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Water on Demand Invention

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Unread postAuthor: dewey-1 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:59 pm

saefroch wrote:I think what D_Hall is trying to explain to you is that your device doesn't empty the pipes in the building, it just drops the pressure considerably. It will probably stop the freezing from cracking pipes, but a leak is a leak, whether the pressure is shut off or not. The same goes for failed appliances.



Shutting off the water supply will not do any good to prevent pipes from freezing in colder climates.
To clarify this statement:
You have to shut the water supply off and purge the pipes of most of the water to prevent freezing.

You learn to live with things like this especially when it gets 20 to 40 below 0 F.
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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:09 pm

Ragnarok wrote:
boyntonstu wrote:$4,000,000,000 ain't chicken feed and mold can cause illness and possibly death.

True, but we're still talking apples and oranges.

Not having some $20 smoke detectors in a house is an act of lunacy. Your device, regardless of its potential, just isn't as vital and is a great deal more expensive.
There's likely a market out there, but I think there are a few things you really need to fix first.

Firstly, it must default to open if the power fails. Not "you can turn it back on easily", I mean automatic. Not doing that is asking for trouble.
Stories like "It's a right nuisance, because the power went while I was taking a shower, and cut off the water" or tales of some emergency going across the internet wouldn't do anything good for sales.

Given you're talking about a fairly large financial cost for this, you don't want anything to make people think this is going to make a nuisance of itself.

Secondly, as far as the dishwasher and washing machine doodads, I would suggest a better option would be to have the system rigged so that they can override the system (for example, by opening the valve while they're drawing power).
That's a better solution than just lengthening the "on time".


You are away from home. The power is on and the pressure is off.

A power failure occurs. Do you want the pressure on or off?

You are taking a shower at night. The power fails. Do you continue your shower in the dark?

I do not want a machine to control the water pressure.

I want to be awake, in the house, and aware that the water pressure is on.

Just for an aside: About 30 years ago, I invented a business. Of all my friends and acquaintances, there was not a single person who thought that my invention would sell. Being stubborn, I went ahead with it.

We made so much money, so fast, that that we laughed out loud.

I retired at age 54, my house is paid up, and my beach house is a lovely getaway.

There are fine minds on this forum who can make valid technical points, but I venture to say, that my business acumen has been tested over many years of experience. I welcome technical comments. As for business advice....
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:55 pm

About 30 years ago, I invented a business. Of all my friends and acquaintances, there was not a single person who thought that my invention would sell. Being stubborn, I went ahead with it.
Out of curiosity, what was it ?
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:01 pm

boyntonstu wrote:You are away from home. A power failure occurs. Do you want the pressure on or off?

Ideally off, but I'd consider that a compromise I'd make to be sure that the water is definitely on if I need it. A power cut is enough of an inconvenience without it also killing the water supply.

Don't act like having the water on for a couple of hours while there's a power cut is a big thing - it's the status quo.

You are taking a shower at night. The power fails. Do you continue your shower in the dark?

This is me you're talking to - yes, I would keep showering in the dark. In fact, I very much enjoy doing so, and often deliberately choose to.

What you're doing here is engineering answers. Yes, those situations might happen, but it's equally possible to ask questions where the opposite is true. For example: "You are at home during the day, getting ready to go out, but are running short of time. The power goes off. Would you like to have your time used up going and manually turning the water back on?"

Now, I work as a stage technician from time to time, and one of the main rules is "What you do should be invisible. If someone actually notices what you're doing, you've done it wrong.*"
Be that lighting, sound, stage construction or whatever, while the audience may see or hear it, they should never notice it. Because, if they have, their attention is in the wrong place.
*And the more they notice, the worse you're doing. So if the audience actually thinks you've made a mistake, then you've really screwed up.

And your system should do the same thing - it should never do anything to make the customer notice it's there. That means that, as far as they're concerned, it should act exactly like a normal water connection.
When they turn a tap, whatever else is going on, it should work.

There are fine minds on this forum who can make valid technical points, but I venture to say, that my business acumen has been tested over many years of experience. I welcome technical comments. As for business advice....

I consider myself pretty smart, but I'll still listen to other people if they make suggestions, even if I consider them "inside my area of expertise". Perhaps they've seen something I've managed to overlook.

So, whether or not you are a business genius, I'd be taking all suggestions, be they technical or business based.

After all, pride comes before the fall.
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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:29 pm

""You are at home during the day, getting ready to go out, but are running short of time. The power goes off. Would you like to have your time used up going and manually turning the water back on?"

Is 30 seconds that important to you? Wow!

"Don't act like having the water on for a couple of hours while there's a power cut is a big thing - it's the status quo. "

I am not for keeping the $4,000,000,000 status quo flood loss.

I did not ask for business suggestions.

Negative comments about the operation of "Water On Demand" are welcome.

I leaned that taking business advise does not pay, as stated above.

The founder of FedEx was told by his professor that the business concept was a bad idea and he only got a C on his paper.

The inventor of the weed whacker was even not given 5 minutes of time by B&D and other garden tool manufacturers to just walk outside and see if his sewing machine motor mounted on a broom stick spinning a nylon cord, could cut grass.

There are many, many, more examples.

Inventors do not require input from people not in the game.

We just stubbornly keep moving our arrows towards our targets.

P.S. I wonder how many folks shower in the dark? Sounds scary.
To each their own.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:24 pm

boyntonstu wrote:Is 30 seconds that important to you? Wow!

I value everyone of my seconds. After they're gone, I won't ever get them back.

Also, I think it would be a bit more time consuming than that: Grumble in annoyed tone; with shampoo in eyes, grope around half-blind for towel; traipse wet footprints down the stairs; find utilities cupboard; crack head on shelving while trying to get to the valve; walk back upstairs; realise that you've left the towel downstairs and have just streaked past your family... that sounds like inconvenience I'd rather not have.
And it would be even harder if it was dark. Although I suppose that if it was dark, you could save some time by not bothering with the towel.

Showering however, is not the real issue. In an emergency, 30 seconds might as well be a lifetime. Sure, it's unlikely that such an emergency will occur, but I wouldn't be gambling on that kind of thing.

I am not for keeping the $4,000,000,000 status quo flood loss.

But flood damage is one of those things that until it happens to you, you always think it only happens to others.
So, when something seems so unlikely, you've got to make the "costs" seem as small as possible - costs, in this case, covering not only money, but also any inconveniences it may cause.

The best option would be that you offer the choice to the consumer, with a system where they have some switch or something that sets it up either way - but if going one way or the other, it should be the less intrusive choice.

I learned that taking business advice does not pay, as stated above.

Acting on advice and listening to it are two different things. If you listen, you can choose whether to take it. Refusing to listen denies you that option.

The inventor of the weed whacker was even not given 5 minutes of time by B&D and other garden tool manufacturers to just walk outside and see if his sewing machine motor mounted on a broom stick spinning a nylon cord, could cut grass.

Which actually agrees more with what I'm saying than what you're saying.

They thought they knew best and wouldn't listen to what he had to say. Hence, it's now them that looks the fool. Proof, if you will, that "experts" can get it wrong.

P.S. I wonder how many folks shower in the dark?

Does it really matter? The one you asked does.

(I also shower naked, but I'm told that's normal.)
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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:05 pm

You are correct, it doesn't matter what anyone else does or likes to do.

I have always been the outsider and never the expert.

Every person who visited me and saw Water On Demand in action, loved it!

The TV reporter told me that the reason that the station played it more than usual was because everyone who saw the clip loved it.

All this enthusiasm has me worried.

I expected the B&D reaction.

Perhaps this Forum balances it out.

Some people like Chocolate, others Vanilla.

BTW If Water on Demand was installed when the house is under construction, the price would be greatly reduced.

Hire a plumber to change out a ball valve on the main and see what it costs.

Around here, it costs $75 for a plumber to show up.

Our first installation took 2 of us about 2-1/2 hours.

We can now do it in under 15 minutes.

(In my area, a licensed plumber is not required.)

The next most difficult task is to run a 24 VAC wire pair from inside the house to the main water input outside. (This is a no freeze zone).

Up into the attic, and down from the eaves to the valve.

In a basement install, it would go much faster.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:09 pm

POLAND_SPUD wrote:Not really... it does not prevent pipe freezing just as it doesn't prevent flooding.

Agree with the first part but not the second.

The pipes freeze, but lacking pressure the ruptures are limited to the amount of water normally in the pipes (which is largely negligable). With the system in question, the flooding doesn't start until you walk in the kitchen and the system pressurizes. True, you still have flooding, but you'll be able to shut it down quickly which is a huge improvement over not finding out about the flooding until [some significant amount of time] later.

I don't know if this is a serious problem in the USA or UK but pipe freezing isn't such a big deal here in Poland (even though temperature drops below -20 deg C in winter), you just have to design the system properly and insulate it.

In some areas of the US, it's no big deal. As you imply, the system is simply designed for cold weather. In other areas, not so much. For example, where I live the temperature only drops low enough to freeze pipes about once every 5-10 years and even then it's not like the pipes freeze in every house. As such, plumbing systems simply aren't built to handle the cold like that. Is it stupid? Perhaps, but it's not something that the random home owner can change. Some sort of simple retrofit as discussed wouldn't solve the problem (nothing short of ripping all your plumbing out and starting over will do that), but it would certainly minimize the damage.

It's the same with flooding, if the system is properly designed and installed the risk of leaks can be reduced to minimum. I've got several circuits in my home that can be drained and closed off (one for two garden taps and two that can be cut off from central heating system).
Also something as simple as a floor drain in your bathroom, garage, basement and kitchen can work wonders,

And again, not all plumbing systems are designed for such. Short of ripping out walls and redoing my plumbing there is no way to drain the plumbing in my home. And there's only one circuit.

You'd be better off if you spend that 700$ on repairs and improving your plumbing.

LOL... I don't know what plumbers charge in Poland, but in the US $700 doesn't pay for many repairs around here. Honestly, I can't think of much that $700 could do to provide an overall system improvement.

this really isn't the right direction as it isn't practical and does not work.

Disagree. It's VERY practical. It's not a perfect solution. Agree there. It is not a total safety net by any stretch of the imagination, but given the simplicity of the system it definitely has benefit over "stock" plumbing in an area such as mine.

The person was away on vacation while the $2,000 worth of water flowed out of her garage
yeah, but she should have cut off water supply and other stuff before she left.

And now my dogs die while I'm away because they have no water.
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Unread postAuthor: boyntonstu » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:15 pm

Interesting: And now my dogs die while I'm away because they have no water.


How long do you leave your dogs alone?

Are they inside or outside?

Would a 10 gallon water supply suffice?

(get my drift?)

Also, the outside water may be operational when the inside water is cut off.

Edited: I just received this jewel in a private message.

"Common sense tells me that you are lying about your invention. I can see no evidence of it's existence. Care to tell?"

Enough said.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:58 pm

boyntonstu wrote:How long do you leave your dogs alone?
Are they inside or outside?
Would a 10 gallon water supply suffice?

In order...
Up to 2 weeks. Oh, I have people check in on them, but I don't expect them to turn my water on/off and such.

Yes ( Doggy doors).

Depends on the time of the year, but I don't trust a single point failure like that. Once upon a time I had a small wading pool in the backyard for the dogs to cool off in (summer time). I was out of town. The pool was full. I figured the dog could get water from it.... While I was gone the dog got bored and started chewing on the pool. Ooops. No more water. It wasn't a big deal because I did have somebody checking on him, but that's not my point.

Also, the outside water may be operational when the inside water is cut off.

Only if your house is plumbed to have two separate circuits. Mine doesn't. I wish it did, but... Well, the plumbing came with the house.


Edited: I just received this jewel in a private message.
"Common sense tells me that you are lying about your invention. I can see no evidence of it's existence. Care to tell?"

LOL... It's such a simple concept (really, it is), if the only existance of the invention was this thread I'd say that's enough.

I'm still curious how you propose to handle ice makers. It's an interesting concept, but it has holes. I'm not saying the holes can't be patched, mind you, just that they exist and need to be addressed before you're ready for prime time.
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Last edited by D_Hall on Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:02 pm

boyntonstu wrote:"Common sense tells me that you are lying about your invention. I can see no evidence of it's existence. Care to tell?"

Enough said.


Context. Enough said. You know as well as I do that I am not referring to your "Water On Demand" device.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:17 pm

boyntonstu wrote:Every person who visited me and saw Water On Demand in action, loved it!

Then you would seem to be in a good position to capitalise - but I'd say there is a bit more prototyping to do first.

All this enthusiasm has me worried. Perhaps this Forum balances it out.

Bear in mind, this is a forum full of people with engineering mindsets, and a tendency to critique other people's ideas and designs, so what we say is going to be in a different vein to most of the people who look at it.

Most of us probably think it's got potential (although, clearly, to what extent varies), but believe it could be more refined.
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:39 pm

Ragnarok wrote:Most of us probably think it's got potential (although, clearly, to what extent varies), but believe it could be more refined.


I think we all would say this idea has potential. Removing the water from the plumbing system in houses when not in use is a brilliant idea. However, I think most of us agree this is "under-engineered", or that it is too simple a solution to deal with the complexity of an entire water system.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:48 pm

Disagree. It's VERY practical. It's not a perfect solution
The idea to cut off water supply is practical as it is pretty much as simple as it gets. However, use of time delay isn't the best method for reasons stated earlier in the thread.

Not that I know a better way to trigger it. If you want to use something different then the whole system gets a lot more complex

You could use the fact that water conducts electricity and place a mat with metal wires or metal plate under the dishwasher/washing machine - one lead is attached to the mat the other to a short section of metal pipe in your system. Unfortunately, it won't detect all floods

You could use a flow based system. If flow is higher than, let say 150L per hour, then the flow is cut off. Interesting idea, especially if you combine it with PIR sensors but that would probably require a PLC.


Anyway, I still think it would be a better idea to install floor drains in the bathroom, kitchen and garage. Add to that a well designed and kept plumbing system and the risk of flooding is minimal. Even if happens the floor drains should be able to handle it.

Sure it sucks if you've bought the house and now you'd have to spend more to improve it than it costs to install the plumbing when the house is being built.

LOL... I don't know what plumbers charge in Poland
:-D

EDIT
Don't think you're the only person who has thought of it. Look what I've found
http://www.a-leak-detector.com/leak-det ... ipment.php
http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_g ... leaks.html
http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infp ... etect.html
http://www.flologic.com/Automatic-Water ... ystem.html
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:54 pm

POLAND_SPUD wrote:
LOL... I don't know what plumbers charge in Poland
:-D

And while we're here, let's also get the "Depends how hot your wife is" joke out of the way, or we'll have an elephant stampede on our hands.
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