So after the problem of not enough water, …

…and then the next problem of not enough water, and then the life-threatening illness, what’s next? Anyone? Class?

Of course! Very good. Too much water!

That float switch has always been problematic. I’d prefer a switch that’s remote from the actual float, on a tilting shaft like in a toilet tank. That would behave more predictably, and keep electrical stuff out of the very corrosive water. But alas.

Anyway, this one seems to have gone intermittent. I did drag myself up the hill and check the water level as soon as I got vertical after my illness, noted that (probably because it was so overcast) the tank was filling slowly but filling. Then yesterday evening I checked again and found the tank was overfull.

Overfull would be a good sort of problem to have compared to the dialectic alternative, except for a minor design flaw in the tank installation…

If we had a reason to do it this way, I can’t recall what it was. The overflow pipe goes into soft sand under the tank. Why would you ever want that? Especially when the tank is right next to a steep slope, and washing out its bed might just conceivably have really spectacularly dire consequences?

So now I have a pump that’s running too long and I’m using the extra water to undermine the water tank. Excellent.

Fortunately this problem has an effective short-term fix…

I think I’ll call it the Sarah Connor rule: when faced with the possibility of technology running amok, always hard-wire an OFF switch.

Anyway, I’m going to town in about half an hour. I don’t stock enough 1 1/2″ pipe to re-route the overflow, but I can get some. Then I’ll worry about what to do about the switch.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to So after the problem of not enough water, …

  1. terrapod says:

    Joel – Edward the engineer here. I can rig a magnetic reed relay switch system (and send you a dozen spare relays which are glass enclosed and can be potted in epoxy) along with a pivoting float with the magnet on the short end of the device.
    The question is whether you are using low voltage circuit at the switch, and have that control a relay, or is it old school with 120AC going through the switch in the floating bottle and to the motor? The second question is where to fasten the pivot support. I can use stainless steel or brass flange to get to the pivot point but would need to figure out where you can attach it, Maybe the rim of the hatch that is in the picture? We could design the flange to go 10 inches down into the tank from rim, that would allow clearance for the pivot, sweep arm and magnet as well as keeping the relay out of the water. Designing stuff at a distance is possible but only with good dimensional data. Give me some data to sketch out concepts, send to my e-mail addy if you want me to play with it – the ejp one.

  2. Zelda says:

    Gosh I love this blog, always something useful to learn. My first read every morning because I never know what the day will bring…

  3. Cosmostrator says:

    terrapod – It is a low voltage switch, manual can be found here:
    I bought one after reading about it here and ended up using this float switch:
    You can choose if a closed circuit turns the pump on or off. I chose to have the switch being on run the pump so if there is a failure in the wire or switch the pump would shut off.

  4. B says:

    one could always put TWO switches in series so that if one fails “on” the other would still work as a failsafe.

    Or use a pressure switch at the top of pipe to determine level like many washing machines do.

    Easy to make it failsaf(er).

To the stake with the heretic!