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Old 07-14-2015, 12:12 AM
martinmcnally martinmcnally is offline
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Default Auto Top Up Failed Again :(

My second auto top up system failed this weekend (of course while I was out of town). I've pretty much had it with these crappy things.

I used to have a Tunze Osmolator and the pumps would fail every few months so I ditched that one for some float switches which worked for years. Then I decided to get a Aqua Gadget Hydrofill thinking I wanted a little more security. Do not purchase this, its garbage (in my opinion), bad design. It was finicky from the start. If you get any foam or dirt or anything on the sensors it fails. It has flooded my living room twice in the past 7 days.

Decided to go back to the old float switches and upgrade my Apex to control them.

I was thinking of doing this:

Single controller float. When its activated wait 5 minutes then turn on the water, when its deactivated with 5 minutes then turn off the water. This should prevent the constant on and off that you sometimes get.

Then the second switch will be closer to the surface as a fail safe. If activated the system is shut off and alarm sounds.

Also purchased 2 leak detectors if activated system is shut off and alarm sounds.

I was considering having 2 float switches do the on and off work but it just doubles the chances that one of them will fail. I think I would rather have apex programming that says if the water is on for more than 10 minutes something is wrong, close the water and sound the alarm.

If the controller float fails, and the programming does not stop the more than 10 minute water on, and the dead stop float fails I still have the leak sensors.

What do you guys think?
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2015, 12:27 AM
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Reef Pilot Reef Pilot is offline
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I use a double float set-up similar to this.
http://autotopoff.com/products/DS1/
I actually have it right out of the water in my sump, and only use it as a secondary (and third) safeguard in case my primary float (which regulates sump level and fed by my RO/DI) fails. The primary float feed only comes on for 5 min every 6 hours via a solenoid that is connected to my Apex. If power is off, solenoid is off. The power goes through the double switch controller, and will cut power if the 2nd or 3rd float is activated.
http://autotopoff.com/Solenoids/
The double float switch will not allow power to the solenoid.

Might be a little overkill, as even my primary float has never failed. But it does give me good peace of mind.

And the whole set-up costs way less than a Tunze or most other ATOs.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:32 AM
martinmcnally martinmcnally is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reef Pilot View Post
I use a double float set-up similar to this.
http://autotopoff.com/products/DS1/
I actually have it right out of the water in my sump, and only use it as a secondary (and third) safeguard in case my primary float (which regulates sump level and fed by my RO/DI) fails. The primary float feed only comes on for 5 min every 6 hours via a solenoid that is connected to my Apex. If power is off, solenoid is off. The power goes through the double switch controller, and will cut power if the 2nd or 3rd float is activated.
http://autotopoff.com/Solenoids/
The double float switch will not allow power to the solenoid.

Might be a little overkill, as even my primary float has never failed. But it does give me good peace of mind.

And the whole set-up costs way less than a Tunze or most other ATOs.
HA! That's the system I used to have. I should have stuck with it!
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:29 AM
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I have a second hand JBJ auto top off with controller and 2 floats and a cheap pump (can't remember brand atm) been working awesome for over a year and half with no issues
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinmcnally View Post
HA! That's the system I used to have. I should have stuck with it!
Me too. Been using the autotopoff.com unit for many years without problem coupled to an aqualifter pump. It's fairly bulletproof.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:51 AM
dino dino is offline
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I use a gravity feed from a bucket. System Cost 15.00 and has never failed
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150 gallon reef mostly softies/lps. 50 gal sump with bubble magnus skimmer/ Led fuge light/refugium/ 1200 return and tunze powerheads. Dual pharoah main tank led.4 pump dosser.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:35 AM
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10 years with a furnace humidifier float valve in the sump connected to the rodi. not a single problem.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:21 AM
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I have used 2 Kent Float Valves for 14 years with no problems.

I uses 1 Kent Float Valve from my RODI to a 45 gal drum and a second Fent Float Valve from the 45 gal drum to my sump.

The water storage tank can be any size. I use a 45 gal drum,

Tom R
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  #9  
Old 07-14-2015, 03:55 PM
The Guy The Guy is offline
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using the Tunzie 3155 ato system, so far it works very well. I like the gravity system best but my wife has a problem with a five gallon pail on top of a 6' step ladder in the living room. LOL!
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Hey! I never "LEFT" the hobby, just doing fresh water now. Which is still listed as part of Canreef if I'm not mistaken.

Last edited by The Guy; 07-14-2015 at 04:00 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-14-2015, 04:14 PM
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Ugly but fairly simple. Many, many years of trouble free operation. A variation of the mechanical float valve, gravity feed method. I don't have sump or room to mount a container above my display, so use a glass carboy pressurized by an air pump on a timer to feed a mechanical float valve in the display. I shortened the valve by a couple of chambers to reduce the footprint in the tank. I think after 5 or 6 years, I may finally need to replace the float valve. The rubber seal that closes the opening in the feed line when the valve is up has finally hardened to the point where it no longer provides a complete seal. Should be about $10 at the local hardware store.

What I find good about this set up is that everything happens rather slowly & even if something goes wrong, there's generally no disaster in the form of a flood. The fresh water is limited to the 7 gallons in the carboy and the air pump keeps just enough air pressure in there to feed the tank with a trickle when the level drops to open the mechanical valve. It gives me about 7 days of ATO.



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