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Thread: Genius in Technology needed - million pound project

  1. #1 Genius in Technology needed - million pound project 
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    I have had an idea of a device that will save householders hundreds if not thousands of pounds in damages resulting from house hold floods caused by defective/worn washers.

    Need a genius to design 100% unique product that can then become as popular as the plastic tip on the end of a shoelace.


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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Perhaps a pressure pump and sensor. Pump some air into the washing chamber and see if the pressure drops by more than a certain amount in a certain time. If it does, no water gets pumped into the chamber. Did you have something similar happen to you recently?


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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Perhaps a pressure pump and sensor. Pump some air into the washing chamber and see if the pressure drops by more than a certain amount in a certain time. If it does, no water gets pumped into the chamber. Did you have something similar happen to you recently?
    I was thinking more along the lines of some type of smart washer (a 'washer' is a small polo shaped rubber ring, not washing machine) with a chip in it that can send an alarm when it is worn.

    I had two floods recently, toilet leak and central heating boiler.

    Toilet leak did a lot of damage.

    Both causes was a 2p washer that had worn.
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    I was thinking more along the lines of some type of smart washer (a 'washer' is a small polo shaped rubber ring, not washing machine) with a chip in it that can send an alarm when it is worn.
    Lol, ok. Maybe then a combination of colored washers that turn black after a certain period and if in the future we all can afford smart houses, it's AI could warn you of impending replacements/disaster or could even go sofar as to turn off the water supply. Oh, that just gave me another idea. Maybe a timer-valve could be installed in the water supply to your toilet or whatever that swithches off when it runs for longer than should be reasonable? You should also be able to switch it off when not in use for appliences that do not have a specific time for water intake. I assume the boiler should have a constant pressure. so if it drop due to a leak, a sensor-valve could cut off the water supply. The pressure should be proportionate to the heat in the pipes, so the temp control and valve could be one unit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I was thinking more along the lines of some type of smart washer (a 'washer' is a small polo shaped rubber ring, not washing machine) with a chip in it that can send an alarm when it is worn.
    Lol, ok. Maybe then a combination of colored washers that turn black after a certain period and if in the future we all can afford smart houses, it's AI could warn you of impending replacements/disaster or could even go sofar as to turn off the water supply. Oh, that just gave me another idea. Maybe a timer-valve could be installed in the water supply to your toilet or whatever that swithches off when it runs for longer than should be reasonable? You should also be able to switch it off when not in use for appliences that do not have a specific time for water intake. I assume the boiler should have a constant pressure. so if it drop due to a leak, a sensor-valve could cut off the water supply. The pressure should be proportionate to the heat in the pipes, so the temp control and valve could be one unit.
    This all sounds very good.
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    sounds
    Yes I know. Maybe you could take out a patent on the concept and then sell it to a large corporation, let them design and make it. :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    sounds
    Yes I know. Maybe you could take out a patent on the concept and then sell it to a large corporation, let them design and make it. :-D
    can't patent ideas unfortuntely

    Only way to do this would be to make a device that could not easily be replicated, so complex, efficient yet not worth while trying to duplicate and yet make suifficiently different so as not to breach a patent.

    Meanwhile since posting this I did read about the guage on wtaer meter and how that can be sued to indicate a leak somewhere and details then on how to track down the source of a leak. But my epxerience of washers is that they don't drip a tad without causing harm, they just one day 'go' completely.

    I suppose what is required ultimately is a washer that does not rot!!!Eurika
    A washer that does not 'go' that lasts a lifetime, until eternity. It needs to be able to form a water proof seal and yet never wear thin or decompose/degrade, be resiliant to the effects of lime scale.
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    Maybe a silicone(instead of rubber) based product? I'm sure they should be available somewhere? I know you can buy silicone based windshield wipers that are supposed to last a lifetime.
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    yep they do seem to have silicone washers, not sure how widely available they are. The washer market is huge, they are made of all sorts. Must be
    reason why silicone not widely used??
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    Well I'd guess those SOBs would make more money from a product that needs constant replacement. I am sure that companies think about this kind of stuff when introducing their product to the market. They have to find a ballance between quality and sustainability. :?
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    It probably wouldn't be too hard to make a mat with some conductive fibers woven in, and when it gets wet it completes a circuit to set off an alarm. You could put the mat underneath a potential drip site.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    It probably wouldn't be too hard to make a mat with some conductive fibers woven in, and when it gets wet it completes a circuit to set off an alarm. You could put the mat underneath a potential drip site.
    Good idea :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    It probably wouldn't be too hard to make a mat with some conductive fibers woven in, and when it gets wet it completes a circuit to set off an alarm. You could put the mat underneath a potential drip site.
    good idea for certain appliances but not those where underneath is generally filled with water anyway like my loo cistern. I think the problem is when it gets wet in first place it's on it's way to being major problem.

    I am thinking as kalster says there is no profit in lifetime washers
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  15. #14  
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    Yeah nice thought, now hear this!

    You can easily switch on/off the mains water supply that is not a problem, you can monitor the floors again fairly easily, but remermber as well as the water coming in(mains) , there is the water stored in the house, maybye 5-15 gallons in the radiator system (and feed tank) maybe 50 gallons in the hot water tank, perhaps another 50 in the cold feed tank.

    So with the best protection you could even then be faced with maybe 100 gallons of water. People will claim for whatever this even touches, one drop of water on a carpet...

    The best way would be to live on high ground and use a well at the foot of the garden!


    Erm one thing on loo systems, it is not unusual for them to get damp, in the winter with your heating turned up, you flush the loo which then refills with cold water, this allows condensation to form readilt on the systern, if you have a radiator in there you could try turning it down or using de-humidifiers to keep the possibility of condensation and damp to a minimum.

    Remember that air can hold substantial amounts of water, and the higher the temperature the more water it can 'hold' thus when hot, water laden air cools close to a surface it can no longer support such a high degree of moisture which then condenses onto a surface. (look up dew point on wiki). THis is the very reason your fridge/freezer need de-frosting, the air is so cold it cannot hold any vapour (the air in your freezer will be dry air).
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    why not get a washer with a sensor in it like a shoe that tells u when the sole is worn down far enought like th metal rod scrapes on the road when the rubber gets thin enough but with a electrical recepter on the other place where the pice of metal in the rubber would touch when the rubber is worn down


    esentialy not changing the washer but putting a tiny metal band in it that when gets worn down enought touches or reacts with the reciever that makes contact with the metal when the washer gets worn enough and then lets off a alarm type thingy.

    if that makes sence kinda like the light in the fridge the door stops making contackt with the switch and the light comes on the door makes contack with the switch and the light comes on.
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  17. #16  
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    Electronics won't work.

    For one, the valve seat & valve body are electrically bonded brass (usually brass), mated to fit snugly with the (same alloy) stem, that holds the washer. Then it's lubricated by somewhat conductive water. How to isolate voltage between these parts?! Nonconductive metals won't do, because we need nobles that don't corrode or poison water, and plastics are just too flimsy. Besides, the washer must turn, so how to practically bond a conductor to a turning part?

    Another reason, if you put voltage in there you get galvanic corrosion. Over years a little goes a long way, even very slightly different alloys will react.


    Much washer wear is caused by mechanical abrasion. This includes the wear from rough valve seats, especially chrome plated ones that have chipped. Use a seat dressing tool to smooth that down, or replace the seat. Another source of abrasion is metal fragments and even stray washer screws floating in the system. These don't pass restrictions at valves, sink aerators, showerheads, etc. so they just travel around in the plumbing getting snarled occasionally under rubber washers. The solution is preventative: don't let plumbing work drop fragments into the pipes, and occasionally remove fixture screens to flush the lines clear.

    Rubber is tougher than silicone. Why we don't wear silicone boots. Imagine little flakes of metal and glass from teh corroding boiler lining.

    Theoryofrelativity, I'm skeptical those floods owed to defective washers. The toilet does not employ anything like a normal washer, and even if that did fail you'd have the tank overflow tube carrying off the surplus water. Perhaps you had a tank-to-bowl gasket leak? Or the toilet supply shutoff leaked? In that case it wouldn't be the washer leaking either, since the washer is normally open! The boiler, I dunno... what part of a boiler has a washer connected to air? Besides the draincock, which you never use? Maybe your plumber just gave the dumbed-down report.
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