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Thread: saftey check on a floatvalve

  1. #1
    DIYFK member trachr's Avatar


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    saftey check on a floatvalve

    Hey, most of my fish room has drilled drains for drip systems and whatnot but I have a few tanks that I simply can not do that due to various reasons but I am looking at making a few additions to those tanks.

    1st I want an auto topoff which will probably be the easiest thing since I'll just use some 1/4 inch and attach it to the fish rooms piping and use a floatvalve....

    Which brings the first question, I know there are auto overflow valves that you can find the directions for all over and I may add one but I don't trust those completely as I have had issues where they stopped working in the past... and since Ive had things break down a little too often for my liking it brings me to the float valve.

    Other than checking it on a regular basis is there a way to limit how much water would go through the auto top off? My concern is that either buildup or an annoying fish playing with it or whatever will somehow make it get stuck in a down position, which would leave my water lines open causing an overflow.

    Any Ideas on how to I could put in a safety check to stop such an occurrence? Thanks.

  2. #2
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    With cheap float valves like this, the more the water rises the more it closes as the bulb puts more pressure to close the valve, so even if a fish was playing with it. it should in theory close unless it fails completely... But, as you said they can fail and then you have issues, to prevent this you would have to install overflow sensors that shut off the water if it fails...

    https://www.amazon.com/Malida-Water-...ds=float+valve

  3. #3
    DIYFK member trachr's Avatar


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    So I'm tossing around the idea of adding an automatic water change to that tank, I have on others but never with 1/4 inch supply line.. They work great for drip lines and such but for a say 1/2 refill how long would you think it would take to fill a tank with 1/4 inch supply

    Say a 55 or at max a 125

    Basically I just have a pump start a siphon then let it drain till the end up the pvc line I have attached to my drain line... after that my auto topoff would fill the tank

    My trick would be getting the water right Id probably have a a T that supplies both RO as well as Well Water then I can tweak the mix with 2 valves so If I decided to put discuss in it I could go RO water or if I wanted malawi I could go my well water which is real hard water. Id need needle valves Id assume which Im sure I can find if I looked hard enough


    but anyway whats your opinion on that... could a 1/4 inch supply fill bigger tanks in a reasonable amount of time?

  4. #4
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by trachr Click here to enlarge
    how long would you think it would take to fill a tank with 1/4 inch supply
    Fill rate of a 1/4 hose is about 6 gallons per minute at 40 PSI... That assumes a very short run and no restrictions like valves... There are several variables that will effect this, the only real way to know is to drop the hose in a one gallon jug and see how long it takes to fill, then do the math... BTW, consider that most sinks in modern houses only have 1/4" supply lines and many times the valves are reduced to about 1/8" and although the sink water pressure isn't going to blow you away it's what many in this hobby use to fill tanks...

    Of course tapping off a 3/4" house pipe and using a 3/4" hose is going to blow a 1/4" hose fill rate out of the ballpark, with little comparison...

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    DIYFK member trachr's Avatar


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    1 more question... metal/brass fittings is only bad for an aquarium setup if its in a place where there is circulating water and whatnot correct?

    I ask cause the only needle valves I can find are brass..... The needle valve is so I can customize how much well and how much RO water the tank is getting

    Basically you would have Well and RO water on their own lines with a needle valve on each, going into a T then that line goes to the floatvalve.


    The idea, is I can customize the ratio of water coming in, which in theory, should let me better control hardness and PH



    In fairness, Its more than theory as I do a similar concept with my Drip Line tanks... I have both Well and RO running and each have a drip line.... so no T valve just 2 lines running into each tank that drip

  6. #6
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    A few brass valves are not going to harm anything, especially when you consider a vast majority of household pipes and even some older municipal water supply lines are copper, and even if they are steel pipes or even plastic they generally have brass valves in the system at some point... There are some critters (like some snails) that copper is quite toxic too, but you would know if you had those I hope and even so with proper water changes the chance of copper concentrations getting to a lethal point is slim in most instances...

  7. #7
    DIYFK member trachr's Avatar


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    alright I'll go pick up a couple compression fitting valves then, Thanks Click here to enlarge

    I swear by the time I finally look at my fish room and say I am done changing things I'll have everything automated from the feeding and water changed down to finding a way to move my fish when the are holding without me ever having to lift a finger lol

  8. #8
    DIYFK member trachr's Avatar


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    so a question on the draining side of things. I want to make this as simple as possible... I know I can set up a switch or a button to activate the pump then I would have to deactivate it.

    so a 2 part question...

    1st my current thought process was to have the drainage lines from the 2 tanks come to a T with a valve on each side and I would just close the valve of 1 tank leaving the tank I want to drain open... Now could I add a solenoid gate valve into the system activated by said button so I could have 2 buttons, 1 for top tank, 1 for bottom... then depending on which one is pressed it would open said valve along with activating the pump... I wouldnt think that would be complicated just have the switch activate both.... but the question I have would the drainage water harm the valves? I know a ball valve has a straight shot though the valve but I believe the electronic gate valves have to go around obstacles inside the valve.


    2nd question... I know a few ways to go about this but would like your take... is there a good way to set it up so I have to only press the button once and then it stays on for say 2 or 3 or 10 minutes... whatever it would require to drain the tank then automatically shut off?



    Thanks again

  9. #9
    DIYFK member trachr's Avatar


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    suppose I could just do a 3 way valve... do you know if the electric 3 way valves will revert to off position when power cuts out or will they change position when powered and stay in that position till told to go back?

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