Originally, I was so happy that I have installed “Watts FloodSafe Auto-ShutOff Connector” on the toilet several months ago, because it claims that it could protect our house from flooding.  Well, as an IT professional and Home Improvement guy, I always want to put these gimmick products to the test. Yes, I found a serious problem.

How it works?

First, let’s understand how it works. There is no electronic component inside these connectors, everything is mechanical. Quote from Watts’ web site  “When flow of water in excess of the flow required by any standard fixture/appliance is detected, FloodSafe assumes a burst and the flow of water is shutoff”.

What is the problem? False Positive

This is a serious flaw, because they didn’t say how many seconds after the pressure exceed being detected, then shuts it off.  Air in the pipe or perhaps large scale of water banging (Google it if you don’t know what “water banging” is) can trigger this as false positive.

How will you replicate the problem?

1. Assuming you have installed  a FloodSafe Auto-ShutOff value on 2nd floor toilet.

2. Go to basement, shut off the main water supply value for the whole house

3. In basement or on main floor, turn on any water tap for 1 min. This will make water drain from second floor and to create air in the pipe due to gravity.

4. Turn on the main water supply value for the house, everything is back to normal

5. Now, go to 2nd floor and turn on water on the tap (assume this tap didn’t have FloodSafe installed), tap works normally but you will hear a big bang noise within the first 10 seconds because water is rushing out from the pipe due to air in the pipe.

6. On 2nd floor,  try to flush the toilet (where FloodSafe is installed). After the 1st flush, there is  no more water refill! Because stupid FloodSafe thinks there is a water burst!

(I have repeatedly tested the above experiement for 3 times and it yielded the same result, very sad…)

When can this happen?

I didn’t make this experiment up, this actually happened to me.  Here are 2 primary examples:

1. Your local municipal water supply shuts off  due to temporary water outage

2. You are on vacation  and you shut off your main valve before you leave

How  to reset the FloodSafe? and what is the problem?

According to Watts’ web site, you have to shut off the value of water supply, DISCONNECT the connection, and then RECONNECT, this will automatically reset the FloodSafe device. Yes, it did work but consider these:

1. Can you imagine if you have 5 bathrooms in the house, all faucets and toilets have to go through the same procedures? This is bullshit and I think  FloodSafe is just another overpriced  garbage.

2. Can you also imagine a non-handy family come home after vacation and found that they can’t take a shower and their shit can’t get flushed properly? How frustrated is that?

More Reading

There are some more links you may want to read about FloodSafe product, although they are not related to false positive but they worth reading.

Watts Floodsafe? Not Very!

FloodSafe Washing Machine Hoses

Room for improvement

They need to re-design this stupid product, either do more testing on false positive or make it easier to reset the unit.  It is a good idea, but just bad design that doesn’t work. I just CANNOT believe I can buy this from Home Depot, this is so unacceptable.  Good luck to all of you if you have installed many of these units in your house.  I have already changed mine back to the regular one, and sold this crappy product on CraigsList.

Comments

  1. The Watts “Floodsafe” connector worked fine for about 1 and 1/2 years,
    THEN IT EXPLODED >> AND I GOT A FLOOD FROM THE VERY DEVICE
    (BREAKAGE AT THE CRITICAL PART) THAT IS SUPPOSED TO STOP
    THE FLOODS!!! >> Time to improve the design so that it won’t break at
    the critical point — right after the spot where it screws into the regular shut
    off valve! Thank goodness I was around before more damage occured!!

    Forget it >> this product is UNSAFE!

  2. I just finished replacing four, yep four, of these things in my house – all three toilets and the hot water in the kitchen sink. Asked at the plumbing supply store if they carried them and they chuckled – found out what a real plumber thinks of them – utter and downright garbage. Useless to the point that they can be considered unsafe to use. It appears that this made in China crap fails either at the swivel joint on the end that connects to the shutoff valve or the so called check valve becomes defective and shuts off, and by the way- resetting the thing does not work even if you turn the water on slowly – just a cheap crappy idea that should be shelved. Stay away from this junk!!!!!

  3. Yep, same thing happened to us last night. I installed 2 of the “floodsafe” lines under my kitchen sink when I installed a new faucet 2 years ago. last night one of the fittings seperated right beneath the “floodsafe” valve just like I have seen pictures of today. It flooded our kitchen and down into the basement . what a mess. i have contacted Watts and I am sure my insurance company will be as well…

  4. Yep, same problem here. Worked fine for a time, but false positive made the valve close and not reopen. I am pitching this now. ———-dan

  5. Used this hose on my dishwasher in my brand new home. Within a month the hose failed. Absolute junk. Of course the insurance company believed the hose was junk as well but Watts would not accept responsibility. Do not use this hose!

  6. I installed this floodsafe toilet connector in our personal bathroom, it broke right after the swivel joint, luckily my wife was home and heard the water rushing sound flooding our bathroom and laundry room and shut it off quickly. We had to lift up the flooring to dry out the subfloor immediately to keep from getting mold and replace the flooring.

    DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT

  7. Hi EVERYONE – DO NOT USE THIS.  I am a professional DIY (LOL).  I’ve remodeled 4 townhouses over many years.  I hooked this hose up to a dishwasher, because it’s all they had at my Home Depot…. MiStAkE. It LEAKS AT IT’S BUILT-IN 360 DEGREE ‘FLOODSAFE HOSE VALVE,’ THAT IS ON ONE END OF THE HOSE THAT ATTACHES TO MY VALVE.  How can they make a hose that leaks?!  OTHER REVIEWERS ON HERE HAVE STATED THAT in their case.. the device HAS BUSTED APART OFF OF THE HOSE CAUSING MAJOR WATER FLOODING.  This is a WATTS OVER-ENGINEERED piece of JUNK.  I AGREE W/ A REVIEWER AT ANOTHER WEBSITE – IT CAUSES MORE PROBLEMS THAN WHAT IT CLAIMS TO PREVENT. I’m going to shut my valve off at the end of this sentence and remove this hose w/ ‘the built in leaker’ (before it busts).

  8. I’m sorry I didn’t read this before buying. My landlord asked that we put the Floodsafe auto-shutoff on our washing machine. He paid for the hoses, so why not? Well, the false positives are a problem. Do not buy this product.

  9. Yeah… I remodeled my bathroom using cheap hoses from Home Depot and the hose broke at the 360 swivel causing a major flood in the wall, brand new bathroom floor and brand new carpet and padding in adjoining bedroom. Had to strip out floors, padding, carpet, tiles and replace. Just completed a brand new kitchen complete with new plumbing and thought I would try these “Floodsafe” devices. Turned on hot water with no problems. Turned on cold water, got a burst of air and device shut off. Removed to reset and won’t reset. I have no leaks, but I have no cold water either. Use at own risk is all I can say.

  10. We live in a condo on the second floor. Our management company has ordered ALL units to have these flood safe hoses connected to our washing machines. We are not comfortable at all doing this. We called our insurance carrier and was told that the steel braided hose was acceptable. When the “reliable” plumber sent by the management installs this hose, we are having him and the management company certify that they will be responsible if this hose fails as we did not want to have it installed.

  11. I have two Watts toilet supply lines for 2 or 3 years with no problems. There has been air in the line and it has not shut off. I did have one that would false shut off when it was horizontal from the shut off valve. I think it should be mounted vertical from the shut off valve. To get it to release, I would close the shut off valve, wait awhile, tap on the auto shut off part and it would release. I never removed the line, but if you have to do that just loosen the nut enough to let it leak a few drops should allow the valve to release. I don’t believe it would stop a small leak though. The line at the toilet probably has to blow off. My neighbor had to spend $8000 just to dry out the house from a broken toilet supply line that only ran for 45 min. That doesn’t include repairs to walls ceilings and floors. They have insurance, but still there is the deductible and the inconvenience of the repairs.

  12. I’m having a issue with the toilet hose. Looks fine but it’s not worth it. Going to get regular hose. Not this junk. Got to drive and make another trip to the store!

  13. The hose is awesome. The problem is people don’t know how to reset it. For example, while my bathroom was getting remodeled the toilet had to come on and off for a week. The contractor kept telling me the hose is defective but I had to show him how to reset it. Turn off the water at the shut off valve, unscrew the valve side of the hose and shake it a litle. Then add your teflon if this is a permanent installation and screw back on. Now, take the toilet tank lid off and hold the valve up so it is closed. Make sure that both ends of the hose are screwed in and slowly open the valve open while still holding the toilet tank valve ball cock up so water isn’t filling the tank. Once your valve is open slowly drop the ballcock mechanism until you hear the water flow. It’s dumb I know but what I saved in repair cost from a burst hose was worth it. I don’t know, it’s a pretty nifty device.

  14. I bought a Reverse Osmosis system from Kinnetico and they installed a Watts Leaksafe device under the sink. Well, the first time the water shut off is because something spilled under the sink. Kinnetico came and replaced the little white puck. Two weeks later, same thing. Water shut off. This time the Kinnetico guy walked me through how to reset the stupid thing. For about a year, I decided not to even replace the pucks so I didn’t have to worry about the water being cut off. Had a new faucet installed the other night and the plumber said I should really hook the Leak Device thing up again. He Left, and I noticed I didn’t have water again from the drinking faucet. Do you think I can remember how to reset the stupid thing? There are no videos and their website says it can be reset by a professional. I even called Kinnetico and I still couldn’t get it to reset. I threw it away and I’m ordering a different type of device. Do not buy this product.

  15. Yep agreed with all posts. I knew from the start not to use these things simply because they stopped selling them at my local “contractor only” plumbing supply store.
    Imagine having to turn your water off for whatever-reason, then once its back on none of your faucets work.
    Huge pain.

    Having said that, the reason I am on here is because I have been told by 2 of my clients (I am a bath/kitchen remodeler 27yrs) that they experienced my BrassCraft supply line explode and flood their house. This is disturbing to say the least. I can only imagine how many times this has happened with my projects and my clients didn’t tell me.
    Considering the extreme damage and inconvenience my clients endured (years after I finished their remodel) I feel something must be done about this. These supply lines apparently are cheaply made.
    We plumbers need a separate auto-shutoff part which can be added to any supply line, with a small side button to reset it after its been activated.

    Whomever makes this little thing will make a comfy living…..

  16. I installed all flexible ss water lines when i remodelled. Thought about flood safe valves but after reading this i plan to just replace all of the flexible lines with ridged pex for peace of mind. Hearing about all of these bursting stories makes me very nervous.

  17. Worst product ever and I wasted a ton of money as I went through my entire home with them, all toilets, bath and kitchen sinks, washing machine, wet bar, dishwasher (this was a pain to run for me). First one started leaking about a year after install. I shut off valve and was under bath sink checking it out and the actual nut at the flood safe unit came disconnected in my hand. The same thing happened at my ice maker,you but leak was so slow I didn’t notice it until my wood floors started buckling and I could smell mold. The next few would just shut off my water when I turn on my faucet normally. Same with dishwasher, clothes washer and ice maker. I think they need to recall these and if there is a “Class Action Lawsuit” sitting out there I would like to join in (and I don’t believe in law suits, but this us just wrong and I want my money back plus the damage repairs cost).

  18. Forgot I had installed flood safe hoses in 2010 when I replaced a kitchen faucet. Good thing because the other day the hot water valve of the faucet popped off due to a corroded nut holding the valve. No water damage because water stopped flowing. Hoses worked as designed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.