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What's the deal with plumbing

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Carl Smith, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. Carl Smith

    Carl Smith Guest

    So this morning, as someone decided that it would be a good idea
    to run the dishwasher at the same time I wanted to take a
    shower, the following thought hit me:

    What's the deal with plumbing? It's like a circuit board with a
    power supply that has no line or load regulation, no filter
    capacitors, traces too small to handle the necessary current,
    and no bypass capacitors.
     
  2. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    It's not quite as bad as you're saying... back at the pumping station, there's
    certainly regulation, and there is a tiny amount of filtering (those water
    hammer prevention tubes). I'd say it'd more like a board that has long leads
    (inductance) going back to a reasonably good, regulated power supply... but no
    point-of-load regulation (other than by you turning valves!). As for traces
    too small to handle the current... this is often a historical problem, where
    systems designed for small communities end up being overloaded when the
    population explodes, or when the pipes become gummed up throughout your house
    or start springing leaks. (There are cities where for every gallon put into
    the system, a shocking small fraction comes out -- like 1/2! -- the rest being
    lost to leakage.)

    I believe there are plenty of fancy devices for plumbing to keep everything
    kopesetic under varying conditions, but of course these devices cost money,
    and in some cases are difficult to implement without control electronics as
    well (and historically it seems that plumbers and electricians don't always
    talk to each other than much!). It does seem that developed countries outside
    the U.S. have slightly more sophisticated plumbing... some have incoming "high
    pressure" lines that are used for things like washing machines, dishwashers,
    sprinklers, etc., but then split off a regulated lower pressure line for
    faucets; you have to be careful to buy the right faucet in stores, as many
    can't be used directly off the high pressure line. Someone from overseas can
    clue me in more here...
     
  3. Keith

    Keith Guest

    You can buy regulators (proportional control valves).
     
  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Joel,

    It's more on a local level in most cases. Lines into houses are puny in
    the US, 1/2" or 3/4". So what Carl is seeing is that the advent of
    modern appliances such as dishwashers did not come with a subsequent
    upsizing of the pipes ("traces"). In the old days you poured water into
    a kettle, heated it up and dumped it into a bathtub. Dishes were washed
    in the sink, often the same location where that kettle was being filled.

    Other countries do have better plumbing. I have lived in Europe and was
    used to nary any pressure drops because the main line was 1" or more. We
    could use toilets without tanks, something that is next to impossible in
    the average US residence. This also meant no spills. We had a tank
    quietly break a couple years ago while nobody was in the house. What a mess.

    After moving to the US I was pretty amazed about the yard sprinkler
    systems. Until the day when I took a shower and the first backyard
    circuit came on. Then I looked at the tiny main line coming in and was
    surprised. Bought a pressure gauge and voila: A drop from 50psi+ to
    under 20psi when the sprinklers came on. Bought some more plumbing, a
    bigger timer and split the circuit so it's better now.

    Regards, Joerg
     
  5. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    And wires that self-oscillate.

    John
     
  6. Carl Smith

    Carl Smith Guest

    Yes, I was thinking more of the plumbing in my house than the
    city water distribution system.
     
  7. What do you do if the pressure is already too low?
     
  8. Richard Henry wrote:
    When I called the city for that problem, they came out and measure the
    pressure at the street at 100 psi. They measured it in the backyard and
    found 85 psi and they wondered why. HEY GUYS, the house is up a
    hill... The pressure was even lower on the second floor. duh. Later the
    street regulator went bad and started oscillating. Pipes rattling is
    not a happy sound. They were reluctant to fix that as well though they
    finally sorted it out.

    GG
     
  9. Genome

    Genome Guest

    It's like Hi-Fi.....

    You should install a separate spur from the main inlet to your shower.

    DNA
     
  10. You fork out for a booster pump. Turn your shower into a pressure
    washer.


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Carl,

    Upgrading that would be expensive. Also, I have heard that the base
    charge from the water works is higher if you want a larger size main
    into the house. Never understood why though.

    Regards, Joerg
     
  12. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Part of it is the meter size.

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  13. Really nasty ground loops, maybe?


    martin
     
  14. Maybe they figure the cost of the water mains is determined by the
    potential peak usage.


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  15. Genome

    Genome Guest

    Too bloody right!

    Have to upgrade the shower drainage as well or at least remove the pubic
    hair body grease soap scum white slimy stuff from the plug hole.

    DNA
     
  16. Spanish Bogs.... Still got a limit of 4 sheets of toilet paper per
    flush, and my house is less than 2 years old grrr........


    martin
     
  17. Genome

    Genome Guest

    Bloody Catholics.

    You should become a Muslim, they have combined shower/bog/bidet systems as a
    pre-requisite of their religion.

    God makes us suffer whilst Allah plays cool dude.

    DNA
     
  18. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Do the drains clog if you use more ?

    Graham
     
  19. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Actually, I have seen bypass capacitors, or bypass capacitor analogues.
    Maybe "decoupling" would be better - it's a vertical stub of pipe in the
    wall just behind the valve. The stub is normally full of air, which
    gets compressed as it tries to fill with water. Does wonders for
    "water hammer".

    Cheers!
    Rich
     
  20. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Or to the watering of lawns. ;-)

    Cheers!
    Rich
     
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