Sunday, 30 November 2008

[Progress.144] Is that water dripping sound?

Last night, or early this morning actually, around 12:30 am, I was awaken by this continuous strange noise, on and off every 10-20 seconds coming from somewhere around my bedside drawers. As it's quite annoying, I quickly tapped it with my mobile (yes, I got this bad habit of leaving my mobile next to me...). Tell me what you think it is (from 15th sec & 25th sec)...

It's coming from some where down below, I checked inside the drawers, but could't find anything. As we just had a heavy thunderstorm during the day time plus a short hail storm, we were quite worry if it's some sort of leaking somewhere...

I quickly dashed downstairs to garage to get my torch, checked every inch of walls around the area, still couldn't find any sign of leakage. But that annoying sound was still there! I then checked the wall of the room right behind our bedroom, still couldn't find anything.

I thought it's the lamp and switched off the power. Waited another few seconds and it started again, damn!

We moved the drawers away from where it was, and checked the walls around the back of the drawers but still couldn't work out where it came from.

I moved around the drawers and bed as slowly as I could for a while and finally worked out the sound actually came from the bottom of the drawers, not from inside the walls...

I bent down and found this little bug trapped in the spider webs/dust under the bedside drawer, struggling, trying to free itself. Whenever it twisted and moved its body, it makes that strange ticking sound which we thought was the water dripping sound due to water leaking...

The way it moves its body reminds me about the twin insects in the movie "bug's life". It's really fast and it makes the ticking noise...

What a relieve when we finally confirmed it's not a leak. As for the annoying little fellow, to "thank" him/her for the trouble, I captured the last few seconds of his/her stay in my house, covered in some tissue paper, before been flushed down the toilet. Sorry that it's quite unclear as the camera on mobile phones wasn't designed to capture close up objects...

What a night!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

[Progress.143] No more over flow with filter bag removed

As suggested by the maintenance guy from our builder, I removed the filter bag from the water tank the other day. We have lots of rains in the past few days, and so far I haven't seen the over flowing problem happening. So looks like he is correct about if the filter bag wasn't cleaned, it could cause the over flow.

I guess technically the over flow wasn't such a major issue, so I decided to put the filter bag in. If it ever over flow again, I will just clean the filter bag, not a big deal.

The main issue now, is the "pump getting water from the mains instead of the water tank" problem. The maintenance guy will get the supplier to have a look but he doesn't think this is a problem... Will wait and see how it goes...

[BlogSite.026] Yeah! I got 2 followers!

I just found this new feature in Blogger called "Following" which shows how many users subscribed to my blog using Google Reader. And I was surprised to find that I already have a few followers! I have also subscribed to quite a few blogs but unfortunately looks like this "Following" thing only counts those using Google Reader and I was mainly using Netvibes...

I have also added this new widget to show the followers at the left hand side bar, hope you can subscribe to my blog too!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

[Progress.142] Water tank filter bag cleaned, and new discovery

Spent some time with the water tank the other day, trying to solve the mystery of water overflowing from the rain water tank whenever it rains. You will be surprised with what I found...

This is what the top of water tank looks like, just have to remove a few screws to remove the black leave strainer and open it...

With the leave strainer removed, I was quite surprised to see lots of water and green stuff (algae?) inside. So may be the builder was right, the filter bag was blocked, needs cleaning, and the water couldn't pass through the filter bag?

But wait, hang on, with the filter bag half-removed, the water level in the tank was almost full. How come there's so much water in the tank? It hasn't rained for a few days, and we must have used the washing machines a few times, flushed the toilets many times everyday, and also watered the lawn yesterday as well. Does the pump automatically refill the tank to the "full" level? Will look into this later.

I slowly pull the bag out, to me it looks like a huge, dirty underwear :-) ....

I left it on the floor and you can see how dirty it is. Time for some cleaning...

Sorry if it's a bit unclear as I was using the camera on my mobile. There's this small logo which says "TANKSNAKE". Later I did a quick search on Google and found this company in QLD with a simple single page web site. Their web site also provides a few tips about how to look after your filter bag, you might want to have a look to learn some info about that. I think the tip of adding a cover to block the sun light is quite helpful.

While cleaning it, from inside the bag, I found this part at the bottom which is in different colour and feel like plastic. Don't know what is it, hope it's not a patch to fix/block the hole...

This is what that plastic thing looks from the outside of the filter bag.

Any way after about 15 min rubbing, brushing and cleaning, it looks much cleaner now. To be honest I still don't think this is the root cause of the overflowing water issue.

The Bureau of Meteorology said it's going to rain starting from this Friday and will last for a few days. So I am going to leave this filter bag out of the tank just for this week and see if the water still overflows. If that's the case, our builder will have no more excuse!

Now that I fixed the dirty filter bag, let's get back to the "full tank of water" problem I mentioned above. I decided to do a simple test:

  • First, make sure no one in the house is using the toilet/washing machine/front external hose

  • I asked the kid to flush the toilet a few times while I stood next to the water tank control box - I could hear the pump running when the toilet is refilling water, and I could also feel some vibration on the pipes connecting the water tank to the pump, but I couldn't tell whether the water was coming from the tank or the mains

  • I repeated the test above, but this time I stood right next to the water meter at the front of the house - the meter starts running whenever the toilet was refilling water, this can't be right! I though it should be refilling from the water tank?

Based on above I have this bad feeling that, may be since the water tank was installed in February 2008, hand-over in April, and we moved in around late May 2008, the whole water tank system has never worked??!! Not an expert on this, but also have feeling that this might also explains those green algae thing if the water was left untouched for a few months in the tank... We will definitely ask the builder to come and have a look.

As a final proof/test, I decided to try something else. As shown below, there's garden hose at the front of the house, next to the garage, clearly marked with "rain water" sign. This time, instead of flushing the toilet, I am going to use this hose to test the water meter.

After making sure no one in the house is using water, I took this short video. You can clearly see the water meter starts running whenever the hose is on. Just look at the little red arrow at the left hand side.

Please note that I have tried also turning on/off the power switch on the water tank pump and that doesn't make any difference. When it's off, it just gets water directly from the mains and when it's on, as mentioned above, I could hear the pump working, but couldn't prove whether it gets the water from the tank or the mains. And looking at the water meter is the only way I can think of to prove that it's using the water from the mains!

Need some opinions from everyone. Do you think my test plus the full tank of water (after a few non-raining days) are sufficient to prove that our water tank system is not functioning? Or can you think of anything else I can test?

Will keep everyone posted if I hear anything from the builder...

Thursday, 6 November 2008

[Progress.141] Water Tank Filter Bag needs cleaning

We received email from builder as below about the overflowing water for our water tank:

"This is due to the filter bag with in the tank being built up with silt and other debris. It requires frequent cleaning. I have recommended to some clients to remove filter altogether because of this problem. However this is entirely your decision.

Alternatively, you can contact Bluescope Steel regarding other remedies. You will find the number on the tank."

As I got no idea what he is talking about, I asked how to locate this thing. Then received further details from builder:
"Looking at the pictures you sent me..... The large black plastic rings the water flows into. The first one is the leaf strainer (coarse filter) The second one - directly underneath is the filter sock... when you remove this you will understand why it is called a filter sock.

You can view all the rlevant information on Bluescope website. you can obtain this with a simple google search under bluescope water."

Not quite sure what this "filter bag" is, did a quick search and found this on Google from Rain Water Tank Direct web site.

Will try to have a look during the weekend...