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sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast

Plumbing leak detection and shutoff devices

We are embarking upon a kitchen remodel (the works). Looks like we are going with hardwood flooring (against my better judgment, but many of you know "she who must be obeyed" too). So, I am researching plumbing leak detection and possibly shutoff systems for the dishwasher, refrigerator water supply, and under sink areas.

At the moment, it would appear that for tens of dollars, I could have simple battery operated leak detectors strategically placed that would alarm if they detected water. These work similar to smoke detectors. Example: »www.amazon.com/Zircon-Leak-Alert···0004XOVI

On the middle tier, I see combined detection and shutoff devices that are battery or power-adapter operated such as those on this page: »www.thewateralarm.com/wateralarm···p-c6.htm

On the upper tier, I see this system that can support multiple detectors and if a leak is detected, shut off the main water supply to the house. »www.thefloodstopper.com/

I am inclined to dismiss the upper tier (most expensive) system as overkill. Like most insurance, I want to address the most likely occurrence without emptying my wallet.

Discussion?
--
nohup rm -fr /&



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

Homeowners Insurance covers all you mention



SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3
reply to sempergoofy

You're wanting this system only because you're installing hardwood floors? What do you think the odds are you're going to experience a major water leak from your dishwasher, refrigerator or under sink areas? Personally, I wouldn't bother with any of them, nor would I install hardwood floors in a kitchen, but that's just me.
--
Help the tornado victims



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

1 edit

2 recommendations

I`ve installed a few of these:

»www.amazon.com/Honeywell-RWD41-W···9&sr=1-1

and they work -very- well. They have a 'rope' style sensor that allows you to encircle an area that you want to monitor, and gives you a lot more sensor coverage. Plus you can remote mount the battery/brain box to allow for better alarm sound, and easy battery changes..

edit-- and just saw they have sensor extension cables at 8' each..

»www.amazon.com/Honeywell-RWD80-D···i_-2_t_1

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast

said by tp0d:

I`ve installed a few of these:

»www.amazon.com/Honeywell-RWD41-W···9&sr=1-1

and they work -very- well. They have a 'rope' style sensor that allows you to encircle an area that you want to monitor, and gives you a lot more sensor coverage. Plus you can remote mount the battery/brain box to allow for better alarm sound, and easy battery changes..

edit-- and just saw they have sensor extension cables at 8' each..

»www.amazon.com/Honeywell-RWD80-D···i_-2_t_1

-j

Excellent. Had not tripped over that one yet. Looks promising.

said by Jack_in_VA:

Homeowners Insurance covers all you mention

Indeed. But not the PITA and my time and aggravation to coordinate replacement. Prevention is cheaper I hope.

said by SandShark:

You're wanting this system only because you're installing hardwood floors? What do you think the odds are you're going to experience a major water leak from your dishwasher, refrigerator or under sink areas? Personally, I wouldn't bother with any of them, nor would I install hardwood floors in a kitchen, but that's just me.

I reckon the probability decreases over time after a remodel but not to zero. This will be a major gut to the studs and remodel. There will be significant changes to the plumbing while the walls are open, relocation of the current water supply for the fridge, new dishwasher. Overall, enough new "stuff" that it has caused me to consider prevention if it can done effectively without a great deal of cost.

I have had in the past a small leak from a refrigerator water supply line up front under the door in the past. I'm confident that is part of what is driving this current desire for detection. No flooring harm in that one because it was discovered quickly and the floor was vinyl.
--
nohup rm -fr /&


mededitor
Premium
join:2004-07-04
Northern NJ

1 recommendation

reply to sempergoofy

I am "she who must be obeyed" in my house and I also opted for hardwood flooring (maple) in the kitchen. It's beautiful, things that drop don't break as readily as they do on tile, and after 8 years the floor still looks great.

That being said in defense of your "she who must be obeyed," I purchased several Basement Watchdog Battery Operated Water Alarms from Home Depot, which are placed in many areas of the house including the basement and the kitchen. They are inexpensive and work great---my husband, who is practically deaf, even heard it when one alarmed. I've tried many different types over the years, but this has been the most reliable and long-lasting that I've found.

»www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R···Id=10053
--
"You can check-out any time you want, but you can never leave." The Eagles



SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3

What happens when there is no one around to hear them? If the OP is going through the trouble and expense of renovating the kitchen and he is worried about potential water leaks/issues, he might as well go all out and install the system that will shut down the water to the home if/when a leak occurs. Battery operated water gizmos would be worthless if a leak occurred when no one is home.
--
Help the tornado victims



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

Thats why the water main should be shut down if the house is to be unoccupied for more than a day.. Some people never do it, but it only takes a 1gpm leak a few hours to destroy a lot of stuff.
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to SandShark

said by SandShark:

Battery operated water gizmos would be worthless if a leak occurred when no one is home.

True enough. I must weigh that against the fact that I work in a home office and therefore the house is pretty rarely unoccupied. And not all leaks start as floods but build to that. So while not perfect, such devices are one-up compared to current protection.

Sure, it is that one time when a home is unoccupied that the disaster happens whether it is fire or water leak or other.
--
nohup rm -fr /&


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

3 edits

1 recommendation

reply to sempergoofy

Spend a few extra bucks and get a system that cuts off the water to the home, I had a tube break on an under-counter water filter while at work, the leak detector as designed tripped off and the damage was limited to a rather soaked area under the sink, had the water continued to flow it would have been a disaster.



Leak detector.



The troublemaker with a sensor underneath of it.



Cutoff valve on the outside feed line.

The entire package ran me about $150 and that was money well spent. The detector can have something like 10 sensors connected to it, we have four, 1 in each bath 1 under the kitchen counter and 1 ajacent to the water heater which can also pick up a leak from the washing machine.

Wayne
--
If ballot don't work, bullets will.
Joyce Kaufman July 3, 2010


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to sempergoofy

Hook things up the with FloodSafe hoses. They have a built in excess-flow check valve.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~



49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

1 edit
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

Homeowners Insurance covers all you mention

Thats a poor choice in my opinion as homeowner insurance comes with a deductible sometimes a rather steep amount and insurance companies are notorious for underpaying claims.

Then there is the ripping out of flooring cabinetry drywall etc and there is living with the remodel as it is being worked, as such relying on insurance seems penny wise and pound foolish to me.

Wayne
--
If ballot don't work, bullets will.
Joyce Kaufman July 3, 2010


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to sempergoofy

Heres a link to the waterbug.

»www.absoluteautomation.com/water···dex.html

The electrically operated solenoid valves can be had from e-Bay for around $30-50.

Wayne
--
If ballot don't work, bullets will.
Joyce Kaufman July 3, 2010



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

1 edit
reply to 49528867

The sky is falling

I have a hard wood kitchen floor and I am not the least worried about water damage. Just how many people out of millions have this happen to?

Yes insurance is a good choice that's why we purchase coverage. Good insurance companies do not underpay. They have a set computerized list of costs. I know because of the flooding I received from hurricane Isabel. We received compensation for new upper cabinets in the kitchen because the cabinets were custom made and could not be matched. They could have not been any fairer.

It's been 8 years since the damage was repaired. I could put up with a little ripping out and remodel. Been there done that. Since the poor choice of wood on a kitchen floor has resulted in numerous dings from heavy objects being dropped on it. So it is in no way penny wise and pound foolish. Just because I'm not inclined to be overly and excessively fearful of "what if" issues doesn't mean I'm wrong.



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
reply to 49528867

Thanks Wayne. Great info on the WaterBug. If I could have that kind of protection including shutoff for approx $200 then it becomes a no-brainer (wood floors or not).
--
nohup rm -fr /&



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

I suggest that the solenoid be NC (energize to open) so that in the event of a power failure the valve will shut off the main supply.



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast

1 edit

said by Jack_in_VA:

I suggest that the solenoid be NC (energize to open) so that in the event of a power failure the valve will shut off the main supply.

Wouldn't that be inconvenient during an ice-storm or similar induced power outage? (Asking without not yet fully understanding operation method of the device.)
--
nohup rm -fr /&


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by sempergoofy:

said by Jack_in_VA:

I suggest that the solenoid be NC (energize to open) so that in the event of a power failure the valve will shut off the main supply.

Wouldn't that be inconvenient during an ice-storm or similar induced power outage?

Sure but during an ice storm or similar induced power outage the pipes could freeze and burst. That's why if you are concerned about water damage all possibilities must be considered.

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

1 recommendation

reply to jack b

said by jack b:

Hook things up the with FloodSafe hoses. They have a built in excess-flow check valve.

Those hoses only cut off if the flow exceeds a certain limit (like if the hose pops out of its fitting). For lesser leaks they will let the water keep on flowing. While better than nothing, they aren't much better than nothing.


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY

1 recommendation

reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

I suggest that the solenoid be NC (energize to open) so that in the event of a power failure the valve will shut off the main supply.

A good idea but if you have a power failure it also leaves you without water! I would think the opposite would probably be a good choice because the odds of a power failure at the same time you have a water leak would be astronomical.


sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA

My luck, I would have a fire that takes out power and having no water to help stave off things until the fire department arrives. (I'm changing my userid to Debbie Downer.)
--
nohup rm -fr /&



49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

said by sempergoofy:

My luck, I would have a fire that takes out power and having no water to help stave off things until the fire department arrives. (I'm changing my userid to Debbie Downer.)

The valve I have requires power to stay open though I do believe you can buy them in either form, if you feel that would be a problem a simple solution would be to install a manual bypass valve which would add less than $15 to the project.

Wayne
--
If ballot don't work, bullets will.
Joyce Kaufman July 3, 2010


sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast

Thanks for the follow up, Wayne. So you are using an "NC" or "normally closed" valve as suggested by Jack_in_VA See Profile, defined as

Normally Closed: A normally closed valve is closed when de-energized, preventing flow. When energized, the valve opens allowing flow.
vs.
Normally Open: A normally open valve is open when de-energized allowing flow. When energized, the valve closes preventing flow.
The bypass suggestion sounds like the easy way to assure that in the unlikely event of an extended power outage, water can be made available by opening the bypass manually.
--
nohup rm -fr /&


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

said by sempergoofy:

Thanks for the follow up, Wayne. So you are using an "NC" or "normally closed" valve as suggested by Jack_in_VA See Profile, defined as

Normally Closed: A normally closed valve is closed when de-energized, preventing flow. When energized, the valve opens allowing flow.

Yes, the loss of power to me is irrelevant as the entire setup is powered out of the homes alarm panel (12 volt DC) which has a standby battery and is programmed to send a supervisory (no dispatch call-out list only) signal if the water detector is activated.

Wayne
--
If ballot don't work, bullets will.
Joyce Kaufman July 3, 2010


sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to sempergoofy

Rhetorical question: Why does this have to be so difficult?

I have been on an odyssey recently trying to find the right shutoff valve to use in my house with the waterbug as suggested earlier by Wayne in this thread. While I found an inexpensive brass solenoid valve that met my specification needs (3/4 inch, 12V, normally open), after further investigation, I decided that since none of the manufacturers seem brave enough to claim "suitable for potable water" in their specs, after talking with Asco valve company reps (which does make a few NSF certified valves that are too small for my needs), they recommended stainless steel valve. Unfortunately, an SS valve with my specs runs well over $600 for one of theirs. The reason for moving away from brass is some paranoia of lead leaching from the brass since all of the house water will flow through this valve, combined with the failure of the manufacturers to claim "potable" in the mention of water control. The most common modifier of "water" I could find in specs was "industrial".

So after hours of trolling the internet, I stumbled over this:
»www.pexsupply.com/GreenField-Dir···Assembly
which is part of the PipeBurst Pro product line of detection and shutoff systems. They have their own detectors and interface system. Too pricey for me.

Anyway, the stainless steel ball valve and actuator I linked above is being sold separately at a couple places for $316. While the opening is 1-inch, I should be able to adapt that down to 3/4 inch with lead free parts.

The question now is, will the waterbug's 12V capabilities be sufficient to drive this actuator?
The specs for the actuator and valve say, "12V DC nominal" and in the spec pdf on the page above it says "Max: 5 amps".
The specs for the waterbug device say: Power Requirements (alarm condition)
5mA @ 12V or 24V AC, or 13.5mA @ 12V or 24V DC. Also: Output is Form C (SPDT) 1 Amp @ 24Vac, 1 Amp @ 30 VDC (not for direct high voltage switching). I can't tell from any this if the waterbug can handle that 5 amps.
--
nohup rm -fr /&



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Or you could just get a brass one at 1/6 the price that's suitable for potable drinking water. Or get a slightly larger nylon version that includes a override lever for those times that you have a power failure and a fire. It's 1/10th the price...



49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3
reply to sempergoofy

said by sempergoofy:

The reason for moving away from brass is some paranoia of lead leaching from the brass since all of the house water will flow through this valve, combined with the failure of the manufacturers to claim "potable" in the mention of water control.

Consider this, water meters have been made of brass since the beginning of their existence and nary a problem.

A little bit of brass in a valve be it a control valve for the system or under your sink isn't going to make a bit of difference healthwise.

Wayne

--
It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence. - Charles A. Beard


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3
reply to cdru

said by cdru:

Or get a slightly larger nylon version that includes a override lever for those times that you have a power failure and a fire. It's 1/10th the price...

That one would do the job just fine..
Wayne
--
It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence. - Charles A. Beard


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to 49528867

said by 49528867:

Consider this, water meters have been made of brass since the beginning of their existence and nary a problem.

A little bit of brass in a valve be it a control valve for the system or under your sink isn't going to make a bit of difference healthwise.

Given a choice though between a valve that explicitly states it's for potable water, and one that doesn't, I'd chose the one that says it safe. If the manufacturer recommends not using it for potable water, or can't say one way or another if it's suitable for such applications, I probably wouldn't use it either.


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

said by cdru:

If the manufacturer recommends not using it for potable water, or can't say one way or another if it's suitable for such applications, I probably wouldn't use it either.

When was the last time you saw a brass valve at a big box store listed for potable water?

Nuff said...

Wayne
--
It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence. - Charles A. Beard