Faucet Add-On Attempts To Save Water By Changing Colors


This augmented water device was rapidly developed during an H2O hackathon in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was built by a software engineer code-named [tamberg]. His creation contained an Arduino Uno, a strip of NeoPixels, a liquid flow sensor, and a tiny lithium-ion battery attached to a cut medical tube that was re-purposed for monitoring water use.

From the looks of it, this project addressed a specific problem and went on to solve it. The initial prototype showed a quick and dirty way to monitor precious water that is literally being flushed down the drain.

To see how the device was made, click the first link posted above for a set of Instructables. Code for the device can be found on [tamberg]’s bitbucket account. A demo video of the device being tested on a sink can be seen after the break.

21 thoughts on “Faucet Add-On Attempts To Save Water By Changing Colors

    1. the problem here is if the tap is a distance from the boiler/combi/storage tank it takes a while to get warm, so like most folk you run the tap then piss about doing other things. Think this is v smart personally, tho could do with being a bit subtler

  1. I certainly use more than one liter of water to get hot water to the bathroom furthest from the HW heater. There was a nifty device the when turned on circulates the HW through the system back into the cold water line. But I can’t remember who makes it.

    1. Nah. I thought that as well but this is actually indicating amount of water used where it’ll change from blue to red once 1L has been used. The cheap screw on tap fittings on eBay are for temperature only AFAIK.

  2. FAQ:

    Q. What does this actually do?
    A. The Augmented Water device helps you save water by turning red after one liter.

    Q. Why do I need an augmentation device to tell me this?
    A. Water is clear, and therefore completely invisible. You cannot tell how much water you have used by simply watching it. Or even whether the faucet is on at all.

    Q. What if I need to fill a two liter container with drinking water?
    A. You wasteful bastard! Think about the environment. Do the right thing, and stop after one liter.

    Q. Someone in my household ignores the warning, and fills two liter containers anyway. What should I do?
    A. We have an improved version in the works. The new version plays voice clips in a motherly tone, providing guilt trips. For example, how she worked three jobs to make ends meet while simultaneously raising a family; and how even a teaspoon of wasted water could make the difference between hot meals or subsisting on pilfered fast-food ketchup packets.

  3. You could not put a two liter bottle under this potential epilepsy causing device.
    Why are handles put on a sink used to wash hands? Don’t we have feet?
    I will run water till it’s hot. Slow flow things waste my time.
    Why are hot water lines not insulated? I wonder if the setups with a loop in the hot water line (a water heat pump) bother to insulate the loop all the way to the taps, yet alone the loop.

    1. Hot water lines are not insulated to prevent the growth of legionella bacteria. If you would insulate it the line would be quite warm for a few hours, the perfect condition for legionella to multiply

  4. It’s funny that it is from switzerland where supposedly clean water runs in such quantities from the mountains that the flow supplies all their electric power if I recall correctly.

    So what’s so precious about water for them that they have to panic after a liter?

  5. I think what’d be really good, would be a button to run a bath for me. Automatically let out the right amount of hot, then add cold til it’s how I like it. A temp sensor could detect how hot the water is, and alter the amount of cold accordingly. It’d use valves to control the flow from both taps.

    Also could have different buttons for different settings, for different users for example.

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