How does the Autostopcock® valve work?

Patented in 1993, the Autostopcock® valve was designed to overcome the challenges presented by conventional stopcocks. Often located in hard to get to places, especially in an emergency and often difficult to operate or seized due to the fact it is rarely used. Many homeowners, in fact, do not even know where their stopcock is located.

Since then, the Autostopcock® valve has been developed further, into the valve you can purchase today and now represents an unrivalled alternative to the old brass manual stopcock.

In times when the vast majority of the manufacturing industry has been relocated elsewhere, it is good to know that the innovative, market-leading, environmentally aware Autostopcock® valve is designed and manufactured in Great Britain and comes with a confidence boosting 10-year guarantee.

Utilising a quality brass solenoid valve coupled with a flow sensor (both WRAS approved products) and available in 15mm and 22mm, the Autostopcock® is fitted directly after your conventional stopcock.

The Main Remote Switch can be located away from the water valve in a convenient position and is connected via a 4-core cable. The remote switch contains the ‘brain’, an LCD display showing the status of the valve (On/Off/Over-ride) and a temperature gauge allowing the unit to turn off the mains water if the ambient temperature falls below 3-4 degrees Centigrade. When the remote switch is activated by any one of its sensors (low temperature/prolonged flow/prolonged no-flow/manual switch), it will turn the solenoid valve OFF.

The unit is battery operated, which allows the valve to continue to protect your property even during power failure. With typical battery life of three years, the unit will emit an audible alarm to warn the user when the battery is low approximately 1 month before the battery needs changing. The changing of the batteries when prompted by the unit, is the only maintenance the valve requires.

The flow sensor allows the switch to measure the time of water flow. If the water flows continuously for more than 45 minutes, it indicates a problem like a ruptured pipe or fitting and turns the water off. If there is no flow for more than 72 hours, it indicates the property is vacant and the switch will turn the water supply off, protecting your property.

The design of the control unit/ main remote switch allows it to be fitted into a surface mounted or recessed 2-gang installation box/ dry lining box. The faceplate is the same size as a double socket faceplate, allowing it to blend in with the room décor. Due to being battery operated, there is no need for time consuming and expensive re-routing of electricity supplies, keeping installation costs down.

In a domestic situation, it may be sometime before it is switched OFF and as with all mechanical devices such as stopcocks and valves, frequent operation is necessary to avoid any build up of lime scale or corrosion etc on the moving parts which may render them liable to malfunction. To overcome this problem the Autostopcock® unit will automatically self exercise the valve every forty-eight hours i.e. it will very briefly switch OFF and ON twice, remaining ON after self exercising. This ensures the valve stays free and operational.

The unit contains a thermostat set at 3-4 degrees Centigrade (36-38 degrees Fahrenheit). If the water is ON (normal position) and for some reason your heating fails or for any other reason your home gets cold, your Autostopcock® unit sensing this low temperature, automatically switches the water OFF and the LCD display will show a flashing 'OFF' sign. This indicates that the unit has automatically switched itself off. If the temperature rises above 4 degrees centigrade (38 deg F) the water will not switch ON again until the manual switch has been reset by switching to OFF and back ON again. This is a safety feature ensuring that no accidental flow can take place.

If you require constant water flow for more than 45 minutes (such as for watering the garden, etc), you can switch the control unit to over-ride and this will give 1 hour and 45 minutes of constant water flow.

The Autostopcock® has a maximum flow of 40 litres per minute, a maximum working pressure of 10 bar and an operating temperature of 3 – 70 degrees Centigrade.