Auto mixing 2 water sources - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2006, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Auto mixing 2 water sources

Ive read a few posts from people who have setup a continuous drip water change system. I have been thinking about doing the same thing. My issue is that I would like to mix both RO and tap water before dripping into the aquarium.
I planed on running the tap water through a couple of carbon filters and maybe a sediment filter (like the pre stages for an RO unit). These filters will be tapped into my house water lines and reduced the same amount as my RO filter.

Will a simple setup w/ a valve on each the RO exit and the filtered tap water exit, going to a T be all I need to mix the water?
My concern is that regardless of the rate of flow, the pressure may be greater on one of the lines (most likely the tap water line) and that could mix in a much higher % of tap water.

Anyone here w/ some fluid dynamics knowledge?

thanks
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-22-2006, 12:18 AM
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If you buy a shower control valve of the type that holds a constant temperature you can keep the ratio of the two waters the same. That valve works by maintaining the same ratio of hot and cold water, not by using temperature as a control function. The valves are pretty small and not terribly expensive. In fact I am almost sure the same valve is used for high priced units as low priced ones, with just the visible hardware being different. What I am not so sure of is the minimum flow rate at which the valve works, if there is a minimum.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-22-2006, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
My concern is that regardless of the rate of flow, the pressure may be greater on one of the lines (most likely the tap water line)....
A small water pressure regulator.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Would the little pressure regulators that people use for drip irrigation systems work for this? Then would it matter what pressure I regulate to? The ones I saw while browsing around earlier came in several preset pressures.. 20, 40, 60 psi.
I have my doubts about their accuracy, but Im not sure if that would matter much. They were little plastic things that cost about 7.00

But if they would work, I gues I'd go..
[source water- pressure regulator - valve (to restrict flow)] x2 (one for RO and one for fresh) - T - tank
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 02:14 AM
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Cheap pressure regulators would not maintain even close to a constant mix of two water supplies.

Hoppy
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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The shower valve idea is a great one, but I really have my doubts that it would work at only a few drips a second.
Does anyone know where I could find a couple of small pressure regulators? Most I have found while searching over the past couple of days have been huge. Whole house size or even larger.
this is just two little 1/4" ro sized lines that need to be regulated.

Thanks
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 03:44 PM
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Watt's Water Pressure Regulator

These are very small and have 1/4" PT.

Quote:
That valve works by maintaining the same ratio of hot and cold water, not by using temperature as a control function. The valves are pretty small and not terribly expensive.
I don't understand how these work, maybe Hoppy can break-it-down for both of us.......But if they maintain the same "Ratio"---then that's what you need. Seems like: Problem Solved.

HTH


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 01:46 PM
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Why not having a 2 gal jug filled automatically with the correct dosing of each type of water, and then have it drip in the tank ? And when empty, restart all over again ?
Some simple electronics with relays and flotswitches will just do fine.


EDIT: Ah yeah, I fortgot to mention that most of the times the cheap pressure regulaturs for water have a bleed hole for excess pressure release, and it's continuesly dripping..........
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naja002 View Post
Watt's Water Pressure Regulator

These are very small and have 1/4" PT.



I don't understand how these work, maybe Hoppy can break-it-down for both of us.......But if they maintain the same "Ratio"---then that's what you need. Seems like: Problem Solved.

HTH
Those shower valves regulate the ratio of the two flow rates, but I don't recall exactly how they do that. I haven't tried this idea and probably won't, because I decided that a small trickle of water can be at either a cold or a very warm temperature without bothering the tank occupants. So, I just use cold water for my continuous change system. I could experiment with my shower, which uses one of the constant temperature valves, to see if I can regulate temperature at very small flow rate, but I know I can't reduce the flow to a drops per second rate to check it. If it is worth the effort I will try it. Is it?

Hoppy
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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I just saw those watts pressure regulators somewhere today! I might try them.

Hoppy, thanks for the offer to test that for me. I think I can do the test myself. (thanks for the idea!)
I think my shower valve keeps a consistant pressure. It's new, and was fairly expensive. I don't think I have valves on the water lines going to the shower. Maybe I could turn down the pressure to the entire house and try it.

Now I just have to figure out where to drain it.. The aquarium is nowhwere near my plumbing stack.. or any drains. It is up against a wall w/ the garage on the other side. I already have plumbing running to the garage where I have my external pumps (this way I dont hear them). I also do my water changes out there. (keeps the girlfriend happy)
I thought about draining it into the yard/garden, but it freezes here for a lot of the winter. My other idea was to bury a perforated pipe down below the freeze depth, like a super small septic field, but that would be a lot of work. Probably more trouble than to keep doing water changes.
Drilling through the floor and running a drain to the stack is not an option. I recently put in new hardwood floors.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 04:24 AM
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Now I understand again why I moved from Missouri to California! My drain goes thru a hole in the outer wall to a second floor deck to a pvc pipe that just drains off the edge of the deck to the plantings below. I suppose a big sheet of ice alongside the house could be a problem. But, in California.........

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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OHHHHH u lucky #@%!
We're determined to get out of this city some day!! so yes.. you see my problem. a few drips a second doesn't sound like much... but.. a 10 gallon a day ice sheet could build up quite a bit over a month or so!
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