Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller Review
Summer is officially here in the Northern Hemisphere and many areas are already facing drought conditions. The American West Coast appears to be in for another sizzling summer with record-breaking temperatures. Some of the rivers and reservoirs are near their recorded historically low water levels, so we all need to be stewards of water and understand our own water use. The Eve Aqua smart water controller is a sub $100 device that can help do just that. It allows you to set up automated watering schedules with the Eve app.
The Eve Aqua is perfect for your sprinkler or irrigation system as it ensures you don’t over water and works even while you are out of town for work or vacation. The device connects over Bluetooth or Thread and has no registration or cloud services that you need to sign up for. It uses just local data without bridge or cloud dependency. This is great news for those that are concerned with privacy. If you wanted to use your Thread network with the Eve Aqua you’ll need to have a HomePod mini as a border router.
Inside the box you’ll find the water controller, two AA batteries, a quick-connect hose fitting and a quick start guide.
The EVE Aqua measures in at 4.84″ x 3.74″ x 3.10″ and has a weight of 12.52 ounces. There is one button on the front of the housing that allows you to turn on and off the water without the need of the app. This is great for situations where water is needed for a one time occasion.
The Eve Aqua has a battery compartment on the bottom of the housing that is accessed by sliding out the middle housing. There is one o-ring in the body that ensures it is water tight.
The Eve Aqua features standard hose fitting size of 3/4″ or the more technical term of 3/4-11.5 NH.
Attaching it to your homes exterior water faucet is about as simple as it gets. You just screw it on like a normal hose and then attach the hose you normally use on the bottom water outlet.
The Eve Aqua does stick out further than the faucet handle, so you’ll need to be mindful of that. If you have kids playing basketball or soccer nearby you’ll want to let them know to watch out!
The Eve app is needed to get the best user experience with the Aqua and is also used on all other smart home products by Eve Systems. It will also show all the Apple HomeKit devices that you have installed. If you have a devices, you can save some as favorites and change the order of them. Setup is pretty straight forward and when you are done you can say a one line command to start watering: Hey Siri, water the yard.” You can turn off the water by pressing the off button in the app, with the physical button on the Aqua or by saying Hey Siri, stop watering the yard.”
You can also use the Eve App to set the duration of watering or to schedule your watering periods. You can create 7 water periods per day. This ensures things get watered whether you are home or away. Once a water period is completed you’ll have access to the last event and it will show how many gallons of water were used.
The default flow-rate in the app is 4.8 gallons per minute, but you can adjust this value. Most people don’t have a water flow meter sitting around, so simply run the water for one minute in a 5 gallon bucket and measure how much water is in the bucket. If you are using a sprinkler head be sure to put that on as it will likely flow at a reduced rate than an open hose.
The Eve Aqua is an interesting smart water controller that makes sure things get watered. You don’t have to worry about having to go out and turn on the water or wasting tons of water by forgetting to turn it off. You can set your schedule and let it go.
Those concerned with privacy will like the fact that this is a Bluetooth 4.0 device and doesn’t need to be connected to the cloud. If you wanted to control if outside the home you’ll need to embrace the HomeKit and Thread support. It joins the Thread network automatically if you have a HomePod mini already setup.
The Eve Aqua (2020 edition) runs $99.95 shipped over on Amazon. It comes backed by a 1-year warranty. We’ve been using it on our garden with a soaker hose and it has worked perfectly for the past month. It’s worked so well that we wouldn’t mind having more on other spigots to water the lawn. At $99.95 each you can quickly rack up a pretty big bill if you need two or three of them!
Eve Systems also sells the Eve Energy that allows you to switch on or off anything up to 1,800 Watts! It supports scenes, schedules, has a built-in power button and even shows power consumption. Bluetooth and Thread handle the wireless connection and the same Eve App is used. Even Energy runs $39.95 shipped at Amazon.
Lastly, we were sent over the Eve Weather outdoor connected weather station to take a look at. This device tracks outdoor temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. It is IPX3 rated and has a display on the front. This means you can check out weather on the app or by looking at the unit itself. Being able to ask Siri for your temperature and humidity levels in your yard is pretty nice. That said, the aluminum body tends to heat up in the sun and give inaccurate readings. We ended up placing ours in the shade under our wood deck to prevent this and keep it protected from storms.
The back of the unit supports a mounting screw and there is a cover for the replaceable CR2450 battery. You can pickup a name brand CR2450 battery for around $3 shipped on Amazon and it should last about 1-year.
All are pretty nice devices and make for great HomeKit accessories!