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'[OT]: sewer blockage sensor'
2008\10\22@201809 by Michael Algernon

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I have a two unit apartment with a sewer line for each.
Often the tenants don't tell me about sewer blockages until it is a  
big mess.
The blockage can occur up to 40 meters down the pipe due to tree roots.

Can anyone suggest an approach for detecting sewer blockage as soon as  
it occurs.  I presume there will be a certain amount of water between  
blockage and where the sewer line enters the ground.

Michael


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2008\10\22@204836 by Peter Todd

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On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 06:17:43PM -0600, Michael Algernon wrote:
> I have a two unit apartment with a sewer line for each.
> Often the tenants don't tell me about sewer blockages until it is a  
> big mess.
> The blockage can occur up to 40 meters down the pipe due to tree roots.
>
> Can anyone suggest an approach for detecting sewer blockage as soon as  
> it occurs.  I presume there will be a certain amount of water between  
> blockage and where the sewer line enters the ground.

There are sewage lift pumps on the market already that incorporate such
a sensor to turn on the pump when sewage is present. I'd just find one
of them and buy just the sensor off the shelf, the rest is then just a
matter of interfacing.

- --
http://petertodd.org 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org
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2008\10\23@090246 by Carl Denk

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Probably the easiest way is a water detector consisting of 2 probes that
would get submerged when the sewer gets blocked. Nuts & Volts magazine
June 2008 page 29,  under the Q & A column has one including a bill of
materials. Also there is the National Semi LM1830 chip, and commercial
kits and ready to use units.

For a sump pump alarm I use a little float switch, but that is very
clear water, the issue with sewage is solids including partially
dissolved paper, etc. The probes should be located where in normal
conditions there is no way to get solids anywhere near. Probably after
cleaning the sewer the probes should be cleaned.

For inspection, there are fiber optic cameras that will go the distance see:
http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Underground-Technologies/EN/index.htm

Peter Todd wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\10\23@090811 by Carl Denk

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Should have mentioned on my float switch, that is monitored (normal
condition is closed switch, if wire breaks, etc., the open is alarm) by
a PLC that manages standby generator, if alarm, PLC sends via. DSL an
E-mail to my cell phone. Probably a PIC or other could do the job nicely
with dialup.

Carl Denk wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\10\23@123648 by Brooke Clarke

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Hi Michael:

Sewer lines in the US slope 1/4" per foot so if the blockages is 40' away it's
10" lower than the exit elevation.  If there's a clean out somewhere between
the exit point and where the blockage is occurring then you could put a small
dongle type float switch there.  These used to be Mercury capsules encased with
some light material with a short electrical cable.  Normally they hang down
like a pendulum, but when there's enough liquid they float up and are horizontal.

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2008\10\23@134622 by Carl Denk

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Can't depend on that slope. Our local sewer district allows 1%, which
would be 4.8" lower. This lower number probably includes the fact that
modern plastic pipes are smoother than older technology materials.  But
also one needs to account for less than perfect installation, and those
installations are not per anyone's code. Yes, a good location would be
in a cleanout, but ensure not to obstruct normal flow, and if possible
use sensors and location that cannot easily get fouled with solids.

Brooke Clarke wrote:
> Hi Michael:
>
> Sewer lines in the US slope 1/4" per foot so if the blockages is 40' away it's
> 10" lower than the exit elevation.  If there's a clean out somewhere between
> the exit point and where the blockage is occurring then you could put a small
> dongle type float switch there.  These used to be Mercury capsules encased with
> some light material with a short electrical cable.  Normally they hang down
> like a pendulum, but when there's enough liquid they float up and are horizontal.
>
>  

2008\10\23@141055 by M. Adam Davis

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A speaker on one side of the pipe with a microphone on the other.
Periodically send a tone to the speaker and measure the response - it
will be different in several ways.

Put a capacitive sense plate on the top of the pipe near the house.
When the pipe fills the change in capacitance will be significantly
different than when it's partially full or empty.

-Adam

On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 8:17 PM, Michael Algernon <spam_OUTpicTakeThisOuTspamnope9.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\10\23@161103 by Michael Algernon

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By the time the water is backed up to the cleanout, bad things are  
going to happen.
I like Adam's ideas.
Maybe ...If I had a cable that ran 40 meters and had several sealed  
speakers, I could beep each one and see if the audio got back to the  
cleanout.
Maybe....If I had a cable that ran 40 meters and had several sealed  
microphones, I could detect a flush of water running down the pipe.
Maybe....If I had a cable that ran 40 meters and had several  
temperature sensors, I might be able to detect something useful.
Michael

On Oct 23, 2008, at 12:10 PM, M. Adam Davis wrote:

A speaker on one side of the pipe with a microphone on the other.
Periodically send a tone to the speaker and measure the response - it
will be different in several ways.

Put a capacitive sense plate on the top of the pipe near the house.
When the pipe fills the change in capacitance will be significantly
different than when it's partially full or empty.

-Adam

On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 8:17 PM, Michael Algernon <.....picKILLspamspam@spam@nope9.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -


'[OT]: sewer blockage sensor'
2009\04\24@175043 by Bob Axtell
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Carl is right. Earthquakes and other motion (including traffic) cause the
pipes to drift up and (usually) down, i.e. to sag.

What were you trying to accomplish? I know that business pretty well,
having designed
sewer line robots for some years.

--Bob A

On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 10:46 AM, Carl Denk <cdenkspamKILLspamalltel.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2009\04\24@193910 by Cdenk

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Probably the dangling float switch won't move unubsructed in most cleanout, which will be 4" or 6" diameter. Sewage along with many other liquids are difficult to measure fluid level due to solids in the stuff that makes mechanical movement floats stick at the most inoportune time. The National LM1830 water sensor awitch has application, but it has the issue of solid matter brisging and completing the circuit. If you can keep the sensor well above  any water level, probably keeping the sensor clean.

Just a couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to see a modern crawler sewer camera in action. The ability to pan and zoom really was neat. A far cry from the first units 25 year ago. A few weeks ago I had a 300' Ridgid See Snake (sewer camera on the endo of a cable snake) down my natural gas well. Did the job nicely, though had to make a guide to center the camera.
---- Bob Axtell <.....bob.axtellKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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