Waste out, SW in, automated?

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by RiaanP, 24 Mar 2010.

  1. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    How do you automate this? Or how far can you go to automate it?

    Got two 90L drums. One for RO and one for SW. This part is easy. Pump water from full RO drum to empty SW drum. Stop pump.
    To automate, install RO drum above SW, open valve and let it drain.
    Advantage, I do not forget to switch the pump off. Using gravity that is for free.
    Problem, if SW drum was not empty, I could flood it. (if outside- not big issue)

    TO circulate SW drum for day or two before water change, just dump smaller return pump in there, 300 to 600L/h should do it.
    Problem, if I empty the SW drum, I have to remember to switch this pump off.

    OK, now the final one. How do you remove exactly the right amount of waste water. Then there after dump or pump new SW water back in. I need to drain 80L water, if it reach that, it should stop. Do not want the sump to run dry. Can if needed to, switch return pump off, and drain from display. Then need to open SW ballvalve, or switch that pump on. When SW drum empty, (baby sit it with beer in hand), switch sw pump off, switch return pump back on. Here you need a bigger pump as you do not want to wait forever. You can not use gravity to drain to the sump, as the sump return pump might be faster than the SW inflow. Thereby draining the return chamber and causing another dry running pump.

    Already got you confused with what to switch on and off when? Must re-read the paragraph to try and understand the sequence?

    Switch this off, that on, open this, close that... Nope. how do you guys make it easier so that even your Non-Reefer can do it.

    Also, keep in mind that RO and SW tanks will be remote / next door / out door to the tank. And I do not want to run back and forth checking, switching, closing stuff.
     
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  3. manta

    manta

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    Hmmmm very interesting. RiaanP I love reading your posts/threads as you always post interesting problems. Will have to think about this one.
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    Looks like 20 odd guys did read this post, but not venturing into giving a reply.

    hmmm, no answers.... everybody stumped?:(
     
  5. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    o yes, thanks Manta for the compliment. :)
     
  6. FransSny

    FransSny

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    How close can you get your cannisters to your setup Riaan
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    About 5 meter


    Tank in left top part of Lapa. Tanks on the right "bellow" the Lapa. Floor level about .4m lower at tanks compared to sump/tank floor.
     
  8. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    Hi Riaan,
    A possibility is to drill a drain hole in your last/return sump chamber just above your top up float switch level,when doing a waterchange excess salt water will drain,the creative part is how to not dump a percentage of fresh mixed salt water.A temp. difference(5-8 degrees centigrade can help,thermocline, effect to keep the liquids seperate)
     
  9. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Sorry Riaan you know I suck at DIY ....just thought I would reply at least :)

    Only thing I can think of is a float vavle (THINK its called a tommy valve) , it has 2 outlets...once the drum is full the one closes and the other opens and circulates water back to the tank...stops overflows, dry DSB etc
     
  10. manta

    manta

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    Here is my idea-Feel free to crit.

    I do not have a drwaing program so have done it in excel hence the attachment. Maybe one of the clever guys can do it in a jpeg so that it is legible in the post.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Riaan, it really not that difficult to do, it really depends on how much you wanna spend, I've got a system that does a very similar job to that, it will control all my water changes, 50Lts a day, bit could be configured to do whatever you want.
     
  12. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I have designed a similar system and basically IMO it all revolves around a third dedicated tank with a series of float switches and valves, i will try post a detailed description later today or tom depending on work which is a nightmare at the moment
     
  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    I'm interested.

    What I figured out so far.
    Need 3 drums. RO, SW and Waste

    RO to SW, must be a pump. Else if RO drum to high, your auto top up might go and syphon all out.

    First action, switch off Return pump.

    Next, waste drum, 90L, should be mounted so that it 80L mark, is same level as the display tank is at 90% full (10%water change). One ball valve, open it, and it will drain until waste drum is full (or same water level). Close ball valve. Waste drum needs own tap / valve to be able to drain it away..

    Next. SW tank. Must be bigger than 80L. I got a 210L drum. Make 160L SW. have drain pipe installed facing upward. Pipe end must be equal to the tank full level (100% mark). Open ballvalve, and same amount of water that went to waste will drain from SW to display. Only problem is, that you should NEVER have more than a marked line of water in this tank. Once marked, its done. Depending on pipe diameter, it could drain either to display or to sump. If sump, ensure return is switched back on first. Only issue is that this drum might be too high.

    Close ball valve, and refill (or pump) from RO to SW until full.

    In summary, actions needed while doing water change.
    Switch return off
    Open waste ball valve
    have a beer while you wait.
    Close waste ball valve
    Open SW ball valve.
    Have another beer while you wait
    Close SW ball valve
    Switch on return pump
    Empty waste drum and prepare next week SW while you have another beer.
     
  14. manta

    manta

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    few replies no comments on my idea??
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    Yes Manta, I checked your Idea. You also got 3 drums.

    Only problem, is that I do not think most guys sumps can handle 10% water to be removed. So last chamber will be empty, or last chamber must be built big enough to be 10% of system. And that is a waste. Also you need to switch the sump return pump on and off. Else that pump will go dry. Or the last chanber must even be more bigger.

    Another solution to your design is to have glass between DSB and last chamber lower, like just above the sand. And you then use the volume of water above DSB as part of the water change. But then again you end up draining copepods...:(

    Also timer must switch auto topup unit off.
     
  16. manta

    manta

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    hmmmmm. back to the drawing board.
     
  17. nickv1

    nickv1

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    manta

    very interesting drawing...please do repost your update of this after incorporating Riaan's comments.

    Also where would one get all these switches you refer to? Sorry not a DIY myself.

    Thanks
     
  18. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Riaan,

    what about making the changed volume smaller.... 3% or 5%, and having a T piece on the return pump with a valve?
     
  19. vatso

    vatso

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    This is an easy problem to fix

    1 - SW Tank Filled up
    1 - Empty tank for old water

    have a float switch in your empty drum connected to a pump to pump water from your DT empty tank - when switch in reached pump turns off

    Have a float switch at the bottom of your SW tank connected the pump when float switch is reached pump will turn off

    Have 2 timers set 5 min apart that will do auto SW top up.

    all you need to do is mix new salt water & empty the old stuff which you could do with a tap on the old SW drum
     
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    Vatso - your solutions means a return pump inside the display tank....with pipe out to waste tank:(. The rest of your suggestion will work.

    Neil - not sure, but that means 2 water changes a week?

    Manta - I doubt if draining sumps will be the answer.

    I do not mind minimal things to switch on or off and 1 or 2 ballvalves. I must have an excuse for having a beer....:) Will also be cheaper.

    And I like the idea of using gravity instead of more pumps and special low voltage switches and timers and float valves. Gravity never fails...
     
  21. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    riaan, you can make a stand pipe that drains through the bottom of the tank, you extend this pipe say up to 75% of tank height (this will give you 25% water change for example), on that you have a solenoid valve that you can either set on a timer (umm everything will have to be synced, your return etc etc to go off when the solenoid opens). Then pump from mixing tank switches on and you can maybe control this whith float switch in tank....
     
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