ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Recent Posts
Question on power to 4 Nema 6-50 & 5 Nema 5-15.
by TrickedoutTech. 10/22/17 11:36 PM
VFD MotorFeeders
by Yoopersup. 10/22/17 07:52 PM
Generator Cable Sizing
by brsele. 10/18/17 07:39 PM
What do you do?
by gfretwell. 10/17/17 01:08 AM
Good ol' copper pipe in the fuse holder trick
by HotLine1. 10/16/17 07:16 PM
New in the Gallery:
Gallery Test
Popular Topics(Views)
241,458 Are you busy
177,448 Re: Forum
169,026 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 31 guests, and 13 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#70932 - 10/16/06 10:10 PM Flicker when you flush...  
VAElec  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 49
Sterling, Virginia, US
This is for fun. How would you make a control system that causes the bathroom lights to flicker when when someone flushes the toilet?

I am thinking flow switch on the cold water supply to the tank piloting NO contacts on a relay. This relay feeds line voltage to a transformer (isolation type but tapped low) that causes an under voltage to the ballast at the fixture. (This of course assumes a fluorescent fixture). The under-driven ballast should now go in and out due to low voltage (think line flicker) if I am not mistaken. Even better if you have a magnetic and not electronic ballast. Flow switch opens again and lighting is normal.

Also, this is assuming that you love to change ballasts at your Moms house for a good laugh. Ideas? How to do it with incandescent fixtures?


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#70933 - 10/16/06 10:41 PM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
Tiger  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
Is it possible to have the lights dim in a varying manner according to the sound levels in the room?


#70934 - 10/16/06 11:02 PM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 790
Chicago, Il.
I would probably use a commercially available wireless 3-way switch. I would tap into the switch of the battery powered stick-on with a sound trigger ckt. This would be hidden behind the tank.

#70935 - 10/17/06 12:55 AM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
Rewired  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 558
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Perhaps a set of wireless burglar alarm "contacts" in the tank, fastened in such a manner that hitting the flush will " trigger the wireless contact" and in return will send a signal to its receiver elsewhere, and from there control your light flicker circuit. Heck for laughs it can even momentarily sound a big 'ol bell! Wouldn't that be " alarming" [Linked Image]
Figure that may be easier than plumbing in a flow switch, and best off, it will come out as easy as it went in when the joke is over.


#70936 - 10/17/06 01:33 AM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
electech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 113
Northern Il
maybe a low-voltage sound or liquid level detector circuit that could turn on or drive an amp that feeds into some white LEDs to supplement the existing lighting rather than interface with the AC.

I'm thinking a op amp as a level detector to go to full output, that would in turn activate a 555 timer circuit configured as an oscillator to drive the LEDs. I haven't done elctronics for fun in a long time - just safety these days. There's a lot of time between now and April 1st...

#70937 - 10/17/06 06:31 AM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
Alan Belson  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Mayenne N. France
My son had a 'joke thing' fitted inside the toilet roll holder. When you pulled a sheet of paper, it emitted a loud & disgusting noise, at about 3.4 on the Richter Scale.
Ideal for embarassing unwanted visitors.
His wife put it in the trash.

Wood work but can't!

#70938 - 10/17/06 05:52 PM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 790
Chicago, Il.
The reason I mentioned the wireless 3-way is because the switch in the wall switching AC, will be a UL listed switch. I love circuit design as much or more as the next guy but hate L words like lawyer and liability.

#70939 - 10/17/06 06:46 PM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
watthead  Offline
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 172
South Carolina
You could use a hvac drain pan float switch mounted in the tank to initiate the flicker machine that you are engineering.

#70940 - 10/17/06 07:56 PM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,124
put a variable resistance transducer on the water line.

Greg Fretwell

#70941 - 10/17/06 08:27 PM Re: Flicker when you flush...  
watthead  Offline
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 172
South Carolina
got a lot of iron in the water supply?

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Member Spotlight
dallas, texas, USA
Posts: 67
Joined: January 2002
Show All Member Profiles 

2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.024s Queries: 15 (0.004s) Memory: 0.8177 MB (Peak: 0.9923 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-10-23 15:26:16 UTC