The shower is one of the top thinking places for many of us, but can get a bit out of hand with water wastage and utility bills if you go down a deep rabbit hole. To be more mindful of his water usage in the shower, [GreatScott!] created a power sipping water monitor that lives there.
The device is built around a cheap 1/2″ brass water flow rate sensor connected to his shower hose, which outputs pulses as a small wheel passes an internal hall effect sensor. The datasheet didn’t contain any spec for pulses/volume, so [GreatScott!] had to experimentally determine this by filling a one-liter container with water and counting the pulses. He found that the pulse count per liter was dependent on the flow rate, so he narrowed down the variables and just determined the average count at his shower’s pressure and flow rate.
The sensor is connected to a battery-powered ESP8266 housed inside a sealed 3D-printed enclosure in the shower. To reduce power usage to a minimum, a flow switch was added in series with the flow meter, which only switches on the ESP8266 when water starts flowing. A latching circuit keeps the ESP powered after the water stops, giving it enough time to transmit the data before shutting down. This type of circuit is very handy for any battery-powered project connected to an external switch or sensor.
It is programmed with ESPHome and outputs the data to a local Home Assistant server, so no data is saved on someone else’s server.