water flow indicator on main line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by web_surfer, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. web_surfer

    web_surfer New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Is there some type of water flow sensor that can be installed on the main line right after the water meter that would sense a sudden increase in water flow (such as a ruptured pipe, hose, etc.)?

    I know they make sensors for the existence of water after it has leaked out. However, it would be great if there was something out there that could detect a sudden increase in the water flow & notify me (like some of the aforesaid sensors do) or stop the water (like floodsafe hoses on washers - but not restrict the water flow itself - tried using these & takes forever to fill up washer). Also, the sensors generally are only effective in the area they are located.

    Thanks,
    Matt
  2. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    I know an electrically operated shut off valve is ~$600. With a flowmeter and interface box you're set to go. You'd probably want to detect an excessive rate-of-rise of the GPM.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,503
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    sensor

    There used to be a device like that, although I do not remember who made it or if they still do. One problem is that it can give "false trips" which can be a nuisance if you are in the shower at the time.
  4. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I was looking on the net for flowmeters for my hydronic heating system and came across one that had an optional alarm contact output.

    I'll see if I can find it, was interesting and might work for what you are looking for.
  5. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    They had a cut-off valve on TOH or ATOH that would shut off the water if you had a rupture. They turned on a typical 2gpm-type faucet and it came on and turned off. Then they cut the supply hose and immediately it shut.

    I don't know who makes it though. :(

    False trips would be annoying...hope it works well long term...
  6. web_surfer

    web_surfer New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    OK, found a module that would call me up to five times if it is activated (this would be in lieu of a shutoff). They only want $697 for it.

    The real difficulty seems to be finding a sensor that detects a rapid (sudden) increase in flow rate. Found some sensors that install inline that detect if no flow is available or that indicate when a certain flow rate exists. Neither of these will work.

    Oh well, with limited time to research this, I guess I will have to wait - maybe something like this will come out in the future.

    Thanks,
    Matt
  7. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    False positives/false negatives \/

    ?....Pipe breaks, no alarm
    OK...Pipe breaks, alarm
    ?....Pipe doesn't break, false alarm
    OK...Pipe doesn't break, no alarm

    You may want more sophistication than off-the-shelf units offer. Custom logic circuitry can be done in this case once you have a flow rate sensor.

    If you forward me a huge check :)
    I guess I could do AI, where the system "learns" what is normal and what is not.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  8. web_surfer

    web_surfer New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thatguy,

    Sorry, but no "huge" check unless I win the lottery. Since I don't buy lottery tickets I am pretty sure I won't win.:mad:

    I was hoping to find something that would work & would cost no more than $300 or so. Pretty sure that is not "huge" enough. We are already way over budget on this remodel. I am not really sure why we even had a budget.

    Thanks
  9. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
  10. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Why don't you get yourself something similar to a water guardian...

    It's basicially a system that requires you to install a solenoid valve on your water main. Then you connect that motorized valve to a control pad. Also connected to the control pad are sensors.

    You place the sensors on the floor. If water gets on the floor the sensors (basically switches that get thrown when water allows the electricity to conduct across the poles.).

    These are not the BEST solution but they're good for high risk areas like your HWT, main water supply etc.

    Might be something to look into?

    They also only retail for $185....
Similar Threads: water flow
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Need Advice/ Low water flow volume -Possible Meter shut-off Valve problem Apr 11, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & just broke my toilet trying to fix it :( overflowing => breaking the water fill valve Mar 13, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Water keeps flowing through hot water pipe despite shutting off water supply valve Feb 26, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Can a loop be used to improve water flow? Sep 8, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Disconnecting a Glacier Bay Quick Connect and/or water flow issues. Apr 28, 2013

Share This Page