I think Home Assistant just saved my dog's life!

I’m pretty sure that my Home Assistant may have just saved my house and my puppy Charlie’s life too! I was at work this morning when an alert on my phone went off. The alert sound was “sirens and firetrucks” on full blast. Smoke detected on the basement Nest Protect!

Honestly, it confused me a bit for a minute, I’ve never actually gotten one of my super duper sh*t is going down right now alerts in real time (not just testing it). I didn’t believe it at first. But I have a Wyze cam on Charlie’s crate (he’s only 7 months old) so I opened up the stream, and sure enough I could hear all my Nest Protects going off and Charlie was going ape sh*t!! The alarm on the cam in his room was going off too, poor bugger. :worried:

My dumb a** should probably have called the fire department. But I didn’t see any smoke on the cam and I’m not too far from work so I boogied home. I made a normally 11 or so minute commute in light traffic in 7 minutes :grimacing:

Opened my door and sure enough was greeted with a face full of acrid electrical smoke. I ran to Charlie’s crate, grabbed him and literally threw my freaking out 80 pound puppy (yes, 7 months - 80 pounds) out the back door, then rand and turned off the main breaker on the panel in the basement. I could tell by smoke the issue was actually down there (well that and in hindsight it was the downstairs protect that alerted ). Took me a few minutes to find it the problem, it was dark (cellphone flashlight… lol) and there was a lot of smoke! Turns out the compressor or something in the basement fridge was burning up and scorching the floor and the wall behind it.

I got the alert from Home Assistant on my phone within a minute of the smoke detector going off and I was on my way home about a minute later. I was very fortunate to be close enough to home to deal with it before anything terrible happened. And by the way, I didn’t get the official “Nest” alert until about 4-5 minutes later - I was already almost home. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

So take that for what it is. My investment in Home Assistant (mostly time!) and my smart home hobby has just paid for itself a million times over. That is all.


charlie small


Using a smart plug I accidentally discovered overload in one of my electrical circuits. Braker didn’t go off and I think it should. It could also lead to fire but fortunately it didn’t.


Hope the little friend is ok and got some delicious treats.
Love to hear your time payed off with a life saving event :heart_eyes:

My homeassistant notified me of my runaway cat standing at the door at night… Never could be happier. Since then, smart home is widely accepted by the womensperson in house to even keep the pets safe and sound :heart_eyes:

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I’m happy to hear that your house and your dog are safe (you have a beautiful dog btw)!

Home assistant can definitively protect your house and your familiy. I few months back, I installed some water leak sensor at strategic locations in my home and a smart water valve on the main water line. 2 days after, I had to go for a small 2 days trip to another city and a few hours after arriving at the Hotel, I received an alert from HA that the water heater leak sensor detected a leak and that the automation to close the main valve had been triggered. I was 100% sure it was a false alarm as the sensors and automations were set in place just 2 days before. I first thought that I was stupid I probably had done something wrong with my install or my automation and that it was just a false alarm. When I arrived back to my house, there was about 1 pint of water on the basement floor. It turns out that a speedway near the water heater failed. The system worked as expected and shut the main water in seconds preventing my hole home to be flooded. Thanks god I installed all this 2 days before! I couldn’t beleive it, the 700$ sensors/valve combo was worth the money in just 2 days!


These are great stories, thanks!

I’ve always felt that the real value in HA is home monitoring. All the other stuff is fun, but in the end it’s these types of sensors, alarms and associated automations which can really justify the cost in time, money and family tolerance of this “hobby.”


I have to share my story if you guys will put up with me, as I need to totally agree.

I live in a flood zone and have a decent sump pump that was never an issue. Have been here 30 years and about 15 years ago replaced the sump. I know, asking for trouble. Sep '21 we had a flooding event (a hurricane) and our sump died. Water rising about 2 inches per minutes in the basement - which is crammed with valuable stuff. Unable to pump water out quickly enough with a crappy hand pump. Went to a neighbor in desperation to ask if he had a spare pump - he did! But, it was ancient. PLugged it in, just smoke! Took it apart and saw that it just seized up as it needed lubrication. Oiled it and 4 inch deep water finally dropped down to nothing. Whew! I told my wiufe that would never, ever, ever happen again. Went nuts with leak sensors, then home automation etc… New sump installed with “quick release” setup such that I can swap in a replacement that is sitting nearby that I test religiously every month.

Since then we have had several minor mishaps (leaking sink drain, etc.) that I have been able to catch instantly. Peace of mind rules, knowing that there is NO WAY anything like that can ever happen again. Of course being a techno-geek I overdid it, sump pump operations monitored and validation that water is actually moving through the pump sump drain pipe, smoke alarms connected to HA as well as to a third party service that calls me and then the local cops if I don’t answer, same with door and window sensors when I have the home grown alarm turned on… reminders about the garage door being left open, reminders about closing specific open windows when it starts raining from the weather station I have integrated, notification when the mail arrives, lights on when people walk into ropoms and then when they leave go off, outdoor spotlights and cameras that go on in the middle of the night if a human appears nearby, etc., etc., etc. I think I’ve created a monster but I am thrilled with it - and feel much safer!

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Pretty quick work, taking it apart; oiling it, and putting it back together in 4 minutes :wink:

Just kidding! Been there, done that. I have two full-time pumps, along with a third hot backup which just needs to be connected to the outflow hose. They’re fully monitored with run-time totals, cycle counts and automations to swap over if one gets stuck on. I have a fourth standy pump ready to swap out with one of the primaries, and a portable one I can throw in as a last resort.

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validation that water is actually moving through the pump sump drain pipe

Curious how you accomplished this?

I love my “smart” sump pumps. The sump counters are interesting and all that, but I have and indoor and outdoor sumps. Being in Canada, certain times of the year of the outdoor sump pit can freeze. I used to have to remember to turn it on and off manually all winter long (warm and cold snaps). I once had a $300 pump self destruct one winter when I was away for a week.

Now it’s all tied into the outdoor temperature and turn’s itself on and off. I haven’t had to touch it in 3 years! I use Shelly relays for this and just now realized I should probably set up some alerts if the pump is drawing too much power or has run too long to let me know about to potential issues.


I do have other sensors but I really thought in addition to all the other sensors - the real measure of a sump pump working in the end - the bottom line - is to actually verify the pipe where the water leaves the building - is getting filled with water ocassionally! So with a sensor that looks like this -


At the elbow where the drainpipe goes towards the wall to exit the house, I disconnected the pipe, cut a slit on the top of the pipe sticking out of the wall, slid a water sensor wire into the slit so the sensor was hanging free in the pipe. Put the pipe back together and a bunch of epoxy covering the remaining part of the slit. I actually have a water supply running into the sump pump pit for testing purposes so all I have to do is turn that water on for a minute to test it. Anyway, the pipe would fill and then when empty however, the sensor would still show wet even up to a minute later - and I tried hanging it at a different angles in the pipe but that didn’t work either.

So, I got drastic and re-mounted it in this manner, cutting an actual small rectangular hole in this rubber section of pipe to tightly fit the sensor in - (by this time you can see the wire to the probe was getting a little worn - but still Ok) - and this was the best angle (not on top, but on the side) as it takes full advantage of gravity to show the pipe as dry as soon as water stops touching the sensor (when it was on the top of the pipe, there would still be a little film of water between the leads at the end of the probe otherwise and it would continue to show as wet for a few minutes):


With that sensor I am able to detect when it is wet - and then also when it is no longer wet. It is the probe end of this.

I actually write the time of the changes of wetness as a new row into a google sheet - and that row also has informnation from my back yard weather station about whether or not it is raining and other weather conditions, etc. I haven’t gotten around to it but I was planning someday when I had time, to do some analysis on all the data to determine the lag time and/or how much rain needs to fall to cause the sump to have to start kicking in… but I decided I need to get a life and left that analytical part for later (maybe never)… :slight_smile:

If you really wanted to invent something from scratch you could probably use esphome and just two wires…


I like it!

I’m surprised the inside of the pipe ever gets dry enough to turn the sensor off, much less that quickly. With my pumps running on average several times per hour, I assumed this sort of sensor location would always show as “wet.”

My proxy for a working pump is the current draw. Normal current draw for over a minute - pump is stuck “on.” High current draw for more than a brief startup spike - locked rotor. Long time with no current draw - maybe the float is stuck down.

Let me guess it’s a Frigidaire refrigerator . I had something very similar happening . Lucky we were home, wife heard this crackly sound coming from the fridge. Stupid Fridge design there was a spot right above the Refrigerator Start Device so water drips above it and corrodes the contacts.

Here is a video of what I captured.

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It was indeed a Frigidaire, over 25 years old. It was actually a really decent fridge until this happened. It does look like the problem was in the exact same spot though!

You’re either insane (in a good way!) or have some big time water issues…lol. Very cool setup. Thanks for sharing!

Maybe I just lucked out with it showing dry as soon as that part of the pipe is empty (obviously the vertical section always has water in it)… I was thinking of the current draw idea but that doesn’t specifically tell you that water is actually flowing out of the basement :slight_smile:

I do have this as well and offers some usefulness (power off, leaks, sump pit levels, offers a tie-in to alarm systems) but it isn’t of much use honestly (and no tie-in to HA):

Mostly insane - something snapped (and created a new hobby) when the basement was flooded. Never really have many water issues, the sump just kicks in and has top work hard when there is a major storm

Mine is a fieldstone foundation. Dug into an impervious clay layer. Ledge underneath that. Any water which falls on the (slightly) uphill side of my house will eventually find its way into my basement.

Crazy? Maybe. Amateur hydrologist? Definitely.

There’s no such thing as “overkill” on pump design, quality or monitoring. No matter what you fix, something else will fail. And at the worst possible time. Have backup plans, and backup plans to the backup plans. Have easily swapped spares of everything. Monitor everything you can.

Yes! I am sure your drainage pipe has to be very long!..

I have heard of a sump pump design that in case of power failure it utilizes water pressure from the water supply line to the home to push the water out of the sump pit into the drainage pipe, the only issue being that you are using huge amounts of water during that - very clever though

What are you using for the water main shutoff? I have leak sensors everywhere, and would like to add a water shutoff, but I’m not sure which one to get.

Agreed - I have the sump set up such that it is easy to take out - and a spare nearby that I test every 3 months or so -

I don’t have one but the yolink link I gave above does have one which does work even if there is no internet (or power I think)