ATO Reservior Switch Question

MHG

Active member
I spent about an hour on the google and RC looking for the answer. I understand you want to store RO water for better water quality and longer membrane life. So one must store it in a reservior. That means a float (plus whatever safetys) in your sump and floats (and safetys) in your reservior. To keep your RO unit running long you need to wait until the water gets low in your reservior to turn that on. Then shut off your RO unit when the reservior fills.

How is that done?

If I have a float valve at the bottom my water level will stay on the bottom. If I have it at the top it will turn on and off everytime my controller and switches add water to the sump? turning on and off frequently as if I put the RO direct into the sump. It is a float at the top with a solenoid (with another switch and timer)?

any diagrams would be great since I am dumb
 
Last edited:

jmait769

-CSHFLW
I spent about an hour on the google and RC looking for the answer. I understand you want to store RO water for better water quality and longer membrane life. So one must store it in a reservior. That means a float (plus whatever safetys) in your sump and floats (and safetys) in your reservior. To keep your RO unit running long you need to wait until the water gets low in your reservior to turn that on. Then shut off your RO unit when the reservior fills.

How is that done?

If I have a float valve at the bottom my water level will stay on the bottom. If I have it at the top it will turn on and off everytime my controller and switches add water to the sump? turning on and off frequently as if I put the RO direct into the sump. It is a float at the top with a solenoid (with another switch and timer)?

any diagrams would be great since I am dumb
What you will need is a latching relay.

BeanAnimal's diagram:

latchcircuit.gif


Here are some threads from the DIY forum that explain it:

Latching relay for ATO diagram?

MY auto top off - nice and clean

I went the easy route on my current tank and went with a Genesis STORM and ROCv (ROCv requires the STORM to function) which automates both the ATO and RO/DI function. The Genesis system is awesome and well worth the money IMO.

SR001.jpg


Float switches:

Genisis01.jpg


HTH

Jay
 

MHG

Active member
That looks like a nice product. The 299 is a tad steep as I just bought an Apex.... I wonder if something can be done within the programing onn the apex to accomplish the same thing.
 

jmait769

-CSHFLW
Yes that would work. You would need a breakout box for the Apex to set up the float switches. Here is a thread from the DIY forum: DIY Apex Breakout Box Instructions/Parts List I followed jrpark22000's example at the bottom of page one on that thread for my breakout box but I only use it for backup and water sensing (flood condition). I added another high float switch to the reservoir and sump that will turn off the Genesis as a final failsafe.

Not sure on the coding for the Apex but maybe you could get that from the same place you found that diagram?

Remember you would still need a solenoid like this:
7877kp1l.gif
and a 12V power supply (controlled by the latching relay or the Apex) to turn the main water supply on and off to the RO/DI unit. You can get that switch at McMaster-Carr. I used #7877K5 on another project but should work for this.

Jay
 

slief

RC Sponsor
Premium Member
You can go simple by getting this kit from Spectrapure..
http://www.spectrapure.com/St_alc_p4.htm

It can also be done via your Apex. You will need the following:
Breakout box. Either one from Neptune or a DIY one. You can build your own very easily. Just refer to the unofficial Apex guide.

You need a low level float switch and a high level float switch in your RODI holding tank. As you noted, the low level switch should be as low as possible in your holding tank so your not constantly running the RODI.

I use this type of float switch. FLT0106 in particular. That said, my Spectrapure MaxCap RODI came with the float switches and is setup to turn itself on and off on its own so I am not controlling that with my Apex.

Connect both switches to your breakout box. Note which switch is which. Assuming the low level switch (bottom one) is switch one and the High level switch is switch two, the programming should look something like this.

Plug your RODI into an Outlet on your EB8. Create the following lines in that outlet.

Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Switch1 OPEN Then ON
If Switch2 CLOSED Then OFF


The Fallback OFF and Set OFF statement insure that if your Apex fails, the RODI will not turn on flooding your holding tank. Whe the water level drops below float switch 1 at the bottom of the holding tank, the RODI should turn on. When the water level reaches float switch 2 at the top of the tank, it should turn off.

If memory serves me, those switches are in the closed position when float is up and open when the float is down. You can verify that with an ohm meter or if it the RODI doesnt turn on or off, simply change the OPEN to CLOSED and the CLOSED to OPEN in the lines above.


If it were me, I would also add a normally closed 110/120V solenoid to the pure water output on RODI between the RODI and holding tank and use the same code for the outlet that runs the solenoid. Also, if you use a solenoid, make sure its on outlet 4 or 8 as those are the relay outlets which will handle the low current draw of the solenoid better than the triac outlets.
 

MHG

Active member
You can go simple by getting this kit from Spectrapure..
http://www.spectrapure.com/St_alc_p4.htm

It can also be done via your Apex. You will need the following:
Breakout box. Either one from Neptune or a DIY one. You can build your own very easily. Just refer to the unofficial Apex guide.

You need a low level float switch and a high level float switch in your RODI holding tank. As you noted, the low level switch should be as low as possible in your holding tank so your not constantly running the RODI.

I use this type of float switch. FLT0106 in particular. That said, my Spectrapure MaxCap RODI came with the float switches and is setup to turn itself on and off on its own so I am not controlling that with my Apex.

Connect both switches to your breakout box. Note which switch is which. Assuming the low level switch (bottom one) is switch one and the High level switch is switch two, the programming should look something like this.

Plug your RODI into an Outlet on your EB8. Create the following lines in that outlet.

Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Switch1 OPEN Then ON
If Switch2 CLOSED Then OFF


The Fallback OFF and Set OFF statement insure that if your Apex fails, the RODI will not turn on flooding your holding tank. Whe the water level drops below float switch 1 at the bottom of the holding tank, the RODI should turn on. When the water level reaches float switch 2 at the top of the tank, it should turn off.

If memory serves me, those switches are in the closed position when float is up and open when the float is down. You can verify that with an ohm meter or if it the RODI doesnt turn on or off, simply change the OPEN to CLOSED and the CLOSED to OPEN in the lines above.


If it were me, I would also add a normally closed 110/120V solenoid to the pure water output on RODI between the RODI and holding tank and use the same code for the outlet that runs the solenoid. Also, if you use a solenoid, make sure its on outlet 4 or 8 as those are the relay outlets which will handle the low current draw of the solenoid better than the triac outlets.

I just stummbled on that spectrapure site. I saw this one http://www.spectrapure.com/St_alc_p6.htm that looks like in the manual it will work for a reservior. They have one with a 1/4 solenoid instead of the big one in the photo. However $160 bucks?


I see alot of people using the JBJ but it must do everything in short bursts unless you have a timer on it...
 

slief

RC Sponsor
Premium Member
I just stummbled on that spectrapure site. I saw this one http://www.spectrapure.com/St_alc_p6.htm that looks like in the manual it will work for a reservior. They have one with a 1/4 solenoid instead of the big one in the photo. However $160 bucks?


I see alot of people using the JBJ but it must do everything in short bursts unless you have a timer on it...

The JBJ is OK but it will only pump for 14 minutes max and then shuts off. I have one on my QT system but its problematic as I use a dosing pump for my ATO pump and at 14 minute run time, its not enough time to complete the top off. I prefer the dosing pump because it pumps in slower. If there is an issue with a float switch, too much water can be added in a hurry with a higher volume pump. With a dosing pump, it would take much longer to create a salinity issue.

That said, I would not use a ATO setup to control an RODI.

Remember the old saying. You get what you pay for. I would strongly suggest you do it right the first time and not cut corners. If you do it right, you will be happy. If you cut corners, you will regret it.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
I just want to be sure you are looking for an automatic answer, right? Most of us just turn on and turn off the RO water at a faucet handle manually. The ATO part that fills the aquarium is automatic, but the RO reservoir refill is manual.

Also, if you are going to put lime into the RO water to make limewater, you certainly want to do it manually, IMO.

:)
 

MHG

Active member
The JBJ is OK but it will only pump for 14 minutes max and then shuts off. I have one on my QT system but its problematic as I use a dosing pump for my ATO pump and at 14 minute run time, its not enough time to complete the top off. I prefer the dosing pump because it pumps in slower. If there is an issue with a float switch, too much water can be added in a hurry with a higher volume pump. With a dosing pump, it would take much longer to create a salinity issue.

That said, I would not use a ATO setup to control an RODI.

Remember the old saying. You get what you pay for. I would strongly suggest you do it right the first time and not cut corners. If you do it right, you will be happy. If you cut corners, you will regret it.

Are you saying not to use an ATO direct connected to a RO/DI? So I add a small 5 or 7 gallon plastic as a reservoir. if I have a simple solenoid, float valve and timer (or apex used as a timer) on that and use a JBJ or some other ato to run an aqua lift pump, is there any hazards to point out with that?

One of my big concerns is having the apex fail and get a disaster. I tend to believe that the more simple it is or perhaps even the more mechanical it is the better. I have relays fail all the time at work and although I like to DIY things, I prefer nice factory sealed items when it comes to wires in a marine environment. I have seen too many connection failures in damp environments.

I did like some of the spectrapure stuff and the total price is probably what I would pay for all the parts...
 

MHG

Active member
Are you saying not to use an ATO direct connected to a RO/DI?

I don't, and most people don't. :)

I thought the reason for the reservoir was to keep yor RO unit running for more than 15 minutes to improve water quality and lenghten membrale life. If you add an ATO unit with a timer that keeps it running for more than 15 minutes have you not just done the same thing?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Yes, I collect 88 gallons at a pop by running it overnight once every few weeks. :)

The ATO could run from that reservoir, but in my case I actually move it to another reservoir first. My ATO runs on a float switch in my aquarium sump, not a timer. The ATO running has nothing to do with running the RO/DI. The ATO can just draw down the reservoir until it is empty, and then you'd manually turn the RO/DI on to refill.
 

MHG

Active member
I just want to be sure you are looking for an automatic answer, right? Most of us just turn on and turn off the RO water at a faucet handle manually. The ATO part that fills the aquarium is automatic, but the RO reservoir refill is manual.

Also, if you are going to put lime into the RO water to make limewater, you certainly want to do it manually, IMO.

:)

Sorry i missed this one. Yes, I am looking to fill my reservoir automatically thats it. I have an kalk reactor to put between the reservoir and the sump...
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
You certainly don't need automatic refilling of the reservoir to use a limewater reactor, but if that's what you want, the systems above can work fine.

Happy Reefing! :)
 

slief

RC Sponsor
Premium Member
Sorry i missed this one. Yes, I am looking to fill my reservoir automatically thats it. I have an kalk reactor to put between the reservoir and the sump...

I would not use the JBJ to control your RODI as I said above. It will only run for 14 minutes.

If it were me and I were in your shoes, I would go the spectrapure route. That said, if I were to go the Apex route I would set anything having to do with the RODI outlets as follows:
Fallback OFF
Set OFF

That way if the apex fails, the EB8 will function as a dumb power bar but those outlets will default to off.

Then use a breakout box and the float switches I mentioned above in the reservoir tank. I would also add a normally close solenoid between the water source and the RODI.

My setup uses the Spectrapure maxcap RODI as a standalone automatic RODI that fills my reservoir when my RODI water is down from 100G capacity to 50G. I use 60G or so every 2 weeks between evaporation and salt water for my automatic water changes.

My ATO draws from the reservoir and I have a normally closed 120V solenoid between the reservoir and the sump on the ATO line. That solenoid remains closed unless my sump needs water. Failsafes include redundant float switches, water on the floor sensors and conductivity monitoring all of which will shut down things like ATO or water change system should things get out of check.

My RODI is connected to an outlet on an EB8 and will shut off power to the RODI if there is water on the floor, conductivity that is out of range, high water levels etc.
 

MHG

Active member
I would not use the JBJ to control your RODI as I said above. It will only run for 14 minutes.

If it were me and I were in your shoes, I would go the spectrapure route. That said, if I were to go the Apex route I would set anything having to do with the RODI outlets as follows:
Fallback OFF
Set OFF

That way if the apex fails, the EB8 will function as a dumb power bar but those outlets will default to off.

Then use a breakout box and the float switches I mentioned above in the reservoir tank. I would also add a normally close solenoid between the water source and the RODI.

My setup uses the Spectrapure maxcap RODI as a standalone automatic RODI that fills my reservoir when my RODI water is down from 100G capacity to 50G. I use 60G or so every 2 weeks between evaporation and salt water for my automatic water changes.

My ATO draws from the reservoir and I have a normally closed 120V solenoid between the reservoir and the sump on the ATO line. That solenoid remains closed unless my sump needs water. Failsafes include redundant float switches, water on the floor sensors and conductivity monitoring all of which will shut down things like ATO or water change system should things get out of check.

My RODI is connected to an outlet on an EB8 and will shut off power to the RODI if there is water on the floor, conductivity that is out of range, high water levels etc.

Thanks, I forgot about the default off on the apex...
 
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