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Home: Shower: Regulation
YO!? I'm using the water [light].   (+3)  [vote for, against]
Low pressure "idiot lights" not just for cars...

In older houses like mine water pressure is not sufficient to do pressure critical things all at once. The chief example is when one person is showering: any other users will upset the balance in the hot and cold water. Scalding or chilling the person in the shower.

Now you could, I suppose, hook up some pressure increaser or any of the lovely antiscald devices, but that is asking for trouble, the pipes might not take it and there you are with cartoon-style spraying leaks all over the house and some 'splainin' to do to the spouse and the after-hours plumbers.

Instead you use the YO! light. A small pressure switch (like the oil pressure sender from my 1969 VW Bug but adjustable) is introduced into the system and when the pressure drops (as in when an appliance is using it or someone is in the shower) it sends a simple radio signal.

The receivers are sealed plastic rings with red LED's that go on when the pressure drops. Occasionally a yellow light comes on to say it needs to be recharged in the induction charger. But this is infrequent since the LED is a low power draw and there is no button or flashing etc.

How to use: You can either wear the plastic ring around your wrist (overkill but if you regularly scald your loved ones it is a small price to pay) or just drop the rings over the kitchen spout or any tap handles that might tempt one. Just put them wherever it would best be seen before turning the handle.

For instance: when at the kitchen tap you reach for the handle, see the red light and you think...

That's the back garden's timed sprinklers, no big deal, I can turn the handle.
That's the dishwasher, it is stupid and will run poorly with less water, I'll wait.
That's the Fembot, I'm not sure she's waterproof...
That's the brother-in-law, time to hit the toilet lever NOW.

The advantages as I see them are:
Minimal invasion to the plumbing system
No risk of overpressure for an old system
User can still override (for whatever reason)

-- DadManWalking, Jan 26 2004

Shower Adjustment Indicator Lights http://www.halfbake...0Indicator_20Lights
Similar idea. [kropotkin, Oct 05 2004]

<mildly off topic>My last house was high-pressure, low flow. This was caused by some fool do-it-yourselfer years ago having a problem with high pressure and thinking that running the entire house's water supply through a 1/2" line would fix it (and this 1/2" line had many turns and twists). The result was a house where you couldn't use more than one or two water appliances at a time, yet would still blow sprinklers apart.</mot>

Oh yeah, my point (I've been doing this a lot lately. Too much coffee?), these would have been highly appreciated at that house.
-- Worldgineer, Jan 26 2004

you could also have a little light in the shower that tells you when you the amount of hot water in your heater that is left (if you are showering). e.g. 3/4 full - 30 minutes of shower time at x degrees left. have a little screen thjat displays petinent info.
-- Space-Pope, Jan 26 2004

we need this in our house
-- benlevi7, Jan 26 2004

Great idea, but "YO" ?!?!?
-- spacecadet, Jan 26 2004

you're right [spacecadet] YO!? is much better.

I was going to call it HEY YOU JACKASS, I"M IN HERE TRYING TO TAKE A SHOWER FER CRISESAKE! but the all caps and the hey sounded too southern...
-- DadManWalking, Jan 27 2004

[adequate]'s Shower Adjustment Indicator Lights idea (see link left or above) is very similar to this, featuring a set of LEDs that show when other users are changing the amount of hot and cold water they are using.
-- kropotkin, Jan 27 2004

I saw [adequate]'s post and thought it near but different enough to warrant a post. I prefer mine for the prevention aspect (and the way there is still the opportunity for mischief)
-- DadManWalking, Jan 27 2004

While this would reduce the number of accidental scaldings, it may increase the number of intentional scaldings.
-- DonBirnam, Jan 27 2004

Yup, [DonB] I think you are right, it might just do that...
<evil laugh and hand washing motion>Brooooohahahahahahaha h! </evil laugh and hand washing motion>
-- DadManWalking, Jan 27 2004

<off topic> No matter how many times I click on this idea it simply refuses to turn red.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 27 2004

i think there are two possible reasons this topic will not turn red for 2 fries:

The webpage is under sufficient pressure when he loads it that there is little effect from his clicking on the over all web pressure in his IP address block.
something about using punctuation in the title?
-- DadManWalking, Jan 28 2004

random, halfbakery