Another Simple Top Off System

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Chris Jones, Jun 13, 2004.

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  1. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Homestead, Florida
    Well I am planning to go to Cancun for 5 days for some diving on 4th of July weekend, and needed some peace of mind for my tank. So I came up with this for under my stand.

    1-Rio 600 pump
    1-10' Clear hose flexible $4.50 Home Depot
    1-5 gallon bucket with lid $6 Home Depot
    1- ordinary extension cord $1 Dollar Store
    1-liquid level switch P/N 2A554 $13 @ Grainger (DX7 told me of this, I love you man)
    1-6" piece of 1 1/4 PVC $1 Home depot
    1-1 1/4 end cap $.88 Home depot
    1- 2"PVC to 2" thread coupling $1.40 Home Depot
    1- 2" stop cap $.88 Home Depot
    1-1" PVC to 1" thread coupling $1 Home Depot
    1- thumb screw $.60 Home Depot
    1- 14"x2" plexiglass Home Depot
    I cut two holes in the lid of 5 gallon bucket with a hole saw for door knobs to fit the 2" and 1" couplings, and screwed them in as shown. the 2" is for refilling easily with out lid removal.
    The 1" easily accomodates the flexible hose leading to my sump. I got a cap for the 2" fitting to keep things from falling in. I drilled 4 vent holes in the top of the cap.
    For the switch I drilled a hole in the center of the 1 1/4 cap that allowed me to thread the switch into it. i then drilled vent holes in this as well.
    with the switch in place, I slid 6" of 1 1/4 PVC into the cap. I used 6 " to help eliminate near surface wake or waves from cycling the pump.
    I then spliced the switch leads into one leg of the extension cord.
    Now I needed a bracket for the switch to be hung with. I cut a 14" long by 2" wide piece of plexiglass, and bent it using a hot air gun (I believe a super hair dryer might work as well) into the shape shown. drilled a hole in one end for the thumb screw, and tie wraped the switch to the other. I added a felt pad to the end of the thumb screw, because I could not find a plastic thumb screw.

    Instant piece of mind, for approx $30 plus a pump.
     

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  3. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Feather Duster

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    Location:
    Homestead, Florida
    The bucket
     

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  4. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Feather Duster

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    Location:
    Homestead, Florida
    Test of complete unit.
     

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  5. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Feather Duster

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    Last Pic.
     

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  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Wow that's awesome Chris! I'm impressed. :eek: 8)

    How does the liquid level switch work?
    How much of a water drop before it is activated?
     
  7. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Feather Duster

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    Location:
    Homestead, Florida
    Thanks Matt. That means alot to me!
    The Switch, in the wires up position, is normally closed when dry, and normally open when water level floats the float. You can invert the float switch for the opposite effect. It is a magnetic type switch that has magnets in the float that moves a piece of metal inside a sealed housing that makes or breaks the connection.

    I have it postioned in the final sump of my refugium with the return pump (this is the area first affected by water loss) and the float has about a 1 inch travel, so it keeps the system at full, or near full capacity at all times.
    As a matter of fact, i'm going to look at this being like a doser as well since it adds little by little ( my tank loses an average of 1/3 gallon per day) I might treat the topoff to add calcium or whatever. What do you think of that??
     
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  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    If you start dosing kalk, your dosing pump wound most likely take a hit it placed unless you give some thought to the intake (usually raise it a bit from the bottom a bit helps)

    One thing you could do which would be cool is make a knock off of my Tunze calcium dispenser that sits in my dosing bucket.
    Check it out:

    http://www.3reef.com/Photo_Album/admin/osmomot1.jpg

    If you can find a big sports bottle with a cap that seals well, you could easily do the same thing. You would just need to drill two small holes for the hoses and glue hose adapters on them. The pump pumps into the bottom of the dispensor. It comes in at an angle pointing toward the bottom to mix the kalk a bit. At the top of the bottle you have the output going to the tank. I just add a teaspoon of kalk a week to mine and shake it for a minute then put it in the bucket.

    The check valve between the pump and the dispenser prevents back flow of kalkwasser to the pump, prolonging it's life.

    WOrks well!!

    [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]

    Matt
     
  10. dx7fd2

    dx7fd2 Sea Dragon

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA,California
    Good job Ben!! [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]

    That's exactly what I'm gonna' do for my 'fuge. I looked at the other switches out there and I think I like that (grainger) one the best. I've got everything but the switch just about ready to go.

    Nice mounting bracket, too. ;)

    Matt, I think I'll ride your coat-tails on the doser...by the time I get that far I'll be able to pull that off, financially speaking.

    Thank you for the follow up!! ;D

    Drew
     
  11. gamma

    gamma Spaghetti Worm

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    Location:
    Irvine, CA,California
    BD, nice design. i'll have to give it a try myself.
     
  12. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Feather Duster

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    Location:
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    Cool, glad you like. One thing I did find was that not much mixing occured, and as a matter of fact, when I pH corrected the DI water in the container, it sat ther for so long, with only a little water being pumped that mixing was non existant. So... I cut a notch in the flexible tube near to the pump, (i started with a small hole and widened as necessary) so that very little actually made it to the sump, and the majority shot out back into the tank causing a swirling, and hence mixing action in the holding tank.

    So now it trickle fills my sump, while giving a good mixing action in the bucket. ;).