Water flow monitoring -- NOT from a meter!

We live on a rural acreage and have a well. I’ve now got a Shelly H&T in my pump shed connected via WiFi to monitor the shed’s temperature for freezing…that’s solved problem #1.

Problem #2 is how to monitor water flow from the “house side” of the pressure tank. Every solution I’ve seen so far seems to be designed for water meter usage and not simple water flow measurement.

And really…all I truly NEED to know is if the water consumption is “unusual”…which will tell me there is a line break, or something in the irrigation is screwed, or there is something else going on. I do not need an absolute measure of gallonage (although that would be useful). Would prefer WiFi or Ethernet connection as have both and it’s too far away for ZWave or Zigbee right now (300’+).

I’m stumped so far.

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You would probably need to use ESPhome. The solutions I’ve seen use the measures flow rate over time to calculate usage so you could leave this out and just get the flow rate itself.

We live in a new housing estate and have a soggy garden (builder’s layer of rubble and clay under the ‘top soil’) so I have dug a land drain and have a simple garden sump pump. This runs from a float switch, from time to time, and we always wondered how much it was being used.

Pump runs from an outside power socket, in which I fitted a Shelly PM1 switch, used really just to measure the power used by the hot tub. Using the HA shelly integration, this is mostly very accurate, and I can see when the hot tub starts (1kW), and when we turn on the garden lights (15 W). It also spikes every time the sump pump runs.

So, from the power supply power sensor, I have a statistics change sensor, and then from this I run a couple of automations, one of which triggers when the change is between 250 and 400 watts (the pump is 340 watts when running). This then increments a counter, and every day I reset the counter and post the count to a text file.

In my case, the sump pump runs mostly for the same amount of time (40 seconds) so when I get around to measuring the amount it usually shifts in that time (10-15 litres?) I will be able to guess how much water I am shifting out of the garden every day.

  - platform: statistics
    name: "Tub Power Change"
    entity_id: sensor.tub_switch_power
    state_characteristic: change
    sampling_size: 3
    precision: 0

It rained quite a lot yesterday.

Edit: The big spike is the tub (on/off). The medium spikes are the sump pump. The ‘wiggle’ when the tub is running is the Shelly power reading ‘error’. The little spikes are the powered cat scarer (PIR/sonic) which must have been triggered when I was walking in the garden.
And all from just monitoring the power used.

Interesting approach! If the pump is running for a long time…there’s an issue. (I have NUT Tools set up to monitor my Eaton UPS…and it does much the same for me…so when absent I can tell if there is a long power outage.)

Will noodle on how to potentially make this work for me.

Thanks - I was a little afraid of this…having no experience at all with ESPhome and it looks a bit…intimidating? Seems like a lot of “hardware building” and engineering but maybe I need to re-look?