[NA] Plumbers or educated DIY’ers: water leak detection ?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by catmandu, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. catmandu

    catmandu Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    My wife’s Uncle has a house on an island which we frequent. I do a lot of maintenance on the house as the relatively young one, for the privilege of staying there.

    Water is supplied via cisterns. It seems (to me) that Man Friday got baked and left a hose running, draining 2/3rds of the water supply (12k gallons) and melting the plastic impeller on the water pump when it ran dry. No bueno in the current drought, but hurricane season should rectify things.

    I have installed a new, better pump with a brass impeller to rectify the run dry situation. And the remaining water in the backup cistern should be fine for now, and they can always buy water.

    But, I am looking for some sort of smart water leak shutoff valve that we can set up to stop when, say, 1000 gallons flow over 24 hours, to prevent future draining of the cisterns.

    Help?
     
  2. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    In my experience, water leak detectors are a pita. Expensive and unreliable. My data is dated, goes back to computer room setups 10-15 years ago.

    But it doesn't sound like you really have a leak problem. It sounds like you have a "guy leaves the valve open" problem. They make simple mechanical timer valves, like an egg timer, for garden hose fittings. Or...you could wire up some kind of cutoff timer for the pump. So that if it runs more than X minutes in a row, it shuts off. There should be some sort of commercial device to do that, but I couldn't find anything with a quick google search. Basically, a count up timer that resets on each off cycle, and when it hits a specific time it kills the circuit. Measuring time on the electrical side is going to be easier and more reliable than doing the same on the water side.
     
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  3. Sifossifoco

    Sifossifoco Pre-takeoff checklist

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  4. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    No experience, but this claims to do what you need

    Moen 900-006 Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff in 1-Inch Diameter https://a.co/d/dlhVRMw
     
  5. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Line Up and Wait

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    One of these would set the max run time to up to 100 minutes. Turn off and on to reset.

    Need to do more work to ensure suitability. This relay only switches a continuous load of about 100W. $70 from Mouser.com.

    https://www.littelfuse.com/products...lay-relays/interval/tsd7-interval-timers.aspx

    Operation (Interval)
    Upon application of input voltage, the output energizes and the time delay begins. The output remains energized throughout the time delay. At the end of the time delay, the output de-energizes and remains de-energized until power is removed.

    Reset: Removing input voltage resets the time delay and the output.

    TSD7424 120 V ac 1 - 100 m externally adjustable

    https://www.littelfuse.com/media?re...d5d-af8e-0c95755c9057&filename=tsd7-datasheet

    This is a Type 4 (last digit of p/n) so putting a 5M ohm resistor across the control terminals will give a 100min delay.

    # # # # #
    https://www.macromatic.com/support/...e between relays and,or after some time delay.

    "INTERVAL ON"
     
  6. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Quit with the negative waves, man.
    Agreed. But simpler solution would be to send Man Friday the bill for the water refill. Bet he doesn't do it again.
     
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  7. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    If you have a pump within a tank (a cistern is a tank), it -should- have a low level cutoff wired to it. A simple float switch will work. I'm guessing high level (overflow) protection is the cistern overflowing during heavy rains.

    The problem with installing a timer cutoff, is now you've hosed Responsible Robinson, just because Man Friday can't lay off the sauce.
     
  8. thesmug

    thesmug Pre-Flight

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    If you’re willing to do some DIY electronics I can explain how to build a system with a flow totalizer / flowmeter, controller, and shutoff valve. Those ones on Amazon are pretty unbelievably expensive.
     
  9. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    It is difficult to protect systems from livestock, corrosion, children, drunks, and members of the armed forces. Not necessarily in the order.
     
  10. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think I can unproudly claim to have been all five.
     
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  11. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Only additional advice -

    1) get agreement before you put it in. You’re changing someone else’s house, they might not appreciate it. Old people do not like learning new things.

    2) Put a large notice somewhere east to find if someone is investigating why water isn’t running, for example, by the main water cutoff. The notice should tell them there is a excessive flow cutoff system installed from the cistern and very clear instructions on how to reset or bypass the system.

    3) when installing, include isolation valves and a bypass for when it breaks. The first is so you can work on the system without draining the house back to you, the second is for someone else when you can’t.
     
  12. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    Oh man would my wife get ****ed when the water cutoff midway through her showers.
     
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  13. catmandu

    catmandu Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Alrighty then, thanks for all the ideas and discussion.

    If it were my house, I'd probably go with the inexpensive time delay relay. But, not my house, and not even a full time residence, so the Moen Flo Smart with remote monitoring looks like a good option.

    My Uncle is old but tech savvy, and likes monitoring things, so to speak (he gets a kick out of an app that gives real time driving delays, even though he rarely drives). Having multiple users available to monitor (like, me) is a plus.

    The current downside to selecting the Moen is the 3/4" version we need is supply chain restricted right now, it seems. I've got to hunt around a bit more to find one at MSRP at the most.

    I was talking about this whole water issue with a friend on the island who is full time, and our go to person to check things out when required. He had just had a hose bib on an out building blow off and would not have known except he happened to be in the garage (where his water pump is located) and got curious about the excess running. He wants me to get a Moen device for him as well (which will help add a little more local knowledge). Although, he does not like the price. I reminded him it is only half the cost of getting a truck of water delivered right now.

    Keeping Man Friday around is a bit of a philanthropy thing for my Uncle and his wife, and the poor guy had to ask me for ferry money when I was there, so he won't be paying for his misstep. But we had a whole Eddie Murphy as Ralph Kramden "You know, that I know" conversation in broken Spanglish, so maybe there will be some guilt and associated attention to detail, for a day or two, maybe? :dunno: