Piggyback float switch for ATO failures

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by hermit, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. hermit

    hermit Guest

    Few days ago, my IM Hydrofill TI ATO controller failed. Luckly I noticed this before any water spilled onto the floor from my IM 20g tank. Also the change in salinity wasn't too wild to cause harm to any livestock.

    However this has made me restless and I want to add a backup switch to prevent this in future. I came across this float switch http://a.co/d/bUdg4rr. However it might be too big to fit in the tiny sump from my AIO. Looking for better alternatives or other suggestions for this. I basically want something that will fit in the back chamber of a AIO tank.

    Since my ATO was still in warranty, I am getting a replacement for the probes, but again it might fail again. I want to give this ATO controller another try before moving to expensive ATO alternatives.
  2. JVU


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  3. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster Staff Member

    i had that, it failed me on many times when stuffs are covered on the 'sensor eye', i had to clean the eye from time to time.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  4. Mozby

    Mozby Supporting Member

    I have the IM Hydrofill too.... hasn't happened to me yet but I believe preventive maintenance can prevent sensor failure. Every month, I remove the conductivity sensors, soak them in 50% vinegar solution for an hour, then rinse and wipe them. Seems to work so far.
    hermit likes this.
  5. rygh

    rygh BOD

    I have an extra sensor, just above the water level.
    Since it never gets wet, really no maintenance.
  6. Mozby

    Mozby Supporting Member

    Which one do you use?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Simple float switches, connected to Apex.

    Actually, I have three.
    Middle one and Top one both turn off ATO. (Top is out of water, so reliable)
    Bottom one should be on, and if not, it sends an alarm for low water.
    I have a little acrylic box around them, to keep out snails.
  8. Julius Chen

    Julius Chen Supporting Member

    I use same ato in my IM 20 setup. Recently noticed water level occasionaly (but not always) is at 2mm above the lower tip of the two sensors. It used to be always right at the tip.

    Wonder if this is failing. I did a vineger cleaning weeks ago, dont seem to have stopped the issue.

    Did u experience the same before final failure?
  9. Ibn

    Ibn Guest

    Swapped out my Tunze 3155 over to this recently.

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  10. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Interesting. Looks like an air pressure switch. Should be more reliable normally.
    Although not if airline leaks.

    I do use the spectrapure peristaltic pumps, along with various others, and they are my favorite.
  11. Ibn

    Ibn Guest

    Yeah, it comes highly recommended by Sang (Maximus). I needed an ATO for my 20G AIO and decided to move the 3155 over to it. While I have the Tunze nano (3152) ato, I don't fully trust them since there's no redundancy. The 3155 should fit perfectly in the return compartment of the Waterbox AIO.
    hermit likes this.
  12. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Interestingly, you could even connect it to an Apex with some float switches for extra redundancy.

    Connect to output port on Apex.
    Port usually on.
    If float switch above water line ever goes high, send ALARM, turn off ATO,
    If float switch below water line ever goes low, send ALARM.
  13. Ibn

    Ibn Guest

    Huh, didn't even know that you could do that!
  14. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I have an Avast ATO that used a pressure switch like the one you show.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  15. hermit

    hermit Guest

    @JVU Smart level security seems like a good and affordable redundancy. I think I'll give it a try.

    Since my ATO controller was still in warranty, in the meanwhile Innovative Marine sent me replacement probes for it. But after this experience I'll definitely add some redundancy to the ATO controller.

    @Julius Chen I don't recall this behavior with my sensor probes.

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