Can you monitor water tank level from the float?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by dschag, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. dschag

    dschag New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    topanga, ca
    Having survived the scare of a low water alarm, I started thinking about the fact that the alarm did not sound until 10,000 gallon tank was about half empty. By employing some sort of water conservation system, I assume we could make the water last until we could solve the problem. However, I wish there were a way of monitoring the level of water in the tank, short of hauling out a heavy ladder and opening the lid. I believe the float sends an electrical signal, both to controller to turn on pump when water drops to a certain and to alarm when water drops to a dangerous level. Can you use the float signal to determine what the water level is? Appreciate any ideas.
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,919
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If you have an understanding of the circuit and of electronics, then it would be easy to add monitoring. One of the floats would turn on the well pump when the level falls so one could couple to it to sense the voltage or current. From that, it becomes a matter of how long the signal would be present and then use logic that alerts if the time has been exceeded.

    Personally, I would not tie into the existing float system but rather put in a separate system. One could monitor the pressure at the bottom of the tank rather than use a float. There is .43 PSI for every foot of water.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,919
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
  4. dschag

    dschag New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    topanga, ca
    Humm, interesting. The Rhombus device is pretty and also pretty expensive (starting at $440). I like the pressure idea--would you imagine I could simply put a pressure gauge somewhere on the bottom of the tank? For instance, I got an extra 4" bib (not connected to anything), could I drill, tap, and screw in a pressure gage? That would be pretty simple, inexpensive and easy to do. Tried to research this: is the .43 psi different at 2250' altitude? Thanks for help.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,919
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The weight (and therefore pressure) difference at that altitude is insignificant.
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,116
    Location:
    IL
    If making changes to your system, maybe you could consider a switch that overrides the controller, and lets you turn the pump on or off manually. That should be fairly simple. An electrician could probably put that in if the well fixer is going to take a while. Padlock the switch to automatic normally.

    Regarding the white stuff, it may be calcium salts or magnesium salts. In that case, dip it out. chip it out. A wet-dry vacuum cleaner can help slurp up debris. The water softener is supposed take calcium salts and magnesium salts out, but it is not going to totally effective. Phosphoric acid could help clean and remove the deposits, but you would then want to flush all of that out. Calcium salts and magnesium salts are not harmful in the except to moving parts they could impede. Actually, maybe your area has some bad salts. Your well person will know about that.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  7. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Member

    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    That's definitely the easiest and cheapest way....just get a pressure gauge with really small range, like 0-10 psi.....check out usa blue book.
    You can also move your alarm float to signal at a higher level than half way.....I don't know your water usage, but I would guess that under normal conditions, there isn't much drop in the tank level.
  8. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Sounds like all you need to do. If you already have an alarm, just move the float up to sense at 5,000 or 2,000 gallons instead of 10,000 gallons low.
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