Different Style Float Switches.

bugs713

In-A-Gadda-Divita!
I was searching for some float switches to use with my RKE and found several different styles on Amazon. In the past I have ordered all my float switches from BRS and Digital Aquatics, the ones I found on Amazon were priced much better (1/2 the cost) AND with free, 2 day shipping if you are a Prime member.

Here are a few I ordered that have relatively good reviews from users.
I especially like the dual float that can be wired in series for 2 x safety in case one fails. Also, the longer than normal stem on the black one would be good for mounting in a skimmer cup for overflow protection.

What do ya think?

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gojk

New member
Those look pretty good. I always order the ATO kits from aquahub.com. These switches look very similar.
 

Kalakuhan

Free Reef
Those double floats will work nice. :thumbsup:

I picked up some of the single floats from ebay a while back. Was going to wire them to my apex but have been using a spectrapure top off switch.
 

bugs713

In-A-Gadda-Divita!
I also leave the crucial things like my ATO's to SpectraPure UPLLC and LM3, but use float switching for level alarms/emails and to shut down skimmers if level is too low, too high or full with skim. I would be scared to use this style switch for ATO; been there, done that!
 

lostmyz

New member
I leave my ATO for my sump to Tunze Osmolator! Never failed!!!! I do have a Spectrapure ATO for my RO/DI reservoir for my ATO and it works flawlessly as well!!!! I just got a Tunze nano ATO for my pico system hope it works as flawlessly as my Tunze Osmolator (give that it runs off 1 float switch thingy, no infrared sensor like the original)
 

Kalakuhan

Free Reef
I also leave the crucial things like my ATO's to SpectraPure UPLLC and LM3, but use float switching for level alarms/emails and to shut down skimmers if level is too low, too high or full with skim. I would be scared to use this style switch for ATO; been there, done that!

Always finding new things to tinker with. Never thought about using the float switches for the skimmer but good idea. :idea:

Are you using the apex break out box or are you making your own?
 
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lostmyz

New member
I also leave the crucial things like my ATO's to SpectraPure UPLLC and LM3, but use float switching for level alarms/emails and to shut down skimmers if level is too low, too high or full with skim. I would be scared to use this style switch for ATO; been there, done that!

Can you elaborate on your float switches for your Skimmer?
 

bugs713

In-A-Gadda-Divita!
On my 185, I have a 1 litter size skimmer over flow container that came with another skimmer, this is hooked up to the drain on my SRO 3000 skimmer. All that drains into the skimmer cup, flows into the over flow container and it has a float valve that I installed in the top. When it is triggered, container is full and the skimmer cup is full, this triggers an alarm and email AND shuts off the skimmer.

I have two more float switches in the sump wired in series to trigger another alarm/email and shut down the skimmer if water level drops too low or rises too high in the sump.

I was gone for a few days on business a few weeks ago and came home to a skim mess; the power had gone out earlier in the day for 4 minutes, the water level increase to the top of the sump, caused the skimmer to fill up the over flow container and sprayed skim all over the wall AND an electrical outlet....

So, this set up will 1) allow me to be lazy and not empty my skim container :facepalm: without having to worry, 2) shut off the skimmer in the event of a power failure/sump surge before the over flow container ever has a chance to top out.

These float switches are connected to the SL1 module on my RKE and are setup to trigger an audible and visual alarm on the main unit and will also send me an email stating which alarm was triggered. I believe the SL1 is similar to an Apex breakout box where you can connect many different kinds of switches, such as float and water detectors switches.

I am doing this same setup on my 55 this weekend, it is also controlled by a RKE.

I will take some pics tomorrow.

How did we ever live without controllers?!
:spin2:
 

Weyrman

New member
I like the float switches you found bugs!

I picked up a bunch of float switches in order to do the same kind of thing. I have a breakout box for the Apex but I'll have to figure out the RKL (may not be room).

Bugs, how did the skimmer keep going during the power outage? I'm probably just not understanding what happened... Did it just overflow that fast before the return pump could get the sump level back down when the power came back on?
 

lostmyz

New member
I dunno my 72 bow front is running w/o one... I plan on getting an APEX for it and I plan on getting na APEX Lite for my Pico combo'd Mantis tank!
 

Mike92

New member
I use the spectrapure pressure sensing one, like it a lot, fairly cheap, reliable, pretty dead on all the time. Avast makes one too with more options but a little pricier.
 

Kalakuhan

Free Reef
On my 185, I have a 1 litter size skimmer over flow container that came with another skimmer, this is hooked up to the drain on my SRO 3000 skimmer. All that drains into the skimmer cup, flows into the over flow container and it has a float valve that I installed in the top. When it is triggered, container is full and the skimmer cup is full, this triggers an alarm and email AND shuts off the skimmer.

I dunno my 72 bow front is running w/o one... I plan on getting an APEX for it and I plan on getting na APEX Lite for my Pico combo'd Mantis tank!

Definitely need this if you're running a setup with skimmer drains into containers outside of the tank.
Without the cutoff switch, you'll end up with a smelly mess!

If you don't have a skimmer drain, the skimmer would just overflow back into the sump.

I never considered an external drain because of this but with a cutoff switch installed it makes this viable. Again this is mainly when you need the extra drainage when away on business.
 

bugs713

In-A-Gadda-Divita!
Bugs, how did the skimmer keep going during the power outage? I'm probably just not understanding what happened... Did it just overflow that fast before the return pump could get the sump level back down when the power came back on?

When the power shut off, the DT partially drains, rather quickly, and fills up the sump to the rim. When the power came back on, the water level in the skimmer was about 6" higher than max. This caused it to over flow, filling the external container, also causing it to over flow.

This container has a ball like valve that should stop it from flowing over, but it did not function properly, spraying skim skank all over the wall:headwally:
The skimmer had a 10 minute restart delay set to give the sump time to level back to normal, but that was not enough. This tank, probably due to the height, takes a long time to return back to a normal level when the return pump is shut off. Me and the floor got wet a few times during the testing and design phase of the plumbing... Nothing floods now, but it does not return to proper level right away.

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m-six hundred

The Most Diabolical Hater
I set up a float switch in the sump. If the water is above a certain level the float switch shuts the skimmer off until the water level is back to normal.
 

bugs713

In-A-Gadda-Divita!
This is my skimmer overflow container about one liter volume. I added a float switch to the inside lid and epoxied the float to the inside piece of 1/2"Polyethylene tubing to extend it to the needed level, super glued the tubing to a hole I drilled in the lid.

I connected a plug so I could remove the complete unit for cleaning. I hooked up the plug to one of the switching ports on my RKE and when the switch is tripped, it shuts down the skimmer until I drain the overflow container. This can also be done in the lid of a skimmer, but I didn't want to drill into the lid and I think it would get clogged much quicker due to the foam goo. It could also be installed in a jug or bucket lid. So, this safety will tell me when it is time to drain the container and stop an overflow.

My second safety is two float switches wired in series and mounted in the sump; this is more for sump level increases or decreases and will also shut down the skimmer if they are tripped at the high or low set level.

Both of these safety switches will also trigger an alarm state and send me an email and tell me which alarm was tripped.

Nothing takes the place of good, regular maintenance, but life happens and things don't always get done like draining the skimmer overflow....

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