It works! But you need a really big gauge.

Okay: I need to repair or replace my toilet valve – again. And maybe the style where the float wraps around the stem isn’t such a good choice. I left the thing alone for the better part of a month and now the float is hanging up on the stem because calcium scale. The well water here is super hard. Very annoying.

And when that happens, water quietly drains out of the tank at the top of the ridge. It did that all last night to the tune of about 600 gallons. Very bad – but also kind of good because it allowed me to see what effect a leak like that would have on the indicated water pressure.

And blessed be: it had a measurable effect!


Only about a pound and a half, but on a big enough gauge it’s not only measurable but noticeable. Didn’t really save me from any bad thing in this case because the water leak was inside and my first clue was the sound of running water. But if I’d sprung a leak anywhere else, the big steampunk pressure gauge really would have come to my rescue.

It works!

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to It works! But you need a really big gauge.

  1. Kentucky says:

    Any chance of the calcium scale corrupting your gauge without you realizing it?

  2. Joel says:

    Dunno. Interesting question. Time will tell.

  3. Zendo Deb says:

    Composting toilet – Air Head or Sun Mar or whatever. Or build your own.

  4. Joel says:

    Funny you should mention that. Ever since I went all winter without my flush toilet I’ve wondered if it’s worth the bother. Trouble is I don’t have a lot of composting material lying around.

  5. Norman says:

    Haven’t researched it so I dunno, but how about a flow meter as a complement to the pressure gauge? Flow is an event as opposed to a condition so some form of historical record would be required; ideally, displaying X gallons over Y duration at T time. I’ve got a cheapie plastic version on a garden hose which tracks in increments of .1 gallons for both event and total and has reset buttons for each, but has no time or duration data, and I’m not sure it would record anything if the flow rate was low enough (such as a very small leak). I’ll have to test it. Something like that would, however, show total gallons/day which might be useful data.

  6. Malatrope says:

    On pressure, it’s 2.2 feet per psi. Period. You can use the known altitudes of your water tank and gauge to calibrate the gauge, and if the gauge doesn’t react in that ratio to changes in tank level, it’s broke or Chinese. Sucks to lose the water down the drain, though. You might consider turning off the tank valve whenever you’re away for any length of time.

  7. Joel says:

    You might consider turning off the tank valve whenever you’re away for any length of time.

    Yup, that’s already a Lesson Learned. In fact it’s close the valve and then drain the tank.

  8. Kentucky says:

    ” . . . close the valve and then drain the tank.”

    I assume you mean the toilet flush tank.

  9. Joel says:

    er…yeah. That tank.

To the stake with the heretic!