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    Automatic water shut-off

    I've seen postings asking about automatic water shut-off valves. This looks like a good solution:

    http://www.watercop.com/watercop/product.asp?reseller=

    I'm going to get the WaterCop (valve only) with Alarm Interface and hard-wire it to an Ocelot/Secu16 relay output.

    I already have two WaterBug sensors (http://www.smarthome.com/7160.html) connected to HS. One in my laundry room on the floor under the washer and one on the floor in the water treatment room in my shop (we're on a well).

    Whenever either WaterBug detects water on the floor, it notifies HS which sends a pair of X10 off commands to this device:

    http://www.smarthome.com/1289.html

    This turns off the well pump. HS also sends email to work and starts making a TTS announcement every minute until I reset it.

    Even though I'm already turning off the well pump, I still want to add the WaterCop to turn off the water to the house because, even with the well pump off, there is still enough residual water and pressure in the system to spew water for several minutes. There is also the chance that the X10 switch might miss the "off" signal altogether. It will still be good to have the well-pump switch because the water leak might be BEFORE the WaterCop in the water treatment room.

    #2
    DC,

    The original Watercop wasn't supervised and if the batteries ran down in the transmitter it wouldn't do anything. The new version is supposed to be supervised. Can you tell us if they have released that version yet.

    I'm also interested in doing exactly what you stated. I have an Ocelot as well.

    George

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      #3
      George,

      I purchased the WaterCop about 4 Months ago and the sensors now give off a warning beep when the batteries are in need of replacement.

      Comment


        #4
        I try to avoid batteries like the plague, especially for something like this. I would forget to replace the batteries and wouldn't realize it until it's too late.

        I'm just going to use the valve only (the version with the alarm interface) and hard-wire it to my Ocelot/Secu16 relay outputs. I already have WaterBug sensors installed so I don't need the WaterCop sensors anyway.

        One of my WaterBugs is hard-wired and the other one is connected to a PowerFlash unit. I'm going to hard-wire it soon.

        For something as potentially critical as water leak detection, I don't want batteries and I don't want X-10.

        Comment


          #5
          .. is to drain a fountain/waterfall I'm building. I'm going to have an electrically operated valve that will drain all the water out of the fountain when it is opened. I can have HS drain and refill the fountain every few days to keep it clean. At a previous house I had a regular sprinkler valve that automatically "topped off" the fountain once a day. But I had no way to drain the dirty water out of the fountain. This time around I'm going to plumb it with a drain valve also. I thought about using an inexpensive sprinkler valve on the drain side too, but I don't think it would work very well because they are susceptible to even small amounts of debris. I think a ball valve like the WaterCop might work better. This would also let HS drain the fountain automatically when the temp is close to freezing.

          Comment


            #6
            The WaterCop sensors can also be powered via a wall wart. This would avoid the battery issue.

            Comment


              #7
              DC,

              I've been trying to think of how to drain my fountain as well (which would involve opening the drain, about 5 mins later turning on the fill for a few moments (to flush out any standing debris, esp. on the "steps" of the fountain), turning off the fill, and then 5 mins later closing the drain).

              Know of anything cheaper than one of the WaterCop valves? I'd hate to spend $300 for this... I know that a sprinkler valve would get clogged far too easily and wouldn't think of using that... (unless somehow there is a way to use it to create a siphon to pull the water out...but not through the valve itself...)

              Any ideas on something cheaper?

              Comment


                #8
                I've looked for electrically operated valves and haven't been able to find any for less than $300. (Other than sprinkler valves which are around $25). But, like you said, a solenoid sprinkler valve just would not work for this. Even with a fine filter screen in front of it, I believe it would quickly get clogged.

                I talked to Jenny Snodgrass at Dynaquip Controls (800-545-3636) about using the WaterCop for this purpose. She said it is NOT made for outside use so "officially" she has to say no. But she said she knows of people who use them outside provided they are enclosed in a completely weatherproof box. That should not be too hard to do. I'll mount it inside a PVC electrical box with a gasket seal. She also said a small amount of debris shouldn't cause any problems because the motor has enough torque to snap a pencil in two if you put one inside the valve when it's closing. So, I figure if I use a debris screen to keep the big stuff out and put the valve inside a weatherproof enclosure, it should work fine.

                If you find something else that would be suitable, let me know!

                Thanks.

                Comment


                  #9
                  DC,

                  Will do... Am wondering if you could get a servo powerful enough to close a standard PVC valve...

                  Could also possibly use a small AC motor with limit sensors...

                  I assume this design would be prone to problems though, depending on the mechanics. Would have to think about it... Advantage would be that you could probably use upwards of a 3" valve (allowing the fountain to be drained quickly, as well as letting more debris through) with something like this, assuming the motor was of enough torque...

                  Was just thinking - cost would probably be as much or more than the Water Cop, but another option might be some of the pool control valves... there are a few companies that make these and I'd imagine that you can get them at least up to 1 1/2" - 2"... If you think about draining your pool, even with the skimmers, etc, there's still soem debris (small leaves, etc) that get through...

                  I know that there was more than a few times that the filter on the pump in my parent's pool was full of leaves, etc, even though the skimmers were in place. Still didn't know how some of those large things got through (though its probably someone playing with the skimmer baskets). But never had any problems with the pipes getting clogged when putting the filter on waste... (this wasn't automatic, but wouldn't think automatic pool valves would be any more restrictive).

                  Actually, another thing I could try myself would be a sprinkler valve come to think of it due to the setup.

                  The return water from my fountain comes down a 1 1/2" PVC pipe into the pump (have a "filter" in the bottom of the fountain itself to help not to clog the pump). Once it leaves the pump, the 1 1/2" PVC runs about 2 feet down the hill into a 4" PVC pipe that runs perpendicular to the other (ie: across the hill horizontally). Right below where the 1 1/2" PVC joins, there is a 4" T and 4" screen in cap for my drain. The rest of the 4" pipe then goes a few feet more being reduced again to 1 1/2" and going back up the hill to the top of the fountain (actually in between here my water inlet valve feeds the pipe as well if its open).

                  What I MIGHT be able to do upon thinking of this, is to remove the 4" cap, put a course filter in, then reduce the pipe to 2-3", put a finer filter in, reduce it again to 1", and then put a sprinkler valve on that that drains outside... What this would do is to provide a good degree of filtering out debris, but still letting water through (since 4" is pretty large)... Shouldn't be a large chance of the valve getting clogged in this case I wouldn't think (though only experience will tell, I've had plenty of problems with clogged valves over the summer).

                  Any thoughts about this?? Will try to draw a diagram when I have some time...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Valves. Have you considered trying home heating zone valves.
                    you can get them in 1/2" 3/4" and 1" quite easily.

                    They are usually pretty cheap. I don't think they take much
                    pressure but for draining.

                    StevenE
                    Why oh why didn't I just leave things alone, they had been working.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If you have regular water pressure available and it can be controlled via a cheap small sprinkler valve, then you could look at making a hydraulic piston (PVC?) that could move a rather large valve. Water pressure to move he valve one way, with a spring pressure to return it to the other, or with 4 sprinkler valves, dual acting pistons. A little more thinking would be to use a toilet flush like drain that when poped open would stay open until drained and closed. Bunch of posibilitys if you don't mind stange setups. Trash will always be a problem. Just a thought on trash is to put a larger strainer over the drain to increase thw surface area that would have to get clogged. Something like an inverted spigetti strainer or a box made of wire mesh or screen over the drain may be about all that is needed to solve the trash problem.

                      [This message was edited by zoomkat on Tuesday, 17 December 2002 at 10:55 PM.]
                      Why I like my 2005 rio yellow Honda S2000 with the top down, and more!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> A little more thinking would be to use a toilet flush like drain that when poped open would stay open until drained and closed. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                        Perhaps it could even be popped open by a short blast of water directed backwards into the drain line by a sprinkler valve connected to the fill water source.

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