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Q. "How does it work?"
A. Simple! You'll install a FloodStop motorized ball valve(s) upstream of each supply line and place our water sensor on the floor behind the unit that needs detection. If water leaks due to a broken line or the failure of ANY internal component of your plumbing fixture, the control unit tells the motorized ball valve(s) to shut off the water and sound an alarm.
Q. "So these systems can help prevent leaks or flooding?"
A. Yes they can; whether it's a small leak or large flood, FloodStops shut off the water at the appliance. They can help protect against broken lines, bursting lines and failure of internal components of your plumbing fixture.
Q. "If there is no electricity running to the valve (either because they haven't been hooked up or the sensor has touched water), are the valves normally open or closed?"
A. In their normal position, the FloodStop valves are open and will allow water to pass through; once water touches their sensor, the motorized ball valve is tripped and the valves are closed. The valve(s) will remain closed until the sensors are dried and the reset "Open" button is pressed. The Controller has a battery port for 4 X C size batteries, which will serve as a battery backup in case of a power outage. The same batteries will serve as the primary power source if a nearby electrical outlet is not available (battery life 1 year).
Q. "Does the FloodStop system shut off water to the whole house?"
A. No, this is a point of use product; it only shuts the water off at the source of the leak. Why shut off the water to your whole house if the cause of the problem is just at the washing machine, for instance? Whole house systems are much more expensive and usually require a plumber to install.
Q. "What should I do after the system has detected a leak?"
A. If a leak has occurred, turn the manual valve(s) to the off position, investigate and repair/stop the leak, dry the sensor, and reset the controller by pressing the "Open" button.
Q. "Are FloodStop systems difficult to install?"
A. No, if you can install a garden hose, you can install FloodStop. Installation takes 5 to 10 minutes, and your home will be protected against many sources of water damage.
Q. "Why would I need to use the transformer extension wire?"
A. Unlike the washing machine and the icemaker, the water heater is not always located next to an electrical outlet, and so you may need to use the 15-foot-long low-voltage extension wire.
Q. "Why would I need an additional sensor?"
A. You can increase your area of protection by adding extra sensors near the fixtures or appliances you have selected to protect. If you want more protection for your washing machine FloodStop valves you can add another sensor behind your dryer or laundry tray/sink or maybe a low spot on the floor where water tends to puddle. Or if the water heater FloodStop is purchased then additional sensors can also be placed in your water heater's drain pan, as well as on the floor nearby (in case a leak sprays outside the pan). Or if you want a quicker detection for your icemaker FloodStop, you may choose to install a sensor under your icemaker valve, another behind the refrigerator and a third near your icemaker's filter (if you have one).
Q. "What about braided hoses, aren't they burst proof?"
A. You should use braided hoses whenever you can (especially on your washing machine), and take every precaution to avoid water damage, but hoses are not the only source of flooding. And, braided hoses are not burst proof, but only burst resistant. There are a wide variety of clamps, valves, pumps, drains, etc. inside many fixtures that can fail. (FloodStop was designed after the inventor suffered a home flood due to a switch failure that did not tell his washing machine when to stop filling with water. Water continued to run into the washer and flooded the house for 3 hours before it was discovered).
Q. "Can these systems be used in lead-free applications?"
A. All units aside from the FS 3/4-H and FS 3/4-H90 have been certified as lead free. Please note that as the FS 3/4-H and FS 3/4-H90 are for use with washing machines, they are not for use in potable water applications and are not required to meet national or state low-lead standards.
Q. "What does it mean to have ANSI Certification for lead free plumbing products?"
A. Laws requiring plumbing products that come in to contact with drinking water to be essentially lead-free (0.25% weighted average) have been passed in California, Louisiana, Maryland, and Vermont. In order for companies to ship these plumbing products to locations in CA, LA, MD and VT, they must be ANSI certified lead free.
Q. "What is CA AB 1953, LA Act No. 362, MD HB 372, and VT S.152 and how is this different from previous low-lead legislation?"
A. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the amount of lead in drinking water under guidelines established in the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (passed in 1974; amended in 1988 and 1996). This Act defines "lead-free" as not more than 8% lead in pipes and fixture fittings. PLEASE NOTE: Use of the term "lead-free" varies between the new legislation in CA (AB 1953), LA ( Act No. 362), MD (HB 372), and VT (S.152), and in the current Federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. In the new legislation for CA, LA, MD and VT only (as of Jan 2013), it will mean 0.25% or less (weighted average). Similar national legislation is scheduled to go into effect Jan 2014.
Q. "If I purchase the WaterWatcher system, why would I need to purchase the FloodStop system?"
A. The WaterWatcher is designed to turn off the electrical power to the appliance, but will not turn off the water supply if a hose was to break. The FloodStop will turn off the water supply but not the electrical power.
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