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About the Flo-Guard System  

 

How the Flo-Guard system compares to other systems

In the world of leak prevention (or mitigation system) there are basically two general types of systems – point of use and ‘whole house’.

Point of use systems are small, battery activated, electronic devices that sense the presence of water and make an alarm. These are similar to smoke detectors but for water. These devices are typically placed near locations where water is used so if a leak occurs, someone can be alerted to address the issue. Obviously someone must be in the area to do this and the sensors must be functioning properly.

Whole house systems protect the entire dwelling. Within this category there are two types, those with sensors which rely on the presence or flow of water to detect a leak, and then shut off the main water supply to the dwelling.

Then there’s the Flo-Guard approach which shuts off the water when you are away from the dwelling to prevent water damage from occurring. Why take this approach? If the system is sensor based, it only activates after it detects water and the damage is already done. So the Flo-Guard system shuts off the water so a leak CAN’T occur.

With the Flo-Guard approach, the system can be turned off immediately or after a preset delay. This feature is helpful if you want to leave your home just after starting a load of laundry or dishes for example. After the delay, the system shuts off the water and the dwelling is protected.

Flo-Guard also allows for the use of water by systems in the dwelling that need it. For example irrigation, humidification, and water-powered sump pump systems. All of these systems can be connected to the Flo-Guard system so that if they need water while the water is off (dwelling protected), the system will temporarily open the water control valve to supply water for the system. After one of these systems is done doing its job the Flo-Guard system turns off the water again to protect the dwelling.

The Flo-Guard system has been designed for connection to any system that requires water, whether currently used or not. For example fire suppression systems, which are slowly being designed into residential applications. In fact, the system has a lot of additional built in capabilities that even allow it to control multiple valves with either the same or reverse function for commercial and industrial applications

The Flo-Guard system also separates the system controller (Building Systems Interface) and the valve, so the system can be used with any size or type of valve. All other systems either have the valve integrated into the controller so there’s a limit to how big the valve can be (for example, if your home is considered a ‘big’ home you likely cannot use any of the other systems because the largest valve they offer is 1”.) The Flo-Guard system allows for the valve to be placed anywhere, even outside the dwelling since the electrical connection is sealed to the elements.

Click on image to enlarge it!How the system works

Activation/Deactivation

The system can be activated to turn off the water by a manual wall switch, an alarm system, or a smart home system.

The manual wall switch is much like a standard wall switch for turning on and off a light in your home, but with some unique features like a small light to indicate whether the water control valve is on or off. There’s also a special wall plate that goes with the switch. The switch should be placed near the main entry/exit of the dwelling so the water can conveniently be turned on or off.

Click on image to enlarge it!Each kit includes one wall switch assembly.

The system can be connected to a security system and or smart home system so that it works behind the scenes. It can be connected so that as the security system ‘away’ mode is activated, the Flo-Guard system will turn off the water either instantly or after a delay. Since most people who have an alarm system have developed the habit of using it, this provides a convenient way to protect the dwelling from plumbing leaks as well as intruders. Also, based on one’s preference, the alarm system can tell the Flo-Guard system to turn off the water just when the dwelling is unoccupied or in a ‘stay’ mode when the dwelling is still occupied mainly for sleeping.

With a smart home system, the system can be controlled remotely as well.

Delay Water Off

The Flo-Guard system can be wired so this switch turns off the water either instantly or after a preset delay from 30 minutes to 16 hours. The switch can be use exclusively or with an alarm or smart home system. If used with a security or smart home system, the switch can be wired to turn off the water instantly while the other system(s) turns off the water after a delay. This can be helpful if someone needs to turn off the water quickly due to a leak (broken washing machine hose), or if the kids are getting out of hand with the watering hose outside.

Bypass – Temporary Water Use

The Flo-Guard system can be connected to any water using system including but not limited to: irrigation system, humidification system, water softener system, siphon/water powered back up sump pump system, hydronic (closed loop heated water) system, etc. so that if the Flo-Guard system has turned off the water to protect the dwelling, any one or more of these system can tell the Flo-Guard system to temporarily turn the water back on while one of these systems is operating. When the system is done doing its job, the Flo-Guard system turns the water back off.

The Flo-Guard system includes a battery backup and is designed so that if the main power is lost, the water valve closes and the dwelling is protected.

Communication TO an alarm system

The Flo-Guard system can also be connected to an alarm system so that use of the Flo-Guard system can be monitored if desired. That could be helpful if someone would like to know if one of the other water using system required water while the dwelling was unoccupied.

Click on image to enlarge it!System Components

The system is comprised of four basic parts including:

Wall transformer

The transformer can plug into any available 110VAC outlet within 50 feet of the building systems interface. The transformer is similar to other transformers used for electronic devices like printers or computers. It provides a safe, low voltage (24VAC) power source for the system.

Click on image to enlarge it!Building Systems Interface (the system controller)

The building systems interface (controller) can be mounted anywhere desired, but should likely be mounted in an out-of-the-way but accessible place for installation convenience and possible time delay adjustment if so desired. The BSI is similar to the size and shape of an irrigation system controller.

If needed for wet or extreme locations, a weatherproof enclosure is also available as an option.

Click on image to enlarge it!Water control valve

The water control valve should be mounted as close to and down-stream of the water meter for the dwelling. This will provide maximum protection against water leaks. The water control valve is an industrial device designed for use on domestic water systems with consumable water. The valve includes a manual bypass feature so that if main power is lost for an extended period, the system can be bypassed to provide water for use.

The valve should be installed by a licensed professional plumber and according to local building codes.

Wiring and Activation/Deactivation connections

The transformer, BSI, and valve are connected by a 4-conductor cable provided with the system. The cable is also used to connect the system to other systems, based on the needs of the application, including the manual wall switch. Included with the Flo-Guard system is 150 feet of cable. Included also for the wall switch is the switch itself, a wall switch plate, a retrofit or ‘old work’ mounting bracket, and stickers for both the switch and alarm system.

Included also is a detailed installation manual for connecting the Flo-guard system to any of the systems above.
 




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