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Help me automate my ATO reservoir

Discussion in 'Lighting and Equipment' started by ianryd, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. ianryd

    ianryd Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I currently have RODI entering my 3 gallon ATO reservoir via 1/4" line. I fill it up by opening a valve and setting a timer on my phone so I don't forget to turn it off. ATO water enters my sump via gravity fed 1/4" line hooked up to a manual float. I would like to automate the ATO filling process, and add a way to purge my RO membrane on start up. I do not have a controller (apex, hydros etc), and dont plan on getting one

    From what I understand this can be done in several ways, but I want to get yall's advice. My preferred way would be to use high and low level optical sensors that control a solenoid valve (inline with my RODI) to fill the ATO, with a mechanical fail safe (float valve?) for the high level so I dont have a flood. I'm not worried about flooding my sump on the outlet-it can handle about 20 gallons of extra water.

    Is there a kit out there for this? Maybe an ATO I can modify? Can I just buy some sensors and a solenoid and a float? Would I need to plug it all in to a controller of some sort?

    As for purging the RO on startup, I'm not sure how to do that. My RODI filter is in the basement and the tank is upstairs. Routing anything from one floor to the next is not something I want to do. Is there some kind of flow-sensitive timer do-hickey that could route the startup water down the drain?
  2. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    I prefer to keep it simple and I just use a single float valve for shut-off on my 40g reservoir and I manually turn on/off the water when needed. The optical sensors could be nice but they also introduce complexity that could cause issues ime. You likely would have to wire the sensors through a breakout box to the apex or some other controller
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021 at 1:12 PM
    ianryd likes this.
  3. Spieg

    Spieg Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    FWIW, if you go the solenoid rout, I'd use two solenoids in series. I had one fail on me and it flooded my house (it was a closed when off design, but something got stuck in the valve that prevented it from closing all the way).
    ianryd likes this.
  4. quackenbush

    quackenbush Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    BRS has a video or two on programming your apex with solenoids and optical sensors for this sort of thing. I haven't gotten this far on my current build but am interested in a similar solution. Jake at ReefBuilders said his setup was gravity fed with float switches and I regret not taking a better look at that setup in his Golden warehouse when he had us over just before the apocalypse hit.
    ianryd likes this.
  5. ianryd

    ianryd Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I cross posted on reef2reef and have been getting some good suggestions there too. So far I really like the idea of hi/low float switches connected to a control board and solenoid. Once I have it really planned out I'll post a diagram and see what yall think!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using MASC mobile app
    SynDen likes this.

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