Start Your Day the Arduino Way with this IoT Shower Controller

No longer content with adding value to the thermostat in the hallway or making your fridge smarter than it should be, IoT vendors are pushing into the inner sanctum of homes, the holy of holies – the bathroom. Sure, you can spend big bucks on an electronically controlled valve to turn your shower into a remote-controlled spa that shares your bathing habits with the cloud, but if you’re on a more modest budget and have the hacker spirit, you might want to check out this DIY automated shower valve with IoT features.

When we last ran into [TVMiller], he was opening gates using Jedi mind tricks, and before that he was shrinking a floating golf green to a manageable size. Such hacks work up a sweat, and while a clean hacker is a happy hacker, all that pesky valve-twisting and temperature-fiddling is so annoying. So with a few parts acquired from the waste stream, like an acrylic box, some salvaged servos, popsicle sticks, and a hell of a lot of caulk, [TVMiller] hacked together a feature-packed controller for his existing shower valves. An Arduino MKR1000 reads the water temperature and controls the servos that allow him to start the shower from his phone. Time and temperature data are sent to the cloud using ThingSpeak. You can see the whole thing in action in the mildly-NSFW video after the break.

Admittedly, this is a pretty janky setup, but it falls under the universal hacker disclaimer of “it’s just a prototype.” Still, we like the idea of retrofitting standard shower valves, and the popsicle-stick parallelograms for increasing leverage is a neat trick. We’ll be watching to see where this goes next.

22 thoughts on “Start Your Day the Arduino Way with this IoT Shower Controller

    1. Because you take baths with a toaster. Jeez, what is this, the 1980’s? I take my showers with waffle makers or electric skillets. Helps with the just add water pancake mix.

  1. The parallelogram transfers motion, it doesn’t alter the torque. The main benefit is that it creates a couple. If only one lever was used on each servo, the push/pull of the servo would bee seen as a side load on the servo output instead of being balanced. Likewise if a gear set was used there would be a tangential load and a separating load.

    All in all, a clever use of the mechanism.

    1. Yes…all of that! OR…I was panicked the simple gears and bands I planned were garbage so I found some popsicle sticks and went for broke on the basic engineering guess of, hope so. Thanks!

  2. “janky”?! Why I outta…this clearly could pass for modern art. All my pieces are the Picasso of hacking. That’s Dan Picasso of Picasso’s Scrap Yard on 5th, he can draw a circle on a chalk board like no man…no man with in 2 miles of his work.

    And for NSFW I say FREE THE NIPPLE…but get a tan before you free any nipples. No, not a hacker tan, a real one.

  3. I take it your phone is truly waterproof, not just resistant. They don’t cover water damage in case you get one drop inside.
    I would like pressure micro switches behind the cover or if valves are hidden then behind the wall unless tile. Regular touch tech will false and fail in a shower. Web? Everything I want leaves the bathroom via the drain. Who has time to read such data, or should I say what.

    If the DC power supply that runs this is grounded on it’s minus side to metallic pipes and or house ground there should be no hazard at all. Don’t let it float. Pun.

    1. 1. You don’t need your phone IN the shower. There is a cap switch (as seen in the video). You can turn your shower on from any computer or phone on your network the shower it connected to.

      2. The cap button is surprisingly not that sensitive among the tests I had to see how sensitive I could make it. I feel comfortable that there would be very little chance of accidentally trigger.

      3. Web helps you monitor resource consumption. Have children? How much water are those brats wasting?!

      4. I commented above it’s only 6.5V and it’s on a breaker plug so there is no danger, so it’s yellow, let it mellow

  4. This looks a bit horrifying BUT it’s actually very effective(and useful, I spend most of my time in the shower trying to get the right temperature), and as others pointed out, no electricity for heating involved, it’s a cold and a hot water tap.

  5. Ah yes, because if there is one thing in my house i wanted to get pwned in the event of a breach, its my shower.
    because 8 hours or so of using up water while im at work is a cheap, frugal thing to do, that is also good for the environment!

    Not to mention the giggles to be had from turning the cold knob completely off, with the power of the internet! Fry! Fry my pretties!

  6. I’ve been working on something similar with a few more features since a couple years ago, but I was too lazy to install it. I guess I should finish that project. Congratulations for the build!

    As for anyone whining about electrocution from the 6.5vdc used, imagine entire countries like Brazil are using this everyday: https://youtu.be/cNjA0aee07k

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