A flood can wreak havoc on a home, thus leading to thousands in repair costs. Even a seemingly small leak can damage your furniture, appliances, ceiling, walls, drywall, cabinets, flooring, and many other types of surfaces.
If you notice a leak, then you should head towards your home’s shut-off valve and turn it off as soon as possible. Damage can be further mitigated by calling a plumber, as a licensed and bonded plumber will be able to install a state-of-the-art automatic water shut-off valve on your behalf.
In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about automatic water shut-off valves.
How Automatic Water Shut-Off Valves Work
The rate of water flow through your pipes is carefully measured by your home’s flow meter. When the water pressure experiences a marked change, the system will quickly pick up on it. The automatic water shut-off valve system will cut off the water supply so that you don’t have to.
The plumber will place a flood sensor in a part of the home that is vulnerable to flooding, such as the utility basement. When water comes into contact with your sensor, the water supply will be automatically shut off in order to prevent water damage from occurring.
Water supply pipes can also be retrofitted with top-of-the-line acoustic sensors. They are designed to detect the sound that water leaks make, however small. Acoustic sensors, though, are usually designed for industrial applications.
The Advantages of Automatic Shut-Off Valves
Damage levels are kept to a minimum when an automatic shut-off valve is installed in your home. A large repair bill will become a small bill or no bill at all. Many water leaks take place when homeowners are either at work or fast asleep.
As such, you may not be available to take care of the water leak yourself, which is why an automatic shut-off valve system is very advantageous. You will be able to sleep soundly, knowing that minor leaks will be nipped in the bud by the system before it escalates into a massive flood.
However, you cannot install an automatic shut-off valve yourself unless you are extremely handy and have all of the tools needed. The general rule of thumb is to let a professional plumber install an automatic shut-off valve for peace of mind and safety.
The Disadvantages of Automatic Shut-Off Valves
One of the issues with automatic shut-off valves is that they are unable to differentiate between excess moisture in your home and plumbing leaks. Therefore, if you have excess water in your bathroom, cupboards, and/or basement, then the incoming water flow may be cut off by your valve system.
Another minor issue is that the abundance of cables that are required in order to get an automatic shut-off valve system up and running can be a sight for sore eyes.
How do you turn off the main water valve?
If you have a gate valve wheel, then you will need to turn it all the way around to solve the issue. In order to open it, turn the wheel counter-clockwise. If you wish to close it, then you will need to turn it clockwise instead.
If you are working with a ball valve, then you will need to turn the lever clockwise, but only by half a turn instead. Doing so should turn off the water in seconds.
It should also be noted that you may need a meter key, pliers, or a pentagon socket wrench if your valve is situated in a meter box that is subterranean. Some lids won’t require any tools, and will simply pull off with some physical effort, but check with your plumber beforehand to make sure you are doing it properly.
Some may require a screwdriver or a crescent wrench in order to turn the knob clockwise. By doing so, the water should shut off in a few seconds.
Taking the Safe Route
Some rooms in a typical home will be moisture traps, including, but not limited to, laundry rooms, toilets, and bathrooms. Such rooms tend to be humidity magnets as well. Flooding and leaky pipes are a deadly combination.
They can cause mildew and mould to fester, leading to damage to your walls and floors that can cost thousands to repair. You can avoid leaks altogether by having an automatic shut-off valve installed in your home.
They can be configured to augment water levels in your home if needed. You will also be alerted of any issues so that you can quickly take action before the problem escalates and becomes very serious. A licensed and bonded plumber with a proven track record of success should be able to help you.