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Old 07-01-2004, 05:39 AM   #1
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auto top off switches

Any recommendations for an auto top off switch?

I was looking at:
http://www.autotopoff.com/
and
http://www.aquadevices.50megs.com/order1.htm

Thanks,
luke.
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Old 07-01-2004, 05:46 AM   #2
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I've been using a switch from www.autotopoff.com for the last 4 months and it works great!
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Old 07-01-2004, 10:10 AM   #3
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Yup, Kevin and I both got our switch from www.autotopoff.com around the same time. Still working like a charm.
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Old 07-01-2004, 10:15 AM   #4
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Check out the ultralife float witch they work very nice. Just make sure any switch you use has a relay built into it so the full voltage is not near the tank water. I have had very positive results and feedback regarding these float switchs.
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Old 07-01-2004, 10:16 AM   #5
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I got my float switches from a guy on ebay. Very inexpensive but don't know how they compare to the ones at autotopoff.

I use a hang on bracket from a maxijet to hold it up on my sump.
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Old 07-01-2004, 10:45 PM   #6
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I also recommed ultralife, been in operation almost 6 months and no problems. Plug two in together for a high and low shutoff to further ease your mind about it sticking on.
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:51 AM   #7
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I know the one's that you purchased cheap on EBay. There's nothing wrong with them per se...but you shouldn't wire them directly into the 110v. That is a bit dangerous.

As mentioned earlier in this stream...you should wire the float to a relay, and let the relay break the high voltage.

So the problem with the cheap floats is that you have to build the rest of the plan and you'll probably spend as much. Also, you have to have a little electrical knowledge to put it all together.
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:13 AM   #8
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How would you wire in a relay? I just copied what someone else on the board did and wired it into an extension cord. There is a bit of distance between water and the solder joints. I used shrink tubing on the solder joints.

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:42 PM   #9
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You need more stuff to wire in the relay, but that is why the commercial float switches cost so much compared to the float switch-only.

Basically, you use a low voltage power supply connected to the relay. The float and 110 are also connected to the relay. Only the low voltage flows through the float, which triggers the relay to connect/disconnect the high voltage.

That's basically the definition of a relay...using low voltage to control high voltage.

Wiring the float directly into the 110V isn't very safe.
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Old 07-07-2004, 11:03 PM   #10
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You could also use a resistive relay where as no voltage flows through the switch. It works on resistance to a ground point. Use them all the time at work to monitor water levels. I use them on my sump pump in the house.

There are two ways to accomplish this:

1. Stainless probes.
2. The above mentioned probes inside a bladder with clean water.

I will be attemping this probably in the next month or so. They have various ways to do this, although none are in the price range as ones listed above. The Dual Function controller will allow you to top off AND shut off the pump if the water is too low. There are endless possibilities with this controller for use with an aquarium.

http://www.warrick.com/SpecTemplateP...ductGroupID=55



Something to look at anyway.

Mike
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