Urinal Fountain Project - Advice

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Dominic Byrne, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. Dominic Byrne

    Dominic Byrne New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Location:
    Sydney
  2. Dominic Byrne

    Dominic Byrne New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Location:
    Sydney
    I can't see if the text is attached, so here's what I wrote:

    Hi all,



    My name's Dominic - I'm posting this in the general thread as it probably covers a few bases, and thought I'd check this forum here for some possible advice.



    This project will probably sound quite odd to many, and won't make much sense in a way (in terms of a functional plumbing project), but I'm an artist in Sydney who is planning an exhibition in a gallery at the end of June involving plumbing.



    The premise of the show is a single line of steel/aluminium urinal troughs (ATTACHED: Basic diagram of the side view of what I imagine the mechanism may look like, stock image of type of urinal I'll be making) that follow the cube-like gallery room's walls. I've attached photos of the type of urinal I mean, which is not individual urinals but an uninterrupted strip that will probably cover under half the wall's height and a portion of the floor.



    The idea for the show is to create a urinal, that when looked at by the viewer, using motion sensors, will flush itself, the water travelling down into the urinal, through the drain (the opening for a cistern) which will have a water pump and pipe pumping it up until the next viewer comes by to view the work. Essentially, it will be a sculptural work that is cleaning itself upon being seen, a non-functional bathroom that can be "used" by anyone.



    As described, you'll notice that there will be no connection to the gallery's plumbing, rather the work will function as its own fountain system, using a cistern for a supply of water at the bottom of the urinal (covered by metal base). And the work will for the above reason DEFINITELY not be used to urinate in.



    Nonetheless, due to the fountain nature of this project, perhaps i'm not at the right forum, what I was more interested in asking is that if the below (very basic) design I've planned for the urinal to work is feasible. If there's any tips/advice that can be provided for making something like this work, that'd be much, much appreciated. I have quite a few months to organise, giving time for trial and error etc.



    I plan to not purchase actual urinal troughs, instead of having these fabricated, so the shape and technical aspects of the body of the urinal are much simpler than an actual one. Also, I realise this isn't a "motion sensor" forum haha but I've read there are sensors that can be cloaked behind a urinal, which I'll hopefully be able to use. Any advice in regards to this would be greatly appreciated.



    Thanks heaps, and feel free to ask any questions.





    Cheers,





    Dominic.
     
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  4. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Occupation:
    Consultant
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    This looks easy enough to do, motion sensor operates pump water flows through your system, solenoid valve may not be needed if you install a check valve at the bottom of the riser as it will keep water in the pipe all the way to the top where the water discharges,when pump kicks on you have instant water flowing from your discharge opening.Just my suggestion, looks kind of cool.


    Good luck with your project!
     
  5. Dominic Byrne

    Dominic Byrne New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thanks very much Terry for your advice!

    That's a great suggestion, I will look further in to it. So this check valve keeps water at top of pipe rather than having to shoot up whole length of pipe, effectively meaning a quicker flush?

    Can having the pump constantly on, but the motion sensor "releasing" the water be damaging to the pipe? Or just exert too much pressure? Or is this a problem i'm making up that plumbing has solved a long time ago? Haha.

    Cheers mate
     
  6. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Occupation:
    Consultant
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Yes the check valve keeps the water at the top of the pipe and yes a quicker flush.
    Okay her`es how I have this worked out in my head, the effect you are looking for is to have your fountain come on when someone walks close to it,
    there is no need for the solenoid valve because you already have water at the top of the pipe via the check valve at the bottom of the pipe.
    This is how it should work.
    Your motion sensor sends signal to pump to turn on when someone walks up to it, water flows from discharge thus water fall effect.
    When they walk away motion sensor sends signal to pump to turn off thus stops the flow of water.
    So the pump only works on demand and not running all the time, no need for solenoid valve.
    If you had the solenoid valve and the pump set as you stated then you would burn the pump up in no time.
    Hope this helps.
    By the way I am not Terry but have been on this forum for 10 years and a plumber for 30 plus years.:)
     
  7. Dominic Byrne

    Dominic Byrne New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Location:
    Sydney
    Haha thanks mate for that advice, you've been very helpful.

    Just another question, when you mention putting the check valve at the "riser" does mean the top of where the water supply would lie? Also, in terms of the check valve's mechanics, it is not operated by any electricity, right? As in, for it to fill the pipe up with water between people being in front of it (idle), it would be relying on the previous stream of water pumped and then stopped when said person leaves?

    I hope that last question makes some sense - cheers!

    I'm thinking for the sake of the pump and just for visual effect, i may try have the flush timed, so that if someone was to stand in front of it for 30 mins, it would not go off constantly, rather opening for 5-10 seconds and then stopping. That may be a question for some motion sensor enthusiasts!

    And lastly, what is the term for the type of nozzle you may attach to the pipe opening to control the type of flush/release that's created?

    Thank you!
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I was thinking of a horizontal pipe with holes drilled in it. You would control the hole diameter and angle for the effect you were looking for.

    If you used PVC or CPVC with a threaded adapter on the supply end, you could swap in a new piece easily if you wanted to change the effect. Drilling PVC and CPVC is very easy.
     
  9. Dominic Byrne

    Dominic Byrne New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Location:
    Sydney
    Ah yeah, that’s a great idea!! Especially for trial and error/flexibility

    Will definitely test that out - thanks very much.
     
  10. themp

    themp Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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