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Thread: How to Automate Water Changes

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    Default How to Automate Water Changes

    Hey Guys,

    I have exhausted the search feature on the forum and would really appreciate some input on my set up. My goal is to automate water changes but I am having a difficult time with the engineering. I have the plumbing completed but need help with the electrical. I have a water storage bin connected to a water line with a sprinkler valve. From the water storage to the tank I have a pump. The tank has an overflow that goes outside.

    I was planning on attaching the pump to a timer to automate the transfer but I do not know how to auto-refill the water storage. Traditional ATO systems power a pump. Could an ATO system like the "JBJ water level controller" control the sprinkler valve?

    Is there a better way to do this that I am over thinking?? Thanks in advanced.

    IMG_0904.jpg
    Last edited by des275; 07-09-2019 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Add pic

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    JBJ has several controllers. Are you thinking mechanical or optical? I would go mechanical.

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    Could I wire a float to a power source and the sprinkler valve or do I need a controller?

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    I think it best to have a controller that has a high level float to shut the valve and a low level float to open the valve.
    If you do it with a single float, the barrel will start to refill before you're done pumping out the aged water.


    If you're somewhat handy electrically you could do it with a single float and a "ON" time delay relay set to a longer period then it takes the pump to empty the barrel.
    This would delay the valve from opening but then the float would still close it.

    An example :https://www.ebay.com/itm/DC12V-Time-...QAAOSwA0JcfPQ9

    Match the coil voltage to the valve voltage for simplicity.
    Last edited by slicksta; 07-09-2019 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Add

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by slicksta View Post
    I think it best to have a controller that has a high level float to shut the valve and a low level float to open the valve.
    If you do it with a single float, the barrel will start to refill before you're done pumping out the aged water..
    Good point!!

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by slicksta View Post
    I think it best to have a controller that has a high level float to shut the valve and a low level float to open the valve.
    If you do it with a single float, the barrel will start to refill before you're done pumping out the aged water.


    If you're somewhat handy electrically you could do it with a single float and a "ON" time delay relay set to a longer period then it takes the pump to empty the barrel.
    This would delay the valve from opening but then the float would still close it.

    An example :https://www.ebay.com/itm/DC12V-Time-...QAAOSwA0JcfPQ9

    Match the coil voltage to the valve voltage for simplicity.
    I think the delay relay is above my skill level (Ive already burnt out a solenoid and ruined a controller). After thinking this morning, I was thinking about removing the sprinkler valve and simply going with this:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    But it doesnt solve the issue you stated- the barrel will start refilling before the aged water is pumped out.

    Would this unit solve the problem:

    https://www.aquacave.com/tunze-ro-wa...-8555-000.html

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    I like the 2nd one. It's exactly what I was thinking of (2 separate floats) but this one has the controller and auto valve as well... However, it's limited to 1/4" tubing as is. If you wanted higher flow, you would have to purchase an additional valve with larger fittings.

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    I have the adapter to connect to 1/4 so that isnt an issue. I wonder if this unit would work....its $4 and I already have the two floats.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Liquid-Leve...sAAOSwbmFcdWI0

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by des275 View Post
    I have the adapter to connect to 1/4 so that isnt an issue. I wonder if this unit would work....its $4 and I already have the two floats.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Liquid-Leve...sAAOSwbmFcdWI0
    I believe that controller uses sensors that you'd have to buy separately, which I believe are inexpensive as well. Problem with some of the Chinese stuff is that it doesn't come with adequate instructions and description of operation. Then there's reliability... It's hit or miss. Some stuff is good, other not so much.
    As Brian stated earlier, I prefer mechanical float switches over sensors.
    The other 2 units are limited to 1/4" and then the other issues already stated. Not to mention the high price of the latter controller.
    If you're not in a rush I'll see what I can come up with.
    You might want to set up a leak detector as well.
    I'm doing automatic wc but I'm using tap water and a constant drip so no pump or storage tank refill.
    I can help you with the wiring on what ever you get as I've built a few. Wiring here is not as neat as usual as I'm in the middle of slight design change and doing some testing.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    WOW, I'll send you a PM to discuss directly.

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    This is near what I think what would be best.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3282...chweb201603_52

    I belive the sprinkler valves are 24v AC so it would be easier if we can find one that operates at the same V this way you can use a single transformer to run it all.

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    How about a mechanical ball float valve to top up the storage? No electrics, reliable and works. All you would have to do is drill the storage container to fit the valve and connect it up. On the downside it will start refilling the container the second you start pumping water out.

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    Default Re: How to Automate Water Changes

    I ended up going with a continuous feed from my tap through 3 filters, including a carbon filter. I have an overflow that goes to my garden. Hopefully, I can get the temperature to remain consistent...

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