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Prevent Most Water Heater Leak Disasters with Floodstop Automatic Water System

by Barbara 21. March 2014 13:19

Question: How can a Floodstop water heater automatic water system save me from a flooded basement?

Q: "I don't understand the value of installing a Floodstop single appliance water shut off system on my water heater. Isn't the water heater going to leak out all 40 or 50 gallons of water anyway? Thanks. Tom."

Answer: We discussed this with our Floodstop distributor, did some on-line research and remembered our own failed water heaters over the years. As our distributor explained, water heater water loss is typically from a pin-hole leak caused by corrosion to the inside lining of the tank. With Floodstop, you can choose to daisy-chain several sensors together to extend under the tank (if raised) or on the side where the sewer drain lies. Once a FloodStop sensor detects a leak, the Floodstop valve is immediately closed. Typically this pin-hole does not get larger because the Floodstop valve closure creates a kind of vacuum within the tank so no more water escapes. This is like putting your finger over the top end of a straw with water in it. That is why it is not necessary to have a device that shuts off the gas or the electricity to the water heater.

You, the home or apartment dweller, will know you have an issue to deal with when you get home hours, days or weeks later. You'll either hear the alarm or you'll go to the sink and there is no water immediately. Once you break the vacuum, the pin hole leak will again begin to drip. By then, the owner will shut off the water and the vacuum will resume. Then you'll be shopping for a new water heater.

Among plumbers and owners of high rise condo complexes,, the Floodstop is considered to be the best choice to prevent water disasters. Unfortunately, sometimes almost brand new water heaters begin to drip. Ex. My late Mom's installed 6 years prior to her death, lasted one year before it began to leak. Luckily it was in a visible basement area and was caught before any significant damage occurred.

Floodstop Automatic Water Systems for Water Heaters Come in These Sizes:

  1. FloodStop Water Heater Auto Water Valve Shutoff .75IN NPT, V.4
  2. FloodStop 1 Inch Valve for Water Heater/Softener, FS1.00-NPT-V4
  3. FloodStop Auto Water Valve for Water Heater/Softener, FS1.25 NPT
  4. FloodStop .50 Inch Valve for Heater/Softener, FS 1/2-NPT-V4
  5. FloodStop Automatic Valve for Water Heater/Softener, 3/4 In.Compression

Extra moisture sensors are also available. And these new Floodstops use either 4 AA batteries and AC power or can operate only on the 4AA batteries.

All Floodstop Units Include:

  • Motorized full-port stainless steel ball valve in brass valve body lined with Teflon (3/4 inch compression fittings).
  • Valve meets low lead drinking water standards of all US states.
  • Control unit with battery backup (4 AA batteries, not included).
  • AC power adapter (or use 4 AA Batteries as primary power source).
  • Water leak sensor.
  • Output contact wires (2).
  • Automatic Water Valve Shut Off 

Technical Specifications:

  • UL Listed Class 2 Wall Adapter, 115AC/9VDC.
  • UPC listed, full port, motorized ball valve: CNC machined.
  • Motor operates at 6VDC.
  • Rated 0-180 PSI. Max 250 PSI. Solid brass.
  • Signal outputs: 2 normally closed.
  • Alarm: beeping with mute button.
  • One year limited manufacturer's warranty.
If you need quantities for a condominium or apartment complex, please contact us directly.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Cruising Tips Including Preventing or Stopping Motion Sickness with Relief Bands

by Barbara 19. March 2014 07:18

Question about tips to prevent or stop motion sickness while cruising.

Q: "What do you suggest to avoid, prevent and/or stop motion sickness while cruising? We are planning our first cruise aboard a ship that holds about 2500 people.. Thanks. Mary."

Answer: My significant other Jack and I are now "Elite" Black Card holders on Princess Cruise Line. Below are some suggestions about getting the most cruise for your money and avoiding locations on the ship that are more prone to motion sickness if you hit some rough seas.

  1. Book a cabin mid-ship or just behind mid-ship. Avoid forward cabins especially at the bow where the front of the ship is going to bounce up and down.
  2. Book a cabin on decks 5 through 8 if possible. Remember that you want to avoid being close to public areas where it could get noisy. The higher you are the more the sway.
  3. The Captain puts out stabilizers to help reduce the rock and roll from rough seas.
  4. Remember that Scopolamine patches do work but can cause side effects like blurry vision. dilated pupils,dizziness, etc. To be effective, the patch must be in place 4 hours before needed.
  5. Over the counter medications often have restrictions about drinking alcoholic beverages and can make you drowsy. Ginger helps some people. Most medications must be taken before you get ill.
  6. Consider buying a Reliefband Voyager. My own experience with Reliefbands (and the experience of employees and customers) has been extremely positive. When the seas get moderately rough and I begin to feel a little ill, I activate my Relief Band for 10 to 15 minutes. Generally that is all it takes. When the seas are truly rough, my method of coping is to take a nap wearing the Reliefband. If your bed is situated so that the sides are parallel to the outside of the ship, that is even better. You just get rocked to sleep. The Voyager requires no prescription and has about 120 hours of activation time. Unless you are in a typhoon or hurricane, the rough seas don't last long. On one voyage to China, our captain missed one stop and changed course to avoid rough seas (and he succeeded).

Here are some tips about cruising that we learned through the years:

  1. Choose a cruise line and stay with it. We chose Princess Cruises who has a great loyalty program. They also have laundromats so you can do laundry if you are not Elite (we get free laundry, a mini-bar, a special cocktail hour and much more.)
  2. Put money on deposit on your first cruise. On Princess, $100 per person holds a cabin until the final payment is due. Jack usually keeps $600 in his account. Any time you want, you can get the money back. If not used within a certain number of years, Princess sends it back to you.
  3. Buy Carnival stock. As a shareholder, you get "cabin credit" for owning the stock. The minimum used to be 100 shares to get that.
  4. A Veteran of the US Armed Forces? Get your DD214 and get extra cabin credit.
  5. Check the prices on line. Every time the price goes down (and it may be only for a few days to get the ship filled), you can request that your cabin cost be reduced.
  6. One dining room is open for lunch on almost every boarding day when you get on the ship before lunch. Avoid the buffet if you can.
  7. Any time dining for us is the best. The first night is always a crowd during the earlier hours. You can get a reservation. Set dining puts restrictions on important activities like tours and naps.
  8. If you want Eggs Benedict and they are not on the menu, just order them. Also you can have fresh fruit like papaya or berries at any meal. And you can order breakfast in your room even earlier than the sign says (great if you have an early shore excursion.)
  9. Remember that you can book shore excursions through private companies. However, if a Princess excursion is late in returning to the ship, you won't be left without clothes, a passport, etc. If a private one is late, the ship may leave without you.
  10. Interior cabins are great for most cruises where (1) you've been there before or (2) the weather is so cold that a balcony would rarely be used. The mirrors make the room appear larger and how much time are you in there anyway? Our least expensive cruise was $48 each per day from Galveston to Southampton, England.
  11. Repositioning cruises and cruises at the least popular times of year are the least expensive. We spent 24 days on Alaskan cruises in September 2013 and had a lot of fun with our new friends (and people on cruises are quite sociable, typically) and just walking around the ports. First run movies. A great library. Magicians. Shows, etc.
  12. Tip your cabin steward $20 or so on the first day: your service will be even better
  13. Request a top sheet, a blanket and a new piece of memory foam on your bed. Don't be surprised if the sheet goes on top of the duvet. And the blanket on that. That is especially great for us older women who are hot and cold during the night.
  14. Bring a night light for the bathroom. Choose one with identical prongs, the old fashioned low wattage type. There are two outlets in every cabin. One in the bathroom and one at the desk.
  15. There is a hair dryer, one of those rectangular ones hung on the wall.
  16. If you have a CPAP, bring a cord at least 12 feet long, again with identical prongs, not grounded. Otherwise request an extension cord when you get to your cabin. You can also request distilled water and a cord in advance. I figure on 2 gallons per two week cruise because I might spill some!
  17. We find the soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, etc. quite good. If your nose is tender, bring your own Kleenex, theirs is not as soft.
  18. We find that if there are visas or plane reservations, it is best to turn this over near departure time (sometimes earlier) to a travel agent to handle. Jack lets her get the paper work done and make a few dollars. Also on our last cruise, the travel agent handled our change of airlines, etc. when Princess asked us to change ships as ours was overbooked to San Francisco. That saved us a night in a hotel and from getting up at 4 a.m. to get a 6 a.m. flight. We got our transfers to the LA airport from Princess free for being such nice people.

I hope this has helped. We learned most of this from other travelers and our own more than 30 cruises. Remember you can use a cruise ship as a floating resort. Where else is your room cleaned twice a day, you can have excellent dining room food three times a day, snacks even in the middle of the night and a huge buffet if you choose that. Tea, coffee and lemonade are free in the dining room

And do remember the ReliefBand. I would never travel without one.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Reflector Style LED Lights for Gradual Replacement of Ceiling Reflector Light Bulbs Reduce Costs for Businesses and Homeowners

by Barbara 10. March 2014 09:58

Question about the Dimmable BR30 16 Watt LED Short Neck Light Bulbs to replace reflector type ceiling bulbs.

Question: "These light bulbs look a lot like the incandescent lights in our family room ceiling. Changing them is a real pain: requires a very tall ladder. We do like to dim the lights when we watching TV. Is it possible to mix these? The cost is a lot more. We don't like fluorescent bulbs: takes too long to come on and cannot be dimmed. How long should these bulbs last? What could our power savings be?" Thanks. Devin.

Answer: These dimmable LED short neck bulbs resemble the reflector type spot light bulbs. The warm white glow is similar to an incandescent bulb. Each bulb gives essentially the maximum light of a 100 watt bulb when not dimmed yet uses only 16 watts of power. Figure on about 3 years or 50,000 hours of use per bulb. The light is instant on, not like a CFL type bulb. BR30 light bulbs have an expanded reflector: the results are  narrow soft-edged rays and fewer shadows. Use these LED light bulbs for spot lights, flood lights and indoor lighting. 180 degree beam. This is a UL listed light bulb.

LEDs, or light–emitting diodes, are semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current is passed through them. LEDs are a type of Solid State Lighting (SSL), as are organic light–emitting diodes (OLEDs) and light–emitting polymers (LEPs).

Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive except for the 65 to 100 watts of energy used. (And 100 watt bulbs are hard to find these days.)Here in Iowa the cost per KWH (killawatt hour) is about 7.2 cents, the 12th less expensive in the USA. In the north east the cost can be as high as 18 cents per KWH. The price of LED lights is going down. My son recently began replacing burnt out reflector type bulbs in his ceilings with LED's to lower his power costs over time and to avoid dealing with ladders in rooms with vaulted ceilings. He figured this was less expensive than installing motion sensors to turn off lights in rooms where there was no movement. (His children support the Linn County REC by forgetting to turn off lights when they leave rooms).

We also sell replacement bulbs that look just like incandescent lights in the shape. These LED bulbs use only 8 watts but give the light of a 40-60 watt incandescent bulb. LED Bulb A19 8W, 40-60 Watt Equiv., Warm White, Short Neck. Again figure on 50,000 hours or 3 years continuous use.

Another option to the reflector lights is the COB PAR30 Dimmable LED Bulb, Warm White, 16 W, Short Neck. This has a narrow beam of 60 degrees. Also an Energy Star bulb. COB stands for "Chip on Board." Again UL Listed and Dimmable.

We hope this helps with your decision!
Sincerely,Barbara