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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

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