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#189951 - 10/30/09 06:14 PM Under Water - Again!
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Today's adventure started with a splash ... and maybe someone out there has a solution!

The problem? Blowing leaves anf pouring rain conspire together, to block the drain at the bottom of a below-grade stairwell. The backed-up water in turn flows through a finished basement on it's way to the sump ... thoroughly soaking the carpet, the padding, the baseboards, and the lower 4" or so of sheetrock and insulation.

This may not sound like much, but add to it the fears of mold / mildew, and you're talking a pretty expensive clean-up and repair.

Not to mention the inconvenience ... for the next several days, this basement will be home to 16 fans and three huge dehumidifiers. Then along will come the contractor to patch the drain/ vent holes (added today), replace the bad dryawll, re-instal the carpet, and replace the baseboards.

So ... I'm asking the vast ECN membership .... is there any way to set an alarm for this condition, to notify the homeowner there's a problem before they're wading in it?

I would envision some type of floormat that could be place on the floor, that would respond to moisture. Maybe something commercial exists ... or, how would you make such a thing?

This enquiring mind wants to know.

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#189953 - 10/30/09 06:33 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: renosteinke]
junkcollector Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Central MN
Hey Reno,

I'm pretty sure I've such a thing. Search the internet "flood sensor." It is basically a little alarm with a small cord running to a sensor mounted near the floor. The "sensor" consists of 2 metal prods that are in contact with the floor. When water flows between the two prods the alarm goes off. Not sure if it works or not. I remember seeing it on "Ask This Old House." I think it's pretty inexpensive too, when you compare it to remodeling a basement.


Edited by junkcollector (10/30/09 06:34 PM)

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#189954 - 10/30/09 06:37 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: junkcollector]
Jim M Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/01
Posts: 453
Loc: Chestertown, MD, USA
Depending on the height of the threshold what about a float switch that closes when the water rises? Set it so it alarms before the water starts to roll in so it gives someone time to clear the drain.

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#189955 - 10/30/09 06:38 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: junkcollector]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Thanks, junk ... and you're right, these repairs get expensive in a hurry.

Which leads to another issue .... the house where this happened had something similar happen once before. Covered that time by insurance, you would think that the insurance company would have retro-fitted this into the last repair. It sure would beat paying another claim!

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#189956 - 10/30/09 07:14 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: renosteinke]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
There are sensors that are nothing but probes, that, when covered with water complete a very high impedance circuit and ring the bell. You can do it with one gate of a CMOS chip
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#189957 - 10/30/09 07:50 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: gfretwell]
NJwirenut Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 816
Loc: Bergen County, NJ
I have built a few circuits like this that have been operating for upwards of 20 years now. One section of a 4011 quad NAND gate can be used for the sensor amplifier and the other 3 sections can be used as inverters to drive whatever output devices you want.

A piece of PC board with interlocking "fingers" etched onto it makes a good sensor plate.

If you want a ready-made solution, converting a commercial bedwetting alarm might be a possibility...

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#189958 - 10/30/09 07:52 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: junkcollector]
SteveFehr Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1192
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Originally Posted By: junkcollector
Hey Reno,

I'm pretty sure I've such a thing. Search the internet "flood sensor." It is basically a little alarm with a small cord running to a sensor mounted near the floor. The "sensor" consists of 2 metal prods that are in contact with the floor. When water flows between the two prods the alarm goes off. Not sure if it works or not. I remember seeing it on "Ask This Old House." I think it's pretty inexpensive too, when you compare it to remodeling a basement.
We use those at work for early detection of flooding under the false decking of server rooms. They work very well.

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#189960 - 10/30/09 08:05 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: SteveFehr]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
You can drive SSRs directly off of a CMOS chip so it is really pretty easy.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#189964 - 10/30/09 09:37 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: gfretwell]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
http://www.koetterfire.com/leak-detection-systems/

A tad pricey. but very effective.
I have just a simple detector in a pan under my water heater (similar to those for Leibert units) this controls a bell and a normally open solenoid on my feed line.

I'm on a well. A broken water heater could put a huge amount of water in my basement.

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#189966 - 10/30/09 10:00 PM Re: Under Water - Again! [Re: leland]
sysrq Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Yucca Valley, CA. USA

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