Looking for a HA freelancer

Hi - I help run a small, rural community water company that provides culinary water to residents in a mountain community located at 8,000 feet. We’ve recently upgraded our system with a number of IoT devices (outlets to turn pumps on and off, smart water meters, water tank level monitors, etc.). What we haven’t done is integrate all of these devices and create redundancy that will fire triggers when / if the internet is down. I also need help create dashboards that provide system status, trigger if / then actions, trigger alarms / alerts and let us capture and drill into historical data. I’m installing a Home Assistant instance in an attempt to start to integrate all of the various components. I run HA at home but am very new from a learning curve pov.

I’ve posted a job on this to Upwork but would love to know if there’s anyone from this community that is interested / able to help?


If this post is in appropriate for this forum, please provide me with the feedback and/or delete. TY

Is your application life or death critical? If it is, in all honesty, I would hesitate to recommend HA.

If it’s just for monitoring and statistical analysis, no problem.


What you need is a proper SCADA and PLC. I work in Industrial Automation and specialize in water supply and waste water treatment facilities. What you are describing needs to be controlled by a dedicated system that can collect the data you need, trend/graph it, provide alarming and historical recall of alarms, and provide secure remote access. This would be any number of HMI software suites such as Rockwell FactoryTalk SE/ME, AVEVA InTouch, or Ignition. The PLC can be something small with discrete and analog I/O to control pump starters/contactors/VFDs and get feedback from your analog/ethernet metering devices.

I would not recommend HA for this type of control or installation.


Not life or death. Monitoring and analysis only. The system was run manually for 50 years (and by run, some months it would run and other months it would be out of service for months at a time).

I’d love to have a proper SCADA system but we can’t afford it (I know because we priced it out with multiple vendors). The system is super small serving 23 total connections. It has been manually run for 50 years (by manual, some months the watermaster would run the system and other months he would get tired and just turn it off for months at a time). Along with a couple of other volunteers, I’ve been running the system year round without interruption for two years. Is HA perfect for the job? No. Will it save me a trip or two to an area that is very challenging to access especially in the winter? It would be nice. Can I run the system without it? Yes. Hope that context helps and appreciate the feedback (and pls feel free to keep suggestions and ideas coming!).


I understand the affordability aspect of the project with this small of an operation. A control panel with a small HMI and PLC with all the controls and I/O for your various meters and sensors would run about $25k-$30k for just the hardware alone. Programming/commissioning would take approximately 4-6 weeks and cost a little more than the panel itself.

A benefit of a dedicated controls system is the standardized I/O and hardware. most everything is compatible with minimal effort to integrate. And the devices will continue to operate until a piece of hardware dies (transmitter gets stuck, power supply in an analytical transmitter dies, contactor fails, etc).

Regardless of the system you go with, I would document the firmware/software versions the system was designed around and document any supporting technical literature for those versions. Then find a way to lock the devices out from auto-updating and only use a local API (not a cloud based API where the device is phoning home). SCADA systems don’t have auto-update capabilities and don’t phone home. They also provide local connections for data. HAOS does have auto-update ability and the IoT devices you’re trying to integrate with it may have it as well if it has an active internet connection. Auto updates can break integrations and change API endpoints. If you can’t turn off auto-updates at the device, you will need to block them at your firewall or internet gateway.

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What are these currently connected to? Do your water flowmeters etc have outputs that are easy to interface to with say ESPhome?

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Flow Fuse maybe a better platform to explore as they offer RBAC. They have a free version but they also offer reasonable tech support pricing.

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Excellent feedback… thank you! Your estimates are spot on with the quotes we received (with the hardware being the smaller part of the investment compared to the labor required to config and then maintain).

I’ve started to document all of the components of the system access details but haven’t added firmware/software details yet (but will do based on your advice). I do have auto updates off on my home install of HA for the very reason that you note… I want to have a working version backed up that I can restore to in the event things go sideways.

Thanks again and much appreciated!

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Starting last year, we began installing DAE water meters (which are made for smaller systems like ours while still being fully compliant with state and federal drinking water requirements). The meters have radios that transmit data to a central radio unit that uploads it to DAE’s cloud ( DAE AMR130 KIT, (Auto Meter Reading Module with Modbus/RS485 Communications) for 1 Water Meter – DAE Controls. DAE’s cloud isn’t anything special… just a database with a crappy UI that allows me to pull raw data from each meter. No on / off controls (which is fine) but also no easy analysis (I have to pull all the raw data into an excel file and then analyze it to find out what is / isn’t going on).

Thanks… I’ll have a look. At first glance, it looks like a very robust system (but also might be more overkill vs. what we really need). Part of our challenge is that the water company is run by volunteers with the exception of (very part time) state certified watermaster who I convinced our shareholders to hire (again on a very part time basis) so that anything that we do is fully compliant with state and federal water regulations (of which there are many). From a tech pov, there is 1 (maybe 2) of us that have a small modicum of capability and interest. If something goes sideways with the system, I’m usually the one that is responding to the alerts. Recently, I’ve been able to troubleshoot 90% of the issues (which are honestly few and far between) looking at the logs of the various components, identifying root cause of the issue and implementing a fix while also looking for how I can create more redundancy by design. Way more than you want to know but point being is that whatever system I put in place needs to be something that i can teach others to operate (relatively) easily.

By the way… I sincerely appreciate all the feedback, ideas and suggestions.

I’ll keep this group posted on how the project progresses if for no other reason than to potentially inform others as to what to (or maybe what not to) do.

For those who are interested, you can see a snapshot of some of the telemetry that I’ve been collecting since installing various components here PTW - Usage Statistics Telemetry 2023 - Google Docs The info comes from multiple systems.

I pull the raw data and then put together (some admittedly) rough analysis. It’s far from perfect but beats digging up storage tanks buried in snow and using a tape measure to figure out what is going on.

Flow fuse is node red but with an additional layer security solely built for industrial environments and critical systems. There have been more than a few news reports about bad actors targeting small power and utility companies. As far as support, for 1500/year you have access to the dev team with a next day response. That’s something that is just not possible with HA.

Node red is available in the add-on store in home assistant. I use it for all my automations. It’s a visually based system that should be easier for people with out coding experience to pick up.

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Nice project you got yourself into! :slight_smile:

Despite what others say here in the topic, I’d use HA for this. It doesn’t seem to be critical in any way, and HA is running nicely these days. If you be careful what you’re doing with your HA instance, it runs in many cases like a charme.

$1500.- just for a license? That’s pretty step, especially for a non-profit working with volunteers… And it doesn’t seem necessary at all. :slight_smile:

So why bother with expensive business solutions, when everything is right here? I’d use HA, run a different installation to try out updates and installations (one test system, one productive system) and see where it brings me.

If you can’t get it to run smoothly, there is always the way for professional software and support, but I’m quite sure, you will get where you want! :slight_smile:

Just my two cents :slight_smile:


Thanks @Mikefila… I’ll have a look. Fwiw, our annual operating budget is about $3k so the license fee is a bit cost prohibitive. That said, I have found some vendors who are willing to discount their services for non-profits (like us). thx

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Thanks much @paddy0174 for the advice and encouragement! Your thinking is in line with my own (at least for starters). I like the ideal of running two installs (test and production). At this point, even small improvements are big wins saving a lot of time and effort (and setbacks are just par for the course with what we’ve had to do to keep things running thus far). I’ve got a HA green en route so will keep you posted as to how things progress.

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I know that from own experience, and I’ve to admit, I had to learn that. I’m working voluntary for a local food bank in Germany (called “Die Tafeln”) and in 2015 we needed to switch from a manual (read: with post-its) to a computer based approach to handle our clients (in 2015 we had many refugees from Syria, that all came at the same time).

There were really great and easy to use solutions on the market, offered from small to big companies, but in the end we chose a local developer to run an open-source app, that we modified a bit. Not what I had in mind in the beginning, I’m a software developer… :smiley: Besides the costs, software for non-profits must “fit” to the project. License models and big companies aren’t exactly that.

I don’t know you, but what I’ve seen from your webpage, I’m quite sure, HA is the way to go for you, as long as the components you use are implemented in HA.

Why don’t you open a new topic and describe the way you want to start and take other users with you on that adventure. And I know that this forum here is better than any support hotline, so whatever questions come up, there will be someone who has an answer. :slight_smile:

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Thanks @paddy0174 … you definitely “get it” as you’ve been there / done that and know what it’s like. Great idea to open another thread / topic to share the journey so will do. I’m new to this community but have already found it to be incredibly welcoming and supportive. Can’t tell you all enough how nice that is to find (as it’s more the exception vs. the rule these days). Thanks again… (and I’ll be sure to tag you on the new post once I get my instance of HA up and running up there).

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