Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vac-Alert Industries: Vac-Alert Model VA-2000S

Vac-Alert Industries: Vac-Alert Model VA-2000S

The following is a review of the Vac-Alert Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) Written by

Note: A SVRS is a device designed to help prevent entrapments from suction lines in pools or spas. Every year, people are killed when they get to close too a suction line (usually main drains) Getting caught on one of these can hold someone underwater causing them to drown.. Some states now require public pools to have a SVRS attached to each pump in an attempt to save lives. Check your state and local laws to see if and how these would apply to you.

In The Box
In the box comes the Vac-Alert system, a key for adjusting vacuum sensitivity, the manual, a chart of example setups and a information video DVD.

The Setup and First Run
The SVRS attaches to an existing pump system via a PVC T connector (not included). For our setup, we used a 2 inch PVC T with an 1.5 inch to 2 inch adaptor since the SVRS device only accepts 1.5 inch pipe. On the example sheet, we used the first example as our guide for installation.
When any type of blockage occurs, the Vac-Alert is triggered and the system opens the suction side to atmosphere, causing the pump to lose prime. This should allow what caused the blockage to be dislocated. To reset the unit, there is a toggle switch that needs to be moved to the opposite position. It is very easy to test by simply blocking the one of the skimmer lines with a tennis ball or any other object that will block the flow of water. In our case the default setting worked so we did not need to adjust the unit.
The Guts
There is not much to take apart on the Vac-Alert. The bottom has a check valve connected by a quick release to stop any water from backing up in to the unit. The front screen is removable for cleaning or to push the unit to the open position (while the system is off). On the back of the unit there is a special screw only removable with the key that comes in the box. This back area is used to adjust the Vac-Alert sensitivity as needed.

The Vac-Alert system is one of the least expensive SVRS systems on the market. If price is an issue, this is a great SVRS for most situations. The installation and setup should only take an hour for most experienced pool or spa professionals. The SVRS is meant as a life saving device and while the average person with some plumbing experence can insall the unit, it should be installed by a professional to ensure everything is done correctly. A down side of the Vac-Alert would be its missing any auto restart function, this hurts its commercial uses since it has to consistently checked to insure the system has not mistakenly been triggered.

-        One of the least expensive SVRS systems on the market
-        Easier to install then most other SVRSs
-        Very few moving parts (less to go wrong)
-        Easy to reset the system (especially if support needs to be done over the phone)
-        Because of the unit's ease of installation,one might be tempted to skip parts of the manual and unknowingly install the unit incorrectly.
-        The unit can be set off from a temporary blockage (pool sweep passing over a drain, leaves collecting in a skimmer basket, etc). This will cause the pump to stop and will not restart until someone manually resets the system. This model will not automatically reset as some of the other electric SVRS models will (i.e. the Pentair Intillflo SVRS).

Final Score: 7/10

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