Leak/overflow sensor by weight - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Leak/overflow sensor by weight

I'm creating a 60P project with a drilled bottom (Journal thread). As seen in the picture below the in and out pipes in the tank does not rise very high in the tank. I'm thinking of a way to detect for a water leak and water overflow. If the outlet of the tank gets clogged I imagine that the filter will start to empty it self in the tank, meaning that the water level in the tank will start to raise and possibly create an overflow and a disaster. Do you think it would happen that way or would the filter not be able to empty itself if it does not get new water in?

Anyway I thought of a method to prevent this and I would do that with a digital scale connected to an Arduino that again will control a power relay to the filter. As seen in the picture I would set it up with a scale at the bottom then a plastic tub on top of that and the filter inside the tub. If the filter starts to empty it self the weight will go down which will be detected by the Arduino which will then cut the power to the filter. The same way if the weight goes up the plastic tub is filling with water which means there is a leak dripping down.

Weight goes down = tank overflow
Weight goes up = tank leak

So what do you think of this idea? Do you have something that is better or is this overkill?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 07:53 AM
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Edit: Just re-read your post - you're looking to go the other way around to what I was thinking
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 08:09 AM
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in your case even if the filter clogs you will not end up with a large volume of water draining outside. the system you are talking about would be an overkill and i guess an easier way would be to create a buffer space of 1 inch from the top by not filling the tank till the brim.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 01:15 PM
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If the intake gets clogged it won't empty water from the filter into the tank. For that to happen, there would have to be some way for air to get into the filter to displace the water (like if the water level falls below the filter intake). Even if the filter did somehow manage to empty itself into the tank, that filter only holds like 5 liters of water, which is equivalent to about 3 centimeters of water in the tank. Not much to worry about in my opinion.

So I don't think the real danger is the tank overflowing. Perhaps the plumbing leaking, or filter flow stopping, or something of that nature.

I think putting the filter and other equipment in a plastic tub is a good idea, both for leak protection, and just so you don't get water on the wood while doing maintenance. You could put a water sensor or float switch inside the tub.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your comments. Actually you have all given me the answer I did hope for. I will add a water sensor to the plastic tub instead of the crazy build.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 02:51 PM
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This is an alarm that I use in a pan under my filter. Very cheap and easy to use. The batteries last almost forever if the alarm is not sounding. Just too cheap to not have one when I think of the damage 120 gallon might do in my living room.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 04:42 PM
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here's a wet sensor


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 11:34 PM
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A clogged filter will never cause a leak. Better to get a moisture sensor. There are plenty, like on Adafruit or Sparkfun.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 10:16 AM
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you might want to try this

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