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Old 08-22-2003, 03:35 PM   #1
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Worlds Easiest Auto Top-Off

Using the "Water Cooler" method you basically just take a large water bottle (typical 5 gallon bottle should be good for most medium sized systems)

you can either use the actual water cooler (bought cheaply in most local classified ads) and replace the spring loaded flip faucet with PVC plumbing or create your own bottle housing with a bucket and PVC plumbing.

two key factors: bottle must be higher than the tank so this really works best in an "out of sight" sump situation. Also the contianer must be an air tight bottle shape otherwise the "water cooler" affect won't work and all the water will just drain into the sump. IOW, you can just use a bucket unless you find a way to make an air tight seal around the lid.

For larger systems you could find a way to use multiple bottles by splitting up the PVC plumbing, joining two drains into one outflow pipe is the first thing that comes to mind.

The valve is there for use during water changes. Close the valve, drain your sump for your change, refill, then re-open the valve.


I had an additional thought! If you us an actual water cooler... in those rather hot days you could change the top off bottle for a bottle full of tank water and plug the cooler in, adjust the valve so there is a slow but constant flow of cold water from the bottle and you have a cheap chiller as well!

now... someone needs to build this so I know it works!! lol
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Old 08-22-2003, 03:41 PM   #2
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I know the idea works, My christmas tree has it's own auto-top off. They sell a kit that fits a 2L bottle into a harness with a tube running to the base of the tree. I really like your idea for the chiller. My only thought would be that you don't want a lot of water hanging out in a bottle for an extended period of time, perhaps something would grow in it?
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Old 08-22-2003, 03:50 PM   #3
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for the auto top off, this would be pure RO water so there shouldn't be any problems. For chilling, I would imagine 5 gallons would probably trickle out over a half hour maybe? much slower and I don't think it would have any overall affect on the temperature. And a half hour in the bottle won't hurt the water for sure.


I would think you would want to use different bottles though, for top off and chilling, so anything biological from the tank water doesn't sit the bottle if it's used for top-offs. You could rinse it throughly after chilling as well...
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Old 08-22-2003, 09:15 PM   #4
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You could build that same thing one step simpler (not to knock your worlds simplest idea). The actual bottle could sit on top of the tank. The seal would be made just like a normal water cooler does. The neck of the bottle would sit in the water and whenever air made it between the bottle and sump it would drop some RO water. I think I will use this idea on my next tank setup.
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