Solenoid Valve for Water Main

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Hello,
I recently installed an alarm system in my home and as part of the alarm system want to install a solenoid valve right after my water meter. This would allow me to have the alarm turn off the water when we leave the house (and forestall a diasater should a pipe break).
I have looked up solenoid valves on Grainger and believe the one shown below will work for me:
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/3UK70
My only concern is that there is no technical data if this valve is rated for potable water. Does anyone have any experience with this?
Thanks
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The valve body is brass so I see no reason it would not be rated for potable water.
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Interesting idea... You'll have to hook it up through a relay of sorts as your alarm system won't be able to supply the current required directly. That's a Normally Closed valve, so loss of power will also cut off your water supply. That's probably a good thing as well. Please post a followup as to how it works out for you.
-- "Tell me what I should do, Annie." "Stay. Here. Forever." - Life On Mars
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Rick Blaine wrote:

What's the input to know there's a pipe broken?
....

Not if he has a fire suppression system.
Would also be kinda' inconvenient in case of loss of power (winter ice storm, say), although if has permanent backup power I guess it's doable.
It's not clearcut to me from information provided which would be better choice...
If the worry is for vacation, etc., I'd be far more inclined to simply put a quarter-turn isolation valve in a convenient place and be done w/ it. Particularly as it isn't at all clear how he would determine when a break requiring isolation has occurred.
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A plumber would call that a "ball valve"
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Well, _I'm_ not a plumber and "isolation" referred to purpose, not type... :(
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I was referring to the "quarter turn" not isolation. When you go to a plumbing supply house, it is always good to know what to ask for. Posters here often refer to the disdain they receive at pro supply houses for electrical and plumbing stuff. The guy behind the counter does not have the time to decipher what Joe Homoaner needs. Knowing what you want can save you money also.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Well, I probably shouldn't have reacted back, but I specifically used the "quarter-turn" as I figured that had a better chance of registering w/ OP as to what it would be like in practice, and "quarter-turn ball isolation" valve seemed awfully wordy.
I suppose to satisfy I should have shown a picture and catalog item number as well... :(
Ah well, it _is_ usenet, and I _did_ choose to participate... :)
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dpb wrote:

That'd work, provided you were faithful about shutting it every time you left the house for more than a couple of hours, something I don't think anyone save for those with weekend cottages would be anal enough to do.
But, case in point...
About four years ago my next door neighbor, an ob-gyn doctor, decided to close his private practice and move one state north to "Live Free or Die" in New Hampshire.
He put his house here in Winchester, Massachusetts on the market for about $1.5 mil but didn't get a buyer by the time they were ready to move out in the fall, so off to New Hampshire they went, leaving the place in the hands of the real estate broker.
Comes a January morning and as I was getting into my car I looked across at the side of his house and saw a bunch of huge dirty gray icicles coming down one of his garage doors:
http://home.comcast.net/~jwisnia18/temp/freezer.jpg
I had the sad duty of calling him up at the hospital where he was working in New London, New Hampshire and giving him the bad news.
The oil fired hydronic heating system had conked out and domestic supply pipes and heating system plumbing had burst in several places, running for gosh knows how long before I saw those icicles forming.
The contractors hauled away two of those huge dumpsters full of hardwood flooring, wallboard and all kinds of other stuff and it took until fall before the place was fixed up and put back on the market.
Now, I swear on my honor that I'm telling the truth....The place didn't sell that fall and remained empty into the winter when it froze up AGAIN!
The contractors and the construction dumpsters returned for another summer of tearing out and replacing walls and floors and the place finally sold to a nice young couple that fall.
My old neighbors are nice folks, but for a smart doctor he "did stupid pretty good" with respect to not protecting his house properly. The place, like most of the homes in our neighborhood, has a monitored burglar and fire alarm system, but he didn't bother to add a freeze alarm to it, even after the first freezeup, when I suggested to him that he should look into doing that.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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I think last year "this old house" had a device that monitored waterflow at the meter (or just after) and closed the supply off if the flow exceeded so many gals/hr. It was like $200 for the valve and controller. And I think some areas now require a similar smaller device for the washer dryer connections, but it only opens the valves when the washer is pulling electric.
google would be a good place to look ;-)
-larry / dallas
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My dryer failed and I had cold air all over the place. It took a lot of time and water to wet things up again. <g>

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its normally closed and thus would require power any time you want water. in a power failure no water either.....
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NJ wrote:

I'm wondering what with the spec "Min. Flow Rate 11.2 GPM" in the Grainger listing....
My curious mind wants to know what that spec means. Can someone in the know elucidate on the subject?
Probably worth finding out before you go to the work of buying and installing it, just to make sure that the valve will remain open when no one is using water in the house, or if it close, that it will open from closed when someone turns on a 3 gpm faucet.
And, if you do find it works as exspected it'd be wise to test it on a regular basis just to make sure nothing has cruded up and keeps it from closing when needed after a few months of inactivity.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Well, I figured I could, but... :)
They're ASCO valves, so went to ASCO site w/ the part number and looked -- no flow rates at all given in the spec sheet. There's a reference to an "Engineering Section", but no links and after almost 30 minutes poking around trying to find it somehow, gave it up...
So, no real answer.
There is a required minimum operating pressure differential (to overcome the inertia/drag of the solenoid when open to close it), so I suppose it's possible there's the requirement to generate that.
That is, of course, conjecture.
Overall, methinks OP is over-engineering a solution to a non-problem, creating others in its place... :)
I'm interested in his proposed control input(s)/logic.
BTW, it appears a reasonable choice for ASCO of valve family using their selection engine. Their only NSF-rated potable solenoid valves are limited to 1/4-3/8" so that's not possible from them even if OP wanted to pay the (undoubtedly sizable) premium for it.
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NJ wrote:

From the Grainger page:
" Warning: This product contains a product known to the State of California to cause cancer. Warning: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm."
My suspicion is that this will become an "over-engineered" project no matter what...
Jim
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Ever heard of Occam's Razor? Ever heard of Murphy's Laws? Ever heard of KISS (Keep it simple, stupid)?
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Walter
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first i used a similiar valve years ago at my moms home, it had troubles, limited flow at high levels, and wierd effects at low flow. its main use was for a dishwasher that had to be in the dining room, turn power on to dishwasher, water on too. to prevent floods.
was so intrigued by that valve tried using it for other things and gave up.
imagine a power failure in a emergency, when you really needed water like a fire.
a ball valve 1/4 turn on main way better choice.
try to automate things too much and the equiptement may cause worse troubles of its own:(
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

In the book, "SystemAntics," one finds the rule:
"Fail-safe systems fail by failing to fail safe."
Consider automobile brakes. Originally, you stepped on a pedal which pulled a wire that expanded the brake shoes.
Then came hydraulic brakes. Then power-assisted brakes. Then dual-brakes. Now anti-lock. The number of parts in the brake system has grown by two orders of magnitude, each part with its own potential of failure.
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HeyBub wrote:

But, in terms of catastrophic brake failures, the overall system failure rates are lower than they were back when...
For one thing, there are many portions of those systems in that total part count that aren't single-point failure-causing if they do fail (anti-lock feature, for one) and in addition, some of those parts are added redundancy (split cylinder, for example).
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