Tuya ZigBee Water/Gas Valve Controller ZN231392 Review

When ZigBee is mentioned in a smart home overtone, people usually think of smart switches, lights, sensors and motion detectors. This time I’m testing a different kind of ZigBee device, a water/gas valve controller, Tuya ZigBee 3.0 Water/Gas Valve Controller model ZN231392. As usual, I’m going to disassemble it, integrate it in Home Assistant and test it in an actual scenario.

Tuya ZigBee Water/Gas Valve Controller ~ $32-$35
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Technical Specification

  • Product Size: 65x70mm
  • Power Supply Input: 100-240V, 50-60Hz
  • Power Supply Output: 12V/1A
  • Communication: ZigBee 3.0
  • Valve Pressure: 1.6 MPa (16 bar)
  • Valve Closing/Opening Time: 5~10sec
  • Valve Type: Handle Valve
  • Torque: 30-60kgf/cm2

Disassembly

The Tuya ZigBee Smart Valve Controller ZN231392 comes packaged in a generic cardboard box, containing the valve controller, an adapter and a mounting set consisting of a hybrid Philips screw/Allen wrench, a metal fastener and a height adjustable metal holder.

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The body feels very sturdy and is produced from some kind of PU derivative. It’s heavy to hold and handle.
On the front of the shell, there is some labelling, an indicator LED and a control button.

On the backside, the metal handle which turns the valve is secured tightly with a hex bolt to the inside of the motor axis. Underneath, there is a quick release pin which is used to free the handle from the motor in case of power failure so it can be operated manually.

If we flip it to the side, you can see a plastic holder used to adjust the height of the mounting position. The metal fastener that comes in the package is secured here, and can be moved vertically for about 1 inch to accommodate different sizes of valves.

Underneath the main body cap, the motor is fastened by a couple of screws to the backplate. It’s tightly secured, there is no wiggle room at all. There isn’t any labelling on the gearbox motor itself, we are just going to have to test it. On top of it, a small PCB contains the indicator LED and the control button. This one is soldered directly to the main PCB on the side, as well as the power cable.

On the outside of the main PCB, only the ZigBee communications module is placed. The chip model is ZT3L, one of many ZigBee capable modules developed by TuyaZT3L is embedded with a low-power 32-bit CPU, 1024-KB flash memory, 64-KB RAM, and rich peripherals. It’s also used on the Tuya PS-HPS Human Presence mmWave Sensor.

If I remove the motor, the inside of the PCB contains the relay controlling the motor itself. It’s a 5v powered module, made by company Yuyihon based out of Ningbo, China. From what I could find, this company specializes in producing industrial and general purpose relays.

Exactly underneath the motor, we can see some cogwheels and understand how this device operates. A spur gear attached to the motor rotates a smaller gear which in turn rotates the large quarter gear. When this one reaches the limit micro switch behind it, it turns off the motor. Simple yet effective.

Side note: If you have any doubts of the micro switch failing, keep in mind these kind of microswitches are used in old Arcade cabinets. They never failed even after decades of mashing the buttons.

The small spur gear in the middle can be pulled out of position by the quick release pin I mentioned earlier. If the pin is pulled, the wheel loses grip with the teeth of the driver cogwheel, and the handle can be operated freely in case of power failure. I tested it a couple of times, the gear reinserts exactly in place without issues.

I was expecting the cogwheels to be of worse quality, the Tuya ZN231392 pleasantly surprised me.

There are two limit micro switches behind the large quarter gear, each one limiting the movement to both directions (opening and closing). The switch itself is rated for 1A125V which is normally open when the motor is static.

Home Assistant Integration

As of the writing of this article, the Tuya ZigBee 3.0 Water/Gas Valve Controller model ZN231392 is compatible only with ZigBee2MQTT. To pair it to your coordinator, simply hold the red power button for 5-6sec until the LED starts blinking and wait for ZigBee2MQTT to finish the interview process.

Once paired, it exposes the following entities:

  • switch: Toggle Valve On/Off
  • select: power_on_behavior: On, Off, Previous
  • linkquality: Signal Quality in LQI

When the switch entity is toggled ON, it closes the valve. When its toggled OFF, it opens the valve. We can use this information in a simple automation.

Automation

As an example, you can pair this device with some kind of water leak detection. Recently I reviewed the cheapest water leak zigbee device you can order, Tuya Water Leak Sensor ZN-08. If you want something a little more reliable and proven, I suggest you go for an Aqara Water Leak Sensor.

Tuya ZigBee Water Leak Sensor ~ $10-$12
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Aqara ZigBee Water Leak Sensor – $17-20
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We can create a simple automation which will close the water valve when a leak is detected.

description: "Close Water Valve When Leak is Detected" mode: single trigger: - platform: state entity_id: - binary_sensor.kitchen_water_sensor_water_leak to: "on" condition: [] action: - service: switch.turn_on data: {} target: entity_id: switch.tuya_water_gas_valve_zn231392
Code language: YAML (yaml)

If you have some kind of gas detector, and mount the ZN231392 on a gas valve you can do the same thing. Close the valve when a gas leak is detected.

Installation

Correctly installing this smart valve controller is absolutely crucial for its correct operation. The device needs to be firmly secured in parallel on top of the pipe you are mounting it on. Meaning, it needs to able to make an exact 90° rotation to successfully open/close the valve you are operating.

The fastener that comes with the device, firmly grips the pipe you install the valve controller onto. Use a screw driver to tighten the Phillips screw, which will pull the clamp holder towards the pipe and secure it. The adjustable metal pipe clamp is angled at 90° and can be adjusted to give some more/less room for the controller body. The rocker arm has two screws for securing the grip on your valve handle, for which you will need an additional 8mm wrench to tighten.

Compatible Types Of Valves

This Tuya Water/Gas Valve controller is compatible with any 90° handle operated valve found in a standard domestic installation, which are usually ball valves. Butterfly valves can also work, but the handle must be lengthier and have no additional security handle underneath. I think this device will not be able to operate anything larger than 1 1/5″ or any industrial valves. Mounting process and adjustment will vary for your setup, but height and reach can be fine-tuned. For illustration, here’s an image of valves which will work with this device:

It’s possible other valves with shorter handles can work with this device with some modification, however its opening and closing position must be exactly 90°. I tested the device with a super short handle ball valve, but the metal handle could not grip the valve handle because it was too short.

Testing

Considering the nature of this device, meticulous testing is needed to verify its quality in an actual installment. For example, If you decide to use this device to turn off your garden irrigation valve, the worst that could probably happen is water flooding your yard. But, if this is installed indoors as a safety trigger in case of water/gas leak, than major disasters can occur in case of failure.

I installed the ZN231392 valve in my home, controlling a 3/8″ ball valve which closes the 1st floor hot water supply. The space was a little tight, because multiple ball valves are installed next to each other in my home. I managed to mount it after twisting it sideways. I tightened the fastener with a screwdriver and adjusted the bolt and nut for a more secure grip on the handle.

Viewed from the side, you can see how mounting actually works. I raised the adjustable metal holder above the valve itself, as this gave me a firmer grip on the handle. There is about an inch of wiggle room, up or down, to fit your specific valve.

After I paired the device to my coordinator, I recorder a short video of the gadget opening and closing my valve. See it in action:

Opening – Tuya ZigBee Water/Gas Valve Controller ZN231392
Closing – Tuya ZigBee Water/Gas Valve Controller ZN231392

Verdict

The first impression you get about this device is “This is a gimmick. No way this will function the way it should”. Well, I have to say the Tuya ZigBee Water/Gas Valve Controller model ZN231392 pleasantly surprised me. I will layout what I like and don’t like about the device:

What I like:

  • The motor is very slow; It closes/opens the valve gently and smoothly. I have a feeling if it was fast, it would jerk around and possibly release its grip.
  • The installation is simple, no need to for special tools or skills
  • The cogwheels are high quality, no amount of wear and tear would compromise the system
  • The outer shell is sturdy and solidly build
  • The manual release pin is a great feature, to open/close the valve in case of power failure
  • ZigBee connectivity was great, device functions as a router

What I don’t like:

  • The device is not waterproof; this can be a problem if there is a leak in the valve itself, otherwise it’s okay
  • Only standard handle valves are supported, I tried mounting on a shorter handle ball valve. The motor loses its leverage and releases the grip, no matter how tight it’s installed (this is not really a con, as it was not advertised for other types of valves)

So, should you rely on a device like this to close your main valve in case of water/gas leak? Depends.
If you are confident enough that you have a stable ZigBee mesh network and have installed the valve correctly, yes, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. The risk outweighs the reward and piece of mind.
Should you use it for your garden irrigation system, or a farm water supply? Absolutely. The risk does not outweigh the reward of making things easy.

Personally, I will install it at my main water supply valve and combine it with an Aqara Water Leak sensor. I cannot make any kind of guarantees or assurances if you decide to do the same.

If you do want to order the Tuya ZigBee Water/Gas Valve Controller model ZN231392, please consider ordering through one of our affiliate links bellow. I reuse any commission to order and test new smart home devices and hardware.

Tuya ZigBee Water/Gas Valve Controller ~ $32-$35
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By visiting the Amazon, AliExpress and Banggood stores through the links above, you are shopping through our affiliate links. This incurs no additional cost to you and supports smarthomescene.com in the form of sales commission.
SmartHomeScene © 2022 All rights reserved
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Support

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