Frequently Asked Questions

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 General Questions
 Installation and Configuration FAQ

 Answers to General Questions

If I install the FloodStopper water leak detection system, can I get a discount on my house or business insurance?

Very likely yes. Many insurance companies offer significant discounts on home or business insurance policies where the home is protected by an active water leak detection device. Check with your insurance company or ask your insurance broker about available discounts that may apply to you. In Canada, for instance, Chubb Insurance, Westland Insurance, and BCAA both offer discount programs. State Farm Insurance, the largest North American home insurance company, features the FloodStopper on its website! By preventing water damage and resulting insurance claims in the first place, the Floodstopper can also prevent you from losing your "claims-free discount," which normally amounts to 15-20% of your annual premium, or from having to pay increased premiums and higher deductibles in subsequent years.

What costs are associated with the average installation of the FloodStopper system?

There are two primary costs: the cost of the equipment, and installation. The cost of equipment will include the cost of your single of multi-zone system package and standard low-voltage wiring (which you can purchase from us, or you can pick up at your local hardware or building supply store). The equipment package includes your controller, shut-off valve, sensors, and if desired, your wireless receiver and transmitter(s).

The majority of our customers install the product themselves. It is a fairly straight forward job for the average "home handyman/woman" or "do-it-yourselfer." Alternatively, you can hire a general handyman, plumber, electrician, and/or security alarm system installer to assist you with all, or part of the installation.

Costs for installation by a tradesperson will vary depending on the system you select, the ease of running wiring, your house design (finished/unfinished basement), and prevailing labor rates in your area. For a house still under construction, the added cost is minimal because access to run wiring, etc. is very easy. On a finished house, the remote (wireless) option may be the most cost effective choice for areas of the home that would be difficult to run wire.

How long is the warranty?

The manufacturer, First Smart Sensor Corp, offers a 1 year warranty on all parts. If installed by a professional tradesperson, the warranty period is extended to 5 years.

How does the FloodStopper interact with my underground sprinkler system?

It will not interfere with your sprinkler system as long as the FloodStopper shut off valve is installed after the takeoff for the sprinkler system, which the manufacturer generally recommends.

Can the FloodStopper be used to detect fuel oil leaks?

Sorry. No, it cannot. The sensors are designed to detect any conductive liquid, such as water. Electricity must be able to flow through a liquid to activate the controller. However, we don't recommend using the stock sensors for corrosive liquids. If you have a major application, we may be able to provide custom-made sensors to suit your specific project - please call us for details.

Can the FloodStopper be used as a sewer backup alarm?

In certain instances, yes. The FloodStopper does have benefits in certain types of sewer systems.

In a septic tank system, a sensor can be installed in a riser pipe on the sewer pipe out at the septic tank. If that sensor comes in contact with water(sewage), the water valve will be shut off, preventing more water from going down the drain, backing up, and ultimately ending up on the basement floor due to an overflowing septic tank (full).

In a system connected to a municipal sewer system, the cause of the backup would usually be from outside of the house and accordingly, any flooding would be as a result of water coming in from outside of your home and not from a location that you could shut-off or control with the Floodstopper valve. However, if it is due to an obstruction or freeze-up of the sewer connection from the house to the main sewer, The FloodStopper can be set-up to sense the backup and stop further internal flooding by preventing any more water from going down the drain. It will sense the problem first at the lowest point of the system where there is a sensor, such as the drain pan under the water heater, if it is connected to the sewage system, or another sensor in the basement like a toilet etc. These will overflow only slightly before the system senses water and shuts down the supply.

Can the FloodStopper be used as a sump pump controller?

No, sorry, it cannot be used a sump controller.

How does FloodStopper valve affect my water pressure?

In short, the loss in water pressure is minimal. You will not notice any difference when running an average water application such as filling a tub, doing your laundry, flushing a toilet, or running a shower. The specific pressure drop due to the valve depends completely on the amount of water flowing through a given valve at the time in question. For example, at a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute through a 3/4" valve, the pressure drop is less than 1 psi (average residential water pressure is about 60 psi).

What happens in the event of a power failure?

In the event of a power failure, the valve will remaining in the position it was in at the time the power failed. For instances, if the system had detected a leak and shut the valve off, and there was a subsequent power failure, the valve would remain in the closed position and therefore prevent continued leak or flooding. When the power resumed, it would again retain its position. If the valve was open, it will stay open. If it was closed, it will stay closed. If you want optimal protection even during a power failure, simply plug your FloodStopper transformer into a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) back-up power system - these are the same power back-up systems used in offices for computers, servers, and other critical equipment.

Can my neighbor's wireless transmitter trigger my system?

Even if your neighbor has a system installed with the remote package, their transmitter is not programmed to communicate with your receiver. Each transmitter has a unique communications code that is programmed to communicate with only your system's receiver.

The remote transmitters operate at 315 MHz, which is a frequency used by the military. Will there be any conflicts arising from using this frequency?

No. The remote components are FCC approved for security applications on this frequency because the power output is very low and will not interfere with military communications. No. Each transmitter has a unique a number code to trigger the system. Each transmitter is programmed into the receiver when the system is set up, so that the receiver can recognize it. A passing jet would have to transmit one of the unique transmitter codes on the correct frequency before it could interfere with your system which is highly, highly unlikely!

How long do the batteries in the wireless transmitters last and where do I purchase replacement batteries?

While the batteries will generally last 2-3 years, we recommend that you check the batteries in your wireless transmitters every 6 months (at the same time you check your smoke detector batteries is a great time to do it!). Each transmitter has a "test" function that you can use to test if the batteries and transmitters are operating correctly. Each transmitter uses two Duracell Type DL2032 "button cell" lithium batteries. They are widely available and can be purchased at any "Radio Shack" store, from us, or most other electronics retailers for less than $3 each.


 Answers to Installation and Configuration FAQ

Is the FloodStopper system difficult to install? Can I install it myself?

No, it is not difficult to install. The FloodStopper system comes complete with an installation/operation manual. The majority of our customers install the product themselves. It is a fairly straight forward job for the average "home handyman/woman" or "do-it-yourselfer." Alternatively, you can hire a general handyman, plumber, electrician, and/or security alarm system installer to assist you with all, or part of the installation. The cost for installation by a tradesperson will vary depending on the system you select, the ease of running wiring, your house design (finished/unfinished basement), and prevailing labor rates in your area.

The control panel is designed to conveniently mount over a standard electrical outlet box and is powered by a 24-volt plug- in transformer (plugs into standard 110 volt electrical outlet). The exclusive Honeywell valve is installed on your main water line and wired to the control panel. The sensors are mounted at the base of the walls throughout your home where water bearing appliances are located and may be hard-wired or remotely connected to the control panel.

Factors such as whether the basement is finished or unfinished, the number of floors, whether the walls line up from one floor to another, make a big difference in how long it takes to install the system. If the house is still under construction, the plumber can install the valve as he is roughing in the supply line. The electrician will find the rest of the system as easy to rough in as the doorbell system and thermostat. If the house is finished and has no crawlspace, it makes sense to use the wireless (remote) option. However, the valve and transformer will still need to be wired to the controller. This may limit where the controller is located. In a finished house with an unfinished basement, it is often possible to run the wires up the attic via the cold air return risers and then down through inside walls to the locations desired. Outside walls frequently have horizontal blocking, which would prevent wires from being fished down to floor level.

What is the maximum number of sensors that can be installed?

In short... more than you will ever need! For a single zone system, you can install up to 250 hardwired sensors and one wireless receiver. Each wireless receiver can be connected to 32 wireless transmitters, which in turn can be connected to 25 sensors each. For an average home or small business, only 4 to 20 sensors will be installed to provide excellent level of protection for the home. For a multi-zone (4 zone) system, you can install up to 1000 hardwired sensors (250 per zone) and 4 wireless receivers (1 per zone). Each wireless receiver can be connected to 32 wireless transmitters, which in turn can be connected to 25 sensors each. The configurations are almost limitless.

What gauge of wire do I use to install the sensors? Will the wiring be visible or can it be hidden?

All wiring should be done to local code specifications. The FloodStopper system comes complete with a 24 volt transformer and accordingly, the complete system operates on only 24 volts. We generally recommend the use of standard 18 gauge (2 wire). This is the same wire typically used to install thermostats and doorbells. It can be purchased at any hardware or home supply store, or from us. The wiring can easily be concealed through crawlspaces, vents, attics, or voids in your walls, just like any other electrical wiring.

What if I can't run wires? Is there an alternative?

Yes absolutely. If you have an area of your home that you feel would be too difficult to run the wiring to, you can select one of our packages featuring a wireless receiver and transmitter. You can connect up to 25 water sensors to each transmitter, and 32 transmitters per receiver.

Does the FloodStopper valve replace my main (manual) water shut off?

No, the valve is mounted after the manual shutoff, pressure reduction valve, underground sprinklers, and any branch line serving fire suppression systems (sprinklers, etc.)

Can I connect my FloodStopper to my security/alarm system?

Yes, there is a special single zone system with an interface that allows it to be connected to an auxiliary application such as a security system or alarm.

Can I control my 4-Zone FloodStopper so that one or two sensor zones will close one valve while the rest control the other valves?

At the present, it is not possible to control two valves separately with any of the controllers, however, you can use separate single zone controllers for each required valve.

Can I control more than one valve at a time with my FloodStopper controller?

No, sorry.

What is the difference between the gray and white sensors?

The only difference between the 2 sensors other than the color is the position of the wiring attachments. The white sensors have a hidden rear terminal and the gray sensors have a more visible top terminal. The white sensors are best used in areas where the sensors may be visible (behind toilet tank for instance), whereas the gray sensors are typically used next to water heaters, commercial applications or other areas where they are less visible.