First real-world problem detected!

A project log for Remote Water Consumption Display

Design and build a simple, inexpensive, and manufacturable remote indicator for the most common type of mechanical water meter in use today.

john-schuchJohn Schuch 09/30/2014 at 22:220 Comments

So, it was 2:30 pm and I was working at my desk, and on the bench to my left my water meter project was sitting there turned on. I've been doing multi-day testing on it. Then all of a sudden I notice that the water wheel display is spinning. I was the only one home and no water was running (toilet flushes in remote parts of the house have startled me a couple times). With no water flowing in the house my first thought was "Oh crap! Something's gone wrong with my project !" 

The first thing to check was the sensor so I went out to the street and took the cover off of the water meter box. Sure enough, the sensor LED was flashing away. Then I noticed ..... there actually was water flowing! The city water meter was clicking away. It took a few minutes to figure out ...

We live on a full acre lot, and WAY WAY out back we have a little vegetable garden. The garden has it's own little irrigation system and it's own timer. The timer is set to water everything first thing in the morning because watering in the afternoon or evening leaves everything damp over night and promotes rot and disease (or so a bunch of websites and books say). It seems that the storms we had this past Saturday that took out our phones and internet also scrambled the irrigation timer. I reprogrammed the timer, came back into the house, and the water wheel had indeed stopped.

Now, watering the garden at the wrong times isn't really a crisis level problem (though Lisa who's in charge of the tomatoes back there might disagree). But it is a problem. A failure. The thing is this project isn't even completed and it's detected its first real water related problem!

I'm just sitting here grinning.   :-)