After six months of working on this on-and-off, I installed my home environmental sensor array (HESA) in my basement. Basically, it looks for water in the basement. If it detects water, it shuts off power to my water softener (assuming that the softener is or will, dump more water into the basement), and sends me an email. The HESA has a Raspberry Pi to detect water and control the PowerSwitch Tail relay. It also connects to the internet via my home network.
This is phase one of my HESA project. The device I built in this phase will only detect water. Future phases will add the capability to detect more things and be more interactive.
This is basically, my first real Maker project. I learned or practiced many Maker skills like soldering, basic electronics, and CNC routing. I made my own PCB (that I did not end up using). I did some basic metal work with a jig saw. I learned how to use several software tools for CAD and design. I learned to program in Python. And I had a lot of fun doing it.
Several Makers at the Milwaukee Makerspace helped me with this project. There is no way I could have built this without them. Thanks to anyone who took time to help me move this project forward.