Instructables

Welcome! For our Environmental Capstone class (senior thesis) for St. Olaf College we built a monitor that would effectively monitor how much water a shower uses. The idea behind this water monitor is that if you attach a piezo transducer (small microphone) to a shower pipe, you can calibrate the average of the vibrations while the shower is turned on, and from there you can see how much water you're using for that shower. For our project we made four different monitors using the same process. This instructable is written as if you were to make a single water monitor.

Here is all the equipment used for this project. These materials are to make one water monitor:

- One Pelican 1010 case
- One Arduino micro
- One Protoboard (comes in packs of 2)
- One LCD display
- One 9V battery
- One 9V Snap Connector
- Soldering equipment
- JB Weld SteelStik Epoxy
- One small piezo transducer
- Straided wire
- Heat shrink tubing
- Arduino software installed on your computer
- One trim potentiometer (similar to this one)
- Three 4.7 KOhm resistors
- One MOhm resistor
- One 1K resistor
- One opamp (411)
- Access to a drill press/handheld drill
- Silicone sealant
- Leather hole punch
- Shower piping

- cable ties


For most of our equipment, we visited our local RadioShack, Menards, and sparkfun.com. Otherwise we we able to access things from our college's electronics lab.

EDIT: Our final product was enhanced with two 9 volt batteries instead of just one, so that the monitor would run longer. These changes were soldered on to the Arduino.

 
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nataku5 months ago

so what is the operating principles used?
It will be better if you mentioned in the beginning for example that this is measuring the amount of watermused base on flow per seconds or based on just listening to the sound of running water?

singingshark (author)  nataku4 months ago

To simplify it, this water monitor uses the piezo to pick up certain vibrations in the shower piping (the vibrations rise above the threshold when the shower is on). The data obtained from the piezo is averaged by the Arduino and fed into the display; which shows how much water is being used when the shower is on. Does this make sense? My apologies for replying to your comment so late. I just graduated, and have since been out sick.

As a Maker I love your project. As a Gustavus Adolpus College grad I shake my fist in the air why yelling "Curse you St. Olaf College!"

singingshark (author)  JoshuaZimmerman4 months ago

Thank you! Haha, well I'm sure that Gustavus produces many interesting and intelligent projects and designs as well :)