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Install Safety First Automatic Gas Valve System and Prevent Gas Explosions In Home or Business

by Barbara 20. September 2010 13:13

Question about the Scentry III GFRAB Automatic Gas Valve and Gas Detector System and the Scentry III SFGVC Gas Valve Controller, No Gas Valve

Q:"After the explosion in San Bruno, CA on 9/9/2010, I am concerned about my home exploding. I have a natural gas furnace, a natural gas fireplace, a natural gas water heater and a natural gas range. I don't have a full basement: my crawl space is about 12 inches high. Drainage is excellent. There would be some moisture but not water. Can this automatic gas valve and sensor system system be installed there?I see that the Scentry III has a connection for an auto-dialer and also can be connected to a ventilation system. Thanks. Thomas."

Answer: This unit allows you to use remote gas detectors to place near your other gas appliances. There is a battery back-up available if you want protection during a power failure. We do have an installation manual available on our website for this unit.The Scentry Installation Manual.

The GFRAB stands for gas sensor, mounting feet, remote ready, alarm and battery and includes the gas valve shut-off/controller. NOTE: Must be used with a Scentry III gas valve (sold separately).  Each Scentry gas sensor is calibrated in a gaseous atmosphere so it will alarm at 10% of the lower explosive level (LEL) of the combustible gas. This is not a carbon monoxide alarm as it has only a combustible gas alarm sensor.

Scentry III-GFRAB Gas (Mounting) Feet Remote (Ready) Alarm Battery Specifications:

  • Case: ABS Plastic
  • Physical Size: 7.6 inches by 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.25 lbs
  • Color: Gray
  • Power consumption: 1.5va
  • Supports up to 4 calibrated remote sensors (not included)
  • Requires Scentry III-GVD gas valve (purchase separately)
  • Supports Battery Back-Up (Not Included)
  • Gas Valve Controller for combustible gasses such as natural gas or propane gas. Includes a 24 volt transformer.
  • Connections: screw terminals
  • Input Power: 115VAC, 60 Hz
  • Output Control Relays: 2 amps, 24 VAC
  • Alarm Signal Output: 12V DC @500 ma
  • Reset: manual
  • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
  • Alarm Points: Propane (LP) <5200 PPM
  • Alarm Points: Natural Gas / Methane <12,200 PPM
  • Manufactured Proudly in the USA for Safety First USA, Inc.
  • Warranty: 1 year from date of purchase.

The gas valves that interface are a 1/2 inch, a 3/4 inch and a 1 inch valve.

Scentry III-SFGVC Safety First Gas Valve Controller Specifications:
  • Case: ABS Plastic
  • Physical Size: 4.6 inches by 3.1 inches
  • Weight: .5 lb.
  • Color: Bone
  • Reset: manual
  • Output Control Relays: 4 amp, 24VAC
  • Power: 1.5va
  • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
  • Connections: screw terminals
  • Propane alarm point: <5200 PPM
  • Natural Gas/Methane<12,200 PPM
  • Note: Requires a UL Listed Scentry III .5 inch, .75 inch or 1 inch diaphragm type gas valve that is compatible (not included).
  • Note: Requires a 24V transformer (NOT INCLUDED). See installation instructions for specifications i.e. must match the transformer to power requirements of your gas valve.
  • Note: No option for battery back-up to be added later
  • Note: No option for additional sensors to be added later.
  • Made in USA.
  • Manufacturer: Safety First USA

The gas valves that interface are a 1/2 inch, a 3/4 inch and a 1 inch valve.

So the main differences between the units are that the Scentry III-GFRAB gas alarm and gas valve controller (shut-off) includes the 24 volt transformer, has mounting feet and can add options of battery back-up, remote gas sensors and remote alarms.  With the battery option, the pilot lights remain litt during intermittent power failures in regions such as the mountain states where electric power is not always continuous. A 12V output allows adding a phone dialer to alert owners of vacation homes, etc. when an unsafe condition has occurred. Remote gas sensors can be added near gas ranges, gas water heaters, gas furnaces, gas heaters, etc. to add protection using only one gas valve controller.

Please contact us if you have questions about what components to install.

Remember that you need carbon monoxide sensor alarms on every floor of your home and in every bedroom where you close the door. The CO monitor does not monitor propane or natural gas leaks: it monitors the carbon monoxide levels from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels like wood, coal, gas, charcoal, etc.

Thanks again for your timely question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

FloodStop Automatic Water Valve and Alarm for Dishwasher, Toilet or IceMaker

by Barbara 12. July 2010 22:59

Question about the Floodstop 3/8 Inch Automatic Water Shut-Off and Alarm.

Q: "Water is seeping through the floor under my dishwasher. Right now there is just a small wet spot. My basement is to be finished this winter so I want to protect the house from water leaks from the dishwasher, toilets, etc. if I can. I see that you have a device that would shut off the water to the dishwasher and sound an alarm if the new dishwasher (to be installed soon) leaks in the future. How complicated is it to install the valve? What other units are available? Thanks. Tom"

Answer: My suggestion is to have the appliance store deliver the new dishwasher and have their plumber install the Floodstop at the same time. Check your local tax laws. Currently, at least in Iowa and in Pennsylvania, you don't pay sales tax on the appliance if the store delivers the unit and does the installation. Depending upon your locale, the additional plumbing charge may be $50 and up. The protection is worth it.

Most dishwashers are next to a sink since they use the sink drain. The plumber would install one or more water sensors on the floor where the dishwasher will be placed (we recommend a minimum of two), the water valve, attach the alarm valve turn off unit to the wall (probably under your sink), and plug in the unit. The sensors should be tested by wetting them. After they are dried and the water valve is reset, then the dishwasher is installed.

The FloodStop unit for dishwashers and toilets has a 3/8 inch compression valve that connects to the angle stop and the supply line. You do need electricity unless you plan to change batteries at least once per year. (The unit draws power only to open or close the valve.) For AC, use the 4 C batteries, not included, as back-up. Contacts allow the option of connecting to phone dialers, alarm systems, X10 home automation devices, etc. There is also a 9 foot controller valve extension cord available to allow mounting of the controller in a more or less visible location. The length of cord included with Flood Stop leak detection alarms is 2.5 feet.Transformer extension wires are also available.

We also sell Floodstops for water heaters, washing machines that does not require a plumber, sinks, icemakers with 1/4 inch lines etc. All units have a one year warranty by the manufacturer. We've had customers literally saved from flooded homes from these units especially from leaking washers and water heaters.

Floodstop Dishwasher, Toilet and Ice Maker Unit Information:

* The FloodStop valve is connected to the angle stop and supply line

* Water/leak sensor is placed at the base of the appliance or fixture (Dishwasher; Sink; 3/8" Icemaker; Toilet; etc.)

* Valve stays open until water loss is detected

* Water on sensor closes FloodStop valve and sounds alarm * Valve stays closed until problem is attended to and system is reset

FloodStop 3/8 Inch Water Valve and Water Alarm Components:

1. Motorized Full-Port Ball Valve (3/8" Compression).

2. Control Unit with Battery Backup (4 C batteries, not included).

3. AC Power Adaptor (or use 4 X C Batteries as Primary Power Source).

4. Water Leak Sensor.

5. Output Contact Wires (2).

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Choosing Between a WaterCop or a FloodStop for Protection Against Water Damage

by Barbara 22. July 2009 09:23

Question: about the WaterCop and the Flood Stop

Q:"Does Safe Home Products have an opinion as to the comparison between Water Cop and Flood Stop? I've read the product guides and understand the product's features. Which is more reliable or has the best track record for water leak detection, moisture sensors, reliability, etc. ? Thanks, David S"

Answer: Both units have valves that meet the low lead/no lead standards currently in effect in California and several other states. In 2014, all states will require that valves meet those standards. Your decision needs to be made upon these factors:

1. What do you want to protect? A single appliance or several appliances? Or the whole house?  WaterCops are Made in the USA. Floodstop units are made in China and come in single water appliance units for water heaters, washing machines, sinks, icemakers, etc. or in a new whole house unit with expansion to 31 Sensor modules.
2. What do you want to spend? A Floodstop unit currently sells for well under $200 for a single appliance unit and it is easily installed.. Most sizes of the package of a WaterCop Lead Free Valve, Actuator and 3 Moisture Sensors sell  for $600 to $725. A new Floodstop Wireless Whole House System 1.0 In. NPT Motorized Ball Valve includes the FloodStop Controller, 4 Sensor Modules, 4 Wireless Moisture Sensors, 1 wire moisture sensor and 4 AC Adapters and is less expensive than the WaterCop. This has a full port, low lead motorized ball valve and each of the water sensors, if used with AC power, acts as a signal repeater. That helps if the sensor activated is at a distance from the water shut off valve.
3. Are you hiring a plumber or are you doing the installation yourself? Many do-it-yourself persons can install the WaterCop and the Floodstop units themselves. These come with NPT or threaded connections.
4. Have you a need to shut off all the water in your home with a single push of a button or remote wall switch? WaterCop offers a remote wall switch option. Remember that if a WaterHound moisture sensor alarm is activated, you will know by two ways, no water anywhere within that zone and a 65 decibel alarm. The whole house Floodstop System can be integrated with an on-line home automation software program so you can turn water on and off remotely if you install the whole house units.

Operational problems are extremely rare with either device. If you do not activate either devices at least every 30 days, you may have problems with the ball valve turning easily depending upon what kinds of minerals you have in your water. The FloodStop Whole House units automatically activate every 30 days or you can remove the cover on the controller and manually turn it on and off.

If you have only one appliance to protect and it is, for example, a washing machine, the Floodstop is easily installed without the expense of a plumber. If you want to protect several appliances (as I did), the plumber is well worth the expense as is the additional cost for a WaterCop as the basic system comes with the valve, the actuator and three water/moisture sensors. And you can always add additional sensors to the unit for other appliances. When you add the cost of 3 or 4 individual Floodstops, the costs can easily exceed those of either a WaterCop and extra sensors or a Whole House FloodStop and extra sensors. You can also buy a dual probe moisture sensor for the WaterCop and install it as I had done, under the water dispensing fridge and at the water entry point as well. The FloodStop whole house water system can respond to as many as 31 sensor modules each with dozens of moisture sensor or water sensor devices.

On the other hand, in apartment buildings or condos where each unit has its own water heater, installing a Floodstop in the 3/4 inch valve size is quite cost effective as several of our plumber customers who specialize in condo and high rise apartment buildings have concluded. And if your main worry is your washing machine, installing one of the two Floodstop units the standard AM-FS34H-90 or the INLINE Washing Machine FloodStop FS3/4H is all you may need. Add a pair of Floodchek washing machine hoses and you are as safe as a person with a washing machine can be.

The Watercop is made by one of the nation's oldest and most respected ball valve manufacturers (USA Made). These brass ball valves are used in industrial applications. The Watercop is a recent (past 6 or 8 years) products. As of December 2012, WaterCop ball valves are available only in low lead brass.

The Floodstop is made in China or a similar place. The full port brass ball valve is low lead and made to commercial standards like those made by Dynaquip whose ball valves are used primarily in applications with chemicals.

I hope this helped to answer your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Which Gas Detector Do I Need? I Have Anosmia.

by Barbara 11. August 2008 09:27

Q: "I have anosmia, i.e. I have lost my sense of smell. We have natural gas heat, a natural gas water heater and a natural gas cooking stove. I cannot smell a gas leak. Which gas detector do you recommend?"

Answer: Currently, we sell two brands of combustible gas alarms and an automatic gas shut off system that shuts off gas and sounds a loud alarm when a significant gas leak occurs.

Two brands are UL1484 listed for use with natural gas and propane gas and also work with gasoline fumes and butane fumes. These are the Safe-T-Alert 40-411AC and the Safety Siren Combustible Gas Alarm and the Safety Siren CO and Combustible Gas Alarm.

The advantage of the Safe-T-Alert is the long cord for proper positioning of the detector, i.e. high and near the appliance for natural gas and low and near the appliance for propane. We also sell the Safe-T-Alert Combustible Gas Alarm in a 230VAC unit for Europe and Asia. The Safety Siren unit is a direct plug in with a safety tab that the outlet cover center screw (standard 2 or 3 prong outlet) goes through so the unit cannot be easily removed. Most customers who buy the Safety Siren model install an electrical outlet at the proper height for natural gas or propane.

All our combustible gas alarms sound at less than 25% of the lower explosive or flammable level of the gas.

The Scentry III GFRAB propane/natural gas detector is only one component of this home safety system. The GFRAB means Gas, Feet on the bottom of the case, Remote, Alarm and Battery. To have a complete system, you need these additional components:

As noted above, the compatible valves are in .5, .75 and 1 inch sizes. Each valve is an electrically operated gas shut off valve that opens and closes on a demand signal from a thermostat or other controlling device. Can be used with both natural gas and LP gas at pressures up to 0.5 psi. The White Rodgers replacement is a compression spring closing and soft seat construction gas valve.

The advantage of this system is that the controller unit supports up to 5 calibrated remote sensors.

Scentry III-GFRAB Specifications:

  • Case: ABS Plastic
  • Physical Size: 7.6 inches by 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.25 lbs
  • Color: Gray
  • Power consumption: 1.5va
  • Supports up to 5 calibrated remote sensors (not included)
  • Requires Scentry III-GVD gas valve (purchase separately)
  • Supports Battery Back-Up (Not Included)
  • Supports Gas Valve Controller for Explosive Gas (Not Included)
  • Connections: screw terminals
  • Input Power: 115VAC, 60 Hz
  • Output Control Relays: 2 amps,
  • 24 VAC Alarm Signal
  • Output: 12V DC @500 ma
  • Reset: manual
  • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
  • Alarm Points: Propane (LP) <5200 PPM Alarm Points: Natural Gas / Methane <12,200 PPM
  • Manufactured Proudly in the USA for Safety First USA, Inc.
  • Warranty: 1 year from date of purchase.

Thanks for your question. Just remember propane gas and natural gas are safe sources of energy if you add protective measures including alarms, shut off valves and regular maintenance of the appliances that use gas.

Sincerely,

Barbara