ATO idea

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by neo, 15 Oct 2009.

  1. neo

    neo

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    Howdy,
    I've got this idea for an ATO, let me know what you think.
    Get a 220Volt float switch - About R80.
    Get an 'interval' timer - About R200
    Connect the float to the timer so that it switches 220Volt to the timer when water level low.
    Set your timer to run for long enought to get your water level on the mark again.

    Thats it.

    Basics of the interval timer:
    An interval timer is a timer that starts running for the specified time when you give it a supply, only when you reset the supply(off and then on again) will the timer start again. When the timer starts it switches the output contact on and after the time expires the output is off again - the model i looked at switches 220Volt@5amp - should be enought for a small pump.
    Fail-save: even if your float gets stuck in the closed position then the timer will only run for the specified time stopping your pump before the floor gets wet.

    Add-on: to stop the pump from running dry you can add a "current" monitoring device, also about R200, this thing sits inline and checks the current on the wire and breaks the connection when the current is to low/high, the thory is that the pump will use less current when not working as hard i.e. running but not pumping water, thus you use an 'under current' device, set it to break contact when the current is below ????amp (you have to do some manual measurements as each pump diff),
    the reset on this device is manual so you can fix it when you put some RO in your top-up tank/bucket again.

    So there, all parts from www.acdc.co.za, total cost including add-on R600, just need to improvise on mounting the float.
    O, almost forget, the timer and current thingy is DIN rail mounts meaning you need a DB with DIN rail or you have to buy a DIN rail strip(cheap).
    NEO
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    sounds good, but from exprience keep the ATO very simple as when it goes wrong it can turn a reef tank into a freshwater tank.

    dont use a timer, use another float switch to break the cycle when the water level is high enuff. since the rate of evapouration is not constant 10secs on one day might be to much or to little...
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    And for some reason people prefer to use 12V on float switches instead of 220V.
    Wonder why, there must be some shocking reason...
     
  5. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    u cant use a 12V float switch on 220V line, as far as i know
     
  6. Sentari

    Sentari

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    yep 220V is dangerous! i wouldnt want a 220V switch shorting out and causing problems.
     
  7. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    must admit, I don't have a tank yet (hopefull to have it next week), in the process of getting one, so I have no experience with evapouration, BUT, if you set the float to switch on when your water level drops say 50mm, then it doesnt matter if this happens in one hour or one day, or does it??, and you work with a fixed 50mm so you can time your pump very close - am i missing something here??

    Hmm Riaan, i hear what you say and yes 220v and water - yuk, but the float is sealed with a 500mm lead, you set the float to ride on the water and not in it, and I've seen pictures of sumps where the multiplugs and two-pin adapters are much more messy than a float - then again, trying your luck with 220V that close to water....let me sleep on it.
     
  8. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    well then just use 12v float with a relay to switch the timer, should add another R30 for the relay.
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    hi neo,

    yes you want to top evaporation over a period of time not all in one go, that can lead to big salinity swings which will affect your livestock. rather top up as and when needed rather than in one go
     
  10. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    hi dallas,
    not understanding you so clearly,
    1) do you mean that you top-up whenever there is some evaporation and not when there is a specific amount of evaporation?
    2) or do you mean that if the specific amount of evaporation is reached (my 50mm drop) you top-up slowly in 10mm steps over a longer period and not all 50mm in one go.
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    option 1, yes, the minute my level drops, my switch tunrs on the pump, then when it rises it turns off
     
  13. Afsal

    Afsal

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    for R600 can't u buy a new one or has the prices gone up ?? kudos for your diy though
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    R650 = Dorry. includes pump. hmmm.

    Some things are worthwhile to DIY, others it is easier to buy the thing. And simpler, and quicker, and whatever

    But nothing beats that feeling "I made it!"
     
  15. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    ja i know you can buy them but I've read some posts people complaning they don't last long and the floats getting stuck and you then have a wet problem so i came up with this idea of limiting the time the pump runs with one of those special timers i talked about.

    anyway, even if you just use the floats I mentioned you better of cause they have a mtbf of about 1mil cycles - plenty of years.
     
  16. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    neo i used to switches, one to determine when the level is low, and one a little higher to shut the pump off if by some chance the first gets stuck on
     
  17. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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  18. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    Riaan, no, the one to the left of it, RF-OV41, the one you talking about is @!#$!! expensive, probably due to the material used for corrosive environments.
    I see the lead is .3m not .5m, was browsing it last night after 11 and that after 2-hours cricket game of my son - not a good idea cause I'm still tired:( - rooi ogies en al:)
     
  19. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    crap I realy should go home, I see both switches from same material, don't know why the one is so expensive....
     
  20. Falcon

    Falcon

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    well its actually very simple to double fail safe the system..


    use 2x float switches connected at the water level so that BOTH have to be activated to activate pump in this way the risk is halved.almost completely 100% percent realiable as its very unlikely that both will jam at the same time.
     
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