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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are you guys doing for this? Like to know how "the process" you are following working out fo you? I am going on a vacation shortly and this is my biggest concern.

I purchased this float switch but haven't really successfully used it. Thanks for ideas, suggestion, help :))

Regards,

Intekhab
 

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I would like to know also as it does get to be a pain to have to put water in the tank twice a day
 

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vacations

Whatever you decide, it is very bad judgement to change things just before a vacation.

The float switch will work if it drips from reservoir into your sump but is prone to corrosion/minerals locking it open resulting in a flood. Another expensive solution is the dosing pump like Andy had on his R.O. unit where he has calculated the amount of evaporation and the doser is calibrated to add "x" gallons.
 

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I have a small tank and use an air pump controlled by a float switch and a Nalgene carboy to top mine off.

I got the float switch from http://www.floatswitches.net/ and it is mounted in the tank and turns the air pump on and off. The air pump is connected by airline tubing to the carboy, the carboy has two tubes going into the lid, one short and one long tube that reaches to the bottom of the carboy. When the pump comes on it pushes air into the carboy and then the top off water is pushed out of the long tube and into the tank. Once the water level has risen enough the switch turns off and the water stops. This system works well for me because I have a small volume of water and the top off is added to the system very slowly which is important because I use kalk for all my top off water. Another advantage is that there is no submersible pump to worry about having to clean and the small airline tubing is very easy to plumb. I can post some pictures of my system later if you would like to see them.

Here is the carboy I use, they are available in many shapes and sizes.

 

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I have a small tank and use an air pump controlled by a float switch and a Nalgene carboy to top mine off.
Everyday I learn something new here and that registers as my "kick *** tip of the day" right there. At first I was wondering why the air pump and crazyness to do topoff, but the advantages of no submersible pump, no need to estimate evap, ability to adjust the level of the return hose (to avoid kalk preciptate), simple plumbing, and no float valves to get stuck (when using kalk for instance) really kicks butt.

BTW, I assume the air pump has enough backward (for lack of a better term) resistance to prevent the hose with the water from just becoming a siphon and emptying in the sump?

Also, when you refill the carboy do you disconnect the tubes from the lid? (e.g. How do you screw the lid on with those tubes sticking out of it that are run into the sump and attached to the air pump). Would be nice to be able to be able to switch out carboys without unhooking/restringing the tubing. I guess they make airline connectors that would be easy to stick inline for that purpose.
 

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I knew someone was going to make me drag out the camera:)

BTW, I assume the air pump has enough backward (for lack of a better term) resistance to prevent the hose with the water from just becoming a siphon and emptying in the sump?
I have the output tube placed above the water line so I don't have to worry about a siphon forming.

Also, when you refill the carboy do you disconnect the tubes from the lid?
I just hold the lid in place and spin the carboy. Mine only holds 2.5 gallons so it is pretty easy to move around and I have extra length on the tubes so I can do it on the floor with no trouble.

I have to admit the hardest part of the system was finding a container of decent size with a tight sealing lid that wouldn't give away under the air pressure. Once I found the Nalgene Labware website (http://www.nalgenelabware.com/) I tought I was home free but a new carboy like mine is about $85!! I found some used ones on eBay for $11 and I was all set.

Here are some pictures of my system.

This one shows the float switch and the hard output tube connected to my tank.



Here is is in action.



Here is a wider angle. You can see the kalk mixing under the tube.



Here is the carboy in my stand.



A shot of the tubes in the lid.



And some tank shots just because.



 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the responses! :)

Willtel, I purchased the same one you got, I think you have the Powerhead Control right? What kind of pump/powerhead are you using? I haven't used it because I try to use one of those PH I had at home but didn't spend a lot of time

I got to get something setup by tomorrow. But I convinced my mother-in-law to stay in the house while we are away:beer:
 

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Yep I'm using the powerhead control for mine. I had to lenghthen the wires a little but it works great. Here is the pump I am using any decent size air pump should work ok.

A few things to keep in mind.
I don't leave mine plugged in right now because I don't trust the suction cup, it has come loose a few times and I'm planning to make a permanent acrylic mount for it.

Also be careful of where you put the float switch. Mine is in my refugium and I have heard of others putting them there and snails crawling onto them and causing a flood, or worse a nuking your tank with kalk. Several people have mounted them inside a drilled pill bottle or film container to protect the from snails. I plan to do this when I make my mount. There is another method of using two float switches, one mounted higher than the first to shut off the pump in case the lower one hangs in the on position. With the size of my tank and makeup water container I didn't think it was needed.

 

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this is the safest most efficient method i have found. i have a seperate holding container with a float switch and a solenoid on my ro/di, so the holding container remains partially full. use a top off device in the holding container(lifereef or vario or hospital dosing pump) to automatically top off the desired amount into your tank. i have left mine unchecked for two weeks, and ive never had a problem or an accident going on two years.
 

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That is the coolest thing I have ever seen....It looks cheap to,

(If i can find some cheap carboys)...I am going to play around with the idea....Would the float switch work if I put it in a sump?

I am not very familar with float swithches.....But I am tired of dumping 1 gallon of water in my tank every two days...
 

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Like I said finding a decent carboy at a reasonable price was the hardest thing I had to do. One other place to try is home beer brewing stores. There are a few in town and they sell usually sell them. They may be glass but they would work the same.

The switch in the sump would be ideal. Just keep and eye on it when you first get it set up so you don't have any floods or other issues.
 

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I carboy solution is ideal for smaller systems, but in large systems that evap 2-3g a day, you'll find you'll be topping off your top-off just as often as you did your tank!

For people going with the above methid, I have a powerfull dual output air pump that looks similar to the one in the pic above. Mine if the same brand but its larger and has a dial so you can adjust air output. If anyone is interested let me know, I used it for like 2 days when I tried to make an airstone driven skimmer (a horrible failure i might add).

I also have the above ultra float switch for sale too.

I am moving to a gravity vat controlled by solenoids and float switches because my system is larger and I'll be dosing kalk to a reactor.
 

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I bought a 20gal vertical holding tank from US Plastics, a small bulkhead, a couple JG fittings and a float valve from Kent. Put the valve in my sump, ran the hose through the wall to the bottom of the holding tank and viola. Top off. Now I turn on my RO/DI and it fills the holding tank. I have to fill it alittle more than once every 5 days. I've attached a pic. Not the best, but it works great!!

What does that Ronco guy say? "Set it and Forget it" or something like that :)

Ryan
 

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rcassidy said:
I bought a 20gal vertical holding tank from US Plastics, a small bulkhead, a couple JG fittings and a float valve from Kent. Put the valve in my sump, ran the hose through the wall to the bottom of the holding tank and viola. Top off. Now I turn on my RO/DI and it fills the holding tank. I have to fill it alittle more than once every 5 days. I've attached a pic. Not the best, but it works great!!

What does that Ronco guy say? "Set it and Forget it" or something like that :)

Ryan
That's inspiring. I've been thinking about a similar setup for my RO, but hadn't found a holding tank small enough. My laundry room is identical to yours. I'd often thought about mounting the RO above the washer, but your setup is nice because the canisters are more accessible (and I wouldn't have to worry about draining water into the power outlets when changing media).

Question: What type of fitting did you use to tee off of the washer feed line? Did you use the hot or cold side? Did you install some type of valve on the RO feed line to shut it off? I think a neat idea would be to use the Kent RO float valve shut-off kit to regulate the water level in your reservoir, thus totally automating your system.

Also - how reliable is the float valve? Is that suseptable to failure from salt creep build-up?
thanks for the great idea!
 
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