Automatic water shutoff valve?

Seems to me I saw an ad once for an atuomatic water shutoff valve which
activates if a pipe bursts or water heater tank breaks open. Seems to me it
was activated by a sudden large drop in water pressure. Anybody familiar
with anything like this?
Mike D.
Reply to
Mike Dobony
A better solution is to install a moisture sensor in the vicinity of plumbing and water tanks. If you have a monitored alarm system, they can be connected so that you can be alerted if there is a problem.
Reply to
FWIW, off-hand I'm not sure that's a good idea. It seems to me such a "flow detector" would have to trip at pretty low flow rates to be effective - even a "small" leak from a water heater, dishwahser, or laundry can cause a lot of damage if undetected - and if it can detect those, it would see to me it would be nuisance-tripped by (for example) a refrigerator ice maker.
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inspection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOT com eight47-475-5668
Reply to
MDT at Paragon Home Inspection
Unless you have pipes that have been frozen I don't see why you would expect them to burst. The washing machine and water heater probably ought to be near floor drains.
Reply to
"MDT at Paragon Home Inspections, LLC"
That would be my thoughts also. Just wondering if I rememberd correctly and intrigued by the idea.
Reply to
Mike Dobony
In my experience, the big five are:
- Water heaters: basement floor drains may be clogged, floor coverings can wick water long distances, water wicked to walls can wick up. And, people store a lot of valuable stiff and/or absorbant materials on basement floors.
- Washers, with and w/o functioning drain pans. No functioning pan: see above. Pan: hose leaks at connection to plumbing, water sprays beyond pan, see above. Special case, washers in hall closets above first floor, and condos. If the latter, and a unit above: pan or no pan, the first place to look is UP.
- Kitchens: dishwashers and refrigerator ice-makers. Ever see a drain pan under one of those?
In my rental units, I use these:
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- AC condensate drains, especially air handlers in attics: Almost never inspected by homeowners. Primary drain clogs, secondary is not installed and no cut-off switch or switch, or switch not properly installed or connected, or secondary drains out of plain view, or people don't pay attention when it starts running. Condensate is now running down on or into walls.
- Condensate pump at furnace w/o functioning cut-off switch for furnace / AC. Pump fails: condensate now draining on or into structure..
Then, when things get wet, people go crazy over mold: "I saw this house on Sixty Minutes...."
IMO in most cases this isn't the homeowners fault - the problem rather is that there is little incentive for the manufacturers or installers of such systems to think through the longer-term implication of failures, so the level of protection provided is unusually the minimum specified by building codes, if that.
So, stuff "floods".
As a home inspector I can (and should) note if a structure is a vacation home, and ask if someone's job is likely to mean the house will be unoccupied for substantial periods, and if so point out that if so there is an increased risk of water damage. And I can verbally note the lack of pan on a washer, or even the lack of an auto-shutoff on a dishwasher during an inspection, and/or include it as an item in the "suggestions an comments" section of my report.
But as a comment in a three hour inspection, or a 30-40 page report, the reality is that only a minority of buyers will absorb this advice. And of those, on a tiny minority of cash-strapped home buyers would make avoiding what they perceive as relatively low-probability event a priority - I'm pleased if they seem to taking my comments about the much larger risk of a 20 year old water heater located nowhere near a drain seriously - maybe they WON'T be stacking boxes with last years financial returns or irreplaceable family letter and photos on the floor next to it, after all...
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inspection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOTcom eight47-475-5668
Reply to
MDT at Paragon Home Inspection
Harry You apparently are unfamiliar with the meaning of the phrase "monitored alarm system." A monitored system is connected to a central, remote, or proprietary alarm station. The staff of the monitoring station notifies a responsible person who will act in the interest of the owner when an abnormal condition is transmitted by the alarm system's transmitter to the monitoring stations receiving equipment. -- Tom Horne
Reply to
Thomas D. Horne, FF EMT
I am well aware of that. I was taking your first paragraph as your suggestion and the second one as a possible addition to it as it started with "if you have".
Harry K
Reply to
Harry K

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