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Home: Water: Plumbing
Pipeless Plumbing   (+4, -7)  [vote for, against]
EM propelled water!

Water pipes are very wasteful as they use up important metals such as copper. If they are plastic, they destroy the whole world by using oil.

My suggestion is that water be propelled through the air via an electromagnetic field generated by a series of electrode coils.

This also makes taps (am: faucets) obsolete as you could easily fill a glass with water by allowing the rim to interrupt the stream.

Artistic routings are encouraged, as are descending sections which are in fact waterfalls that capture the water to propel it yet again at a lower altitude.
-- vincevincevince, Mar 26 2008

Although pipe-less piping is a noble goal, don't these "electrode coils" also use up important metals such as copper? And how do electromagnetic fields support non-magnetic water?
-- ldischler, Mar 26 2008

Water doesn't need to be magnetic to be propelled by a magnetic field - just to contain charge. I suspect 100% pure water might not work very well (but that's very far from what any house pumps).

EM Propulsion is well documented.
-- vincevincevince, Mar 26 2008

while potentially possibly technically feasible would not the energy requirement of such a system far exceed the carbon footprint of using plastic, rubber or metals?
-- jhomrighaus, Mar 26 2008

Should I restate the case on its artistic merits alone? Energy requirements may not be what you think - remember we don't need to wastefully have water sitting around in pipes going stagnant with this system - EM propulsion could easily deliver exactly 1.5l of water into your kettle.

You've also got much lower drag coefficients - you have a static surface on the side of a pipe, whilst with flight through air the water is able to reduce drag by setting the air around it in motion as well meaning that the column of water can have a much less extreme velocity variation.

Freezing is also an important consideration - pipes burst because water expands when it freezes and can't go anywhere. EM Propulsion doesn't burst.

In addition, you save on hiring a plumber, which will cost you more per hour than the electricity needed to power this system around a family house for a year.
-- vincevincevince, Mar 26 2008

Water is a pretty good insulator - how is the propulsion achieved?
What is an "electode coil" please?
-- coprocephalous, Mar 26 2008

Last I understood the EM suspension or propulsion you are referring(floating frogs) to required the application of extraordinarily powerful and dense magnetic fields. I would love to see any information you have to support your claim that the cost of a plumber would cover the electrical demands of this system for a year. I think you are off by several orders of magnitude here.
-- jhomrighaus, Mar 26 2008

Two reasons why this will not work.

1. No matter how efficient, you are not going to be able to levitate water using less energy than plastic pipes.

a) I don't think you have any idea how much water this would be for one city. The volume needed coming from the source to supply the city, alone would be phenomenal plus every house would need at least two or three streams, unless you expect people to drag the tub to the nearest artistic cascade to fill 'er up.

b) copper wire, albeit very small, does have a certain amount of resistance which would be turned into heat which would cost you energy which, if added up over a time period comparable to the servicable life span of a plastic pipe would, I'm sure, require more oil.

2. An entire city's water supply in the open air! All those airborne bacteria, dust, and other forms of contminants just floating along until they get sucked right up into your water supply. It would be more like a city-wide air purifier, whose filtering element the populus is forced to consume. Hey when it rained, it would add straight into the citys water supply too! (any of it that fell directly into the magnetic field, anyway) Plus, one city-wide blackout and you got yourself a little flood to boot.
-- MikeD, Mar 26 2008

Probably possible. Overcomplex and self-defeating. Beautiful to look at. Hideously expensive. Will involve lots of superconductors.

Why hasn't this collected a big pile of buns?
-- wagster, Mar 26 2008

Contminants would ruin the water, like MD said.

And what keeps the water from freezing? The lack of an insulator?

And, are you suggesting ALL pipes be cast away? If so, the water mains would have to be retrofitted....this idea sucks
-- evilpenguin, Mar 26 2008

random, halfbakery