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WaterCop Lead Free Brass Water Valves Meet Drinking Water Standards for All 50 States

by Barbara 5. February 2011 09:49

Question about the WaterCop Sergeant Basic Water Damage Actuator, Water Valve and Sensor Package with Low Lead Valve

Q: "I live in California. I want to install a WaterCop to protect my condominum from future water damage. Our condo association was not happy, nor was I, when repairs from a leaking dishwasher caused over $20,000 in repair costs from a leaking water dispensing refrigerator leak. I am encouraging the entire condo association to install WaterCops and moisture sensors to add protection and keep our insurance premiums down. Does this unit meet the specifications for California lead? Thanks. Tom.

Answer: Dynaquip controls has added what are called "lead free" or "low lead" brass full port water valves as an option to their Water Cop line. These valves comply with the California AB1953 Standard as well as the Vermont S.152 Ultra Low Lead Law. The cost of these units is more because making brass with little or no lead adds considerable expense to manufacturing.

The electrical actuator and moisture sensors are identical to the original units.

To protect your condominium community, please advise your condo board that WaterCop units and sensors should be ordered pre-set from the factory. We've handled orders like this in the past. What we need to know is the number of units and the number of sensors and adapters (most prefer AC rather than battery powered sensors). By numbering the units say 1 through 50, your condo community can be assured that if there is a leak in say Unit 101, that the unit next door will continue to have water because the actuator and sensor settings will be different!

If your community plans to expand, the best approach is to have the WaterCop ready lead free valves installed during the initial construction. Then the actuators and water sensors can be added later just prior to occupancy.  Why pay twice for a water valve!.

Currently, these units are available in 1/2 inch valve, 3/4 inch valve , 1 inch valve and 1 1/4 inch valve sizes. The 1 1/4 inch actuators and valves are more expensive: the power requires to quickly open and close the valve is higher for the larger valves. Remember you can reduce the size of a water line to fit a smaller valve. The most popular sizes are the 3/4 inch and the 1 inch.

Thanks for your question. Please contact us for a quotation when your condo association is ready to install the WaterCops. One condo association reported to us that they were close to being uninsurable until they installed the WaterCops. Then the yearly premiums dropped 15%.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Choosing Between a WaterCop or a FloodStop for Protection Against Water Damage

by Barbara 22. July 2009 09:23

Question: about the WaterCop and the Flood Stop

Q:"Does Safe Home Products have an opinion as to the comparison between Water Cop and Flood Stop? I've read the product guides and understand the product's features. Which is more reliable or has the best track record for water leak detection, moisture sensors, reliability, etc. ? Thanks, David S"

Answer: Both units have valves that meet the low lead/no lead standards currently in effect in California and several other states. In 2014, all states will require that valves meet those standards. Your decision needs to be made upon these factors:

1. What do you want to protect? A single appliance or several appliances? Or the whole house?  WaterCops are Made in the USA. Floodstop units are made in China and come in single water appliance units for water heaters, washing machines, sinks, icemakers, etc. or in a new whole house unit with expansion to 31 Sensor modules.
2. What do you want to spend? A Floodstop unit currently sells for well under $200 for a single appliance unit and it is easily installed.. Most sizes of the package of a WaterCop Lead Free Valve, Actuator and 3 Moisture Sensors sell  for $600 to $725. A new Floodstop Wireless Whole House System 1.0 In. NPT Motorized Ball Valve includes the FloodStop Controller, 4 Sensor Modules, 4 Wireless Moisture Sensors, 1 wire moisture sensor and 4 AC Adapters and is less expensive than the WaterCop. This has a full port, low lead motorized ball valve and each of the water sensors, if used with AC power, acts as a signal repeater. That helps if the sensor activated is at a distance from the water shut off valve.
3. Are you hiring a plumber or are you doing the installation yourself? Many do-it-yourself persons can install the WaterCop and the Floodstop units themselves. These come with NPT or threaded connections.
4. Have you a need to shut off all the water in your home with a single push of a button or remote wall switch? WaterCop offers a remote wall switch option. Remember that if a WaterHound moisture sensor alarm is activated, you will know by two ways, no water anywhere within that zone and a 65 decibel alarm. The whole house Floodstop System can be integrated with an on-line home automation software program so you can turn water on and off remotely if you install the whole house units.

Operational problems are extremely rare with either device. If you do not activate either devices at least every 30 days, you may have problems with the ball valve turning easily depending upon what kinds of minerals you have in your water. The FloodStop Whole House units automatically activate every 30 days or you can remove the cover on the controller and manually turn it on and off.

If you have only one appliance to protect and it is, for example, a washing machine, the Floodstop is easily installed without the expense of a plumber. If you want to protect several appliances (as I did), the plumber is well worth the expense as is the additional cost for a WaterCop as the basic system comes with the valve, the actuator and three water/moisture sensors. And you can always add additional sensors to the unit for other appliances. When you add the cost of 3 or 4 individual Floodstops, the costs can easily exceed those of either a WaterCop and extra sensors or a Whole House FloodStop and extra sensors. You can also buy a dual probe moisture sensor for the WaterCop and install it as I had done, under the water dispensing fridge and at the water entry point as well. The FloodStop whole house water system can respond to as many as 31 sensor modules each with dozens of moisture sensor or water sensor devices.

On the other hand, in apartment buildings or condos where each unit has its own water heater, installing a Floodstop in the 3/4 inch valve size is quite cost effective as several of our plumber customers who specialize in condo and high rise apartment buildings have concluded. And if your main worry is your washing machine, installing one of the two Floodstop units the standard AM-FS34H-90 or the INLINE Washing Machine FloodStop FS3/4H is all you may need. Add a pair of Floodchek washing machine hoses and you are as safe as a person with a washing machine can be.

The Watercop is made by one of the nation's oldest and most respected ball valve manufacturers (USA Made). These brass ball valves are used in industrial applications. The Watercop is a recent (past 6 or 8 years) products. As of December 2012, WaterCop ball valves are available only in low lead brass.

The Floodstop is made in China or a similar place. The full port brass ball valve is low lead and made to commercial standards like those made by Dynaquip whose ball valves are used primarily in applications with chemicals.

I hope this helped to answer your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Remote Switches and Back-Up Power for a WaterCop Automatic Water Valve Alarm Shut-Off System

by Barbara 17. July 2009 06:26

Question about the product Product Code:WaterCop 3/4 Inch Electric Ball Valve with Low Lead Valve, 3 Flood Sensors WVA-075.

Q: "Can more than one remote switch be installed to turn each Water Cop valve on and off. If there is a power failure does it remain in the on position if that is how it was set or is it able to shut off in the event of power failure? " Thanks. Don Smith

Answer: With a splitter, each WaterCop can be controlled with up to two remote wall switches. If the power fails, the WaterCop remains in the operating position at the time the power failed.

Your options are to remove the actuator and use a wrench to turn the valve on or off.

Or you can install a UPS battery back-up unit. The manufacturer recommends the APC Model BE500R or its equivalent. That unit provides between 50 and 72 hours of power to the WaterCop with sufficient power to turn the valve once at the completion of your test.

If you plan to use a back-up power supply, use only batteries in the moisture sensor units (Water Hounds) as the sensors send a radio signal to the WaterCop actuator. Batteries typically last at least one year.

The manufacturer recommends that the Water Cop be activated at least once per month, i.e. press the red button to turn off the water and the green button to turn the water back on. That way you are sure the valve moves easily when you need it to open or close.

Thank you for your question. I've had a WaterCop for over 7 years. Other than turning off and on the water for the plumber when he installed new faucets (and a shut off for my bathtub), I've never needed its protection, only its convenience! I have sensors under my water dispensing/ice making fridge, my dishwasher and sink and next to the washer, hot water heater, main sewer drain, water softener and A/C drain. I sleep quite well every night.

Sincerely, Barbara

Protecting Town Buildings from Water Damage Using Water Cop Water Alarms

by Barbara 21. November 2008 07:50

Question about WaterCop water leak alarms.

Q: " I have a request to supply the town of ____ police, town hall and library a water leak alarm in three separate buildings within a 1000 ft. area. Is your radio-link capable of sending a relay output to an alarm monitor?" Thanks. Gilbert.

Answer: Yes, the WaterCop system has that capability. There are many questions that need to be answered before I can make recommendations. In our discussion by phone, you mentioned that the buildings are essentially closed each week-end and that the water leaked all week-end in the basement of one of the buildings. Note: as of January 2014, all states require that water valves supplying drinking water  meet low lead standards. All Water Cop valves sold at this time meet or exceed those standards.

Questions about the buildings and what the town wants:

  1. Dimensions, number of stories, type of construction
  2. Number and location of all water using appliances like toilets, sinks, water heaters, etc.
  3. Diameter of incoming water pipes to all three buildings.
  4. Does the town want to isolate certain areas of the building or buildings? For example, does the town want to shut off water to all but parts of the police station during night and week-end hours. Is there a humidifier that must run 24/7 in the winter? Note: Watercops and sensor codes can be set at the factory so that a water leak in one part of the building will not shut a water valve on a WaterCop in a different part of the building.

The largest non-commercial sized WaterCop available is one with a 1.25 inch pipe capacity. There are also 1 inch, 3/4 inch and 1/2 inch sizes available. Each WaterCop has a built-in I/O port with an RJ45 connection for a security system or other similar notification device like a Sensaphone unit. Water leak sensors can be used with batteries or with AC adapters. For optimal protection, a waterhound moisture sensor needs to be next to each water using appliance. For back-up drain protection, you can install units next to drains as well.

There is a signal repeater available that can increase range of the signal up to 200 feet farther. I checked with the manufacturer who suggests that you first install the WaterCop before adding repeaters as you may not need them.

Also remote water shut offs can be installed so that water could be shut off as part of the shut down and security system setting each time the building is closed down for the day.

If you need help with installation, there is technical assistance available. Please let me know the answers to the questions above so I can make more specific recommendations to your town.

Thanks for your questions.
Sincerely, Barbara

What does the Sergeant mean for the WaterCop?

by Barbara 15. February 2008 04:00

Q: What does the word "SERGEANT" in the description refer to for the WaterCop 3/4 inch 3 Water Hounds (Sergeant) model as compared to the others (WaterCop products) you show that don't have this term?

Answer: In about 2005, DynaQuip, the manufacturer of the WaterCop device, set up packaged combinations of WaterCop valves,motorized actuators that open or shut the ball valve, moisture sensors, remote shut-off device, low temperature freeze alarm, etc. for its resellers. DynaQuip designated the units in military terms such as Sergeant, Lieutenant, etc.  Noe: All Water Cop valves made after November 2012 meet the California and Vermont standards for low lead water valves.

Safe Home Products began selling WaterCops many years before these "packages" were put together. Since other on-line resellers frequently refer to the WaterCops with 3 WaterHounds as Sergeant packages, we added the Sergeant to our title. Our pricing for components is quite competitive. Since we stock the separate components in our Iowa warehouse, we decided not to purchase the other combinations pre-packaged but let our customers decide how many and what additional components to purchase.

For those of you unfamiliar with the WaterCop device, this is a whole house or zoned water shut off full port ball valve with actuator that responds to radio signals from moisture sensors (WaterHounds) or freeze alert sensors (FreezeHounds). Water is shut off almost instantly when sensors are activated plus an alarm sounds at that sensor. The sensors can be AC powered or battery powered. The moisture sensors come with a single probe or two probes connected to one radio device. The sensors are installed under water dispensing refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters, washing machines, etc.

Thanks again for your question. Please contact us if you need more information.

Sincerely,
Barbara

Operation of a WaterCop Motorized Actuator When the Power Fails

by Barbara 11. January 2008 05:16

Q regarding a WaterCop Motorized Actuator with 3/4 Inch Valve: "I would like to use the WaterCop to shut off water flow to my home when I am going to be away. My plan is to install a remote wall switch near my back door.

  • Should the power fail, what is the un-powered condition of this valve?
  • In other words, does this valve automatically close when the power fails?
  • Or, does the valve stay in whatever condition it was in when the power failed? Thank you"

Answer: The 3/4 inch low lead brass ball valve remains in the same position (open or closed) as it was in when the power shuts off. So, if the valve was open, it remains open. If the valve is in a closed position, unscrew the actuator (4 screws) and use a wrench to open the water valve. Plug in the actuator when the power is restored and push the green button. Then reinstall the actuator to the valve platform. Remember if you want to use the WaterCop actuator as an automatic water shut off valve that responds to water leaks, you can buy the WaterHound moisture sensors separately. Just make sure the sensors and the actuator have the same "code" set.

Feel free to contact us if you have other questions about our products.

Sincerely, Barbara