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Old 06-12-2018, 19:36   #1
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Water Usage

Now I know this would be a very expensive and most likely impractical option, but I am one of those that likes to geek out on tracking everything possible and am curious about how this would work.


I know they make gauges that monitor fuel consumption FloScan Instrument Co. Inc. but what about a similar gauge that monitors water consumption? Would these gauges be able to effectively monitor water consumption if installed on a water line instead of a fuel line?

I know there will be a lot of arguments for and against the necessity of a system like this, that would be able to do such a thing. I am not really interested in people's opinion of the practicality of it, but more the feasibility of it.

Is this something that can be done or is the market interest in it so small that it couldn't really be done effectively?
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Old 06-12-2018, 19:51   #2
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Re: Water Usage

Why use a fuel flow sensor when you can just use an off the shelf water meter, whether mechanical or digital. Municipal governments have been accurately monitoring, metering and charging people for years.
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Old 06-12-2018, 20:00   #3
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Re: Water Usage

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Why use a fuel flow sensor when you can just use an off the shelf water meter, whether mechanical or digital. Municipal governments have been accurately monitoring, metering and charging people for years.
Sounds great. Do you have a meter or link in mind that you could share?
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Old 06-12-2018, 21:25   #4
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Re: Water Usage

I worked in Industrial Instrumentation and there are many different technologies to measure liquid flow in a line.

You can display the rate of flow, totalize it and control it if you want, quite easily.

Just not sure why you would want to.
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Old 06-12-2018, 22:32   #5
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Re: Water Usage

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Sounds great. Do you have a meter or link in mind that you could share?
Google search digital water meter.it will probably auto fill something for you. $100 to $1000.
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Old 06-12-2018, 23:01   #6
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Re: Water Usage

I searched online for a water meter, to tell me the flow rate of my desalination output.
After being offered many varieties of industrial meters (most often for hundreds and thousands dollars) , I was happily surprised to find that a simple plastic Gardena digital domestic water hose meter would do the perfect job, and for only about $30!

And it can tell me flow rate (litres or gallons), daily total and annual or total total.

After trying to connect it in line with various BSP adaptors (which leaked), I found the simplest and most reliable way is to connect it using normal garden hose connectors!
Who'da thunk....!
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Old 07-12-2018, 00:57   #7
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Re: Water Usage

As others have already said, there are many dozens, if not hundreds, of water flow meters available on the market. I use a digital flow meter that measures water usage to the gallon. Can be had in litre measure as well.

I use a simple garden hose flow meter on my intake hose to measure how much water we take on. But more importantly, I use a better quality flow meter to measure how much water we use from the fresh water tank.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:02   #8
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Re: Water Usage

Why do you want to install a meter? Just look at the tank level/gauge today, and check it again five days from now. Divide the gallon (liter, whatever) change by five, and that is your daily water consumption.

BTW, we (two of us) consume 10 gallons of water per day while cruising. Showers, washing dishes, drinking. We have a watermaker, so are not as frugale as some. (Nor do I want to compete for least consumption award!)
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:21   #9
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Re: Water Usage

Quite simple to do with an arduino and generic water flow sensor if you know a thing or 2 about electronics and coding.

This would get you started at the most basic level:

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Use-Water-Flow-Sensor-Arduino-Tutorial/
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:13   #10
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Re: Water Usage

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Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
Why do you want to install a meter? Just look at the tank level/gauge today, and check it again five days from now. Divide the gallon (liter, whatever) change by five, and that is your daily water consumption.

BTW, we (two of us) consume 10 gallons of water per day while cruising. Showers, washing dishes, drinking. We have a watermaker, so are not as frugale as some. (Nor do I want to compete for least consumption award!)
The reason I installed a flow meter was exactly because we had no tank level gauge.

Here is the flow meter I installed last season.



Like I said, there are dozens of similar meters, ranging from the very cheap garden hose type, all the way to very precise (and expensive). This one is a modest priced version.

I never really knew how much water we used. Now I know: ~ 4 litres (1 US gallon) per person, per day is our usage when we are full time aboard, anchored out. We can use salt water for basic cleaning and other miscellaneous needs. We also shower with rainwater. When we canít use salt water or rain water our usage just about doubles.
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