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:
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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... :)
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:
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.
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
I'm wondering what with the spec "Min. Flow Rate 11.2 GPM" in the
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.
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.
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...
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
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:(
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.
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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