Does your dog drink a lot of water? Do you find it hard to re-fill his bowl every time. Well don’t worry. Just make something that would do this work automatically. There are a few such things in the market, but they are not really up to the mark. Moreover, these devices circulate the same water over and over again and this is something that does not seem to be good as it brings up health issues.
So making an water bowl that would be refilled automatically is the only way out. An icemaker water hookup, that can be used to connect the fridge’s icemaker and a water supply was fitted wherever required. This would lead to an irrigation valve. This valve ends in a water dish via some clear tubing. The top and bottom of the water dish is fitted with two sensor wires.
Two sets of copper wires, one near the bottom and the other at the top, covered by plastic piping are placed in the dish. The circuit works only if the dish is empty. Initially, the system confirms if the dish is empty and also waits for some time till the water in the dish evaporates. Once the waiting time is over, the water supply is opened and the upper sensor has to register water . The water supply is turned off once the upper sensor comes into play.
The entire system works because of an Arduino. This senses the pressure of water in the dish and this sensing activity is done once every 10 seconds for about 1 millisecond thus reducing copper buildup at the terminals. A 1-megaohm pulldown resistor is used for sensing purposes.
The flow of water is started/stopped by means of a 24V AC irrigation valve. The following mechanisms have been incorporated to prevent wastage of water:
- Filling the water bowl won’t be done more than once very often.
- Water flow will not start unless both sensors indicate a “no water” status.
- The water supply is turned off and the system falls into “error mode” if the upper sensor does not get pulled into action within 30 seconds. This would require that the system be restarted manually
There you have it. A personal automatic dish filler for your dog.
Click here to visit the project page.