrary we are going to use MQTT protocol to detect leakages and to start Home Assistant automations.

Here is what needs to be done.

Home Assistant + MQTT + Shelly Flood

To make Home Assistant and Shelly Flood to work as they should – we will use the MQTT protocol. To do that we must have a MQTT broker/server up and running. One of the most popular ones is called Mosquitto.

You can install Mosquitto as standalone server or as Home Assistant Add-on from the Supervisor > Add On Store > search & install for Mosquitto.

When you install & start your MQTT broker you have to add It to your Home Assistant. Here is how.

Add MQTT Server to Home Assistant

Go to Home Assistant > Configuration > Integrations and search for MQTT and click on the result.

  • Enter the IP of your MQTT server in the Broker field.
  • Enter your MQTT username and password and click SUBMIT.
  • Click FINISH on the Success dialog and you should see your MQTT Integration in Home Assistant.
Add MQTT server to Home Assistant
Add MQTT server to Home Assistant

How to enable MQTT on Shelly Flood?

To enable MQTT on Shelly Flood Sensor open your Shelly Flood Web interface in a browser and go to: Internet & Security > AdvancedDeveloper Settings > Enable action execution via MQTT.

As username and password you should enter your MQTT credentials and as server you should enter the IP where MQTT server is installed. Finally click on the SAVE button.

Enabling MQTT for Shelly Flood
Enabling MQTT for Shelly Flood Sensor.

Home Assistant Automation for Shelly Flood

Now when we have a MQTT server running, MQTT added to Home Assistant and our Shelly Flood connected to MQTT we can create a Home Assistant automation. This automation will monitor the Shelly Flood MQTT topic for changes and will inform us if there is any. This is how you can create such Home Assistant automation.

You could use the Home Assistant graphical interface for automation creation as I’m showing in my YT video or you could edit the automations.yaml file in your Home Assistant configuration folder. Here I will show you the latter.

Open automations.yaml file in your favorite editor or add-on and paste the following YAML code:

alias: MQTT flood detection
description: ''
trigger:
  - platform: mqtt
    topic: shellies/shellyflood-B035E2/sensor/flood
    payload: 'true'
condition: []
action:
  - service: persistent_notification.create
    data:
      message: flood is detected thanks to MQTT and the subscribe button
mode: single

In the code above, you may wish to change the topic: to your real Shelly Flood topic. If you want to double check the exact MQTT topics you can use the free tool MQTT explorer available for all major Operating Systems.

The other thing that you may wish to change is the action part of the automation. If you leave the action as it is, then a Persistent notification will be created when the MQTT topic becomes true (when flood is detected). This is fine, but for testing purposes and not for production as this will not wake you up in the middle of the night. And I guess you wish to know ASAP if there are any leakages.

I personally want to get the max of this Home Assistant and Shelly Flood integration and I will change the above action to Twilio call and Telegram message when I finish with the testing. Also I want to be on the safe side and to catch at least one of the notifications even when I’m sleeping.

The other notification ideas that you could use are Home Assistant Companion app for iOS, Android, macOS, or notify.events. All of these notifications services above are great and two hands recommended by myself.

Test Home Assistant and Shelly Flood Automation

Time to test everything and to subscribe for my Newsletter if you haven’t done that already or at least leave a comment below or at very, very least just read the rest of the article 😜

Grab your Shelly Flood Sensor and put it in а shallow plate filled with water or you can just put it on any even metal surface, so the Shelly Flood Sensor legs are short-circuited.

Putting the Shelly Flood in a plate with water to test the Home Assistant automation.
Putting the Shelly Flood in a plate with water to test the Home Assistant automation.

You should hear a sound alarm from the Shelly Flood Sensor and you should receive a persistent notification in Home Assistant.

Persistent notification in Home Assistant activated from the Shelly Flood MQTT automation.
Persistent notification in Home Assistant activated from the Shelly Flood MQTT automation.

If you have the Shelly Cloud enabled you will also receive an e-mail and Shelly Mobile Application push notification.

Summary

I really hope that you find this information useful and you now know how to detect floods and leakages using Home Assistant and Shelly Flood Sensor.

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Stay safe and don’t forget – Home Smart, But Not Hard!


2 Comments

Bieniu · 16/12/2020 at 10:32 pm

You can use https://github.com/bieniu/ha-shellies-discovery to automatically configure Shelly battery powered devices via MQTT.

    Kiril · 21/12/2020 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks for the link

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