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Controlling a shower pump

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by looxuser, Jul 12, 2016.

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  1. looxuser


    Dec 28, 2015
    Wonder if the forum had any ideas on controlling a show pump run time to save energy and water particularly when the kids use the shower for seemingly an eternity please?

    Here is the background and an idea i had.

    So the shower is driven from a booster pump, the pump senses a pressure drop and its own controller causes it to startup. It will only stop when the drop in pressure (the shower valve is closed) is removed and no pressure drop is then sensed.

    So my idea here was to fit a solenoid valve in the water supply line between the valve to the pump and have this electrically opened by a timer switch i have. press the switch and it gives you ten minutes before the solenoid is de-energised and closes the water line fooling the pump that there is no longer a pressure drop so it stops. Some considerations...

    The solenoid would have to be low voltage for safety (Yes, I have a 24v coil from a double insulated transformer which could be powered from the timer switch)
    The switch can be pressed again sadly to restart the timer (thought to locate it outside the bathroom to reduce chance of this happening, but it does not prevent it, really needs some dealy built in before it can energise the solenoid again)

    So that was my idea, but are there any simpler ones you can think of electronically i.e could i make a device which starts a timer on seeing current draw by the pump to switch it off after a preset time and stay off for a time, thereby negating any water based valves etc and switches?

    Thoughts welcome guys. Cheers
  2. Chemelec


    Jul 12, 2016
    How much of an On and Off Time do you think would be good?
  3. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    I don't see the need for the booster pump actually.
    As a quick note....I used to slip outside and turn off the water supply to the HWS ...cold water shock a couple of times cured the "kid-in-the-shower-too-long" problem.
    Gryd3 likes this.
  4. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    I've got my tank inside the house beside the washing machine.. really easy to turn the knob to the off position.
    If you really want a timer, you might as well just put it on the hot supply... what if they still have soap in their hair? At least this way the get to rinse it out and they learn a valuable lesson at the same time.
  5. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    Jun 21, 2012
    When I bought this house thirty-something years ago, the tiny gas-fired water heater failed shortly afterwards. Two replacements since then have been huge 50+ gallon tanks with the temperature turned up high enough to guarantee continuous hot shower water for almost an hour. That was necessary with four growing children (two girls and two boys) using it every day. There was usually even some hot water left over to do laundry and wash dishes. Now the kids are adults and there is just me and my wife. She can get in and out of a shower in ten minutes or less. Me, I like "Hollywood Showers" lasting at least thirty minutes. And no restrictors in the shower head to "conserve" water either! But I can appreciate your dilemma. Gotta teach those kids hot water costs money!

    Someone here has built a device for controlling a dust collection system in his woodworking shop. It elegantly senses the AC line current with an Allegro Hall-Effect current sensor when one or more power tools are activated and turns on a dust collector system with a relay output. When all the tools are turned off, the dust collector continues to run for a short while to clear the collection duct work, and then the dust collector turns off. Maybe you could use something like that to control your booster pump and a shut-off valve. More here at this thread. Cost to make this is probably less than fifty bucks but some programming is required. The output relay would control your water shut-off valve and the booster pump motor current would provide the signal to activate it. You could program it to delay starting up again until a fixed time delay has occurred since the previous operation. Some assembly or C is required. Might be worth a shot if you are willing to invest some time and effort building one.
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