Posts Tagged ‘ZWave’

ADT Pulse Adds Features

March 2, 2013 1 comment

One of the criticism’s of the ADT Pulse system was a lack of “Scenes.”  Other automation systems provide the user with the ability to set up automations as a group.  Rather then making a series of individual automations a user can select a “scene” or “mode” that triggers a list of user defined automations.

adt upgrades


ADT has sent an email to Pulse users.  See below:

Dear Valued ADT Customer,
In the next few weeks, we’ll be adding several new interactive features to selected ADT Pulse® Interactive Solutions packages – features that take ADT Pulse® simplicity and automation to a new level:

Modes: At the touch of a button, ADT Pulse “Vacation Mode” can lock the doors, turn off the lights and adjust the temperature. Or, arm the system and set your lights to turn off in 30 seconds when you select “Sleep Mode.” You can customize a total of eight different modes to tailor your environment to suit your lifestyle.

New – Home View now available for Android™ mobile devices: Previously available to IOS users, Android device users can quickly create a unique floor plan that indicates the placement of the devices connected to the ADT Pulse system in your home or business.

Home View “Zoom In”: Zoom in or out with simple gestures like pinching or double-tapping to easily view the details of the ADT Pulse devices in your home or business.

Auto-Delay Settings: Control the sequence and timing of your automations. For example, when you enter the front door, multiple automations can be set to turn on all lights immediately, lock the door after 10 seconds, then adjust the temperature after 30 seconds.

A web page with a video is available here.

From the looks of it you will know when you have the upgrade based on the addition of a added button by your alarm indicator on the portal.  Stay tuned.

ZWave Light Switches and Overhead Fans

February 5, 2013 Leave a comment

The ADT Pulse system has the option of installing Zwave light switches.  These switches can be controlled manually, automatically and remotely.  You also have the option of setting them up for automations and schedules.  The switches can be tied to different Zwave and security modules allowing them to “turn on” or “turn off” when these other items are triggered.

As I sat in my living room looking at my ceiling fan for no apparent reason, it occurred to me I could tie the ceiling fans in my house, to a Zwave switch.  The fan could then be controlled by a schedule, turning on at different times of the day, depending on your particular needs.

Automations could be created to turn on the fan when the system is disarmed or set to “stay” indicating our presence in the house.  This could easily be over-ridden by flipping the switch manually.

Fans in bedrooms could be set to “turn on” during bedtime hours and “turn off” in the morning.  Again, this type of automation can be linked to the “armed” status of your system.  If you are not home, with your panel “Armed Away” you may want to skip this type of automation.

I have not set up this configuration myself.  If I find a few zwave light switches on the cheap I might plunge forward. I am curious if the Zwave thermostat could be tied to light switches based on temperature of the HVAC system. I offer this as an idea for others.  Feel free to share if you have found unique ways to use zwave light switches.

ADT Pulse Water Shut Off Valve

December 6, 2012 6 comments

Having water leak sensors tied to the pulse system has saved us damage to our house twice. One troublesome toilet refused to behave. Fortunately for us, we were home both times the leak sensors alarmed. If we had not been home, a trustworthy friend would have had to step in and assist.

Leak sensors CAN NOT be added to the Pulse system via the IHub, web portal. They must be added through your security panel. Your security panel will have to support leak sensors and you will have to know the installer code to add them to the network. Once installed, the leak sensor will show up via the ADT Pulse touchscreen and web portal.

The ability to detect but not STOP a leak drove me nuts. I researched z-wave water shut off valves for various zwave systems. None of the manufactures would guarantee performance on the ADT Pulse system. Commercial options were also pricey. (Fortrezz, WaterCop, etc..) I was not able to find any information online about other pulse users coming up with a water shut off option.

Using an outdoor Z-Wave appliance/lamp module GE-45604 I came up with a solution.

I purchased a NORMALLY OPEN solenoid valve on Ebay. Locally these valves are available for hundreds of dollars at plumbing supply and HVAC stores. Looking online prices got better. You can use any valve designed to work with water. Make sure you get the right size valve for the pipes you have. Normally open works best for me. A normally open valve will only close when it is powered.  I went with the 120v option since that would plug right in to my lamp module.

solenoid valve

Looking online I have seen some discussion indicating use of a “motorized ball valve.”  This might be a better option. A motorized ball valve will only require power while it is being shut or opened. I was not sure what would happen if a motorized ball valve continued to receive power.  The ADT Pulse Automation System could be set to “turn off” a module.  If  the automation was not set up right would the ball valve open and shut due to the constant flow of power?  Not being sure I went with the Normally Open Solenoid Valve. It cost 33.99.

To wire the valve I took an old three pronged, extension cord. Cut one end and wired it to the solenoid valve. The other end of the extension cord would be plugged in to the outdoor module.

The valve was installed on the main water line after the main/manual shut off valve. I used “shark bite” fittings to link into the water line. Another shut off valve was installed after the solenoid to cover a mistake.


With the valve installed I made several rules in the ADT Pulse automation system. The GE outdoor lamp module was renamed to “Water Shut Off Valve.” Each link sensor was set up to power up the “water shut off valve” when tripped. See below:

leak sensor

Downside, if the power goes out these automations will not work.  A battery back up option for the system and outdoor module would resolve this.  Perhaps the motorized ball valve would have been a better option however, I was not sure how it would work.  If I loose power and have a water leak I guess it is “gods will.”

The zwave shut off valves on the market run 100’s of dollars.  That does not include install.  This can be done for well under 100 dollars if you do your own install.  The valve cost $33, module $19, Sharkbite parts $8, time ?.  The install took about an hour and a half due to over aggressive pipe cutting.  A professional plumber might be a good option if you lack plumbing experience.  You will still get the job done for much less than a commercial product.

Edit:  It was just nagging at me having a useless ball valve on top of the solenoid valve.  Cleaned up the install a bit.  Much better now.


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