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Old 01-13-2005, 03:25 AM   #1
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Hate water changes? What about an automated system?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about this. Even people who do not hate water changes still spend time doing them. If I figured out a way to make it work I could make Millions!

Seriously, it seems that most people are pumping water out of a sump and replacing it as needed. If you vaccum substrate religiously, it probably will not work though I here that Hoover makes a robot.

Here it is, What if you placed a tee on the return pump to your system. of course one returns to the tank, but the other is plumbed to a drain. On that T, we place a irrigation/sprinkler valve. using an inexpensive timer, we set it to open one day a week at a certain time for a certain time( the amount it takes to empty your sump.)

Of course I am working on the refill piece, but it goes along the line of the auto top off system. As I read earlier today it is not so difficult to hook up you RO to a topoff system, so I think that with a little thought the brain trust here at AA can figure this out.

What do you think? Should I have already gotten a patent?
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:14 AM   #2
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I am extremly cautious about an automated system that would operate with out any user intervention. What happens if the drain valve does not open yet the topoff valve does. Or worse if the drain valve opens but fails to close fully. If you drain your sump prior to cutting the pump off you risk burning up the pump before you get water back into the sump.

If you drain water and add water at the same time you need to make sure the rates are matched fairly well to keep from overfilling or overdraining the sump. Also if you run them at the same time you will envetably drain some clean water out of the system aswell so that would mean for every gal you drain out you would need to add at least 2 gal of clean water to make up for this.

I like the concept of a more low tech approach. Sure you can put your T in there and put a ballvalve on it. Plumb this to a drain and have a trashcan either elevated above your sump or have a pump in the mixing trashcan. Open the drain valve and drain the sump to a specific level. Then close this valve and start the top off pump to pump fresh saltwater or conditioned freshwater back into the system. When the sump reaches the proper level just cut off the water change pump.
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:12 PM   #3
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I think the idea is good, and the system is good, but I agree that having it automatically do it from a timer isn't so good.

Maybe having it all setup and ready to go, and you just flip a switch whenever you want and it does it's deal, that would be better. Because you are there, and you can watch it incase something goes wrong.

Just my 2 cents. As far as making it work, I have no idea about that kind of stuff. Haha

-brent
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:52 PM   #4
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When the "T" activates and diverts the siphoned water to the drain, simultaneously fresh water would be pumped into the sump at the same rate (where the old water would have gone). The two occurances could run on the same circuit to guarantee that one wouldn't happen without the other.

It wouldn't even require shutting down the sump. Furthermore, you could dial-in the number of gallons you wanted to change by simply selecting the amount of time the circuit would remain open.

If you make this work - I want royalties now.
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:55 PM   #5
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Ok, here you go. This is a concept schematic. The relay can't really be right in line like that, you'll need a low voltage circuit to operate it, but this gets the point across. Basically, the float switch is a LOW LEVEL indicator. It is normally closed when the sump has a normal water level.

Pushing the Red start button (normally open spring loaded switch) triggers the relay which closes the drain circuit and opens the fill circuit. This supplies power to the Pump to begin pumping out the water and supplies power back to the relay so the push button can be released. (so you can walk away)

The system will continue to pump water out of the tank until the water level drops enough to open the float switch. This stops the pump and breaks the relay circuit. Which re-closes the circuit for the fill pump so new water can be pumped in. It is important to have the fill pump attached to a high level float switch, obviously.

Having an auto top-off system attached will handle the refilling automatically. (as long as this is a FW system. SW will need a seperate auto New SW system)

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Old 01-13-2005, 06:00 PM   #6
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I had thought about the above concerns, specially the safety of our pets. This is of utmost importance.

It is true, it would not have to be automatic, or it could set it up so you could manually start the cycle, just like with your sprinklers.

Irrigation/sprinkler valves tpictypically 2-3 times per day and rarely fail, but they are not designed to safesafeguard lives of our pets. If a Valve failed, the fear of overfilling the sump would be avoided, because the fill would be controlled by a float valve. The system would simply not change any water. For further assurance, it could run with two valves inline to make sure that the drain closes.

Or the Ball valve would make it more manually controlled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clown Monarch
The two occurances could run on the same circuit to guarantee that one wouldn't happen without the other.

It wouldn't even require shutting down the sump. Furthermore, you could dial-in the number of gallons you wanted to change by simply selecting the amount of time the circuit would remain open.
Good thinking, If both occurred at the same time, we would have to run for longer, and replace more water because the "waste water would be dilluted as thdilutedwater filled.

I had not thought to shut down the sump, I was thinking that the pump would actually drain the water, but I guess if you could figure out a way to turn the sump pump off, it could simply gravity feed.

One of my short comings is that my tank is in my dining room where I would not have room or plumbing hook-ups to make this work. I am however planning on moving it to (or getting a larger- don't tell my wife) my finished basement in the next year or two. In other words, I am not putting this into practice immediately. I am looking for input for the future.

Keep up the great comments.
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Old 01-13-2005, 06:40 PM   #7
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ok, this may sound a bit silly... but what you guys are describing is a toilet. We already HAVE all of the tech for this at our disposal. why not just directly copy a standard toilet tank/plumbing and make it "flush" once a week?
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Old 01-13-2005, 07:10 PM   #8
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John Crapper already owns the patent on the toilet. This is a High-Tech Water Replacement Unit.

Hey, if someone patented the Pet Rock, let us have our fun.
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125 SW
80 lb LR
330w PC
Euphyllia, Alveopora, Pachyclauvularia (Metallic Green and Daisy), Frogspawn, Torch, Gold Nepthea, Kenya Tree, Galaxea, Pulsing Xenia, various leather (umbrella, toadstool, fingers, devil fingers, lettuce)
Maroon Clown/White tip LT anemone, Powder Blue Tang, Female Swallow Angel, SixLine Wrasse, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Firefish, Fathead Anthias, Blue Mandarin, 3 Chromis, 3 Green Gobies
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clown Monarch
John Crapper already owns the patent on the toilet. This is a High-Tech Water Replacement Unit.

Hey, if someone patented the Pet Rock, let us have our fun.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:45 PM   #10
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ok ok.. I am still new here.. geesh.

you could still patent it an stuff though... imagine this marketing campaign for a tv commercial:

:cue cheesy music:
Fade in on a small child.. bravely holding back tears as he clasps his mother's hand. Close up of the mother, comforting the child.

"Don't be sad, Johnny, this leads to fishy heaven."

Zoom out and see the mother holding an empty fish net over a toilet bowl, with one hand resting on the handle. A flushing sound is heard.

Fade out... Fade in on little Johny, staring at the toilet with grim resolution on his face, twitching slightly and standing with his legs crossed.

"I'll never go to the bathroom again!"

cut to narrator

"Is your child afraid to use the toilet? Disgusted at the thought of crapping on 'Fishy Heaven?'

Teach him that not all flushes lead to a fishy funeral."
:Cue happy music:
Fade in on the product:
An acrylic toilet bowl, sitting on the floor next to an aquarium filled with HAPPY fish.

Introducing the Fish Flusher 2000! Tired of lugging those endless buckets of water? Tired of your finned friends floating in your tank because you didnt feel like changing the water? Worry no more!

the Fish Flusher 2000... Flush Fish the Right Way!



















C'mon... it would WORK!
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