Water Leak Detection and Automatic Water Shutoff

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  • Last Post 02 March 2016
CasualSurveyor posted this 27 February 2016

I've been looking at the FortrezZ Wireless Z-Wave Water Valve for quite a while and just haven't been able to pull the trigger considering its $430-$500 price.
http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Z-Wave-Water-Valve-inch/dp/B006KU10ZI


I was also looking at the WaterCop Z-Wave Electric Actuator Motor that can be retro-fitted onto an existing manual ball valve for $300. Very attractive as I already have a 3/4" manual ball valve at the incoming water main, but ultimately disqualified by user reports of insufficient torque to operate the valve.
http://www.amazon.com/WaterCop-Z-Wave-Electric-Actuator-ZWACT/dp/B007BRZ6HC

Well, I found a better way. You have to go with two components instead of one, but the result is very cost-effective.

Component 1: BACOENG 3/4" 110VAC-230VAC Brass Motorized Ball Valve US, Normally Open $65
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014CWGNIY

Component 2: Leviton VRPA1-1LW Vizia RF Plus Scene Capable Plug-in Appliance Module, White $31
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JFF1WP8

(Component 2 could be any brand or model of your favorite appliance module.)

Total cost $96...25-30% of the cost of the valves with built-in Z-wave.

I have tested the above components triggered by an Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Water Sensor and it works flawlessly. $40
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H3TJ3P4

I can also of course manually trigger a change of state on the valve.

Last weekend I built a 3/4" piping assembly to hold the motorized ball valve and a manual bypass ball valve (in case the motorized valve fails). The piping assembly has plumbing unions on each end, so this weekend I will cut into the main line and install the motorized valve and bypass valve.

In addition to leak detection and main water shutoff, this setup could be used to control other water applications such as automatic sprinklers.

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CasualSurveyor posted this 27 February 2016

Finished installation. I added a bypass valve that remains shut under normal circumstances. If the motorized valve ever gets stuck closed, I can bypass it manually with the manual ball valve until I repair or replace the motorized valve.

http://i.imgur.com/EskRDXf.jpg

rscott posted this 01 March 2016

Finished installation. I added a bypass valve that remains shut under normal circumstances. If the motorized valve ever gets stuck closed, I can bypass it manually with the manual ball valve until I repair or replace the motorized valve.

http://i.imgur.com/EskRDXf.jpg


Cool! I wish I was a bit more handy with plumbing. I'd like this sort of thing as well. Those look like smaller pipes than I have, I wonder if they have a larger version for mine (which I think are closer to an inch and a half if not 2").

How does the device activate? Is it just a matter of applying power to it to get it to toggle state? What happens if you have a power outage, does it toggle the state when power is restored?

CasualSurveyor posted this 01 March 2016

Thank, it was kind of a fun project. The motorized valve is Normally Open (NO), meaning it is open when power is off. It has a grounded 3-prong 120VAC plug. I plugged it into an appliance module. When I turn on the module, it applies power to the valve and closes it.

I went with NO to make sure we didn't lose water pressure if the power went out. I thought it would also be more energy-efficient to not have to energize the valve the whole time to keep it open. Finally, I did not want to needlessly exercise the valve during power surges during thunderstorms.

This particular valve is available in up to 1" size. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014CWGNIY

There may be other sources for valves with larger diameters.

CasualSurveyor posted this 02 March 2016

Here's the Leviton appliance module that the valve plugs into. I am not perfectly happy with it because the green LED button only works for programming. Pressing it will not cause a change of device state. A real missed feature in my opinion. It's main virtue is compact size compared to the big honking GE modules.

http://i.imgur.com/dn1ocUl.jpg

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