Auto Water Shutoff

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by tonyn1, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. tonyn1

    tonyn1 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Indiana
    I recently had a main valve go bad on a dishwasher which resulted in some flooding of my residence, but fortunately I was home so it was not as bad as it could have been. I had a new valve installed as the unit was still under warranty and all appears well. However, when I went out of state over the holidays, I got to thinking what would happen if I were away for a long period of time and that valve went bad on me. I hate to think of the result I would find when I returned home. I see that several places are selling a unit called the "WaterCop" which has wireless detectors that sense water and signal to the valve to shut off the water. Has anybody used one of these units and if so, how happy were they with the performance? Do the wireless sensor units work OK or would wired sensors be better? Is the valve normally shut and held open by power on a solenoid and then shuts on a power failure? Are there any other units on the market including some that maybe monitor the flow of water? How about being able to buy parts to make my own?
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007
  2. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    You could turn the water off to the dishwasher.
  3. tonyn1

    tonyn1 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Indiana
    So I'm supposed to turn the water off to the dishwasher after I use it every time? No thanks.
  4. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I suspect he meant to turn off the water to the DW if you will be away for an extended period. Others on this site have written about shutting off their main water supply valve when going on vacation (need to shut off water heaters if you do so) to avoid such potential catastrophes.

    When you think about it, there are many, many places in your home where a fitting or valve or hose could let go at any given time - would be unrealistic to put a water sensor at every sink, toilet, etc.

    Have you checked your water pressure? I would wonder if it is too high. It is particularly helpful to get a water pressure gauge with a "maximum" pressure hand which will tell you if the pressure gets especially high at night or under other circumstances.
  5. tonyn1

    tonyn1 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Indiana
    It's not only being away for an extended period of time that could do that. Think how much water could come out just being away from home for a few hours. As far as water pressure goes, I am on a city water supply so I don't know the pressure and have not control over that anyway.
  6. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Actually you do have control over the pressure. If the city is supplying excessive water pressure to your house (a VERY common problem), you can have a pressure reducing valve (PRV) and an expansion tank installed which will dramatically reduce the chances of catastrophic failures.

    Untreated high water pressure is a flood waiting to happen.

    You can buy a simple water pressure gauge at a hardware store for <$10. You screw it onto any hose bib (like outside the house, at a washing machine supply, etc.)
  7. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    The water cop is shown on TV a lot, great idea if it works. Wireless works in some houses not in others. For something important I like wired. I would see if they have something that can be wired for the places that can be and wireless for those that can't.

    I would go bathrooms far enough that a little drip after bath wouldn't set it off, cloths washer, dishwasher and a couple in the basement. They make a fancy one that works on the water heater, how do you like that rugged, that turns off the water and the gas or electric if it is set off. You need that to avoid potentially dangerous issues, however if the tank breaks now the same issues are there, but the water damage happens too.

    Good idea if you can afford it and find some one to install it.
  8. tonyn1

    tonyn1 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Indiana
    I've seen the WaterCop on the web, but I don't like the price so much and the wireless modules. Like the previous responder, I'd rather have something like this hardwired. The price of $359 seems excessive, as it is only a solenoid valve and a control board. I could probably find a solenoid valve somewhere but I'm not sure about a control board for that.
  9. tonyn1

    tonyn1 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Indiana
    What is the optimum pressure for a residence?
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    55-60 pounds is often the sweet spot on a city supply. PRV's can provide a consistent pressure. If you install one, you MUST also install an expansion tank, as indicated. If your pressure is above 80 pounds anytime during the day, a PRV is highly recommended.
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