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Thread: Leak Defender

  1. #1

    Default Leak Defender

    Hi All,
    I am writing about a leak detection/well water shutoff system I have developed. I do not use a shutoff valve or any type of computer controls.
    I use "Old School" over sized parts for endurance and reliability. Today everything is complicated and built with poor quality. They are not reliable and when you need a system to work this is as "bullet proof" as it gets. I shut off the power to the well pump when a leak is detected by interrupting the power to the pump with an inline power relay (clapper type). It is a NC relay so no energy is used till required to open the circuit. The system is powered by the pump power so no other power is required. To install it you would place the control box between the well power switch and the pressure switch or the pump controller power line. There is a wired by cable water sensor that is located under the well tank or any water delivered appliance and will send a signal to the control box when water is detected. There can be up to six sensors if desired with various cable lengths. It actually takes no longer than 20 minutes to install. The mounting of the control box will take longer than wiring the system. Thoughts??

    Thanks,
    Lucky Don

  2. #2
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    I could have used one of those a few years ago...

  3. #3

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    What happened? Do you have protection now?

  4. #4
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    A PVC female adapter split, apparently professionally overtightened on installation. I noticed water pouring out from underneath the door to the wellhouse when I went out to pick up the paper at 0430. Made the repair and got things working again in about 20 minutes.

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    No protection currently, looking into a Z-Wave based solution without a lot of enthusiasm.

  5. #5
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I know this will be contreversial but here it goes. I would not recommend using FIP PVC fittings ever. This is very common. Plastic should be threaded into metal, never over.

    In my over 25 years of field work, I have seen this exact same problem too many times too count. PVC is a great material that will last for many years. you can call it overtightened, but this does not occur when it is threaded into a metal fitting. At least the installer attempted to do it right by using a schedule 80 fitting. You could use the stainless reinforced fittings, but these have been known to crack too, just not as often.

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    Last edited by ditttohead; 11-02-2013 at 03:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more. Problem is all those controllers (mine is a Fleck 2510) presenting male NPT fittings to the in-house PVC pipe. A female adapter is the obvious answer, but subject to splitting if overtightened. There are slip-CPVC to copper FPT adapters, but I haven't found a slip-PVC to copper FPT adapter, and if it does exist it's probably pretty pricey. There's no precise torque spec for PVC because there are too many variables involved, so the installer has to tighten based on his experience and feel. I remember my installer using a pair of huge pipe wrenches and bragging that "his joints don't leak", but this one sure did. I use Teflon tape and a wicked blue sealant from Hercules that allows a more delicate touch on the wrench, and have never had a split or a leak. When I rebuild my water system, I'm going to use PEX, which should solve lots of problems, albeit at a price.

  7. #7

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    Here are a couple of typical installation pictures. The Leak Defender is located under the pump drive control box and the leak sensor is on the floor in front of the tank.

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    Name:  Typical Installation.jpg
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    Last edited by Lucky Don; 11-03-2013 at 08:05 AM.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Couldn't agree more. Problem is all those controllers (mine is a Fleck 2510) presenting male NPT fittings to the in-house PVC pipe. A female adapter is the obvious answer, but subject to splitting if overtightened.
    They make FIP X FIP threaded connectors in brass and black iron pipe that I use to convert so a male threaded PVC can be connected. I have had female PVC crack even when I hand tightened it.

  9. #9
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Why didn't I think of that? I guess I'm always looking for a single fitting, but why use 1 when 2 will do? Thanks.

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