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Thread: DIY flood alarm

  1. #1
    Senior Member Marty's Avatar
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    DIY flood alarm

    My father in law gave me a great idea on recycling old battery operated smoke / fire alarms and use them to make DIY flood alarms. If he were next to me right now he'd want me to let you all know that you need to replace these alarms every 10 years...retired fire inspector. :smile3:

    The cost should be less than $1, assuming that you replaced the battery at some point in the past 5 years ..:confused If you open or remove the cover, you will see a square metal box and a little piece of metal shaped like a "T". With the battery in place, test it by pushing the metal "T" onto the box. If it beeps loudly and makes everyone else run outside screaming "fire ..fire", you're off to a good start. The next step requires a bit of soldering...take two smaller gauge wires and solder one to the "T" and the other to the box, then place the cover back on and you're done.

    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...f/DSC02106.jpg
    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...f/DSC02104.jpg
    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...f/DSC02105.jpg

    I would use a spacer (wood or plastic - not metal) to keep the ends of the wires from touching each other and glue or tape it together to keep everything in place. You can test it by dipping the two wire ends into a glass of water ...should beep. Leave the wire ends about 1/4" above the floor and hang the alarm where it can be heard clearly if there is a problem. If there is a flood of any sort, water will touch both wire ends, close the circuit and make the alarm go off. If there's nobody home to hear it, then you're no better off but at least it's an easy & cheap DIY project.

    Marty

  2. #2
    Senior Member SnelgroveReefer's Avatar
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    Great Idea Marty, thanks.
    Mark
    90g Display, 30gal sump w/ refugium, MAS CR418 calcium reactor w/ Mag5 and Blueline CO2, Vertex IN-180 protein skimmer w/ Mag5, Mag9.5 return, 150 Phosban Reactor w/ MJ 1200, 1 Ebo 200w heater, 90lbs. LR, 80lbs. Carib-Sea aragonite, Cooltouch MH lights -2 x 400watt (20K & 14K) PFO hoods & Coralife 65w PC in custom hood with fan, Coralife 3-3/4watt mini moonlights, 8 jet Closed Loop System w/Reef-flo Dart, Aqua-Safe RO/DI, JBJ Auto Top Off unit w/Mag 5 return, 12g Nano cube, 10g quarentine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    Excellent idea!
    Much cheaper too than getting the 'flood detector' from Lee Valley.
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  4. #4
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    Good idea, but it may be a bit dangerous. Take a look at photo one again. There is a radioactivity symbol (actually it says radio active material)l. The amount of radioactivity present in older smoke detector is low but none the less it's radio active material.

    I believe newer smoke alarm use a different material (non radio active) but I'm not 100% sure everybody has switch.
    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. --
    Charles Darwin

  5. #5
    Senior Member groupie02's Avatar
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    I'm just curious to know how people would react when the thing goes off... will everyone know that it's the flood alarm?
    65g - 80lbs LR - 4x36" 39W T5 HOs (2x10000K,2xActinics) - CSS125 - 25g sump - Mag 7 return - Blueline SD-1100 Closed Loop with OM Squirt * 2x Amphiprion ocellaris - 1x Paracanthurus hepatus - 1x Zebrasoma flavescens
    29g - with stuff ;-)
    Coming Soon - 120g with more stuff

  6. #6
    Senior Member Marty's Avatar
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    To be honest, I didn't even notice the radioactive material warning even though I soldered a wire 3 cm form it. I don't imagine there's much radioactivity emitting from it but if my fish start growing two heads, I'll start asking questions.
    Good point groupie02, it would lead people to assume that it's the fire alarm that is going off rather than a flood alarm. I guess it would be a good idea to let your family / roommates know that you have installed one but in my case, I'd be the one going to check or getting up in the middle of the night anyway. My tank is in the basement so if I hear beeping coming from there, it's either a flood or a fire so if I smell/see smoke then I'll go with plan B but otherwise I'd be able to minimise flood damage. I originally set one up on my house sump just in case the pump quits but it could be useful as a tank flood detector as well. I don't know if there are fire alarms that make a different sound/beeb but if so, it would be nice to have a distinct sound to differentiate between fire and flood.

  7. #7
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    Good idea.Will this work with any battery op. alarm? New alarms come in different detection styles.Some are for fast burning fires others for slow burning.
    125 gal 150lbs live rock 3 inch sand bed
    440 VHO 2 actinic 2 10000 daylight on icecap 660
    2 x 250w xm 15000 on icecap 250
    CSS 220,xp3 running carbon / phosguard,Seio 1500
    10 gal fuge hang on chaeto

  8. #8
    Senior Member boyohboy's Avatar
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    The "fire" alarm sound will be a concern, definitely not a good idea to use in apt with all the other ppl living around I'd think. I bought mine from HomeDepot for $10.. can get a 5-pack for $35.
    Hardwares: 50G reef tank, 30G sump & ~55lb Indo/Fiji LR. Finnex 36"x4 T5 lights, Coralife Superskimmer 220g, Mag9.5 return and SEIO820+MJ600 PH.
    Corals: zoosss, mushrooms, hammer, torch, fogsprawn, blasto, crocea clam, RBTA
    Fish: Percular clown PJ cardinal, royal gramma, yellow watchman goby, 3x chromis.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bonaqua's Avatar
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    My two cents....
    if that alarm goes off ....and you're not home.....and somebody hears it......and they call fire department....and there's no fire.....you might end up with a hefty bill on top of the flood damage (if any) and livestock loss (if any).

  10. #10
    Senior Member SnelgroveReefer's Avatar
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    I bought the 5 pack from HD as Boyohboy stated. Fast easy and cheap.
    Mark
    90g Display, 30gal sump w/ refugium, MAS CR418 calcium reactor w/ Mag5 and Blueline CO2, Vertex IN-180 protein skimmer w/ Mag5, Mag9.5 return, 150 Phosban Reactor w/ MJ 1200, 1 Ebo 200w heater, 90lbs. LR, 80lbs. Carib-Sea aragonite, Cooltouch MH lights -2 x 400watt (20K & 14K) PFO hoods & Coralife 65w PC in custom hood with fan, Coralife 3-3/4watt mini moonlights, 8 jet Closed Loop System w/Reef-flo Dart, Aqua-Safe RO/DI, JBJ Auto Top Off unit w/Mag 5 return, 12g Nano cube, 10g quarentine.

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