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Old 12-17-2003, 01:19 AM   #1
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Anyone have auto-topoff go wrong??

I was wondering if anyone has ever had an auto-topoff unit stay on and or stick and flood there tank with fresh water or have water go all over the floor from it. This is the only worry I have of an auto-topoff unit. I was looking at this float switch on ebay



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Old 12-18-2003, 01:28 PM   #2
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Like everything mechanical, over time, they will fail. Its a fact of life. However, cleaning the unit regularly will lengthen its lifespan considerable. I know one person who has been using the same float switch for 7 years now.

I don't use auto top off, but only because it is not possible for me to do so. If I could, I would.

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Old 12-18-2003, 02:25 PM   #3
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I just orderd some of these switches and was worried about this so.... my idea is

place one float switch in the sump and wire it directly into the powerhead that will be in a 8 gallon bucket of water. Then the second float switch will be placed at the top of my tank and will be wired into a surge protector. I'll then plug in the power head into the surge protector.

So what will happen is if the first float switch in my sump fails and keeps pumping water the second float switch in the tank will turn the surge protector off.

For this to work somehow I'll have to figure out how to wire it up so the second float switch is constant all the time and makes a break in the electirc when it is activated. Kind of reverse how they are meant to work.
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Old 12-18-2003, 03:01 PM   #4
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Reversing the switch is easy, most of those type of switches have a clip on the bottom that can be removed. Once removed, you take the float off of the center post and flip it upside down.
One word of warning, that switch is rated for 20 watts, that is why they are so cheap. I was using one that was rated for 30 watts with an Aquaclear 401 pump and damaged the contacts so that the pump was "stuck" in the on position. Wiring a second switch as a shutoff switch will work to prevent overflows though. Also, some people put the whole topoff system on a timer so that it only can run a couple of times a day, this is a second back up method. Just be sure your pump isn't overdrawing the switch...I've since been told that maxi-jet pumps have a lower start up current draw...this is what damages the switch, a high start up current. When the pump receives the power it draws more current to get started then what the operating current on the box is posted as being. Good Luck!
Brad C.
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Old 12-18-2003, 03:28 PM   #5
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Thanks guys that really helps
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