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aslam abbas | blogger | thinker | observer

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03 Jun 2016
Fan-Knob inspired Water-Tap

Prerequisites

Knowledge of using a faucet (American) , commonly known as a water tap (British) and also known as a spigot (French, I think), at least once in your life.

Audience

  • Someone who is serious about the conservation of water
  • Someone who can take this awesome idea to the next step

Introduction

Basically, a water tap is a tool used by people all around the world to control the flow of water. Earliest plumbing systems started to appear from around 1700 B.C. Most of the faucets and valves we see today were designed in the 1930-1960 period. Not much has changed in their design from then.

See the working of a traditional kitchen tap as shown by Ultimate Handyman.

Conservation Measures

Notably, two designs have been introduced to control the flow of water. One is the use of an aerator. It has been shown to reduce consumption by nearly 30 percent. Aerator also softens the water flow, which is also a downside. Many a time in the day, there arises a need for water to come out with its full pressure. This is not possible with the aerator.

The other, more famous and luxurious option is the use of sensor faucets. Such faucets are not an option for the common public and only finds it application in the washbasin.

Some Stats

The maximum flow rate for a Lavatory/kitchen faucet is 2.2 gallons per minute (8.3 L/min)

Source of info: eCFR- Code of Federal Regulations (USA)

Faucets fitted with aerators have brought down the flow to 1.5,1.2,1.0 or 0.5 gallons per minute

Source of info: home-water-works

There is no scientific definition of the volume of a faucet drip, but after measuring a number of kitchen and bathroom sink faucets, the volume seems to be between 1/5th and 1/3rd of a milliliter (mL). Drips from bathroom tubs come in a bit more, though, at about 1/2 mL. So, we are going to use 1/4 mL as the volume of a kitchen faucet drip. So, by these drip estimates:

  • One gallon: 15,140 drips
  • One liter: 4,000 drips

Source of info: USGS Water Science School

Also, see Typical water usage

Fan-based Knob for Faucet

Coming to the most important point of the post. We are all familiar with the fan knob.

Fan-Knob
Photo Credit

We set the knob to a higher number for more fan-speed. A very classic approach. Why not apply the same approach for a faucet? Something like below:

fan-based knob for faucet

Some of you readers may have already figured out the benefits of this approach. For those who haven’t, please read on. The faucet knob works like a screw. You loosen it up to allow the water to come out. The more you loosen it, the more water will flow. There is no friction in between. One more important point to note is that, in the state where the faucet is open (water is flowing out), a lot of water gets wasted without being utilised. This is because it is a mundane task to open and close the faucet every now and then.

Now imagine having a fan-based knob for the faucet. If you want to simply wash away some dirt in your hands, you set the knob to “1”. If you want more water, you set the knob to “2”. All you do is apply more pressure. For water to flow at its full potential, you set it to “3”. Here we have added some friction. In a normal scenario, we operate the faucet from “0” (closed) to “3”. And in this state of being open, more water is wasted. Having these additional states in between means we can control the amount of water that flows out unutilized.

The fan-based knob is also a daily reminder to the people on the importance of regulation of water and it’s preservation. I hope you understand, how much difference this approach can bring in.

What Next

I am not a designer. I tried to come up with sketches for the faucet, but I failed. I am still thinking. I did a lot of searching online and emailed many of the leading sanitary wares in the country to see if such a faucet has been already implemented. Sadly, I not able to find anything similar. Nor did I get any reply from any of the companies for my email.

A proper study has to be done, to see how much water can be saved by this approach. I firmly believe that this is a simple idea that can save a lot of water. It will stand out as a reminder that water is a precious resource and should be used with care. I am hopeful that one day, someone would think along the same lines I did. Who knows, maybe it is you!


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aslam abbas

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