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Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]


The present invention relates to the use of a signal sent from a manual lever tap with signal ability, touch or touch-free sensor of a tap to start a water heating or treating devices.

Background of the invention

Tankless water heaters need a tap signal for switching on when appropriate. Usually a flow switch or a flow-detecting device is used for this purpose. However, flow switches and flow-detecting devices are relative expensive and, furthermore, being located within the water stream, they deteriorate over time. Also the presence of a moving part within the water heater increases the risk of failure and may disturb the operation of the water heater, and it introduces a certain delay in the starting of the device, because a flow must be detected, before the water heater is switched on.

Brief description of the invention

It is an object of the present invention to provide a solution, which uses an alternative start tap signal for water heaters.

The present invention relates to a system for starting a water heater with the signal sent to the electronic control circuit for the valve mechanism of an automatic tap, for instance when a touch-free or touch sensor is activated, and to use the detected tap signal for generating a parallel connection.

One aspect of the invention, relates to a method for starting a device, such as a water heater, a water treating device, which method comprises the steps of detecting a tap signal sent to the electronic control circuit for the valve mechanism of an automatic tap or the current drawn from the energy used by the tap and using the detected start signal for generating a new parallel connection.

The drawings

In the following, an exemplary embodiment of the invention is described in more detail with reference to the drawing, of which Fig. 1 illustrates schematically a system using a tap signal from a tap in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Detailed description of the invention

The start signal sent to the electronic control circuit for the valve mechanism of an automatic tap, or detection of the current drawn from the energy used by the tap for instance when a touch-free sensor is started, is typically a very short pulse of very small power. For that reason, it has been considered impossible by brand name manufacturers to detect and use such start signals to activate a water heater.

Using low impedance wires, for instance with a cross-sectional area of 0.12 cm2 and a bipolar relay, however, it has surprisingly been proven possible to actually detect such start signals. This means that such start signals can be used to generate new parallel connections to a water heater.

In order to achieve this, the bipolar relay must typically be attached on the signal side of the electronic control circuit of the tap. Whereas a regular relay is started when power is available, a bipolar relay is started by a pulse and changes position whenever a new pulse is applied, thereby using less power, which for example enhances the battery life time for example on a 6V automatic tap. It is of utmost importance that the bipolar relay pulse is not out of sync. When the tap is out of use the water heater could be activated, thus generating heat and pressure.

This solution solves the problem of having to use a flow switch for the starting of a water heater, which is both expensive and increases the risk of failure because of the use of moving parts. Furthermore, this solution enables the starting of a water heater without any delay thereby not having to wait for a certain flow or other parameters to be met thus the described solution solves a problem with an unexpected benefit of being able to lose the flow switch in the water heater.

The patent applications and patents within this area only describes how an automated tap can start a soap dispenser and hand dryer but not specifically a water heater. The reason for this could be that the hot water system normally is a centralized solution which is not connected to the local tapping point other than providing hot water at some point and thus it can not be activated by the tap whereas a point of use / tankless water heater would benefit from the describe solution.