transformer help

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  #1  
Old 11-16-06, 09:51 AM
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transformer help

Hi, i know absolutely nothing about electrics so i'll try and explain what a pump manufacturer said to me:

I have a walk in disabled shower that uses a 'gulping' sump pump to draw the water from the shower drain to the outside drain. unfortunately it's extremely noisy in use and i'd like to find a way to stop this. The pump expert from the company said that the voltage controls the pump so if i could find a transformer that would drop to between 15v minimum and 21v, it would work slower, therefore allowing more water to build up for each stroke. The more water it has to work with the quieter it is in use. He also said that a variable transformer could work. he had no idea where to get these however so i'm looking for some help to source something like this. there is not a sensor in the current set up so it's simply switched on and off. Any ideas would be welcome. thanks
 

Last edited by lowlife; 11-16-06 at 09:52 AM. Reason: subscribe
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Old 11-16-06, 10:45 AM
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If he is really an expert you shouldn't have to ask these questions here. What your asking is things he should know if he is really an expert. I would really wonder how much else he doesn't know. First I'd ask the company if they have a better expert.

Before even suggesting a transformer complete information on the pump would be needed. Is it AC or DC? What is it's normal operating voltage and amps? There are several types of AC and DC motors, what type is it?

It sounds like a piston pump. Have you considered a centrifugal pump? Maybe even a remote sump that the shower drains to by gravity then a sump pump to drain it. The sump a with pump could be acoustically shielded for even less noise.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-16-06 at 03:26 PM.
  #3  
Old 11-16-06, 10:53 AM
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Wink

If the pump now is 110V. You might try a speed control that is used on power tools. this could slowit down.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Imeduc
If the pump now is 110V. You might try a speed control that is used on power tools. this could slowit down.
We would have to know the answers to Ray's questions before knowing if this would work.
 
  #5  
Old 11-17-06, 08:08 AM
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easy

Ok now you've flamed the nice pump man lets start again lol.
Firstly i didn't buy the pump, it's installed on the shower in my new dwelling. The pump guy had no obligation to help me or talk to me, so i was grateful for his time and assistance. The fact that he's a pump expert and not a transformer/electrical guy can't be helped, he did freely admit that.
So I believe it runs at 24v dc now, it is just a basic sump pump, as you'd expect on a small boat. I think he said the pump was made by whale in northern ireland. I'm disabled so can't get down there to take it out and inspect it unfortunately. he said it must be DC and that anywhere between 21 and 18v would be better, with 15v the estimated absolute minimum before the pump stops working.

My council have said they have taken over the maintenance of the shower, as it was fitted under a disabled grant scheme, but as it is noisy as opposed to faulty, they won't touch it. The pump guy also said the manufacturers now make a sensor pump, which retails at about 300. I don't have that kind of money so need to find another solution, especially as i need to use it at night sometimes (don't ask). lol
cheers
 
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Old 11-17-06, 02:15 PM
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The speed of a DC pump can be controlled more easily then an AC so that is a plus. Before trying to find lower voltage DC power supply I'd try hooking it up just as a test to a 12V auto battery. If it pumps adequately and the motor doesn't get any hotter then it now runs I'd say you could go with 12V dc. If that turns out to be true you may be able to run it off an auto battery charger.

The charger would have to have a sufficient amp rating. Weather that would work would depend on the filtering of the DC current by the battery charger and how well the motor works on pulsating DC. You could if necessary add a filter capacitor (condenser) to the output to improve it.

The above is a highly experimental suggestion but would probably be cheaper and easier to find then a variable DC power supply.

(Just to be clear the battery would only be used for initial testing not for continued operation. Though a battery could be used with a small battery charger as an alternative if you needed purer DC.)
 
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Old 11-17-06, 02:32 PM
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Most boat bilge pumps will be 12 Volts I can fine only one 24Volt
 
  #8  
Old 12-06-06, 03:48 AM
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still need help

ok i've got nowhere with this. i've spoken to the pump manufacturers who have channeled me down the upgrade route (after 2 weeks waiting), and i can't afford 300+ for a smooth flow control system. So i'm back looking for a variable transformer. Any ideas where else i could ask? thanks
 
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Old 12-06-06, 08:06 AM
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ok you need to find somebody that is handy with electronics. DC voltage can be regulated using a potentiometer rather than messing with a transformer situation.think variable blower speed for something like the heater blower in a car. this is how they are controlled.

you will need to discover the power requirements of the pump so an appropriate potentiometer can be determined.


another idea may be to use a timer. if you can determine how often you would like the pump to "gulp", a timer can be incorporated in the control that would simply turn it on and off at a predertimed interval. if a variable timer is used, it would allow you to adjust as needed to fine tune things.

again, somebody that is familiar with electronics would be capable of helping with this.
 
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Old 12-06-06, 08:22 AM
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Without knowing what sort of pump and power supply you have, we are shooting in the dark. Can you get a friend to come and look at things and describe what they see?

It sounds like the 'pump guy' is pretty certain that you have a DC pump that runs at a nominal 24V. If this is true, then reducing that 24V should do what you want, slow the pump down.

However to power this pump you will need something capable of supplying the 15-24V at whatever current the pump requires to operate. A nice variable 15-24V supply that can provide say 5A is _not_ a cheap item. Additionally, this system is around water and _you_, and you don't want to be exposed to electric shock from this supply. A nice, variable, _isolated_ supply will be even more expensive.

What you need to find out is what sort of power supply the motor has now, what its voltage and _current_ rating is. Ideally you would find out if the power supply is isolated, or if the isolation is handled in the pump. Additionally it would be good to know if the power supply is _regulated_ (ideally not), or if the output could be adjusted by changing the input.

-Jon
 
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