home improvement turns into science fair projects?

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JR.
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:36 am

Early results on the 1000mAh nicads suggest even 1000mAh is not enough extra capacity to carry through multiple days with low/little sunshine, and the 2x solar cell area is not enough to charge in low light while it does alter the on/off light threshold as expected.

The 1000mAh is enough to easily rock all night with normal sunshine. :lol:

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:26 pm

Since I repaired my sump pump (leaking discharge hose) I am once again thinking about microprocessor control.... It seems like that is the only hammer in my tool box these days. :roll: Thinking about this only a little more, I do not need full cybernetic control... an automatic cut off when it is finished pulling water would be good enough, I can turn it on again as needed.

The gutters were supposed to make the sump pump unnecessary and it was for a while but the gutters got clogged with leaves this fall and overflowed (also fixed now, I hope).

My new strategy (mental exercise) is sensing the sump pump current draw. My ASSumption is that current draw will drop off enough to detect the difference after it runs out of water and pulls air. The pump is rated for circa 4A so next step is to measure current draw for both cases.

I should be able to latch on a triac switch with the voltage drop from a series resistance but ideally I won't have to waste that much power. I am going to soak this in beer for several more days, months, years. :lol:

JR

PS: I know the popular strategy is float or moisture detection switches.

[update- I found a 1A to 1ma current transformer, I can probably use this to drive an opto triac I think I have laying around from earlier designs./update]
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billshurv
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by billshurv » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:57 pm

I would have thought the float switch method would be a lot easier to do. Unless of course some of this is just for giggles to do it differently?

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JR.
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:41 pm

The sump pump is a relatively tight fit inside a old galvanized steel bucket buried under my house. Not enough room for a float inside the bucket with the sump pump.

Yes this is partially mental masturbation... I am quickly losing interest now that I solved how to do it in the big picture...

I did look at free standing float switches ($12), but I'm not very interested.

BTW I have managed this manually for several decades... not that hard.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by terkio » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:55 pm

I see an interesting point. Sensing the pump's motor current, nothing directly involved with water is a very safe solution.

Water together with mains power can be a safety hazard.

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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:29 am

terkio wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:55 pm
I see an interesting point. Sensing the pump's motor current, nothing directly involved with water is a very safe solution.

Water together with mains power can be a safety hazard.
The simple current sensing can be used for automatic turn off but a commercial product wants auto turn on too. Micro control could turn on randomly and sample current but this is not very green during long dry spells.

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by mediatechnology » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:37 am

Use a WIfi-based moisture detector and a Wifi-based pump controller.

Amazon has the flood detectors - I think a basic On/Off function under Wifi ought to be available on Amazon or eBay.
The flood detectors are battery-operated.
Are there Wifi to X-10 bridges?

Velleman may also have something useful.
They have an Ethernet to relay interface I was thinking of using just yesterday.
https://ka-electronics.com

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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:16 am

I am already losing interest in this project (again). My long term plan still is to keep the rain water out in the first place.

In recent weeks I have successfully unclogged my gutters (pine straw and wet leaves) and installed gutter guards (covers) so they should not clog again.

I have plastic drain pipes routing water from the down spots further away from my house. Originally I used solid drain pipe but upgraded to slitted pipe when there was standing water accumulating in the drain pipes... I have converted back to solid drain pipes to effectively get the roof rain water runoff a minimum of 15-25' away from the house.

I am still pumping out water that accumulated under my house from before my sump pump discharge hose failed and my gutters were clogged and overflowing. The typical pattern is that it can take several days to finally get all the water out after it stops raining because more water slowly seeps in from the surrounding ground water.

Yesterday the sump pump ran about 20 minutes, this morning it ran only 10 minutes (despite another 1" of new rain overnight). I am optimistic that I may keep it dry after getting it dry this time with my recent gutter improvements.

If I only have to manage the sump pump manually for the occasional extreme storm, I can keep doing what I have been doing for decades.

JR

PS: My silt trap buckets look like they are working to keep silt out of my major buried drain pipe. I am very tempted to use my left over slitted drain pipes to help move water out of my mid-to-back rain ditch. The slow draining rain ditch causes the ground in the immediate vicinity of the ditch to trap and hold water, causing swampy muddy conditions that wreak havoc with my lawnmower's fat tires, making it too easy to slide into the ditch. The slitted drain pipes buried into the bottom of the rain ditch will help move ground water out of the area. I am draining the swamp literally. :lol:
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by terkio » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:54 am

JR. wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:16 am
The typical pattern is that it can take several days to finally get all the water out after it stops raining because more water slowly seeps in from the surrounding ground water.

The slitted drain pipes buried into the bottom of the rain ditch will help move ground water out of the area. I am draining the swamp literally. :lol:
I think you need a major re design of the drain system.
Surrounding ground should drain outward.

We have installed a drain pipe to intercept water from heavy rains that occasionally got into a garage.
Trench about 1' deep, 1" pipe with holes, extended with a plain pipe to a lower ground. Trench filled with gravel. Works like wonder, delivering high flow. No standing water in front of the garage.
That was a hell of work, because of very hard ground.

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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:40 pm

terkio wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:54 am
JR. wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:16 am
The typical pattern is that it can take several days to finally get all the water out after it stops raining because more water slowly seeps in from the surrounding ground water.

The slitted drain pipes buried into the bottom of the rain ditch will help move ground water out of the area. I am draining the swamp literally. :lol:
I think you need a major re design of the drain system.
I have been making improvements for over a decade.

Surrounding ground should drain outward.
for a rain ditch to collect water it needs to be sloped so water drains into it. The next hard part is getting the collected water to flow out of the ditch system and away downstream.
We have installed a drain pipe to intercept water from heavy rains that occasionally got into a garage.
Trench about 1' deep, 1" pipe with holes, extended with a plain pipe to a lower ground. Trench filled with gravel. Works like wonder, delivering high flow. No standing water in front of the garage.
That was a hell of work, because of very hard ground.
I have been writing about my rainwater management issues for years... Longest buried drain is over 100' long... I also dug a shorter one (maybe 50') for a french drain I put in my front yard to move standing water into the ditch... That one was biotch because I had to dig a trench for the drain between two old pecans trees that had serious roots. The long ditch was not a cake walk, and the first buried 4" drain pipe filled up with silt, so I replaced it with a 6" drain pipe.

I now have one of my two front downspouts draining directly into the front french drain, so at least that roof water runoff is going directly into front rain ditch and away.

JR

[edit BTW flash flood warning today /edit]
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

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