I grew up in the country where our water was supplied by a well. Conservation was easy back then: if we used too much water, the well ran dry. These days my water comes from city. The water doesn't run out if I shower too long, but I still want to save water (and save money) when I can.
This project was a little easier than the power meter in terms of technical skills but it did require some basic plumbing know-how. The concept is simple enough: I installed a water meter on my home's incoming water line which flips a switch for each gallon of water traveling thought it. The switch creates electrical pulses that are are counted by an ioBridge module. The data is tracked by ioBridge.com using their free web based data logging service.
My plan was to do this over a weekend, but it only really took about an hour or two. I think I spent more time at the hardware store picking out the proper fittings and adapters than actually installing the stuff.
Hardware and Tools required:
DLJSJ75C Water Meter
IO-204 ioBridge Module
teflon plumbing tape
assorted plumbing fittings
2-conduction wire, about 20 ft.
PVC primer and cement
hacksaw (for cutting the pipe)
Step 1: Figuring Out Where to Put the Water Meter
Step 2: Figuring Out What Plumbing Fittings to Use
Step 3: Assembling the Water Meter Section
Step 4: Marking the Water Line for Cutting
Step 5: Cutting the Water Main
Step 6: Water Meter Installation
Step 7: Check for Leaks
Step 8: Running the Signal Wire
Step 9: Connection to IoBridge
If you aren't familiar with ioBridge, check out there website here. Basically, they sell a little box that allows you go control/monitor things from the internet.
Step 10: IoBridge Configuration
That's it, only 10 steps! Now when I log into my ioBridge account, I can view the past day, week or month of water usage down to the gallon in 15 minute windows. The plots are interactive and allow zooming, panning, etc. ioBridge also gives the option of downloading the data in a CSV file. This feature will come in handy when I need to import the data into Excel and do a little analysis.
And before someone asks... I don't plan on connecting my water meter to twitter. Although I'm sure there is already a Tweet-a-Liter in the works out there somewhere.