Sonoff BSP Zigbee Smart Water Valve

Sonoff BSP

Just as I was pondering starting this Sonoff BSP review at the weekend, I saw Matt’s video (NotEnoughTech). Matt had a slightly different take on the BSP to what I’m about to share. He noted that the Zigbee2MQTT is not quite ready for the BSP (or vice-versa) (but see the end of this entry for update). I just updated my Zigbee2MQTT over the weekend.

When Matt was working on his video, initially he had no garden – then it poured rain like crazy (well, he IS in the Northeast if England and of course rain in July is a regular feature there – something I know from decades of bitter experience). Matt set up the BSP to run on the Sonoff eWeLink APP, turning it on and off – and monitoring water flow. In the end that all worked well.

So how is my outlook different? I’m in the blazing heat of Southern Spain – no chance of rain here… and I have a potential use for this device. I already have a plant watering system BUT we have an outside pool and every few days it needs a top-up due to evaporation (right now our humidity is VERY low and the sun is relentless) and guess what – I keep forgetting to turn the hose off – not a good idea right now.

Sonoff BSP

I got out of bed this morning and decided to write about the BSP Zigbee smart Water Valve. I opened the box, pulled out 4 AA batteries from my drawer and inserted them into the BSP.

Sonoff BSP

The orange box you see in the photo (left) pulls out to let you insert AA batteries into it (I suggest decent alkalines). Importantly the box has a good seal. Next, I took the hose off my outside tap and fitted the BSP in between the tap and the hose.

Up to now, all’s good. I decided to mate the BSP with the eWeLink App, forgetting that, being Zigbee, it would need to talk to a “hub”. First problem – I hit + on the APP which then asked me to scan the QR code on the BSP. Good idea – but in Spanish morning sunshine – erm, no. I had enough trouble seeing my phone screen – and no way could its camera see the QR code on the side of the BSP. Sonoff put the QR code on the back of this black unit, in grey – and small – I suggest next release they may want to re-think the size and colour of the QR code? I also think (know) that will wear off in sunshine eventually so keeping a photo of the QR code is really a must.

At this point I thought “let’s try again”, took the BSP off the tap and hose and took it indoors (the unit was sopping wet). That’s when I twigged about the hub – I should know better of course. I can’t really use Sonoff hubs as I have a working installation with a Sonoff Zigbee USB dongle on my Raspberry Pi 5 which controls the house. Never a good idea to try running two Zigbee hubs at once, so armed with having seen Matt’s video and happy that the unit works, turning water on and off and (reasonably accurately – 5-10%) measuring water flow, I set off to get the unit working with my Zigbee2MQTT.

A glutton for punishment, I took the unit back outside and re-fitted it to the tap and hose. To be sure it was still in pairing mode, I pushed the button on the side for 5+ seconds, noting the green light around the button, before retiring into my (air-conditioned) office where I am now.

I then went to my Zigbee2MQTT web interface (port 9099 by default) and told Zigbee2MQTT to accept new joins. Seconds later, the new unit showed up and I turned off the pairing in the Zigbee panel.

The unit is a good fit for my pretty standard outside tap (male connection on the tap) and hose (female connection on the hose), no leaks that I can find. You can’t see the button (above right image – right hand side) but it’s big and well sealed – thumb size. A momentary press turns the water on or off with a satisfying click. Note that Sonoff do supply a roll of white sealing tape, in my case not neaded (yet).

Down to business: Knowing that my Zigbee2MQTT was happy with the BSP and having renamed it to sonoff-bsp I proceeded to my new Home-Assistant setup which immediately became aware of several new “entities” – “switch.sonoff_bsp” being the first and most obvious. I added a new tile to my HA dashboard.

Sonoff BSP

Almost too easy. Of course, this is just the start, I’ll actually need a button that turns on the valve for a limited period of time before turning back off (done) – I’m not entirely insane and simply having a button that could be easily pressed, leaving the water flowing for hours-on-end would not earn me any brownie points.

This takes us to the two other important entities – which I put in my SENSORS dashboard. The first is a no-brainer (sensor.sonoff_bsp_battery), the second is a problem (sensor.sonoff_bsp_flow) – looks good but does nothing – and Matt predicted this in his video. Battery reading – no problem…. flow, erm, no…..

Sonoff BSP

The flow sensor shows no history despite leaving the hose running while I wrote most of this blog entry (topping up the pool). We have rubbish water pressure here in rural Galera (Southern Spain) and to reliably top up the pool without periodically checking in, I need to know how much water has been put into the pool.

Of course I ALSO received the Sonoff SNZB-05P Zigbee water leak sensor so at a pinch I could nount that upside down on the inside rim of the pool and use THAT to turn off the BSP – not ideal but another way to do it.

Sonoff just responded to my email – they WILL fix the FLOW issue with BSP and Zigbee2MQTT on the next release. Only time will tell how the Sonoff BSP stands up to Spanish sunlight – that wall where the tap is, takes a beating every sunny summer morning.

Update – Sonoff DID fix the flow measurement more quickly than even they predicted – a couple of days instead of a week..

This morning I filled up a 12 litre water container (overfilled). The procedure took 1 minute 32 seconds. My maths isn’t up to it first thing in the morning so I asked ChatGPT for help….12 litres in 1m 32s – what is that in m3/h – CHATGPT responded with approx 0.47 m3/h – and the BSP had stated the flow was 0.4m3/h – considering I filled the unmarked bucket to the brim that all seems in order to me.

Sonoff BSP

Note that over in the left image – I’ve added the SNZB-05P Moisture sensor – that’s had the lick-test several times over the last couple of weeks and seems to work perfectly – again a well sealed unit.

A quick Home Assistant automation should ensure the BSP is turned off whenever water is detected by the SNZB-05P… If I had another SNZB-05P I guess I could tell when the water level is low enough to need a top-up (the opposite of leak detection) but that would imply permanently attaching the hosepipe to the pool – not going to happen.

Now as to whether that SNZB-05P uses up battery only on change or when submerged – Sonoff also just clarified that for me – no. 20ua typical whether wet or dry – wheeee.

See my separate blog entry on moisture detection including the Sonoff and Switchbot units.

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