It's easy to forget how
important water is in our lives. Of course we need
it in our diet, but in our homes, it's a tool--a fluid medium that
carries material from one place to the next. And one of the reasons
it does this job well is that it's very good at holding things,
either by suspending them or dissolving them.
The Solution Is The Problem
While water is in the ground, it picks up soluble bits of whatever
it passes through. While this can mean contamination that makes
the water unfit to drink, in many cases it simply means that the
water contains minerals found in the earth. Of these, calcium and
magnesium are of particular importance because they affect the water's
ability to function in our homes. These minerals make our water
One effect of
hard water is that soaps and detergents lose some effectiveness.
Instead of dissolving completely, soap combines with the minerals
to form a coagulated soap curd. Because less soap is dissolved,
more is required. And the sticky insoluble curd hangs around--it
clings to the skin and may actually inhibit cleansing. Washed hair
seems dull and lifeless.
to be concerned about hard water is its effect on your plumbing
system. Calcium and magnesium deposits can build up in pipes, reducing
flow to taps and appliances. In water heaters, these minerals generate
a scale buildup that reduces the efficiency and life of the heater.
Unlike most tools, though, water doesn't come with an instruction
manual. If it did, you'd know why the dishes you thought were washed
are covered with spots when dry, why the water in your shower leaves
a film on everything it touches, and why what you thought was clean
water has clogged up your plumbing system.
Water passing through the mineral tank loses positively charged
calcium and magnesium ions to negatively charged plastic beads.
The brine tank holds a salt solution that flushes the mineral tank,
replacing calcium and magnesium ions with sodium. A meter at the
top of the mineral tank regulates recharging cycles. The valve assembly
routes water flow for each phase of the regeneration cycle.
The solution to the problem is to get rid of the calcium and magnesium.
While there are chemical treatments that do this, the most popular
answer is a water softener.
The WaterBug Leak Detection
System comes with one surface sensor. You can also add up to 5 additional
sensors (expansion sensors sold separately).
• Works with virtually any security or home automation system
• Each sensor can be up to 100 ft. away
• Normally open and normally closed contact outputs provided
• Up to 6 sensors can be attached
"Of course, the most dramatic way water gets wasted in a house
is when something breaks and leaks. Each year more than five million
water heaters rupture, flooding basements across the land. DynaQuip
Controls' WaterCop, a small black box that attaches to the main
water supply, automatically shuts off the water when it detects
a leak." The Wall Street Journal, May 2002
The Wall Street Journal has featured four articles since
June 2002 about homeowners insurance highlighting policy cancellations
and homes being uninsurable. Two or more claims in five years, especially
for water damage, and your home may have become uninsurable or have
huge premiums. Uninsurable means unsellable!
Study Your Homeowners Policy: Allied/Nationwide amended our Iowa
homeowner's policy with a $10,000 cap on mold and mildew mitigation.
In many states, insurance companies now offer NO coverage at all
for mold and mildew mitigation.
Reactive Reasons for Recent WaterCop Purchases.
$36,000 damage: refrigerator water dispenser water line
$150,000 damage: dishwasher with a slow leak
$10,000 damage: tube splits in 2nd story toilet tank in townhouse.
Proactive Measures for Water Damage Control:
Install a WaterCop with Water Hounds under/behind clothes and dishwashers,
hot water heaters, water and ice dispensing refrigerators, toilets,
Install hot water heaters and washers above the basement level in
Use steel reinforced water hoses for washers and dishwashers.
Inspect weekly for water leaks.
Shouldn't your home or office be safe from
its own plumbing? These modern conveniences frequently
leak and cause water damage:
1) Washing machines.
2) Icemakers or water dispensers on refrigerators.
4) Hot water heaters.
5) Toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
6) Water softeners.
7) Exterior spigots for watering shrubs.
8) Lawn irrigation systems.
9) Furnace humidifiers.
10) NOTE: Our customers' top 3 reasons for buying
WaterCops are jammed water refrigerator dispensers, dishwasher leaks
and water heater leaks.
What if the leak is not noticed?
Leak detection takes more than keen eyes. Slow leaks often occur
under kitchen appliances such as dishwashers. The result can be
serious damage, inconvenience, and repair bills. Frozen pipes from
furnace failure, power outages, or garden hoses left attached to
outdoor spigots in Northern climates generate faster leaks sooner
or later. WaterCops with properly positioned WaterHounds and FreezeHounds
help keep damage to a minimum. Connect with a dial out monitor such
as the Temperature Guard Plus or interface with a security system
and you are notified of a water leak almost immediately.
WaterCop's motorized brass ball valve unit responds almost immediately
when a Water Hound or Freeze Hound transmits a radio signal indicating
a water leak or low pipe temperature. The main water supply or water
in the protected zone of the building is automatically shut off.
Connects to alarm systems for immediate notification of water leaks.
Don't Over Water Your Lawn After a Rain
your lawn or plants after a rainstorm. This sensor will cut off
your existing sprinkler controller from activating the valves and
Mini-Click sensor contains special hygroscopic disks, which absorb
water when it rains and simulates the drying of the turf. The rainfall
sensitivity is adjustable from 1/8-inch to 1-inch, so a light shower
won't interrupt regular watering. The reset rate (the speed at which
the sensor "dries out") is also adjustable.
10.1 amp rating allows the Rain Sensor to control most any irrigation
systems without additional relays.
models are available
normally closed contacts. The contacts are closed when the sensor
is dry and opens when rain is detected. It closes when hygroscopic
disks dry out. This model would most commonly be used to interrupt
the current out of the common terminal on a sprinkler controller.
It can also be used as a turf sensor so the lawn is not over watered.
contacts. This model's contacts are open under normal conditions
and close when rain is detected. When the sensor dries out, the
contacts return to an open condition. This model is ideal for turning
something on when rain is detected.
sensor to your home automation controller. They can connect to the
digital inputs on a Stargate, Home Vision, or similar controller.
To trigger an X10 signal, connect the output to a Powerflash module.
Evapotranspiration is the water lost
to the atmosphere by two processes: evaporation and transpiration.
Evaporation is the loss from open bodies of water, such as lakes
and reservoirs, wetlands, bare soil, and snow cover; transpiration
is the loss from living-plant surfaces. Several factors other than
the physical characteristics of the water, soil, snow, and plant
surface also affect the evapotranspiration process. The more important
factors include net solar radiation, surface area of open bodies
of water, wind speed, density and type of vegetative cover, availability
of soil moisture, root depth, reflective land-surface characteristics,
and season of year.
The design of a lawn and garden irrigation system is fairly simple
(see Figure 4.8.1). A standard, non-automated irrigation system
consists of a series of low-voltage solenoid operated water valves
(usually 24V AC),connected to the house water supply. Each solenoid
valve controls the water flow to one area or zone of a lawn or garden.
The valves are wired to a timer/controller device (electronic or
electro-mechanical). The timer will usually allow the owner to store
a watering schedule for each zone. The timer/controller will automatically
turn on (open) each valve at a predetermined time for a programmed
schedule might be to turn zone 1 on at 6:00, zone 2 on at 6:20,
zone 3 on at 6:40 and zone 4 on at 7:00 AM, Mon, Wed, and Fri for
20 minutes at a time.
Typical irrigation system. System controls 4 zones for watering
from one controller/timer.
if the wind sensor indicates a high wind, the home automation system
may delay turning the sprinklers on until the winds subside. But
if it detects rain, it may skip the watering day till the next scheduled
watering. Home automation systems can use other inputs to delay
or turn off watering such as detection by a security sensor of someone
in the yard, a freezing condition from the HVAC sensors, or a party
mode selected by the homeowners.