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Old 03-31-2004, 11:52 AM   #1
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DIY AutoTopoff

Well almost all of it is DIY. I purchased my float switch from www.autotopoff.com. You can read about my great experience with that company in the General Retailers forum.

I wanted to post some pictures of the setup. The sump is on the right (you can see the float switch on the left side of the sump with the red wire coming down) and the Kalk container is on the left with the fan on top of it. I used a 66QT container to hold the Kalk mixture. A small 150GPH is located in the container and that is attached to the float switch in the sump. I would have taken a picture of the inside of the Kalk container, but since I taped it shut, I didn't want to have to go through the trouble of taking the tape off and putting it back on again to keep it sealed.

It took some adjusting to get the float switch adjusted to the level I want it, but the time paid off. I love not having to mix Kalk everyday now! I have roughly 15 gallons of Kalk water in the container. I figure that at 3/4 of a gallon of evaporation a day, it will take just over two weeks to exhaust the supply.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns let me know.
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Old 03-31-2004, 12:11 PM   #2
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My biggest concern is that it may stick and then you got a flood. With salt deposits etc...it's bound to happen. What maintenance are you gonna do? I personally would love to set one up cause I evaporate more than I can replace with my IV style doser at night and I really would love for all my top off to be kalk.
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Old 03-31-2004, 12:13 PM   #3
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Looks good Biggen, I might stop by your store next weekend to check that setup out. Are you open on Saturdays?

I'm really interested on that top off system.
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Old 03-31-2004, 12:50 PM   #4
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RR wrote:

Quote:
My biggest concern is that it may stick and then you got a flood. With salt deposits etc...it's bound to happen.
This was my biggest concern as well. I thought about installing another float switch higher in the sump that would shut of the pump if the water level got too high. But I am still undecided.

Quote:
What maintenance are you gonna do?
I planned to clean the float switch a minimum of once a week to make sure no salt deposits are stuck to the float or float shaft. Other than that, there isn't any other maintenance to do except clean out the Kalk pump when I go to fill the Kalk container back up.

So far it is working perfectly, but then again, this is its third day of operation. I do love that my salinity stays the same and I can consistently dose the tank with Kalk. When I used the Kent Aqua Doser, I could never get the drip rate perfect. I would either drip too much or not enough.

GrndHog wrote:

Quote:
Looks good Biggen, I might stop by your store next weekend to check that setup out. Are you open on Saturdays?
I'm really interested on that top off system.
Heya! Yeah we are open on Saturday's. I won't be here but you are more than welcome to come in and look at the tank and plumbing. The sump and auto top off are underneath the table behind the tank. Make sure and tell the employees behind the counter that Rodman told you it was ok for you to open the cabinet doors to look around. I have them trained to jump on tourists and little kids that try to mess around with the tank!!

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Old 03-31-2004, 02:34 PM   #5
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Well as I'm getting ready to mix kalk...again and have already had to top off my tank this morning with reg RO/DI water...I purchased a float switch and the larger pump from the guy. Didn't have enough for the whole thing in my paypal acct, so I gotta wait for the e-check to clear, then I guess it will be on the way. Oh to not have to top off every single day (a couple times per day)...just have to make the float switch part of the weekly maintenance
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Old 03-31-2004, 04:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
I purchased a float switch and the larger pump from the guy
This is exactly what I bought. Do make sure that you wash out that pump well before using it. It had a heavy coat of oil around the impeller assembly.

Quote:
Oh to not have to top off every single day (a couple times per day)...just have to make the float switch part of the weekly maintenance
It sounds so cool when I am messing around my sump and all of a sudden I hear the float switch click on and Kalk water begins to pour into my sump. Automation is great. You will love it!

FYI, I had to drill new holes in the mount I bought from him. I actually need the water level higher than his pre-drilled holes allowed. But since it is only plastic, it is pretty easy to drill.

Be sure to let us know how it goes, Kevin.
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Old 03-31-2004, 04:52 PM   #7
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I have an auto topoff that just replaces with freshwater to make up for evaporation. Its in a 20 gallon without a sump. I hadn't thought about adding kalk to the freshwater. Would mixing the topoff water with kalk be adding too much in such a small tank? Right now I add Kent Tech CB every other day or so.
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Old 03-31-2004, 04:56 PM   #8
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So how far does it drop before it kicks on?
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Old 03-31-2004, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Would mixing the topoff water with kalk be adding too much in such a small tank?
Start with a small amount of calcium hydroxide added to the fresh water container and monitor Ca and Alk levels. Adjust as needed.

Kevin, you're going to find your float switch doesn't require much attention. Being its wet all the time it doesn't grow crystals - at least mine doesn't, it's a horizontal switch. It hung up one time due to a tube worm or something. I just make sure it moves freely from time to time.

Good luck.
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Old 03-31-2004, 05:23 PM   #10
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So how far does it drop before it kicks on?
Hehe, not very far. Less than a 1/4". I have it adjusted so it is pretty touchy when the water level starts to drop.
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