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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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DIY - Water Changing System

This question is to all of you who have the WC system OR to anyone ....

I have a WC system running on my aquarium. Currently I still have to flip 3 switches to do a water change. Not too bad.

Would love to have it done automatically with timers since Summer is coming up and I plan to take a few vacations.

It is a 150 gal - 6 steps process.

1. Turn off the float switches.
2. Turn off the main cycling pump - wet/dry system.
3. Turn on draining pump.
4. Turn off thhe draining pump.
5. Turn back on the float switch to refill the tank.
6. Turn back on the cycling pump.

The whole process only take about 30 minutes to change 70gal of water once a week.

Here are my questions. My budget is limited, probably around $50 or so.

1. Do I need 3 timers to control each individual pumps and float switch?
2. Digital timers? Which brand is more reliable?
3. Is there a single digital timer that can operate these 3 different items?

Any input and idea are all welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 08:35 PM
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Why not just have a timer turn the draining pump on once a week for a few minutes? HD sells a reliable digital timer that i've been using for a couple years. I dont now the brand or model though and it was around $20. You can program it to turn on and off many times a day, once a day, once a week, on certain days at certain times, its really flexible. Why not do a once a day waterchange? If i had an automatic thingy setup, thats what i'd do.


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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:06 PM
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May not be, but it sounds like the intermatic DT27 timer. I've been through many, many timers and the DT27 are the best for reliability and the convenience of being able to locate them--Lowes and HD carry them among other bigbox stores.

Not sure why you are shutting off the float switch. If its because of chlorine in the incoming water then just get a dual 10" housing and a couple of carbon filters. I use 1x GAC and 1X regular. If you want to splurge then get another and put a sediment filter in it. The dual housings and the filters will probably cost $60, maybe $80 total, plus $20 for a good timer and you are set. Full-auto......


No more need to buy dechlor........

Also, a single timer should be able to handle 1 & 2--Off, then 5 & 6--back On. Unless they are sequential, then, Yes, you would need 3 timers.....

But with the carbon filters you would only need 1 timer....



Here Ya go--$51 shipped:

3) Water Filter Housing/Reverse Osmosis/Sediment/ RO DI
***FILTERS INCLUDED***(2) CARBON BLOCKS & (1) SEDIMENT


Comes with 2 carbon and 1 sediment. Just need an $18 DT27 from Lowes and You should be all set.....


1 Question: What kind of water are you on? Well? City?


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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

Quote:
Not sure why you are shutting off the float switch. If its because of chlorine in the incoming water then just get a dual 10" housing and a couple of carbon filters. I use 1x GAC and 1X regular. If you want to splurge then get another and put a sediment filter in it. The dual housings and the filters will probably cost $60, maybe $80 total, plus $20 for a good timer and you are set. Full-auto......
Yes, I do have a 10" whole house filters install for the incoming water. Water was tapped from the cold and hot and mixed together before entering the filter. The reason I have to turn off the float switch is because the incoming water is faster than the draining out. It tooks me about 25 minutes to drain 70gal and only 15 minutes to refill it back.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 04:06 AM
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Gotcha!

I don't use a whole house filter. Mine is 10gph max--from what I understand.

Some type of gate/ball valve could be used to slow down your incoming water flow. If its full-auto--it shouldn't matter to you if it takes a hour to fill the tank back up. You'll be busy doing whatever.....

I have 3 full-auto systems setup. I love them! Python? heheheheh, NOT!

Next question would be: Why do You shut off the cycling pump?


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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 04:30 AM
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I think the easiest way to fix your problem is to put a valve on the line carrying the new water. that way you can dial it down a bit

an idea, with the timer doing it automatically, doing a smaller WC everyday is not a problem right? With one of these timers, its pretty easy to set it up to do that.

i guess that you have to turn the main pumps off because otherwise it'll end up sucking air. can you do a 10 gallon WC without it going dry? cause one of them per day puts you at 70 gals a week.


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 07:03 AM
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 10:21 AM
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Sounds pretty interesting. Can you post up some pics. It must be nice not having to drag a garden hose.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 11:43 AM
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I used three timers like you have done, in the exact same sequence.

Amazing that it takes so long to drain off??? What size is your drain line?

I had it preset to do about 10% per day (and only used cold water through a carbon filter). Only fluctuated temp about a degree, so no big deal).

Naja002, Why would using a carbon filter allow only the use off one digital timer??? Like I said, I had the same setup before and there was no other way to do it.

BTW... I had that DT timer and had one fail on me on the fill line. Thank god it still had a float switch because it failed with constant power on. (imagine if that was on the drain?)

I use an aquacontroller now. No more clunky timers for me.


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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Here is my simple set up - color coded.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
Naja002, Why would using a carbon filter allow only the use off one digital timer??? Like I said, I had the same setup before and there was no other way to do it.
It wouldn't, in and of itself, but a valve to reduce the incoming water flow would eliminate a timer to turn the float switches on/off. I assumed that the float switches were being turned on/off because of chlorine/dechlor, but apparently that's not the case. That timer really ins't needed though, since a simple valve can do the trick and eliminate that timer. Daily WCs and/or extension of the filtration output can eliminate the cycling pump timer (I don't do wet/dry, so maybe I'm missing something.... ) Still not sure why the cycling pump is being turned on/off, so a timer may or may not be needed there. So, the only necessary timer atm is the drain.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
BTW... I had that DT timer and had one fail on me on the fill line. Thank god it still had a float switch because it failed with constant power on. (imagine if that was on the drain?)
I've heard good things about them, and I haven't had any issues with mine. So, far so good....

There was a recall several months back, but from a new purchase perspective--I would assume that's dealt with and over....


Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
I use an aquacontroller now. No more clunky timers for me.
That's really the way to go imo. If I had it to do over--I would go that route also. It just seems expensive--upfront--while in the process of all the other purchases, but well worth it from what I have learned.....


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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 12:36 PM
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Naja,

I got you now. I use the timer on the fill as a backup to the float switch (in the even tthe float doesn't trip). So, yes, you don't need it.

You are totally right though, the cost up front is quite a bit. But it is wort it.

Wasserpest seems to have a nice little DIY going right now with irrigation timers.. Curious to see how it works out.

Manolito,

Whats with all the floats and solenoids for the fill? You only need one, in the tank (or if that is a sump, then in the sump). No need for all this other stuff.


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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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OK. Actually it is more of a sump than a wet/dry.

As you see in my set up, I cannot turn on the draining pump without turning off the main cycling pump. I need to drain the water from the aquarium not from the sump. If both pumps are on, the main cyling pump will be pumping air because the sump will be empty.

The reason why I have the 2 float switches in the aquarium to fill up the aquarium . The solenoid and float switch in the sump is just for filling up everyday evaporation water.

The water line coming in and draining out is 1/2" and the line to the sump is 1/4". Both pump are Iwaki 40 RLT @ 800 gph.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 07:10 AM
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Ok, the short answer to your original question is: Yes.

You can use a digital timer for the float switches. But I would seriously consider just adding a valve to reduce the flow rate....

I don't know what kind of amps the Iwaki's pull, so I really can't say whether or not digital (appliance) type timers would be safe. You'll have to check into that, but otherwise--yes.

Your setup is different, but this is how I've setup my drains:

Submersible pump in the sump, drain line to outside, I drilled a small hole in the drain line just below the waterline. Timer starts pump, as water lowers float valve allows incoming water to start. Drain continues for x-amount of minutes, then the drain pump turns off. The little hole in the drain line breaks the siphon. Incoming water continues until float valve is raised and stops it. On a ~53G setup: the drain cycle is 28min long, refill is about 1.5hrs. ~80% WC. Each setup requires 1 float valve and 1 timer...(~$30-40)....

HTH


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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
May not be, but it sounds like the intermatic DT27 timer. I've been through many, many timers and the DT27 are the best for reliability and the convenience of being able to locate them--Lowes and HD carry them among other bigbox stores.
I was researching for digital timer and saw this..................

https://www.intermaticstore.com/dt27recall.pgm
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