Coming Soon…
The Planet Whizbang
Toe-Tapper Faucet Switch

Dateline: 19 May 2014

This contraption is NOT
the Planet Whizbang Toe-Tapper Faucet Switch.

I’ve been working off and on (in my brain and in my shop) for the past ten years, trying to design a simple foot-operated water valve for an outdoor sink. The idea being, you connect a garden hose to one side of the valve and run a hose out the other side, up to the sink faucet. When you want to turn the faucet on, you step on the valve. To shut it off, you step on the valve again. 

Such a device would be very useful if you are processing a batch of chickens in the backyard, at a sink you have set up for that purpose (as I show HERE).  A foot “switch” to operate the water would free up both hands and be a big convenience. The same device could be utilized in an outdoor sink that you put up for pre-washing produce from the garden.

Foot-operated water valves are available for commercial use, but they are very expensive. I've not been able to locate an inexpensive faucet switch with internet searches. My quest has been to figure out how to make a simple, reliable, affordable foot-operated water switch using common, off-the-shelf hardware. 

Well, I think I have finally done it. I recently saw a new water valve design on the internet and realized that it was perfectly suited to achieving my desired objective. I ordered three of the valves and started puttering in my shop. It took me three days to nail down a design concept that I’m pleased with. In fact, I’m really pleased with how well this idea has come together.

I arrived at my design breakthrough on the morning of Saturday, May 17th (two days ago). I showed it to my son, Robert, and he was impressed. Marlene gave it the thumbs up.

I want to get this product on the market as quickly as possible. In fact, I want to have it available for sale in less than a month. This will be an example of what can be done by a small-scale, down-home, internet entrepreneur. To take a product from completed design to the marketplace in less than a month is something that a large corporation could never do.

I started cutting parts to make the product in my workshop on Saturday afternoon (shortly after I had a design I was satisfied with). I ordered the hardware I’ll need to make 100 Planet Whizbang Toe-Tapper Faucet Switches that evening. I'm going to see if I can get a price break by purchasing 100 of the valves at once. I’m moving on this ASAP.

You may be wondering about product testing. I haven’t put the idea through a testing period to see how it holds up. Well, that’s where I have another idea....

The first 100 Whizbang Toe-Tapper Faucet Switches will be prototypes. They will be made exactly as I plan to make the final retail product, using durable HDPE plastic and never-rust stainless steel hardware, but the HDPE will be mostly scrap pieces that I’ve saved from years of making chicken plucker and cider press parts. So there will be some scuffing and an occasional out of place hole. The prototypes won’t be as "pretty" as a final retail product would be. 

I will sell these prototypes, but they will sell for quite a bit less than the final retail version (if I make a final retail version). The first 100 prototype toe-tappers will be stamped with a prototype serial number. My expectation is that those who purchase this product will use it and give me some feedback. Based on the feedback I get, I will decide to modify the design, if needed, and continue with the idea, or not.

If I were wealthy and/or I thought this idea would eventually make me a lot of money, I’d give away the 100 prototypes, but that’s not the situation. This amounts to a sort of “crowd-funded” community effort— I come up with the useful product idea and you participate in the idea by purchasing a low-cost prototype, which you then use and evaluate.

Even if you don’t have a need for this new product, you will still be able to help me bring it to market by telling others you know about it. Pinning. Blogging. Tweeting. Facebooking. It all helps to get the word out.

If this is something you might be interested in, stay tuned. I will be unveiling the product and providing purchase buttons when it is ready to go. If you raise your own poultry and process it yourself, this hands-free, toe-tapper faucet switch is a tool that you'll want to have.


Survival Gardener/David The Good said...

Count me in. I've been trying to set up an outdoor sink with just this kind of operation.

Clinton Johnson said...

Any idea on the price? Also, I'm going to need it by mid July, if you don't mind :)

Herrick Kimball said...

You are counted in.

Price will be around $30 for the prototypes. The final price depends a lot on if I can get the valves at a wholesale price. There is only one supplier of them that I can find in the U.S. and I'm exchanging e-mails with them now to see if they will sell wholesale to me. If I can get these valves soon, I will have "Toe Tappers" available in June. That's the plan. I've put my clothespin-making plans on hold to get this idea launched. Thanks for your interest.

JT said...

I'm very interested.
I butcher chickens with your plucker several times a year and a garden hose is a pain but do-able. I want a proper station for doing it and this puts me in the right direction.
Thanks for all your ideas and site I gain lots from them.

Anonymous said...

Yup, count me in for one, too, Herrick. Done enough chickens the hard way so it is time to make it easy as pie.


Todd said...

I'd like to try it out too, we do process our own and the toe tapper sounds much easier than using the hose like last year.


Herrick Kimball said...

JT, Winston, Todd—

Sounds good. Thanks. I think you will appreciate what this little foot switch will do for you.

Everett said...

Hi Herrick, I tried using a regular hose end sprayer held in a clamp at one leg of my table. Er , didn't work to well. It kept sliding off and hosing me.

SOOo put me on the list for one as soon as they are available. Got 50 X-Rock crosses to do in about seven weeks and over 100 turkeys to do in the late fall!!

Survival Gardener/David The Good said...

If it goes over $30, I'm going to send a few of my clothespins back as barter.

Anonymous said...

Herrick, count me in as wanting to buy a prototype.

John Bringer

Sheila said...

Count me in too.

Maggie C said...

I'm definitely interested!

Scott in PA said...

I'd like to be on the list as well Herrick. I've coveted your original foot pedal design, but never found the time to copy or tinker with it. Thanks for your continued innovations.

Scott in PA

Daniel said...

Wow has it been that long already mine did not last very long

Herrick Kimball said...


Can you be more specific? What was the failure? I've only gotten positive feedback on this idea. Except for one person who said the valve came apart over the winter. I thought it might be due to frozen water inside. How long did you use the toe-tapper? Was it outside during freezing temperatures after using it?