Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Shower Cost Minder

Hear your quarters drop down the drain.
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
(+11, -1)
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Simple device that hangs in your shower. You program in your water, sewer, and fuel rate and the flow rate of your shower head, then it sits around and listens. When its tiny microphone hears the shower running it starts counting. Every time you use $0.25 worth of water and heat it makes a quarter-falling-into-a- payphone noise.

The point, of course, is to try to keep those that spend a bit too long in the shower on task. I just ran the numbers and it costs $2 in my area for a 20 minute shower. Times the number of people in a house, once a day, that adds up quickly.

Math:

water: $3.94/ccf
sewer: $8.89/ccf

1 ccf = 748 gallons

water: $0.0053/gallon
sewer: $0.012/gallon

gas: $1.32/therm

1 therm = 100,000 Btu

energy to heat 1 gallon of water from 50F to 100F:
1 gallon = 8.35 lb
1 BTU = energy to heat one pound of water one degree (definition)
8.35 lb x 50 F / .75 (efficiency)= 557 Btu

gas: $0.0074/gallon

total cost: $0.0247/gallon
standard shower head: 4gpm (can be as high as 8gpm or as low as 1gpm)
cost for a minute of shower: $0.099
cost for a 20 minute shower: $1.98

Worldgineer, Aug 14 2009

V. Simlar http://www.nigelsec...ECO_Showerdrop.html
[Dub, Aug 16 2009]

Better description http://www.ecokettl...owerdrop/index.html
Yours is cooler in that it uses a mic, but the method for calibrating the device is described here [Dub, Aug 16 2009]

[link]






       One could use such a device to either provide water at a given flow rate with the variable being time, or provide water for a given time and adjust the flow rate to match.   

       Instead of a quarter falling it could provide the sound of a snail darter flopping on the hot sand, dying because you used up the water it needed. You did. That snail darter is looking at you. And just so you could wash your legs, which were still pretty clean and did not need it.
bungston, Aug 14 2009
  

       Poor poor snail darter. You bastards! Also, great idea.
daseva, Aug 14 2009
  

       It's amazing how many pennies "free" things use up. [+]
wagster, Aug 14 2009
  

       A variable sound effect is required, for those one minute showers that I take several times a day in the summer using only cold water - so a penny counter.   

       And I want a water-activated animated snail darter that actually flops around my feet.
normzone, Aug 14 2009
  

       The snail darter animation would freak guests out tho.. Next thing you know you got someone over who needs to take a shower and bam! They're freaking out and running around the house all nake....   

       Good idea, that.
daseva, Aug 14 2009
  
      
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