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  1. #1
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    automatic water top off

    Hi,

    I've seen a lot of ideas and plans for one on the net, but none the way I'm thinking. Is it possible make some sort of device that detects when the water level drops to a certain point, turn on a pump (reservoir underneath) to pump water up into the tank, then turn the pump off when filled? That's it, no extra gadget, no drip. Is this possible?

    Maybe I just haven't search long enough. Hopefully, someone has done something like this and would be willingly to share some plans.
    thanks.
    thien

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Yes, it is possible.

    Using 2 float switches (in reversed polarity), a relay, and a power extension, you can make a simple high/low automatic water topoff.

    Simply plug in a powerhead feeding from a freshwater container, and presto!

    I've used the floatswitches located here: http://www.floatswitches.net with great success.

    I even went further, and used a transformer so that I only have 12v DC near the switch instead of a full 120v AC current in case there ever was a short circuit.

    You can even build in a failsafe into this idea by using 2 extra switches. The idea behind it being that both switches would have to activate (or de-activate) in order start the pump.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    Thanks Tang man for the link....is it possible to give a little more details? or perhaps tell me what I need to read up on?

    Unfortunately, when I say PRESTO, I don't get an automatic top off system!! Building things that involve electricity is not exactly my strong point. I can connect the black to black and white to white, but when you start talking transformer stuff and reverse polarity, i kind of was hoping for a step by step. :hammerhea
    thanks.
    thien

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Hehehe... I know what ya mean. I was kinda vague since I am at the office right now, and don't have access to the wiring diagram that I have in mind.

    If someone doesn't post it by the time I get home, I'll post it up.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    cool....I really appreciate any help I can get.
    thanks.
    thien

  6. #6
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Thien,

    Sorry for the wait... Been quite busy.

    Here's a schematic for an auto top-off.

    It only shows one high limit and low limit switch. You could always implement 2 high level and low level switchs in line as I mentioned earlier as a failsafe.

    Where it says "Load, pump, solenoid, whatever", just wire in an outlet (or an end or an extension cord) so that you can plug a powerhead in.

    Hope this helps.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    ok, I'm starting to understand this. But not quite understanding what a relay does.

    TM, can you take a look at this link http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=9639 and tell me if that's the same thing as what you're saying? He's saying no relay is needed (not that I know what that means) because of the rating of the switch and he uses the same switch that you suggested.

    Also, any idea where I can get a similar switch in ottawa or montreal? it just seems such a hassle to get things shipped here.
    thanks.
    thien

  8. #8
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    I looked at that link...
    In the schematic shown, he's only using 1 switch. Basically, when the water level goes down enough to activate the switch, it will turn on the pump.

    What you asked for was a low level detection and a high level detection. This is ideal for uses where you would like the water level to fluctuate MORE than the 1/2" or so allotted by using 1 switch.

    In my setup, I'm currently only using 1 switch in my sump to control top-off from evaporation. However I will use a high/low level detection in my fresh water container which opens/closes a solenoid from the RO/DI filter. This will allow the RO/DI filter to come on for long periods of time instead of short bursts.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tang_man_montreal
    I looked at that link...
    In the schematic shown, he's only using 1 switch. Basically, when the water level goes down enough to activate the switch, it will turn on the pump.
    So the 1 switch will know to shut off the pump when the water reaches the original level right? ie. about 1 inch like you mentioned. Ok, I understand what you mean now by having 2 switches ie. your fresh water container connected to R/O unit.

    I would just need 1 switch then. That's basically what I was referring to. Sorry for the confusion and having so many questions. Thanks for clearing this up.
    thanks.
    thien

  10. #10
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    No prob... :thumb:
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

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