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View Full Version : Never waste your $$$ on Apex leak detection, make your own!


element291
12-07-2016, 11:35 PM
Simple, skip spending over $100 on the Neptune Advanced Leak Detection Module (ALD and then $45 per probe.

Buy the IO breakout box for $40 which gives you actually 6 ports vs the ALDs measly 4.

Get yourself some cheap speaker wire will even do the job, what I did was use phone cable cause I had a bunch. If you have an ALD already, dont ever spend $45 on the probes... May as well send your cash to my paypal LOL.

What you do is goto dollar store if you dont have any old phone cords laying around, buy yourself the standard 4pin. Watch out for the 6 pin phone cords, no good for this...

So if you already have an ALD, you can buy 4 phone cords for $4. Opposed to 4 probes for $45x4 - again send it to my paypal if you want to throw it away.

Cut the one end off each phone cord, use pins 3 and 4, (only 2 wires usually green and yellow on standard phone cabling) You could stop here and throw some duct tape on the cables and tape them whereever you would have put a probe and bam $1 probes.

What I do, because salt water corrodes the wires pretty bad is to save myself failure I twisted my phone cord around coat hangers, wrapped in tape and then bent the hangers over my tank edge, sump edge, etc for my probes and they last forever so far.

If you have the apex but no leak detection, get youself a cheap IO breakout box for under $50 CDN to your door. Then you have yourself 6 ports to easily screw on any cable you please and you can put this into your code to have that port shut off any pump or ATO, etc you want.

I have one on the top of my tank so if my basement sump pumps up too much water it shuts off the basement pump for a few seconds.
Also one on my fuge, floors, walls, etc.

heres the code,

So under my reactor pump in the event that water leaks under my reactors I have a metal probe wire setup I built for nothing well $1. Then I entered this under my pumps outlet config

Set ON
If Swx6_1 CLOSED Then OFF


Swx6_1 being my first plugin for my probe wires off my apex.

Works like a charm has for months, just figured I would save some people some money if they wanted to spend the time to read :P

Humpty
12-08-2016, 03:22 PM
I plan on doing this too except I am going to use these.
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Water-Leak-Sensor-Detector-System-for-Home-Security-Warning-Signal-System-/171766167900?hash=item27fe0fb95c:g:oycAAOSwymxVOmr Y
They will be a little cleaner looking then loose wires

Reef Pilot
12-08-2016, 03:42 PM
I have a similar DIY leak detector using the breakout box, for several years now.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=861461&highlight=breakout#post861461
This thread has a few other good suggestions for using the breakout box.

element291
12-08-2016, 04:25 PM
I plan on doing this too except I am going to use these.
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Water-Leak-Sensor-Detector-System-for-Home-Security-Warning-Signal-System-/171766167900?hash=item27fe0fb95c:g:oycAAOSwymxVOmr Y
They will be a little cleaner looking then loose wires

Those would be neat, I wonder what kind of metal are on them and how the corrosion resistance would be.

I have a similar DIY leak detector using the breakout box, for several years now.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=861461&highlight=breakout#post861461
This thread has a few other good suggestions for using the breakout box.

Basically exactly the same. I figured I wasnt the only one doing these types of sensors!

sobe
12-11-2016, 08:00 PM
Nice one!

Here is what I use. They have it at homedepot Canada stores for $10. The probe is underneath I opened it and soldered old headearphone wires at the contact so I can place the wire where leak will likely be. It uses a 9v battery. I connected 9v power adapter so I don't have to worry about changing battery. I just test the end probes once in a while for peace of mind.

They have a wifi version of these things now. That might be a splurge for me to spend.

http://m.homedepot.com/p/Re-Useable-Water-Leak-Alarm-RWD21/204116885

mike31154
12-12-2016, 03:28 PM
So some of you folks are using probes made of copper in your reef systems without issue? Nails may not be harmful since they're steel, they'll simply corrode over time, but is copper not potentially harmful to your livestock, specifically coral? There might be a good reason the Apex probes are costly, they're probably titanium. In order to save a few bucks, you may be putting your valuable livestock at risk.

EDIT: Ok, never mind, my bad. I see these 'probes' are outside the tank & are only exposed when water overflows & hits the floor?

Reef Pilot
12-12-2016, 03:37 PM
Leak detection systems are normally outside your tanks, on the floor...:mrgreen:

mike31154
12-12-2016, 04:17 PM
Leak detection systems are normally outside your tanks, on the floor...:mrgreen:

Yes, thanks, I get that. I have a small battery operated one in the basement next to my RO system waste water collection container. Even that appears to have stainless steel probes. Reading the opening post led me to believe the individual has these probes in the reef system since he's using them with his Apex to control pumps, not simply sound an alarm. Even mentions he has one on the top of his tank. Some systems use float switches for that, so I reckon that's where my train of thought was. Either way, never a bad idea to be cautious with the use of copper around a reef tank.

Reef Pilot
12-12-2016, 04:50 PM
Reading the opening post led me to believe the individual has these probes in the reef system since he's using them with his Apex to control pumps, not simply sound an alarm. Even mentions he has one on the top of his tank. Some systems use float switches for that, so I reckon that's where my train of thought was. Either way, never a bad idea to be cautious with the use of copper around a reef tank.
My leak detector is under my sump and have it hooked to my Apex IO Breakout box, and it will shut down my return pump if there is a problem. I once had my hose pop off the return pump outlet and shoot water up to the ceiling of my sump room. Luckily I was there at the time, and was able to pull the plug before too much happened (other than I got soaked:redface:). But it got me thinking what if I had a leak there (lots of hoses and connections, etc) and was not around to catch it. Of course, since I hooked up my DIY leak detector (zero cost since I already had the Apex and IO breakout box), I have not had any problems.

Important point about copper in the reef though, and float switches can also be used with the IO breakout box. Currently I use one to turn on/off a solenoid as part of my DIY ATO.

element291
12-12-2016, 06:23 PM
Leak detection systems are normally outside your tanks, on the floor...:mrgreen:

This is true. The only copper that is close to my water is the bent coat hangers I wrapped in tape and used for my apex main pump safety OFF switch.

The copper only hits the water instantaneously for a second max then the pump is triggered off, my water level drops instantly and fast (1.5" drain times 2 1.5" return thats 4.5 inches of straight down to my basement sump.) This drops the water instantly in my tank then the pump will turn back on after a few seconds.

At no time is the copper really "in" my tank. The water once it hits the top rim of my tank in the event that somehow magically my 2 drains were to be clogged up or not working my pump will shutoff any I wont have 6000GPH spewing out all over my living room upstairs.

The apex probes look like stainless, they have stainless philips screws right on the bottom of them holding them together.
If you believe that a tiny coat hanger tip just merely brushing the surface of your water for less than a second is going to somehow leach or put something bad in the water then go ahead and spend the $50 for a neptune probe but I dont see a problem. I would even run this on a 5 gallon nano system as I dont believe that brief encounter is going to harm the water also your drains should never clog nor should your pump change speeds but this is a 100% failsafe that will let you sleep good at night and when your away on vacation.

I do see your point on copper -> saltwater but I dont think the design I am using was really explained the greatest in the beginning.

element291
12-12-2016, 07:19 PM
This made me laugh after -
Yes copper is no good for reef tanks but hey they use it to treat fish disease etc! :lol::lol: