There is a lot of information on how to repair or replace broken pipes, which is good in of itself when a water pipe breaks or a washing machine hook-up comes loose? What happens is that your house floods and there is a whole lot of damage. That is way I advocate putting an electronic shut off valve on the water main coming into the house. Here is how it works.
The first thing is to determine exactly what kind of system you want – from manual to fully automatic. A manual system consist of a switch that you push to turn your water main on and off. A fully automated system also has an on/off switch for the main but is also tied into water sensors located strategically in your home (i.e. bathroom sink, water heater, washing machine, etc.) that communicate with the valve controller to tell it to turn the water main off when a leak is detected.
Determine if you want it to work with your alarm system. If yes, then you need a high end system that is designed to integrate with an existing alarm system. We are not going to address this type of system here. Assuming you want a basic system with a few remote sensors, determine were you want to place your sensors. If your water detection sensor need to be plugged-in, then you will have to locate your sensors close to a wall outlet.
Turn off your water main so that you install the electronic valve just past the water main shut off valve. Once the water main is shut off, open a couple faucets to relieve pressure from the cold water lines.
Using a pipe cutter to cut a section of pipe large enough to accommodate the new electronic valve fitting. Clean and flux the exterior of the pipes where the electronic water shut off valve will come in contact with the water main pipe. Also clean and flux the interior of the electronic water shut off valve that will be in contact with the water main.
Assembly the valve onto both expose ends of the water main pipe.
Using a torch, Solder the electronic water shut off valve in place by applying heat to the joint until it can melt the solder. At that point you can touch the solder to the heated water main pipe right at the joint and, if there is enough flux and heat, the solder will wick it way into the joint. This is commonly called “sweating a pipe joint.”
Attach the solenoid to the electronic shut off valve. Attach the solenoid to the control box or panel. The exact details on how to do this will vary with manufacturer. Verify the the remote water sensors are communicating with the control box.
Mount the manual water main shut off switch. Actuate the manual water shut off switch. Verify that the electronic water shut off valve responds appropriately.
Dip each sensor into water and verify that the electronic shut off valve closes. You system is now fully operational.
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