Water Shut off Valve Rant - sort of...

I used a Spears True Union 2000 with their Electro 50 actuator.
Did you get this online or local? A quick search shows the true union 2000 series at over $400 for the AC version (says other voltages optional) on their site.
 
Did you get this online or local? A quick search shows the true union 2000 series at over $400 for the AC version (says other voltages optional) on their site.

I got it through my local plumbing supplier, special ordered. If memory serves correctly it was less than $300 ($230-$260).
 
Does anyone have their HA panel automatically shut off the water valve when set to armed - away? Obviously it's great to have water sensors everywhere - but there are spots where it may not be practical - and turning off water when away could prevent a disastrous burst event.

However, I do wonder if turning off the pressure and turning it back on so frequently could lead to stresses on many of the other parts of plumbing system which may not be designed for frequent on/off pressure events?
 
Does anyone have their HA panel automatically shut off the water valve when set to armed - away? Obviously it's great to have water sensors everywhere - but there are spots where it may not be practical - and turning off water when away could prevent a disastrous burst event.

However, I do wonder if turning off the pressure and turning it back on so frequently could lead to stresses on many of the other parts of plumbing system which may not be designed for frequent on/off pressure events?


There was another water valve thread a few weeks ago that had people talking about this exact idea.

I would definitely do it for vacation mode.
There are plusses and minuses to doing it everyday.
 
I haven't ordered my valve, yet, but will soon. Trying to figure the logistics because it will have to be outside since I'm on a slab. I do plan to turn the valve off at a pre-set time after alarmed away. I don't foresee any problem to the system from closing the valve, since ideally there won't be any water running when the valve closes. Plus, it will likely only close a couple of times per day, and the Elk valve take 4 seconds to close, much more slowly than an ordinary faucet closes.

Kevin
 
However, I do wonder if turning off the pressure and turning it back on so frequently could lead to stresses on many of the other parts of plumbing system which may not be designed for frequent on/off pressure events?
The non-plumber in me says this should not be an issue at all since the lines are not empty. If the lines drained, that would be a different story.
 
Does anyone have their HA panel automatically shut off the water valve when set to armed - away? Obviously it's great to have water sensors everywhere - but there are spots where it may not be practical - and turning off water when away could prevent a disastrous burst event.

However, I do wonder if turning off the pressure and turning it back on so frequently could lead to stresses on many of the other parts of plumbing system which may not be designed for frequent on/off pressure events?


Yes, me! I have the Elk WSV (which I spent a lot less than $500 for, maybe $350 at most. It shuts off 30 minutes after armed away. It has been doing this for 2 years now. The pipes stay presurized so I don't think there is any risk of water hammer damage effect. Furthermore, I have water hammer arrestors and lastly the valve turns on gradual enough that it doesn't slam the pipes.

The 30 minute delay gives enough time for the laundry or dish washer to finish. This assumes that it was started at least 20 minutes before leaving. Every once in a while my wife starts it and leaves right away which causes an error on the appliance.

I wouldn't get a pvc valve. It might be cheaper but the pvc ball valve on my sprinkler system failed in 1 year with virually no use. Stick with stainless or brass. This is something you want to install and never worry about again.
 
Does anyone have their HA panel automatically shut off the water valve when set to armed - away? Obviously it's great to have water sensors everywhere - but there are spots where it may not be practical - and turning off water when away could prevent a disastrous burst event.

However, I do wonder if turning off the pressure and turning it back on so frequently could lead to stresses on many of the other parts of plumbing system which may not be designed for frequent on/off pressure events?

I think it may be important to have an expansion tank near the water heater inlet if one is going to shut off the water main. Many municipalities require such a tank even without an automatic shutoff valve. The issue is that water in the water heater expands as it is heated, and unless one is drawing it off, it has nowhere to go other than back out the main feed to the house. The only expansion space in my house is the water hammer preventers at the washing machine. I'll have to add the cost of the tank to that of the WSV as I consider whether I should install a WSV.
 
I wouldn't get a pvc valve. It might be cheaper but the pvc ball valve on my sprinkler system failed in 1 year with virually no use. Stick with stainless or brass. This is something you want to install and never worry about again.

I have to disagree here. Barring UV deterioration, a PVC value will be just fine. I have seen sprinkler valves (plastic ASV type) in direct sun still functioning 25+ years after install. On the flip side, I have seen brass ball and gate valves fail inside a year. Aggressive water is the biggest problem with any valve in this scenario, and it impacts all valves and seals regardless of the material, some deteriorating quicker than others.

Typically your seals will fail long before the body will, and a ball valve that is used on a regular basis will eventually fail, regardless if it is rated a continuous duty industrial valve or not. When it does fail, it will fail in a fashion you won't even be aware of until it is too late (i.e. no positive shutoff) unless you test for that condition on a regular basis.

If the valve is going to be exposed to UV, then I would probably lean towards lead free brass/bronze, stainless steel being really serious overkill.

If not exposed to UV, and you are already dealing with PVC, IMO there is no good reason not to use a PVC ball valve.

I might as well add, Apollo (Conbraco) valves (77AR series) would be my non-pvc valve of choice for a high quality valve.

http://www.apollovalves.com/products/products.asp?sub=16
 
I think it may be important to have an expansion tank near the water heater inlet if one is going to shut off the water main. Many municipalities require such a tank even without an automatic shutoff valve. The issue is that water in the water heater expands as it is heated, and unless one is drawing it off, it has nowhere to go other than back out the main feed to the house. The only expansion space in my house is the water hammer preventers at the washing machine. I'll have to add the cost of the tank to that of the WSV as I consider whether I should install a WSV.

I have on-demand water heaters, so no issue there. Assuming the tank is already hot when the water shuts off, there shouldn't be any expansion anyway. The heater might turn on at 120 and off at 130? That won't do much in the way of expansion. Certainly going from 40 to 120 might be an issue.
 
I have to disagree here. Barring UV deterioration, a PVC value will be just fine. I have seen sprinkler valves (plastic ASV type) in direct sun still functioning 25+ years after install. On the flip side, I have seen brass ball and gate valves fail inside a year. Aggressive water is the biggest problem with any valve in this scenario, and it impacts all valves and seals regardless of the material, some deteriorating quicker than others.

Typically your seals will fail long before the body will, and a ball valve that is used on a regular basis will eventually fail, regardless if it is rated a continuous duty industrial valve or not. When it does fail, it will fail in a fashion you won't even be aware of until it is too late (i.e. no positive shutoff) unless you test for that condition on a regular basis.

If the valve is going to be exposed to UV, then I would probably lean towards lead free brass/bronze, stainless steel being really serious overkill.

If not exposed to UV, and you are already dealing with PVC, IMO there is no good reason not to use a PVC ball valve.

IF PVC were as good as stainless or brass, they wouldn't make stainless/brass. Certainly someone could make the worlds crapiest stainless vlave or the worlds best pvc valve, but QC issues being equal, a stainless valve will always outperform a pvc one.
 
IF PVC were as good as stainless or brass, they wouldn't make stainless/brass. Certainly someone could make the worlds crapiest stainless vlave or the worlds best pvc valve, but QC issues being equal, a stainless valve will always outperform a pvc one.

I agree, and I love overkill, but the question is do you need an continuous duty industrial grade valve for a residential application? Even that PVC valve I posted is industrial grade and Spears is arguably the top manufacturer for PVC fittings and valves.

There are good reasons for using SS valves (chemicals, etc...), but for potable water in residential applications it is serious overkill IMO. If you want to pay the money for a SS valve, you could easily drop $1000 or more, but why? I am sure people have better things to spend their money on, and if you can't replace the seals when they fail, that is one damned expensive value you have to throw away. For me, and in my experience, PVC (where appropriate) will work just fine unless you are dealing with some really aggressive water, in which case your ball valve is the least of your concerns.
 
I think it may be important to have an expansion tank near the water heater inlet if one is going to shut off the water main. Many municipalities require such a tank even without an automatic shutoff valve. The issue is that water in the water heater expands as it is heated, and unless one is drawing it off, it has nowhere to go other than back out the main feed to the house.
Another post from the non-plumber in me...regardless of turning off the main feed or not, where is the expanded water supposed to be going anyway?
How does water go "back out the main feed" unless there is a siphoning effect?
 
Another post from the non-plumber in me...regardless of turning off the main feed or not, where is the expanded water supposed to be going anyway?
How does water go "back out the main feed" unless there is a siphoning effect?

ΔV = βV0ΔT

The beta for water is different at different temps. But multiply beta times the initial volume of water times the change in temp (celcius). Beta for water is from 0 at 4 degrees to .000695 at 90 celcius. So water going from 4 celcius to 50 celcius might increase in volume by something like 1.5% or maybe 1/2 gallon in a 40 gallon tank. That would be the most extreme example as most people don't have 4 degree input water. Also, it means that the tank is full of 4 degree water, then you shut the valve, then you warm it up to 50. That isn't likely.
 
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