- The principle of operation of water protection systems
- How effective are water control systems
- And what is the leakage protection system
- Shut-off valves
- Features of installation of a water leakage protection system
From this article you will learn what protection systems against leaks and flooding of apartments and houses are, what components they consist of, how leakage is monitored and how an emergency situation is prevented, and most importantly, you can find out the cost of such systems.
It’s hard to imagine a modern home without security devices. To protect the electrical wiring, automatic switches (automatic devices) are used, for fire protection – fire alarm systems, gas leaks from gas leaks, and burglar alarm systems from strangers entering the home. Modern heating equipment is also equipped with sensors to ensure safe operation. Most of the above automation means have long been heard and are increasingly entering everyday life..
With all the variety of security systems, water leakage protection devices are still not in popular demand. Perhaps it is a lack of information. Perhaps in the price. However, those who have had time to deal with the problem of flooding their neighbors will probably understand the economic feasibility of acquiring such systems..
The principle of operation of water protection systems
Water control system sensors are installed in places where leakage is most likely and to which water supply lines are connected (bathroom, toilet, kitchen, etc.). In case of flooding, the sensor transmits a signal to the controller, which, in turn, indicates an emergency and closes the shut-off valves installed at the inlet of the water supply to the room. Leakage monitoring is carried out in a continuous mode, even in the absence of a temporary power supply, which makes the system the most efficient.
How effective are water control systems
Shut-off valves in such systems are often installed at the water supply inlet, and such a system may include several shut-off devices. This allows you to control the leakage, for example, on the input of cold and hot water. For the sensor to work, it literally needs to be filled with water. The sensing element in the sensor is located at a height of about two millimeters from the floor level, the conclusion is that small puddles cannot be avoided.
Such a system will not be able to actively protect you from:
- flooding through the sewer;
- flooding by neighbors;
- a breakthrough in the heating system (both in the case of centralized heating and in the case of autonomous);
- if a leak is in a storage tank fed by a water supply network, for example, a boiler (in this case, shutting off the water supply to the storage tank will certainly reduce the pressure, but until all the water drains out, the leak will not stop).
The only thing such a system can do in such situations is to notify the owner of the accident. In cases with a centralized heating system, there is, of course, the option of installing electric cranes for each battery (2 pcs.), But this is expensive and still does not protect you from leaks through the heating riser. Therefore, when deciding to purchase a water leakage protection system, it is worth realistically assessing its capabilities.
And what is the leakage protection system
The leakage protection system consists of three main elements.
The controller is the heart of the system. Therefore, it is precisely its characteristics that should be given special attention when choosing a leakage protection system. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of the controllers and their capabilities..
- Controllers differ in the type of supply voltage (from 5 to 220 V). From the point of view of electrical safety, preference should be given to low-voltage devices, since the equipment will be operated in an environment with high humidity.
- The most important characteristic for the controller is its autonomy, since even with a temporary power outage, the system must be in working order. To fulfill this requirement, manufacturers provide for the possibility of operating the system from an uninterruptible power supply or from batteries. In some versions, monitoring systems can be completely autonomous and powered exclusively from batteries for several years.
- Number of locking devices supported. Before purchasing a system, you need to decide on which inputs and engineering systems it will be advisable to install controlled shut-off valves.
- Relay outputs, including high-current ones. This will allow the controller to interact with third-party devices, such as a security console. The presence of high-current outputs will help protect powerful equipment. For example, turn off the boiler, protect the pump on dry running, turn off the underfloor heating system, etc..
- The most important function is to monitor the integrity of the line of sensors and actuators of shut-off valves. This feature allows you to monitor the health of the wiring and significantly increases the reliability of the system..
- Cleaning the taps is also a useful function of the controller. When using ball valves with servo drives as shut-off valves in such systems, it is necessary to understand that if such a valve is not periodically turned off, then the risk that at the right time due to clogging it will not be able to shut off the water supply significantly increases. Therefore, it is very important that the controller is equipped with a function of periodic preventive opening and closing of valves..
- Also, controllers differ in indication. The simplest versions reflect the fact of flooding, but do not indicate exactly where it happened. More advanced versions allow displaying a triggered sensor or a group of sensors, and can also display which sensor has failed. This greatly facilitates work in the event of a line failure. Also useful is the indication of the position of the shut-off valves..
- When operating sensors in rooms with high humidity, it is important to adjust their sensitivity. This will avoid false positives..
- By the type of interaction with sensors, controllers can be wired and wireless (using a radio signal to communicate with sensors). If the installation of the flooding protection system is carried out in a renovated room, it is worth paying attention to the second option..
- For those who, leaving home, are accustomed to turning off the water, the ability to control the controller using additional devices will be useful. For this purpose, in some systems, remote buttons are provided, which allow one-touch to ensure the overlap of all secure communications. It is convenient to mount such a button, for example, near the front door. There are wired and radio buttons.
- It will not be superfluous to be able to manually control the system, for example, if there was an accidental flooding of the sensor.
These are not all the useful functions that controllers can perform in water protection systems, but they are the most important..
The sensors should be placed where water leakage is most likely. To reduce the likelihood of false alarms (for example, as a result of splashing), the upper part of the sensor is covered with a decorative cover, and the sensing element in it is approximately one to two millimeters away from the floor surface. For the sensor to operate, water must enter the bottom of the sensor.
The structure of the leakage sensor is quite simple and it is based on the fact that water is a conductor of electric current. It is a board with two pins. Water entering the sensor closes them, and the signal about flooding goes to the controller. We can say that there is absolutely nothing to break in such a sensor and it is quite reliable. However, high demands are made on the quality of the coating of the tracks on the board. They should not oxidize.
Leakage sensors are of two types:
- wired – do not consume power in standby mode;
- the wireless sensors are battery powered and transmit a signal to the controller using a radio signal. Therefore, in such devices, you will periodically have to change the batteries..
Wired sensors allow you to build an extensive network by connecting one device to another and combining them into groups. The number of sensors in such a system, in fact, is not limited..
The possibility of stationary fixing of the sensor will not be superfluous. This will prevent the sensors from moving during cleaning and will prevent children from doing this..
There are two types of shut-off valves in leakage protection systems:
- ball valves with servo drive;
- solenoid valves.
At first glance, the solenoid valve is a more reliable device, since it is able to provide an instant shutdown of water in case of an accident. However, it should be understood that to maintain a steady state of operation of the solenoid valve (open / closed), a constant power supply is required. This is unacceptable in the case of autonomous power supply to the controller, since the autonomous power supply can be completely discharged, which will lead to the resumption of flooding. Also, with a sharp actuation of the valve at an intensive flow rate, a water hammer occurs.
Therefore, more and more often manufacturers in leakage protection systems give preference to shut-off devices with a servo drive. No electricity is required to keep the valve gate stationary. It is only needed when moving it. In modern devices, high-quality gearboxes are used that provide high torque with low consumption of electrical power. The design of the shut-off device differs from that of a conventional ball valve, allowing for an easier valve movement. However, the closing time of such a device is at least 3 seconds..
Basically, cranes in such systems are of three standard sizes: Dy 15, Dy 20 and Dy 25.
Some cranes can also be operated in manual mode. This will help to rip the damper from its place in case it sour and will not move with the help of the servo..
Features of installation of a water leakage protection system
When installing sensors in hard-to-reach places (for example, under a washing machine), it is advisable to use non-stationary sensors. This will make it easy to remove and dry the sensor in case of flooding..
The controllers are not recommended to be installed in rooms with humidity exceeding 70%. Also, manufacturers do not recommend mounting the controller in the bathroom. An exception is installation inside a sanitary box..
The most important question is where to place the shut-off valves. The valves of the leakage protection system must be installed at the inlet of the pipes so as to leave a minimum number of dismountable joints, which are potential sources of leakage. Despite the fact that the valve with a servo drive is itself a disconnecting device, a manual valve must be provided in front of it. It is also desirable to provide a dismountable connection on the pipeline in order to be able to easily dismantle the valve with a servo drive. It is advisable to install the valve so that you can easily reach the servo. If the direction of movement of the medium is indicated on the valve of the system, this requirement must be observed..
Despite the fact that manufacturers position their fittings as ultra-reliable, do not forget that iron still breaks sometimes. Therefore, it will not be superfluous to provide a bypass line for the water supply, cut off by an ordinary tap, parallel to the line on which the tap with a servo drive is installed. In the event of a malfunction of the protection system, you will not be left without water.
Most systems are typesetting. That is, it is not necessary to purchase a ready-made system. You can select the necessary components directly for your requirements, without overpaying for unnecessary nodes.
Table. Leakage protection systems
The product’s name Controller Shut-off valves Sensors Cost, rub. A type Dy Pieces per set A type Pieces per set “Aquastorozh Classic 1 * 15” “Classic” (5-9 V) Electric crane “Aquastorozh” 1/2 “ 1 Wired 2 7990 “Aquastorozh Classic 2 * 15” “Classic” (5-9 V) Electric crane “Aquastorozh” 1/2 “ 2 Wired 2 10990 “Aquastorozh Expert 2 * 15” “Expert” (5-9 V) Electric crane “Aquastorozh” 1/2 “ 2 Wired 4 14990 “Aquastorozh Expert 2 * 20” “Expert” (5-9 V) Electric crane “Aquastorozh” 3/4 “ 2 Wired 4 15490 “Aquastorozh Expert 1 * 25 PRO” “Expert PRO” (5-9 V) Electric crane “Aquastorozh” 1″ 1 Wired 4 12990 “Aquastorozh Expert Radio 2 * 15” “Expert” (5-9 V) Electric crane “Aquastorozh” 1/2 “ 2 Wired 2 18490 Wireless 2 “Aquastorozh Expert Radio 2 * 20” “Expert” (5-9 V) Electric crane “Aquastorozh” 3/4 “ 2 Wired 2 19490 Wireless 2 “Aquastorozh Expert Radio 1 * 25 PRO” “Expert” (5-9 V) Electric crane “Aquastorozh” 1″ 1 Wired 2 16490 Wireless 2 Neptune Base 1/2, 3/4 Neptune Base (220V) JW electric crane 1/2 “ 1 Wired 2 10667 3/4 “ 1 Neptune Buggatti Base 1/2, 3/4 Neptune Base (220V) Electric crane Buggatti 1/2 “ 1 Wired 2 13337 3/4 “ 1 Neptune Mini 1/2, 3/4 Neptune Mini 2N (220V) JW electric crane 1/2 “ 1 Wired 3 10311 3/4 “ 1 Neptune Buggatti ProW 1/2, 3/4 Neptune ProW (12/220 V) Electric crane Buggatti 1/2 “ 1 Wired 2 18253 3/4 “ 1 Neptun XP-PB 10 JW 1/2, 3/4 Neptun XP-RV (12V) JW electric crane 1/2 “ 1 Wireless 2 15849 3/4 “ 1 Neptune ProW + JW 1/2, 3/4 Neptune ProW + (12V) JW electric crane 1/2 “ 1 Wireless 2 22315 3/4 “ 1
A well-chosen and properly installed water leakage protection system can save you from trouble with flooding your home. However, it is necessary to soberly assess the capabilities of such a system and still monitor the state of communications in the house..