January 28, 2015

Flood Insurance?

We recently received a request from a customer who owned a vacation home in the mountains west of Denver. The home was unoccupied for weeks, even months at a time. The owner had experienced extensive water damage and was looking for a way to prevent a reoccurrence.

 At the time, we were not offering an automated water shutoff valve so we conducted research to identify the best solution. During that effort we learned that valves of this type were not broadly available and those we could find were VERY expensive and often limited in their real world application. Water shutoff valves are usually placed at the location where the water service enters the building but this location is often not easily accessible to the average home owner. Some of the automated valves we found used wired water detectors, but leaks commonly occur far away from the location of the valve itself because installation would include running wires and fishing walls for access to remote locations.

 Also, because the valves are not typically easily accessed, homeowners wanted to receive feedback from the valve to verify the actual, current open/closed status. Valves that provide this feedback signal are rare.

 We were able to locate the manufacturer of top quality motorized ball valves that provide contact closure feedback in both the fully open and fully closed positions at a very reasonable price. We connected the valve to an INSTEON 2450 I/O Linc low voltage/contact closure interface module and powered it with a heavy duty 12VDC power supply. The result is a motorized water shutoff valve that responds to INSTEON On/Off commands and will control another INSTEON device to provide actual valve position status. Check out our video!

 Our customer wanted the ability to turn off the water when they leave the home so we linked an INSTEON KeypadLinc to the I/O Linc. We used a second KeypadLinc button to display the valve status. They also plan to add several wireless INSTEON Water Leak Sensors to turn the water off automatically if a leak ever occurs behind the washer, refrigerator, toilet, or dishwasher.

 The assembly worked so well we decided to add the bundled package to our catalog here. The valve is also available in 3-way, stainless steel and in standard NPT (National Pipe Thread) sizes from ½” to 1 ¼”. Not an INSTEON User? The valve is also available separately.


As always, contact us with any questions or if you just need a little help with your INSTEON project.

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