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Automatic shower pump


Arducius
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I am trying to find a water flow switch to turn on a whale gulper pump when the water flows through the pipe to the shower, however I can only find flow switches rated for 1 amp or lower. As the gulper instructions state it should be fused at 5 amps I need the switch to handle the (potentially) higher load used by the pump.

 

Ideally I'd keep this setup as simple as possible, so a if a higher rated flow switch is available please let me know as I haven't been able to find anything!

 

Otherwise I was thinking I could use a relay to control the power to the pump, which would mean I could use the switch within its rated max current, however being unfamiliar with relays I have a couple of questions:

 

If I have a 12v +ve supply, run it through the switch, through the relay and back to the -ve then am I just creating the equivalent of a short circuit when the water starts flowing? Or is my relay the equivalent of an appliance in this case? It must "draw" some power.

 

Would something like this from Maplin in conjunction with one of the switches below do the job? Ohm's law tells me that this would draw 0.15 amps (a = 12v / 80 ohms), assuming I am not misunderstanding/missing something.

 

Switch 1

Switch 2

 

Whatever happens there will be another switch parallel with this setup to allow a manual override if we need to run the pump with the shower off.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Keep it simple

 

Switch the pump on when you get in the shower - switch it off when you get out

 

Every shower flow/float switch that I've ever come across ends up getting gunked up with slime, hair etc etc and needs constant entervention

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If you really want to be smart use something like this to extend the run time when you switch the shower off. You add it too the flowswitch with the "light" bit been the relay.



Every shower flow/float switch that I've ever come across ends up getting gunked up with slime, hair etc etc and needs constant entervention

 

You really need to empty and clean your tank if your getting slime, hair, etc,etc!


I am trying to find a water flow switch to turn on a whale gulper pump when the water flows through the pipe to the shower, however I can only find flow switches rated for 1 amp or lower. As the gulper instructions state it should be fused at 5 amps I need the switch to handle the (potentially) higher load used by the pump.

 

Those switches and relay's are fine (I would use the first switch as it looks easier to plumb). I'm doing something similar. I would have a pump switch that had Auto/Off/On so you can control.

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Keep it simple

 

Switch the pump on when you get in the shower - switch it off when you get out

 

Every shower flow/float switch that I've ever come across ends up getting gunked up with slime, hair etc etc and needs constant entervention

Hopefully there shouldn't be any hair etc coming from my water tank. This is going on the hot water feed to the shower, not the waste.

This way I have the ability to do exactly what you describe, but without the ability to forget to turn the pump on and flood the bathroom. I admit it makes the wiring more complex, but not vastly so.

 

 

If you really want to be smart use something like this to extend the run time when you switch the shower off. You add it too the flowswitch with the "light" bit been the relay.

...

 

Those switches and relay's are fine (I would use the first switch as it looks easier to plumb). I'm doing something similar. I would have a pump switch that had Auto/Off/On so you can control.

Those both sound like good suggestions. I will definitely use the time delay to keep the pump running a bit to allow it to clear the waste pipe. Do these just work using capacitors that discharge slowly after the power is cut?

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I've done exactly what you describe and it works fine, used a timer with relay to run the pump for 30 seconds after you switch the water off.

 

I did have to fit the flow switch on the shower outlet though, it caused problems on the hot water inlet as I have a thermostat mixer which stopped the flow every now and then

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Thanks for the suggestion but it doesn't state if it's suitable for 12VDC, only the wattage (120W). 5A at 12V would give me 60W, which is well within the rated max, but if it's 120W max at 240VAC then that would only be 0.5A (max), and that's a lot less than the pump could potentially draw, being fused at 5A.

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Those both sound like good suggestions. I will definitely use the time delay to keep the pump running a bit to allow it to clear the waste pipe. Do these just work using capacitors that discharge slowly after the power is cut?

 

Most I've seen do, not sure about the one I linked too. You can get timers that you can fully control, but these tend to cost more.

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Hopefully there shouldn't be any hair etc coming from my water tank. This is going on the hot water feed to the shower, not the waste.

This way I have the ability to do exactly what you describe, but without the ability to forget to turn the pump on and flood the bathroom. I admit it makes the wiring more complex, but not vastly so.

 

 

Those both sound like good suggestions. I will definitely use the time delay to keep the pump running a bit to allow it to clear the waste pipe. Do these just work using capacitors that discharge slowly after the power is cut?

 

Having re-read your post properly, I can see the error of my ways

 

The flow switch is on the input side not the output

 

blush.png

What am I missing? The domestic water pumps typically run at between 2 and 2.5 bar with some even higher. That's 30 to 37 PSI. Unless there is a plumbing problem why would you need another shower pump?

 

Careful Tony

 

You have fallen in to a sililar elephant trap that I did

 

The Gulper is pumping the shower out. It's just switched by what's flowing in

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What am I missing? The domestic water pumps typically run at between 2 and 2.5 bar with some even higher. That's 30 to 37 PSI. Unless there is a plumbing problem why would you need another shower pump?

 

Automatic Waste pump using a gulper and no box/float switch contraption.

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Ah, I see. I just say KISS but at least that idea is far better than the idiot sump boxes & bilge pump idea.

When I got Ocelot it had a stupid Rule pump and sump on the shower.

 

I persevered with it for a while but ditched it and fitted a gulper with a manual switch.

 

I rarely forget to switch it on now before showering. It's just something you get used to doing

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Whale now actually make a shower drain outlet with a sensor in it, I've fitted a couple, they came with a gulper pump but the sensor must be available as an accessory/spare part.

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We had a sump / float pump that inevitably flooded the bilge and now have a gulper with manual switch. However I have always meant to make it automatic and having seen the copper pipe flow switch, this seems a good way to do it. However I think it would be safer to put one in each of hot and cold pipes wired in parallel - that way cool showers on a hot summer's day, as well as hot showers when the water is barely warm enough, will both trigger the pump. Probably easier to install than the whale drain sensor since access under the shower is tricky, whereas the water pipes are easily accessibly inside the cupboard next to the shower.

 

I am lucky in having Empirbus so I can programme a run-on time after the flow sensors switch off without needing any more hardware, and the sensors will just be sending a very low current signal to the Empirbus node so no relays required.

 

Thanks for this thread which will hopefully prompt me to get on with it!

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Ah, I see. I just say KISS but at least that idea is far better than the idiot sump boxes & bilge pump idea.

 

I had a rule sump box and float switch and pump and hated it with a passion. I discovered if I had a good pressure shower it couldn't cope. It had been emptying the water into the floor cavity, so far 11 buckets full and so installed a whale gulper 220 with manual switch. It's great, and no more water to leak under the floor! as it used to be bone dry! Mine I wired with manual switch.

 

James

Edited by canals are us?
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  • 2 weeks later...

Update - 2 of those Rapid flow-switches installed in the hot and cold shower water feeds, wired in parallel to Empirbus node configured with 20 second off-delay, works a treat! Much better than what I was contemplating before which was some sort of waste water sensor.

 

Just a word about those switches, no only do they have to be installed vertically, but they can only be installed one way up and the flow must come up from underneath. Of course this is what I wanted to do anyway, but the limitation is not made clear in the instructions.

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Update - 2 of those Rapid flow-switches installed in the hot and cold shower water feeds, wired in parallel to Empirbus node configured with 20 second off-delay, works a treat! Much better than what I was contemplating before which was some sort of waste water sensor.

 

Just a word about those switches, no only do they have to be installed vertically, but they can only be installed one way up and the flow must come up from underneath. Of course this is what I wanted to do anyway, but the limitation is not made clear in the instructions.

How long after you shut the shower does the pump run for, is it just the 20 seconds, if so is that long enough to empty the shower tray?

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I've always assumed that running the pump dry was bad for it, apart from the noise it makes. Like everyone, I imagine, we turn the shower off to soap and only have the shower running to wet and rinse, so saving water. Using the shower that way means the pump, if left on, is running quite a bit with no water. Is that OK. At the moment my wife and I switch the pump on and off while the other is in the shower.

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I've always assumed that running the pump dry was bad for it, apart from the noise it makes. Like everyone, I imagine, we turn the shower off to soap and only have the shower running to wet and rinse, so saving water. Using the shower that way means the pump, if left on, is running quite a bit with no water. Is that OK. At the moment my wife and I switch the pump on and off while the other is in the shower.

depends what make/type of pump you have, some will happily run dry for quite some time.

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How long after you shut the shower does the pump run for, is it just the 20 seconds, if so is that long enough to empty the shower tray?

Yes, I started off with 30 seconds but that seemed far too long. Even 20 seconds is probably too long. I suppose it depends on the power of the drain pump vs the power of the water supply, but with ours the pump keeps up with the shower on full. The over-run is just to get rid of the drips! At a pinch, the shower could be turned back on for 1/2 second to give another 20 seconds but it doesn't seem necessary. The flow switches are very sensitive and come on instantly with just a trickle coming out of the shower.

I've always assumed that running the pump dry was bad for it, apart from the noise it makes. Like everyone, I imagine, we turn the shower off to soap and only have the shower running to wet and rinse, so saving water. Using the shower that way means the pump, if left on, is running quite a bit with no water. Is that OK. At the moment my wife and I switch the pump on and off while the other is in the shower.

Depends on the pump. Whale Gulpers are rubber diaphragm type and I don't think it makes any difference whether there is water going through or not. The manufacturer certainly claims they can be run dry. By contrast some impeller-type pumps don't like to run dry, but they are a bad idea for shower drain since they will get clogged with hair or need a filter that has to be cleaned regularly. Whereas the gulper just gulps the lot down and spews it out overboard. They are great!

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At the moment my wife and I switch the pump on and off while the other is in the shower.

 

Ah, then you're missing the delights of a shower whilst cruising, which also means your hot water is being replenished as you use it and you end your day with a full tank of hot water . As Nick says above, you're safe to leave a Gulper running whilst you soap up so, if your pump makes that gulping sound, enjoy your new found freedom!

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I've always assumed that running the pump dry was bad for it, apart from the noise it makes. Like everyone, I imagine, we turn the shower off to soap and only have the shower running to wet and rinse, so saving water. Using the shower that way means the pump, if left on, is running quite a bit with no water. Is that OK. At the moment my wife and I switch the pump on and off while the other is in the shower.

 

 

Whale Gulper shower waste pumps are designed to run dry indefinitely.

 

Most other types of water pump will knacker themselves run dry, other than bilge pumps. What sort of pump do you have?

 

MtB

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Update - 2 of those Rapid flow-switches installed in the hot and cold shower water feeds, wired in parallel to Empirbus node configured with 20 second off-delay, works a treat! Much better than what I was contemplating before which was some sort of waste water sensor.s

 

A better way would be to turn off after a few seconds, and then do another 5 seconds about 5 minutes later. This way you'll catch the water once it's it's all drained from the sides of the shower.

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