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Water on Demand Invention

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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:09 pm

dewey-1 wrote:
boyntonstu wrote:Water is automatically off when electric power fails. You just go to whole house solenoid valve and manually turn on the water. No problem.

Installed cost between $300 and $700 for entire house depending on the number of zones.

We might make DIY kits available.

Anyone who has had major flooding damage, is like a person who had a horse stolen from their barn without a lock.

We are looking for investors and dealers please pass the word.


The concept is great!

Have you done research on which type of sprinkler valves to use?

I for one would never consider anything less than a glass filled nylon valve or a brass valve. The reliability of of these valves is much greater than your average $13 to $15 sprinkler valve. The cost on high end valves is about 4 to 5 times higher. Putting in a cheap valve is just magnifying the possibility of one or more places for a leak to occur or defeating the intended purpose.

What about research on local and state codes for such a device on potable water systems?

I question the DIY approach because that brings up an even more complex issue. Insurance companies will never allow such a device unless installed by a bonded, certified plumber for liability reasons. Your back to square one with the insurance company hassle.

Not trying to discourage you but only express some concerns.

The statistical probability of the flood damage your friends had is like the once in a hundred year storm. You state the examples but did not explain the actual fault/problem that caused the flooding in the fist place.

So many times there are signs/symptoms of a potential problem about to occur that the average person does not comprehend and goes unchecked or further investigated.


http://www.floodwatchusa.com/WaterDamag ... fault.aspx

Are You Safe From Water Damage?


Water damage due to plumbing and appliance failures (water heating systems failure, freezing pipes, broken washer hoses, toilet overflows, etc.) is the second most frequently filed homeowners’ insurance claim.

According to the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, 37% of homeowners have reported water related damage. When people think of flood damage they typically believe most of the damage is due to weather related scenarios. Yet, according to Safeco insurance, 92% of the problems are due to appliance and plumbing failures.

In the USA, insurance claims from residential and commercial building owners for water damage occurs over 2 million times each year. The total annual cost to building owners and insurance companies is over $7B for this water damage. Annually there are about 400 thousand structural fires which cost about $6B in damage. That means it is more than 5 times more likely that a structure will have significant water damage than fire damage.

To make matters worse, the high humidity conditions that exist after a water loss create the perfect environment for mold growth, a major source of indoor air problems and subsequent health problems.
Once mold takes hold often the subjected area has to be removed and replaced with new construction. This cost is usually borne by the building owner, as in most states insurance companies don’t have to write mold insurance in well over thirty states.

------------------

Guys,

Please check your local codes to determine:

1> May a plastic sprinkler valve (Orbit, etc.) be used for potable water?

2> May a solenoid valve be installed between the meter and the house cut off valve without a licensed plumber?

Thanks,

Stu
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:20 pm

boyntonstu wrote:In the USA, insurance claims from residential and commercial building owners for water damage occurs over 2 million times each year. The total annual cost to building owners and insurance companies is over $7B for this water damage. Annually there are about 400 thousand structural fires which cost about $6B in damage. That means it is more than 5 times more likely that a structure will have significant water damage than fire damage.


$7B cost to building owners and insurance companies nationwide... even some basic math will tell you that you can't justify trying to sell your "product" nationwide. Good market research and targeted sales? Maybe.
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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:25 pm

By your logic, smoke detectors with 6 Billion in damages are also not needed.

Targeted sales to the 2,000,000 homes that were effected by damage?
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:37 pm

boyntonstu wrote:By your logic, smoke detectors with 6 Billion in damages are also not needed.

Er... smoke detectors aren't about preventing property damage (by that point, it's often too late), they're about saving lives.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:36 pm

smoke detectors
there is a difference between the smoke detector and a thingy that cuts off water supply when you're not at home...

the former works 24/7 and it will go off in case of fire, while the latter just ....well cuts off water supply from time to time
It does not stop leaks or flooding...


Basically speaking there are two options:
*Either you set this thing to keep the valve open for a longer period of time, which you suggested here
I suggest 30-40 minutes to allow a dishwasher or clothes washer to cycle.
Though personally I don't think that 40 minutes is enough. Make that 1-2 hours.
Unfortunately, the system doesn't prevent flooding and you shouldn't assume that the appliances are supervised during that time. In fact, I'd say that people would pay less attention once they have it installed in their house (lol don't blame them they've paid 700$ for your invention that supposedly prevents flooding).
What if a washing machine hose fails ? 15 minutes would be enough to flood your house

*shorter period of time (1-5minutes) is an option and makes more sense. Though, if you've got to change the timer setting each time you use a dishwasher/washing machine then you might as well manually open the ball valve between the mains and the dishwasher/washing machine.


Also, be aware that it can turn into a real PITA for their users - imagine that you take a shower and the machine turns off water becasue: it hasn't detect any movement or because the valve broke down or the power was cut off.

Personally, I think that the system isn't worth 300$ as it does not do what you claim it does. Also since it doesn't really prevent flooding you might get into some serious troubles for liability reasons.
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Last edited by POLAND_SPUD on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:39 pm

Ragnarok wrote:
boyntonstu wrote:By your logic, smoke detectors with 6 Billion in damages are also not needed.

Er... smoke detectors aren't about preventing property damage (by that point, it's often too late), they're about saving lives.


Er... $4,000,000,000 ain't chicken feed and mold can cause illness and possibly death.

But of course, you are correct and I may know a little about them..

On the subject of smoke detectors:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP21wqv0ia0[/youtube]
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:53 pm

Personal opinion....

The device won't do THAT much to help in the event of a failed appliance or small leak.

But it would be pure gold in areas where pipes freezing is common.
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:03 pm

boyntonstu wrote:By your logic, smoke detectors with 6 Billion in damages are also not needed.


A smoke detector does not cost $300, and we tend to value our lives pretty highly... And even if you DO use my logic, it still estimates a savings buying the estimated amount of smoke detectors.

Personally, I DO actually approve, and highly, of your idea. The price just seems far, far too high to be worth the investment.
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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:15 pm

D_Hall wrote:Personal opinion....

The device won't do THAT much to help in the event of a failed appliance or small leak.

But it would be pure gold in areas where pipes freezing is common.


"The device won't do THAT much to help in the event of a failed appliance or small leak."

"92% of the problems are due to appliance and plumbing failures."

Tell that to my friend Sam who suffered $50,000 in damages from a slight leak in the walls. Mold grew and drywall had to be removed. Tile was on the wall, it had to be removed, cabinets were destroyed, and this went on for a year.

As for freezing, I know a lady in Kentucky who is paying off a $2,000 water bill, (no damage), due to freeze/thaw in her garage.

Condos: If the condo above you in Florida leaks, and your unit is damaged, you are responsible, not them.
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:24 pm

I think what D_Hall is trying to explain to you is that your device doesn't empty the pipes in the building, it just drops the pressure considerably. It will probably stop the freezing from cracking pipes, but a leak is a leak, whether the pressure is shut off or not. The same goes for failed appliances.

Sam's leak would just have been smaller.

Condos: If the condo above you has a smaller leak, and your unit is damaged, you are STILL responsible.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:33 pm

boyntonstu wrote:"92% of the problems are due to appliance and plumbing failures."

Sure, but if you start the dishwasher the problem is already there. Appliances don't generally fail when they're sitting there idle. They fail when in operation. So if the gizmo fails and you've already got the water going.... Well, you just dumped water for an hour or more (my washer takes 1 hr 45 min to run a cycle). Does it really matter that much if you dump for one hour or three? Even after one hour you're replacing the carpets/etc. so I don't see too much difference.

Tell that to my friend Sam who suffered $50,000 in damages from a slight leak in the walls. Mold grew and drywall had to be removed. Tile was on the wall, it had to be removed, cabinets were destroyed, and this went on for a year.

Agree!

Thing is.... Mold doesn't require that much moisture to grow; it just grows slower. So instead of having a leak that goes on for a year before you notice it (and causes $50k damage) you have a leak that goes on for five years before you notice it (and causes the same $50k damage).

As for freezing, I know a lady in Kentucky who is paying off a $2,000 water bill, (no damage), due to freeze/thaw in her garage.

She got damned lucky. But as I said, I see it as gold in such areas (Gold is goooood). Under that particular scenario I see damage being greatly reduced.



Edit: Another snag that just hit me... Ice makers. How does the system handle the modern refrigerator's reliance on household water pressure for the ice maker?
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Last edited by D_Hall on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:38 pm

saefroch wrote:I think what D_Hall is trying to explain to you is that your device doesn't empty the pipes in the building, it just drops the pressure considerably. It will probably stop the freezing from cracking pipes, but a leak is a leak, whether the pressure is shut off or not. The same goes for failed appliances.

Sam's leak would just have been smaller.

Condos: If the condo above you has a smaller leak, and your unit is damaged, you are STILL responsible.


You bring up some interesting points.

The person was away on vacation while the $2,000 worth of water flowed out of her garage.


With "Water on Demand, upon return, she would have immediately noticed the leak and not have suffered monetary loss.

Sam's leak was due to PB plastic failure. The question is whether or not constant pressure accelerated the leak. However, I tend to agree with you that a tiny leak is a very hard problem to solve.

Would Sam have benefited by having his water off 95% of the time? I am uncertain.

In the YouTube video, Keith awoke to water on the floor due to a burst water filter housing under the kitchen sink. Water on Demand would have prevented it.

Remember, you have to be awake and moving, in an area that uses water, for the pressure to turn on. I use my dishwasher when I am near it.

Also, unless you are a climbing cat or a dog taller than a kitchen counter-top, the sensor will not detect motion.


" Another snag that just hit me... Ice makers. How does the system handle the modern refrigerator's reliance on household water pressure for the ice maker?"

No water, no new ice. However, every time you use water, the ice maker will fill for the next batch of ice.

Incidentally, we discovered during our testing, that our washing machine stopped and blinked a signal when the water was cut off. We turned it on, and it re-started at same place in its cycle (fill).
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Last edited by boyntonstu on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:43 pm

But it would be pure gold in areas where pipes freezing is common.

Not really... it does not prevent pipe freezing just as it doesn't prevent flooding. I don't know if this is a serious problem in the USA or UK but pipe freezing isn't such a big deal here in Poland (even though temperature drops below -20 deg C in winter), you just have to design the system properly and insulate it.

It's the same with flooding, if the system is properly designed and installed the risk of leaks can be reduced to minimum. I've got several circuits in my home that can be drained and closed off (one for two garden taps and two that can be cut off from central heating system).
Also something as simple as a floor drain in your bathroom, garage, basement and kitchen can work wonders,
You'd be better off if you spend that 700$ on repairs and improving your plumbing.

Stu while I really like people who want to invent new stuff this really isn't the right direction as it isn't practical and does not work.

EDIT
The person was away on vacation while the $2,000 worth of water flowed out of her garage
yeah, but she should have cut off water supply and other stuff before she left.
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Last edited by POLAND_SPUD on Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:47 pm

boyntonstu wrote:Also, unless you are a climbing cat or a dog taller than a kitchen counter-top, the sensor will not detect motion.

Just to nit-pick, I don't know any cat that doesn't like to climb onto counter-tops.

I think I'm now going to leave this discussion with a few comments for you.
1) You are proposing an idea with incredible potential
2) This needs work. I think all the negative comments in this thread are enough evidence that your device will end up being a lot more complicated than you think, if you want it to be useful to more people than just yourself.
3) Price. People that don't think they will suffer water damage from a leaked pipe won't have much interest unless you somehow manage to conceal all the holes we've already poked in your design.

EDIT:
POLAND_SPUD wrote:Stu while I really like people who want to invent new stuff this really isn't the right direction as it isn't practical and does not work.

And something more original and inventive would be nice, too.

boyntonstu wrote:Incidentally, we discovered during our testing, that our washing machine stopped and blinked a signal when the water was cut off. We turned it on, and it re-started at same place in its cycle (fill).

This is an improvement over previous impressions on washing machines how?
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:51 pm

boyntonstu wrote:$4,000,000,000 ain't chicken feed and mold can cause illness and possibly death.

True, but we're still talking apples and oranges.

Not having some $20 smoke detectors in a house is an act of lunacy. Your device, regardless of its potential, just isn't as vital and is a great deal more expensive.
There's likely a market out there, but I think there are a few things you really need to fix first.

Firstly, it must default to open if the power fails. Not "you can turn it back on easily", I mean automatic. Not doing that is asking for trouble.
Stories like "It's a right nuisance, because the power went while I was taking a shower, and cut off the water" or tales of some emergency going across the internet wouldn't do anything good for sales.

Given you're talking about a fairly large financial cost for this, you don't want anything to make people think this is going to make a nuisance of itself.

Secondly, as far as the dishwasher and washing machine doodads, I would suggest a better option would be to have the system rigged so that they can override the system (for example, by opening the valve while they're drawing power).
That's a better solution than just lengthening the "on time".
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