Auto top up

Discussion in 'Test Kits, Controllers, Reactors and Dosers' started by burt, 4 Jun 2010.

  1. burt

    burt

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    hi there, im looking for a outo top up, just got back from town, and was chock, price on a outo top up unit r656, is this realy the price of it? is there a way for diy, if yes please send me the diy plans, or maybe buy a second hand one from some one, please help
     
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  3. PeterL

    PeterL

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    Dude, diy the thing. Have a look if you have an electical shop nearby and just get a 220V float switch. Then grab a baby pump and simply connect it into the brown wire of the pump. I use the live wire just by choice but you can tie into the blue wire too, it doesnt really make a difference. Some small tubing for the pie work and the job is done...

    Here is a pic of my float switch in action, it is one of the easiest DIY jobs I have done on my system

    [​IMG]

    I also looked around because I wasn't sure about the DIY route, then I got a switch and that is that. I was blown away with the R650 for the same thing I built for about R150 total. A super small pump is needed just to trickle the water back from your container with RO.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2010
  4. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Hi Peter, just noticed on in your pic your float switch is upside down, I assume you did it to correct the contact position (NO/NC)? normally there is a plastic clip that hold the float on, if you pop it off and turn the actual float part around this changes the position of the switch.

    Anyway, looks good.
     
  5. PeterL

    PeterL

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    I also at first mounted the thing the other way and the pump didn't switch off. So I fiddled with teh switch all to find out that this switch runs that way around. I tried swapping the wires around and connected to the neutral wire, swapped the wire directions there too but got the same results no matter what I did. So it appears that this switch is upside down.

    No train smash, I just extended the mounting bracket which I was making in any case so I just made it 40mm longer to accomodate the reverse position. It still opperates perfectly...The confusion of how this switch can be upside down still intregues me.
     
  6. PeterL

    PeterL

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    I am an ass, I re-read this after posting.
    You know what, I didn't give it a single bit of thought to simply turn the float the other way around...I would kick my own ass for being so stupid but I would end up tearing myself a new one instead because I am not that flexible. Thanks for the tip

     
  7. herkie

    herkie R.I.P.

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    I thought this is where I can give some good advice and find all the clever ous did their thing and my advice will look :(. I suppose I better go to bed now.
     
  8. PeterL

    PeterL

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    just flicked the clip off and turned the flot over and there you have it, the switch is the other way around...I am not keep on cutting the bracket now, I will do that in the morening so I just put it back the other way around and will sort it out properly in the morning.

    Ah man, how did I not think of that, gees...:banghead:
     
  9. burt

    burt Thread Starter

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    as this is my first atemp, please guide me step by step what to get, and how exactly to do it the right way, thanks guys
     
  10. PeterL

    PeterL

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    I will try, please excuese me if this gets long and drawn out but I want you to understand correctly so that you can get ir right:

    First you source a float switch from an electronics shop, it needs to be 220V, you get 12V units so just confirm the voltage.

    The you get the smallest pump you can find, it just needs to get water from a spare container into your system so it doesn't need to rush the water, slow is fine. I say small pump because it is cheap and you don't need to gush the water to your system, it just needs to get there.

    Then you need a container which you are going to keep your RO water in, I am using a 30L container, you can use what ever size suits you, some people are using large 200L containers - your choice. The preffered choice is a dark container, he less light which ca get in the better - it prevents algae growth as the water will be standing.

    When you buy the pump, you will have an idea of approximately how many m of pipe you will use, simple clear tubing will be sold at your LFS where you are getting the pump - obviusly sized the pipe for that pump outlet.

    Some spare glass or perspex, I used perspex because I can quickly cut it simply by scoring it with a blade and it then snaps in a clean line, then just sand the sharp edges so that you don't cut yourself.

    So now you have done your shopping, take your container an drill 2 holes in the very top, just big enough to fit the pipe through and the other to fit the wires through for the pump. Thread the pipe through and get it to the bottom of the container, run it in a mock-up just to test run for the length you need to reach your destination and cut to size.

    Clip the plug off the pump and connect the pump to a single color of the pumps wires, the switch has 2 black wires. once one side is joined to the pump side of the wiring, re-attach the plug (check your wire colors to be correct). It is a 2 pin plug so it doesn't matter if you tie into the blue or brown wire - it is a switch and will just open the circuit or clese the circuit, with any electrical item with 2 wires only, take 1 wire off ant it will stop. That is in essence what the float switch does.

    Now I hope you remembered to feed the wires through the hole in the container before making any joints...and the pump must reach the bottom of the container.....
     
  11. PeterL

    PeterL

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    pics will follow...still finishing off the explaination
     
  12. PeterL

    PeterL

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    One thing you need to know is that the outlet position or the end of the pipe from the pump, MUST be higher than the highest water level in the container, if it is lower - it will siphon out until it reaches the level of the end of the pipe, the result can and usually will result in a flood all over the place.

    You then cut 50mm x 50mm squares from the perspex, plastic or glass if you want glass. you need 3 of them. Join them together to make 3 sides of a cube. In the one side, you need to drill a hole just big enough for the bolt thread of the float switch to fit through to fasten onto the perspex/plastic or glass item.

    So now you have your 3 sided or partial cube. You now go to the outlet chamber of your sump and lower the switch which is mounted to the 3 sided cube to the point where the float would be in the upper position and you measure from the 3 sided cube to the tp of the sump glass.

    You can then cut another piece of perspex 50mm x your measured depth. Cut this and fix it to the cube. Now you can either clamp that in position or glue it into place - your choice. now fill your container with water, make sure your pipe is secured in place and then plug it in. You can test the switch to make sure it is working, if it is and the water level is right, that is that - you are done. Now you just got to keep an eye on your top-up container. I nearly forgot to fill it because it take so long to empty.
     
  13. PeterL

    PeterL

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    You can see how the 3 sided cube works and the additional strip I spoke of and where the switch is relative to all of that in the photo I posted above (edited addition). You can also see the DIY clamp I made from plastic screwed fittings which I got in the irrigation section of my local hardware. You can glue it in position if you want because your water level must stay in the same place.

    The difference between what I have right now and what should be done, is my swtch is upside down you will install it so that the switch "hangs" opposed to point upward (edited addition). The wires should be coming out the top of the switch and not submerged as I have it. The top of the switch is sealed with a hard resin so it is water proof anyhow.

    If you find that your switch works in reverse, just take the plastic clip of the end of the switch (you will see the clip which I am talking about when you have the float switch (edited addition), take the faom floater off and just turn it around and the switch will be the right way around and re-insert the clip.

    Do you require more photos or do you understand OK to be able to build this lot??
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2010
  14. lIghty

    lIghty

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    :lol:, LOL Herkie, all advise is welcome.:thumbup:

    :lol:, They say we learn at least 1 new thing everyday, guess what you learnt:whistling:

    good to hear, now you can at least get tose 220volt wires out of the water, have you tought of using a lower switching voltage, for safety?
     
  15. lIghty

    lIghty

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  16. seank

    seank

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    Are there supposed to be pics with this post Peter, as I cannot see any
     
  17. Jacojs

    Jacojs

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    Thought it was just me......about the pics.
     
  18. PeterL

    PeterL

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    I will take an array of pics in the morning, I am going to turn my switch around and will go step for step. I had a bit of a busy day today so wasn't able to get to it as anticipated.
     
  19. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    My ATU was over a R1000. But I think it was worthwhile. I can set it to 1 or 2 or 3 minutes. And that is the max it can pump water. If it did not reach the top level, then it switches off and an alarm goes. So the advantage is that it can not change my system into a fresh water tank if the float switch decides to get stuck.

    To do the same, I need 2 float switches, a special timer relay and electronic knowledge that I do not have. Give me anything else to DIY, Paint, tiling, welding, woodwork. Anything except electronics / electrical. House hold electrical, yes that's ok.
     
  20. PeterL

    PeterL

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    The images as promised.

    [​IMG]
    The fittings from the irrigation dept of Builders Warehouse, these are to build the clamp.

    [​IMG]
    Cut a groove 1/2 way through the male fitting wide enough to fit the float switch bracket and to clapm to the tank.

    [​IMG]
    The assembled clamp

    [​IMG]
    The 3 sided cube with a hole for the float switch and 1 "leg" longer which is measured to dictate the depth for the float switch.

    [​IMG]
    The float switch

    [​IMG]
    The float switch assembled - Now to attach the wiring to the pump. Simply cut 1 of the 2 wires and join the ends to the float switch.

    [​IMG]
    The float switch clamped into position.

    The pump is in a container and piped to the tank
     
  21. burt

    burt Thread Starter

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    ok, now i will do the same, just went to builders today, and they dont have a float switch, will go tomorow and get one at electric place, 12v or 220 the better one?
     
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