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Unread 09/09/2006, 11:26 PM   #1
brackishdude
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MY auto top off - nice and clean

This set up allows you to avoid AC near your water, it's all DC.

Solenoid: Polypropylene Solenoid Valve 7877K5 20$ Mcmaster.com

Float switches also Mcmaster, horizontal mount liquid level switch 46515K41, 15$ each


The Relay is a 7-8$ double pole double throw (the normally closed - NC- is not used) from radio shack. I think this one
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search

The power supply is an old 12V one I had lying around that I made sure would supply adequate amps to open the solenoid.

The rest is assorted PVC, wire, and wire connectors.

I drilled a hole in the bracing on my sump and mounted it with 1/2" PVC connectors bulkhead-like and a gasket (as a cushion)

THe only thing I'd do different is not cut off the plug on the end of the old power supply. I think it would have been cool to mount the appropriate receptical for it into the PVC






So all I'm left with is a stretch of vertical 1/2" PVC with a flare to 1-1/4" at the top to hold the relay, with a cord sticking out and a solenoid hanging off of it.

Normal water level in sump



Time to fill. Bottom float switch turns on, also activating the relay so that the solenoid stays open . . .


until the second switch is turned off.



Secondary backup off switch.


Sorry I didn't show the switching inside the relay. I'm not going back to do it now, but it would have been instructive I think. When power flows through the inductor (spiral), it generates a magnetic field theat closes the pair of switches.

Edited to say I stole every idea used in this project, from the circuit to the choice of switches and solenoid. I've seen noone put it together quite like this before, however.


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Unread 09/09/2006, 11:39 PM   #2
Bebo77
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very nice....


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Current Tank Info: 300 Gal Envision Tank(98Lx30Wx26T) 120 Gal SoCalCreations Sump, Deltec TC2560, 2 LumenarcsMini 1 Reg on a light mover W Radiums 250& 400, Gallaxy ballasts, Red Dragon 10m3 return W/ 2 WavySeas, 2 6155 Tunze streams
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Unread 09/10/2006, 04:49 AM   #3
AcroSteve
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Have you actually tried this? Your wiring does not look right. And the spiral part is a coil.

Otherwise, you came up with a great combination of parts. Good job. Maybe look at what you built and doublecheck it against your drawing.


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Current Tank Info: 220g custom plywood. SPS heavy with Sequence Hammerhead return with 4-Way OM. Tunze 6100, 6200 and Wavebox. 5000btu DIY Chiller. Lighting is 10K mh 250W / VHO Actinic Skimer - H&S A200-2x1260
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Unread 09/10/2006, 06:27 AM   #4
Ehgemus
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Is the water going to come from strait from your r/o unit, or will it hold that much pressure?

looks good otherwise.


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Unread 09/10/2006, 11:30 AM   #5
brackishdude
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I have not run water through the solenoid, but it audibly trips with the right manipulation of the switches. It is rated for 100 psi when DC is used.

The progression better explained:

I erased the normally closed switch since nothing is connected to it and just show the NO switch.

This is with the water at appropriate depth:



Here the water has gotten low enough to close the bottom switch and give current through the coil/inductor



This in turn throws the in-relay switches



which provide redundant current to the coil/inductor and activate the solenoid



when the lower switch is opened by the rising water, the coil/inductor remains energized and the solenoid does too. (the coil is energized by current going through the switch it is controlling. . . bootstrap logic!!)



Then the water fills high enough to open the second switch (whoops the pic shows closed, sorry), cutting of current to the coil/inductor



which cuts off both in-relay switches



and with a little evap returns the entire circuit to the original resting state



The third switch is just a redundant off switch in case the second sticks

This set up can be used to add water from any pressurized source, including gravity-fed from an elevated holding tank.[


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Unread 09/10/2006, 12:54 PM   #6
AcroSteve
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That looks better.


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don't go ninjin' nobody that don't need ninjin'!

Current Tank Info: 220g custom plywood. SPS heavy with Sequence Hammerhead return with 4-Way OM. Tunze 6100, 6200 and Wavebox. 5000btu DIY Chiller. Lighting is 10K mh 250W / VHO Actinic Skimer - H&S A200-2x1260
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Unread 09/10/2006, 03:28 PM   #7
brackishdude
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Thanks acro. It's actually the same circuit, just more clearly depicted.

Fifteen years ago I had just finished Circuits I and II, Circuits Lab, Electronics, and Electronics Lab. After getting my ME degree, I sort of went a different direction. So it took me a while to decifer the logic of the circuit as I origianally saw it from wallygator here, less intuitively presented:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...5&pagenumber=2

I just used DC components with the same circuit.

Here is where the parts list partially came from:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/pr...59&perpage=290

I t just seemed too much work to drill into the side of the sump and thread it three times, especially since the switches and the solenoid both screw into standard 1/2" pcv thread. It was begging to be put together this way.


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Unread 09/10/2006, 03:31 PM   #8
brackishdude
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BTW, "O" is not for oil, it's for "Earl", whoever that is. . . and I don't even want to know what he's doing on JJ's hair


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Unread 09/10/2006, 06:02 PM   #9
CoolUsername
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Very cool. Good idea to keep the electronics out of the water. Nice setup/control.

The third switch (top) is great too. Another question about What if the solenoid fails? Another idea that I've seen a few people use(I plan to also) is to feed the output of the solenoid to a float valve. Mount the float valve so that it engages when the water rises above the third switch. So most of the time the float valve will be open it will close only when everything else seems to have failed and just before it overflows.


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Unread 09/10/2006, 06:29 PM   #10
brackishdude
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Yeah, a "Kent marine" style float valve (vs. float switch) as a last-resort high-in-the-sump cut off in case of a stuck solenoid would make this as disasterproof as can be.

I may yet do that, but I figured if I don't have a float valve on my ice maker, do I need one on my top-off?


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Unread 09/10/2006, 06:54 PM   #11
CoolUsername
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Yeah. Good point. I guess the answer is what would the results of the failure be. In the ice maker You'd have a flood. Possibly loose some food maybe even the freezer in the worst case. In the case of the aquarium if you've been up for while it could mean 2-3 years worth of coral collecting growth and fish down the drain plus the floor problem.


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Current Tank Info: 100 G. Acrylic in wall (35 gallon sump), 20 gal. AGA (sumpless)
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Unread 09/10/2006, 07:29 PM   #12
Halmotors
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Very nice job. Looks to be very clean and well thought out.


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Unread 09/11/2006, 07:06 PM   #13
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good job.......you shouldnt have any probs with that setup. well done


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Unread 09/11/2006, 11:49 PM   #14
BeanAnimal
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Just a note here guys...

most of the "plastic" solenoids have brass and copper wetted parts in them, no matter what the silly McMaster website or other etailer says. ALL OF THE AC MODELS will have a copper shading coil that makes contact with the water. The DC models do not, but may have brass valve seats.

Bean


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Unread 09/12/2006, 03:29 AM   #15
AcroSteve
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So, we need someone to buy one and open it up to double check.


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"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


don't go ninjin' nobody that don't need ninjin'!

Current Tank Info: 220g custom plywood. SPS heavy with Sequence Hammerhead return with 4-Way OM. Tunze 6100, 6200 and Wavebox. 5000btu DIY Chiller. Lighting is 10K mh 250W / VHO Actinic Skimer - H&S A200-2x1260
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Unread 09/19/2006, 03:01 PM   #16
richierich2000
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is there any solenoids that are safe? I need one for my Kalk reactor


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Unread 10/05/2006, 10:32 AM   #17
Racenrich
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I have a "nice and easy Auto-off"......10g res. connected to a Kent Float switch...gravity fed......I only need to add water to the res every three days....NO SWITCHES OR POWER INVOLED....to me that is "nice and easy".....





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Unread 10/05/2006, 11:04 AM   #18
Donw
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Quote:
Originally posted by AcroSteve
So, we need someone to buy one and open it up to double check.
If you go to the mcmaster page that has all the valves. The 12v on at the top has no brass or copper. All the other open coil ones have exposed metal. Its gold in color and I'm unsure if its brass or copper. I' m assuming copper.
IMO they are all fine for pre and post rodi only no salt water.
Don


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Unread 10/05/2006, 11:13 AM   #19
BeanAnimal
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The DC valves will not have the copper. The "polycarbonate" vavlev at McMaster is made by Norgren (kip valves). The DC version has ONLY stainless steel wetted parts.

Racenrich... I don't want to hijack this thread... But I hope that the APC UPS is not meant to run pumps in the event of a power failure. It does not put out anything even close to a sine wave and will not work well with electric motors.

Bean


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Unread 10/05/2006, 11:15 AM   #20
BeanAnimal
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Ooppps... quoted myself instead of editing.

In any case these units have some of the worst looking output and switching spikes of any unit on the market at any price range. They are not really even suitable for anything more than a low end, low speed desktop PC.

Bean


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Unread 10/05/2006, 12:35 PM   #21
Racenrich
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Quote:
Originally posted by BeanAnimal
The DC valves will not have the copper. The "polycarbonate" vavlev at McMaster is made by Norgren (kip valves). The DC version has ONLY stainless steel wetted parts.

Racenrich... I don't want to hijack this thread... But I hope that the APC UPS is not meant to run pumps in the event of a power failure. It does not put out anything even close to a sine wave and will not work well with electric motors.

Bean
The UPS runs the 3-1200 MJ's powerheads i have; Two are in my prop tank and 1 is in the fuge area....nothing else......i know better than that....thanks for looking out though!


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Unread 10/05/2006, 12:42 PM   #22
douggiestyle
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another route is to use the valve before the rodi filters. then valve type is not important. no waste water shut off is needed. also eliminates creeping through the membane. reduces waste water.

i would also add a float switch inside the tank. accidents do happen.


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