The Bad News about WAGS:
All tank storage water heaters will eventually fail and leak … typically within 7-10 years. Small leaks can quickly grow into large ones. An undetected leak can result in hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water flooding the basement or house.
Leaks in gas-fired hot water heaters can pose an even greater safety risk with pilots snuffing out or the tank firing without enough water inside.
The Good News about WAGS:
A Water And Gas Safety valve stops catastrophic water and gas leaks before they turn into costly and dangerous problems.
Based on a patented life-saving technology developed for military applications, the WAGS is the only product of its kind that shuts off both gas and water feeds in the event of a water leak.
The WAGS valve is designed to shut off the water supply (plus gas supply for gas-fired heaters) in the event of a water leak from a hot water heater, thus minimizing water damage and possible gas leakage.
What it Does:
The WAGS sits in a drip pan under the water heater and is activated when leaking water accumulates to a level of 3/4″ in the pan.
Once activated the valve shuts off the water and gas supply, indicated by a red pop-up tab.
No Water Heater Catch Pan?
If your current water heater does not have a catch/drip pan, the WAGS Water Heater Dam (included with the valve) can be used instead.
The dam is designed to create a barrier in which leaking water from a failed water heater can accumulate to the minimum 3/4″ level required to activate the WAGS valve.
The dam consists of a v-shaped foam pad, and is attached to the floor using polyurethane adhesive. It can be installed on any style flooring surface, as long as there are no gaps or cracks greater than 3/8″ that would allow the water to leak under the dam. The dam can easily be customized to fit any tank diameter and the surrounding installation area.
Some local building codes require that no standing water (usually condensate) be present under the water heater. In these installations the condensate drain tube is placed under the dam so standing water can be diverted through the drain tube to a drain line. In the event of a water heater failure, the water would accumulate quicker than the flow through the tube and would be able to reach a level of 3/4″ in the pan, triggering the valve.
The WAGS Water Heater Dam is intended for residential and commercial applications. It can be used with any style water heater: gas, electric, oil, etc.
How it works:
The WAGS valve is attached between the water source and the water heater. The valve contains a moisture-resistant but water-soluble fiber element (disc), which holds back a spring-loaded piston.
If a leak causes the water in the drip/catch pan at the base of the heater to rise to 3/4″, the disc dissolves and the piston moves forward, closing off the flow of the water to the tank. In gas-fired water heaters, this action also breaks a fuse that shuts off the gas supply to the heater.
Once triggered, the WAGS pops up a red flag so the homeowner knows the valve has been activated and the water leak has stopped.
The WAGS valve can also be wired to an oil burner, or an intermittent gas ignition control valve (like the Honeywell 8600 series). In both cases, when the WAGS valve activates, it interrupts the 24 VAC signal to the burner.
The fiber-element technology used in the WAGS was first used by the British Royal Air Force to inflate life jackets automatically. It’s highly reliable, totally mechanical, and requires no additional power source.
WAGS Activation, Repair, Replacement
- It is a onetime use devise only. There are no repairable parts. Once the tank fails and leaks, both the tank and valve need to be replaced.
- NO maintenance required. Just make sure that the holes in the bottom of the valve that let the water in do not get blocked.
- Requires NO electrical connections. Highly reliable, totally mechanical, and requires no additional power source.
- Unaffected by accidental splashing. The water soluble fiber element in the WAGS valve is encapsulated and protected from the accidental splashing of water on the valve. Water needs to enter the bottom of the valve through the slots and accumulate to a level of 3/4″ in order for the valve to activate.
- Unaffected by high humidity. The element will only absorb a certain amount of water due to humidity, but nowhere near the amount of water required to trigger the valve.
Again, water must enter the bottom of the valve through the slots and accumulate to a level of 3/4″ in order for the valve to activate.
Hope this has been valuable information about your water heater and the Water & Gas Safety valve, the importance of it and how it is used in your home. Should you have further questions or need to get it and your home or business inspected, please contact Fort Worth A-Action Realty Inspection Group.