1. What does the Flo-Guard System do?
The Flo-Guard System prevents water damage by shutting off the main water supply to prevent catastrophe leaks from occurring. The system can be activated manually with a special wall switch that comes with the system or automatically by connecting it to a security or smart home system.
2. Can water shut-off occur after a delay?
Yes. Water shut-off can occur instantly or after a preset delay from 30 minutes to 16 hours. The system can be wired so both instant and instant water shut-offs occurs. This is helpful if someone wants to use the delay feature most of the time, but also wants an emergency shut-off as well.
3. What if my irrigation (or similar system) system needs to run after the water is shut off?
The Flo-Guard System can be connected to any system that uses water (irrigation, humidification, sump pump, etc.) so water can be temporarily turned back on only when it’s needed. To do this, just connect any of these systems to the inputs on the Flo-Guard System controller per the instructions.
4. Does the Flo-Guard System use sensors to detect plumbing leaks?
No, and Yes. The Flo-Guard System does not detect leaks either through the presence or flow of water. We believe in prevention rather than cure. Any system that responds after a leak is sensed is allowing some damage to occur. With water presence based systems the sensors must be close to the leak and on level ground. If they aren’t, there will likely be significant damage. With water flow based systems there is no way to protect all the pipes because there is no way to set a threshold low enough to prevent large leaks and still be able to run existing systems like water sprinklers.
However, since the Flo-Guard System can be connected to security or smart home system, those systems often provide plumbing leak sensors; and the systems can be connected to the Flo-Guard System to shut off the water if a leak is detected.
5. Where is the system installed?
The Flo-Guard System is comprised of 4 basic components; a 24VAC low voltage power supply, a controller, a water control valve and a manual switch. The power supply is plugged into any 120VAC outlet. The controller is typically located in a basement/crawl space/etc. or garage (similar to a security system). The water control valve is installed near and downstream of the water meter. And the manual switch is typically installed near the main entry point(s) of the home/business, or interfaced with your existing alarm or smart home system.
6. What systems can be interfaced with the Flo-Guard System?
For activation (turning the water on and off), the Flo-Guard System can interface with a security or smart home system. Additionally, for temporary deactivation (water on), the Flo-Guard System can be interfaced with any number of systems including irrigation, humidification, siphon sump pump, hydronic (heating), water softener, and others.
7. How does the Flo-Guard System connect to my security or smart home system?
The Flo-Guard System can be activated by a simple two-wire connection from one of these systems. Similar to connecting speaker or doorbell wiring.
8. Can the Flo-Guard System activate my security or smart home system?
Yes. The Flo-Guard System can ‘talk to’ a security or smart home system to tell it that any of the temporary deactivation inputs have been called for. This is helpful if the system is connected to a low water cut-off sensor on a hydronic system for water make up. This way service can be called.
9. Does the Flo-Guard System have to be programmed?
No. The Flo-Guard System comes pre-set with both one instant and two 30 minute delay activation inputs. However, the system can be customized with a programmable jumper (similar to a garage door opener) for up to a 16 hour delay.
10. Is there any concern using the Flo-Guard System with hard or well water?
No. The Flo-Guard System uses an industrial quality water control valve. However, if highly contaminated water is expected, a pre-screen or ‘wye-strainer’ is recommended on the main water supply. The system should also be maintained like any similar system per the operating instructions.
For certain high contamination applications Flo-Guard offers motorized ball valves as an option.
11. What types of plumbing failures will the Flo-Guard System protect my home or business from?
When activated, the Flo-Guard System prevents any and all types of plumbing leaks including ruptured hot water tanks; washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker connections; frozen pipes; toilet valves; etc. that are downstream of the Flo-Guard valve.
12. How long does it take to install the Flo-Guard System?
Since the Flo-Guard System can be installed in new or retrofit, residential, commercial, and industrial applications, it’s difficult to say an average. A fair estimate is 4 hours including plumbing and electrical.
13. Who should install the Flo-Guard System?
The Flo-Guard water control valve should be installed by a licensed plumber. Since the Flo-Guard System uses low voltage (24 VAC) for control, that portion of the installation can be done by anyone comfortable with working on low voltage wiring.
Flo-Guard has differentiated itself from the competition by staying very close to the plumbing industry for your protection and potable water safety. Additionally, many states require by law that any work done on a potable water system be done by a licensed plumber.
14. What happens if there is a power failure?
In the event of power loss, the Flo-Guard System has been designed to close the water control valve as a failsafe to prevent water damage. The system also has a battery backup that provides power to the controller for approximately one week. Additionally, we recommend the water control is installed in a three-valve bypass so water can be supplied during extended power failures.
15. What if I lose power and I need water?
The water control valve has a manual override to open the valve. Additionally, we recommend the water control is installed in a three-valve bypass so water can be supplied during extended power failures.
16. Can the Flo-Guard System be installed in plastic, galvanized, or PEX pipes?
Yes. The Flo-Guard System can be used with any type of pipe material using the appropriate plumbing fittings.
17. What type of warranty does the Flo-Guard System have?
The Flo-Guard System has a 3 year warranty.
18. What sizes of pipe does the Flo-Guard System work with?
Flo-Guard offers four standard water control vale sizes - ¾”, 1”, 1 ½” and 2”. However, since the Flo-Guard controller is not built into the water control valve, any size valve operated by 24VAC can be used. This is especially helpful for commercial or industrial applications where valves as large as 12” are necessary.
19. Do I have to use the manual switch to activate the system?
No. The Flo-Guard System can interface with a security or smart home system so the manual switch can be optional.
20. By installing the Flo-Guard System, will my insurance company give me a discount on my insurance premium?
Maybe. Flo-Guard has designed the system to make any home or business a lower risk building to insure. However, you must consult your insurance company to determine if they offer a discounts, rebates, or credits.
21. Is maintenance required?
No. Flo-Guard has designed the system to be maintenance free by using industrial quality, readily available components. However, as with any similar system, we recommend that the system be checked for proper operation on a regular basis.
22. Can the water control valve and controller be installed outside of my home or business?
Yes. Since the water control valve is separate from the controller and includes a sealable DIN connector, it can be installed outside. This is ONLY appropriate if the valve is not exposed to freezing temperatures. Also, if desired, we offer an optional weatherproof exterior enclosure for installation of the controller outside.
23. How exactly does the Flo-Guard System connect to systems that need water to operate?
For an irrigation system, connect the pump relay output to the irrigation system input on the Flo-Guard System controller. This applies to any 24VAC input including humidification, hydronic, etc. For a siphon powered backup sump pump, install the optional float switch we offer so it operates at the same as the main float switch, and connect it to the sump pump input on the Flo-Guard System controller. This applies to any dry contact switch input including water softener, etc.
24. What if I have a high risk area that I still want to protect with a water sensor?
If desired, a self-contained water presence sensor can be connected to the Flo-Guard System to turn the water off instead of the manual switch. These are commercially available 24VAC powered devices that are often used in HVAC applications where condensation levels are a concern. Also as noted above, security and home automation systems that also use water presence sensors can also be used to detect and use the Flo-Guard System to turn off the water.
25. Does Flo-Guard use full port valves?
Yes. We use full port valves. Moreover, since the valve is separate from the controller, the valve can be sized to any application where water flow restriction is a concern. Flo-Guard has four standard valve sizes – ¾”, 1”, 1 ½”, and 2”. For larger pipe applications we can supply the system without the valve so it can be specified and purchased separately.
26. Can more than one manual switch be used?
Yes. Multiple switches can be used to activate and deactivate the system. These can be placed at the main entrances of the dwelling.
27. Is there a way to power a remote indicator light in commercial/industrial applications, or cases where multiple manual switches are used?
Yes. Each manual switch has an integrated, remotely powered lamp that indicates if the water is on or off. These lamps are powered by an output on the Flo-Guard controller. This output can also be used to power any 24VAC remote indicator or lamp.