Leakage protection automation: how not to flood your neighbors

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To avoid unpleasant incidents in the event of a breakdown of pipelines or plumbing and not to harm the neighbors from below, it is recommended to use special devices that block the supply of water to the apartment when the floor is flooded. This article will tell you about the variety of automatic devices and their installation..

Leakage protection automatics. How not to flood your neighbors

Leakage protection systems can be either complete or based on a self-built architecture. An example of the first category is:

  1. “Aquastorozh”: 1 tap, 2 wired sensors, autonomous operation (6 300 rubles). Supports up to 4 expansion modules, wireless communication possible.
  2. Gidrolock: 1 tap, 3 wired sensors, controller and battery (13,000 rubles). It is possible to connect a radio module and GPS alerts.
  3. Neptun: 2 taps, 2 wired sensors, controller (9 800 rubles).

Almost all systems supplied assembled can be supplemented with additional sensors, valves and relays for actuators: pumps, boilers, etc. Since the assembly of typical systems consists only in connecting wires according to the instructions, the principle of operation and features of the components of the system will be considered. So you can not only choose the right automation for your needs, but also master the assembly of DIY kits and systems on freely programmable logic controllers (PLC).

How automatic shutdown works

The principle of operation of the system is quite simple: water, falling on the sensor contacts, closes them and lowers the resistance of the circuit. The controller registers changes in the signal and, in accordance with a given program, performs certain actions.

Leakage protection automatics. How not to flood your neighbors

In typical circuits, the system supplies voltage to electric taps that shut off the water. If there is hot water supply, both highways will be closed.

However, the source of flooding can be not only water supply, but also heating. If this is a centralized system, one, several or all risers will be shut off in an emergency, depending on which zone the sensor has triggered and whether the control unit supports selective shutdown. This is one of the reasons for a general-purpose PLC..

But what if we are talking about autonomous hot water heating systems, for example, in a country house? In this case, shutting off the taps will not eliminate the accident. It is necessary to completely shut down the boiler equipment and drain the water from the system so as not to defrost the pipes. In this case, in case of emergency operation, the system must turn off the boiler and circulation pumps, cut off the gas supply, open the drain valve and start the pump, which will pump out water from the system, and then stop when a dry run occurs. Typical systems are not able to solve this problem.

Selecting an automation controller

It is the functions of the controller that determine the compliance of a particular system with the conditions under which it will be operated. Manufacturers offer a different set of features:

  1. Light and sound notification.
  2. Disconnecting water lines.
  3. Control of executive devices via relays.
  4. Wireless Sensors.
  5. Notification via SMS or telephone dialing.
  6. Work from an autonomous power source in case water breaks down the power grid.
  7. Forced removal from the accident (so as not to dry all sensors).
  8. Selective shutdown.

Accessibility features are not included in the basic package, and system expansion can be a big hit. For these and other reasons, complex protection is built on the basis of individual configurations..

A budget option

It is also possible to build a budget scheme without a control unit. An example of a typical solution is an autonomous Gidrolock complex, but it is much cheaper to create such a circuit based on H2O-Contact sensors of the second version (400–500 rubles). There are four wires at the sensor output, two of them are supplied with a constant voltage of 12 V, the other two wires serve as a normally open relay contact.

Leakage protection automatics. How not to flood your neighbors

If water gets into the relay circuit, a current (up to 0.8 A) of power supply of the solenoid normally open valve (1500–2000 rubles) will pass through the relay circuit, which will cut off the liquid supply. The assembly will be a little cheaper if, instead of the valve, a ball valve with a servo drive (800–1000 rubles) is installed, connected through a mini-contactor with a current cutoff so that the power is turned off when the engine stops. By supplementing the scheme with a tap opening button, you can assemble a very budgetary version of automation, which can be installed, for example, under each heating radiator.

Incorporating a function into a home automation system

If some functions in the building are already automated by an open system, there is no need to buy a leakage protection complex. It is much cheaper to add an additional I / O module to the control unit and connect leakage sensors and actuators to it.

Leakage protection automatics. How not to flood your neighbors

Most leakage sensors are resistive thresholds, so they can easily be connected to the ADC inputs, which are present on most controllers today. Their output signal is similar to smoke detectors in gas analyzers. A typical example of the implementation of flooding protection in existing automation complexes is connecting a leakage sensor to the standard output “XITAL GSM-8T”.

Electric crane selection

The main actuators of automatic protection against leaks – electric valves – are the most expensive components of any system. Unfortunately, the price for these components offered by automation manufacturers cannot be called democratic. At the same time, the supplied devices are almost no better than their cheaper counterparts..

Leakage protection automatics. How not to flood your neighbors

Motorized ball valves are the most affordable option. You can determine a quality product by the material of the gears, the presence and type of gearbox. Transmission elements should be chosen metal, the gearbox should effectively reduce the load on the engine, the presence of 2-4 transmission stages is optimal.

Universal solenoid valves are more reliable and have a longer service life, but they cost 30-50% more. Leakage protection systems use normally open valves without self-return.

Leakage protection automatics. How not to flood your neighbors

Installation of a typical protection kit

As for the installation of the automation system, it is extremely simple. The sensors are placed on the floor in possible flooding areas: under the washing machine, near the piping of radiators and boiler, under the bathroom and sink. The wires are laid either hidden in the wall or in channel skirting boards to the controller, guided by the maximum allowable wire length.

Leakage protection automatics. How not to flood your neighbors 1 – leakage sensors; 2 – servo-driven taps for cold and hot water; 3 – control unit

Then, stop valves are installed on the main water line or heating riser. In apartments, the optimal installation location is immediately after the meter, behind the non-return valve. It is important to hold the adjacent assembly elements with a gas wrench so as not to break the seals. The crane or valve is packed on an FUM tape; during installation, it will be necessary to shorten the outgoing pipeline line by the width of the added device.

Leakage protection automatics. How not to flood your neighbors

The controller usually has a frame for removable fastening, which is attached to the wall with self-tapping screws or BM dowels. After installing the unit, connect the wires from the sensors to the corresponding outputs, connect the power supply to the valves to the relay terminals. After power on, the device will calibrate the readings and will be ready for operation.

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