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BZOFIQ
10/18/2011, 01:02 PM
I want to get 2 switches that would alert me through an email when the sump reaches low and high point.

Does it matter which switches I get or are they supposed to be specific to whether its open or closed in specific position.

Looked at the unoficial guide and it seems to mention specific configuration but im wondering why.

Here is why im wondering, could I be wrong?

If the float was open when down you can set it up to send an alert when the float goes up and the circuit is closed

but....

If the float is closed buy default and opens when it goes up you can just send an alrt when it circuit opens

am I on the right path?


Please help, I don't need $40 worth of float switches laying around.

jrpark22000
10/18/2011, 01:58 PM
Does it matter which switches I get or are they supposed to be specific to whether its open or closed in specific position.

Looked at the unoficial guide and it seems to mention specific configuration but im wondering why.


am I on the right path?


Yes you are on the right path. The unofficial users guide is giving you a best practice solution. The Apex or AC3 will alarm on an open or a closed switch if you program accordingly.

The normally recommended float switch, Madison M8000 is a metal reed switch which uses magnets to close. These switches can be converted from normally open or closed by simply turning the float 180deg on its support rod. When it fails as everything does, they typically will fail in the open position.

The best practice is to code using the future failure in mind. To program conservatively; ex. if a switch controlling a high sump were to fail open would it be better to fail so it overflows the sump or react and sending you an alarm.

swearint
10/18/2011, 02:05 PM
Here is what I use (FLT015):

http://www.chicagosensor.com/Miniature_Vertical_Mount_Float_Switches.html

They can be configured to OPEN/CLOSE when either UP/DOWN by removing the clip and inverting the float. The Apex can respond to either case, OPEN or CLOSED. The preferred configuration depends on the intended use. The Apex switches default to OPEN when no switch is connected. So as a safety measure, it is usually desired for the Apex to perform an action, such as ATO, when the switch is CLOSED.

Todd

aquamanic
10/18/2011, 02:32 PM
Here's a practical example. Let's say you're doing some maintenance in your tank. Without knowing it, you bump your breakout box and in the process knock out one of the plugs. Not all the way where you would see it but just enough to register as 'OPEN'. Now your sump starts to fill. And fill. And fill. You finally realize what's happening when A) your ATO reservoir is empty or B) your floor floods.

That's why OPEN should always be BAD, OFF, STOP, CEASE, etc, etc. Orient your floats accordingly so you can program things this way.

BZOFIQ
10/18/2011, 03:47 PM
Now it makes sense. Thanks Alan, I knew there is gotta be a reason and now I understand. So anyhow, I guess since the madison switches can be converted to either state with a simple flip of a float I guess I'm good to go with placing the order.

Anynow this is what I need, I am not going to risk an ATO for now so they'll just serve as maintenance reminder (1) and warning (2)

Bottom float:

I want #1 to email me when the water drops past the low level so that I can top it off, I would want to get email and a sound buzzer to go off when this happens.

I'm might be asking for too much but is it possible to generate an e-mail and for the buzzer to only go off if its past certain hour (say 7am); what do you think gurus. I know many will wonder why but hear me out.

This low water level is only a reminder, even if I get an email at 3 am there is no need to buzz the alarm in the middle of the night to wake everyone up. There is still plenty of water for another day of evaporation so all I need is to buzz after 7 am if the condition is still not corrected since 3am. Possible, yes? no?

TOP float:

This will alarm me (via buzzer) if during water changes I fill the sump with too much.

I would want this float to sound a buzzer (no matter time of the day) and switch the skimmer off, am I asking for too much?

kayl
10/18/2011, 04:47 PM
Now it makes sense. Thanks Alan, I knew there is gotta be a reason and now I understand. So anyhow, I guess since the madison switches can be converted to either state with a simple flip of a float I guess I'm good to go with placing the order.

Anynow this is what I need, I am not going to risk an ATO for now so they'll just serve as maintenance reminder (1) and warning (2)

Bottom float:

I want #1 to email me when the water drops past the low level so that I can top it off, I would want to get email and a sound buzzer to go off when this happens.

I'm might be asking for too much but is it possible to generate an e-mail and for the buzzer to only go off if its past certain hour (say 7am); what do you think gurus. I know many will wonder why but hear me out.

This low water level is only a reminder, even if I get an email at 3 am there is no need to buzz the alarm in the middle of the night to wake everyone up. There is still plenty of water for another day of evaporation so all I need is to buzz after 7 am if the condition is still not corrected since 3am. Possible, yes? no?

TOP float:

This will alarm me (via buzzer) if during water changes I fill the sump with too much.

I would want this float to sound a buzzer (no matter time of the day) and switch the skimmer off, am I asking for too much?

The lower one could use a virtual outlet -
In that outlet you could have:Set Off
If Switch1 Closed then On
If 23:00 to 07:00 then Off

The email alarm outlet would simply have If Switch1 Closed then on

The audible alarm outlet would have If VirtualOutletWhatever = ON then ON


Top float would simply have if Switch1 Closed then On in the email and audible alarm outlets and if Switch1 Closed then Off in the skimmer outlet

BZOFIQ
11/08/2011, 10:59 AM
Thanks for your help guys.

I'm not done just yet. I decided to make it even more interesting with 3 floats

they are...

Switch1 - TOP

Switch2 - MIDDLE

Switch3 - BOTTOM

Here are their uses for now, probably more later on

The top float (switch) when CLOSED is to turn the skimmer off, sound an alarm, email me, turn doser off and TopOff off

The middle float when CLOSED is supposed to stop the TopOff

THe bottom float when CLOSED is supposed to sound an alert (not alarm) and start TopOff

Using these I set the TopOff outlet with the following programming using staggered examples from the Unoficial guide.

Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Switch3 CLOSED Then ON
If Switch2 CLOSED Then OFF
Defer 000:10 Then ON
Defer 000:15 Then OFF


Here is what happens, the float stays CLOSED for 10 seconds and the TopOff goes ON, but switches off after 15 seconds. I'd like the TopOff to run until switch 2 stays CLOSED for 15 seconds

Help

BZOFIQ
11/08/2011, 12:38 PM
Ok thinking that I should have used Virtual outlets I set the following with no success.

Virtual Outlets:

FloatLOW
Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Switch3 CLOSED Then ON

FloatMID
Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Switch2 CLOSED Then ON

Regular Outlets:

TopOff
Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Outlet FloatLOW = ON Then ON
If Outlet FloatMID = ON Then OFF
Min Time 000:25 Then OFF


As soon as switch3 (FloatLOW) closes the outlet goes ON but as soon as it opens it goes OFF. I want the TopOff outlet to remain on until switch2 (FloatMID) closes. What gives?

BZOFIQ
11/08/2011, 01:13 PM
OK an update.

Through virtual outlet and status page I found out that switch 1 and 2 are reversed. WHAT? on a brand new breakout box???

so anyhow I reversed the programming on the virtual outlets and now they represent correct switches.

With the following statement

Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Outlet FloatLOW = ON Then ON
Min Time 000:60 Then ON


I can get the outlet to go on and stay on for 60 seconds which is fine but I want the outlet to go off before 60 seconds if outlets FloatMID or FloatTOP are ON (either switch is CLOSED)

swearint
11/08/2011, 01:32 PM
OK, first the issue is not with the BoB. The floats are reversible by removing the small retaining clip, removing the float, inverting and reinstalling.

Try this:

[TopOff]
Fallback OFF
If Outlet FloatLow = ON Then ON
If Outlet FloatMid = ON Then OFF
If Outlet FloatHigh = ON Then OFF
Defer 00:10 Then ON

This will turn on TopOff whenever the sump drops to the point FloatLow is ON. This will stay ON until FloatMid turns ON. FloatHigh is a safety backup. The Defer will cause a 10 second delay before TopOff turns ON.

You want to configure the floats OPEN/CLOSE states such that if they are unplugged, nothing dangerous happens. This is because the Apex switches are OPEN by default. So, for instance, the high float should be OPEN in the UP condition.

Todd

BZOFIQ
11/08/2011, 03:19 PM
That works. It goes on after the FloatLOW stays in CLOSED position for over 10 seconds and goes off if either the MID or TOP float closes briefly. Thank you so much. I have this thing running dry on my workbench at work and want it all configured before I plug in the tank.

The BOB has an issue indeed....check this out

Virtual outlet FloatTOP

Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Switch1 CLOSED Then ON

Virtual outlet FloatMID

Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Switch2 CLOSED Then ON


Virtual outlet FloatLOW
Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Switch3 CLOSED Then ON


Now looking at the status page when I click Switch1 the Outlet FloatTOP should be ON, but instead I get FloatMid to go on. When I hit Switch2 I should have FloatMID go ON but instead I get FloatTOP to turn on. so I just reversed Switch 1 & 2 in the statements for these Virtual outlets and now the correct swich turns on the correct outlet. This is weird, I guess I can retest tomorrow with continuity meter.

BZOFIQ
11/08/2011, 03:25 PM
Thank you so much swearint, all of my issues with floats were resolved (besides the reversed I1 and I2 on the box) when I removed Set OFF after Fallback OFF from a number of other outlets that wouldn't respond.

I'm now confused as to when use and not use the SET ON/OFF liine after Fallback ON/OFF in a statement.

BZOFIQ
11/08/2011, 03:38 PM
I know that fallback is the state that the outlets must maintain if they lose communication with the controller but is the SET OFF the initial state of an outlet before all the other lines apply? Am I on the right track?

swearint
11/08/2011, 06:19 PM
Sorry, I misunderstood what you meant by 'reversed'. Yes, that sounds like the BoB is miswired.

Set OFF does create an initial state. But that is not always what you want. Often, you will want to control over a range. As in your example, you want to turn TopOff ON if low and OFF if mid level. The Set is not conditional. So it TopOff cuts OFF as soon as the sump is no longer low.

Todd

BZOFIQ
11/21/2011, 01:06 PM
OK this is where we left off...

[TopOff]
Fallback OFF
If Outlet FloatLow = ON Then ON
If Outlet FloatMid = ON Then OFF
If Outlet FloatHigh = ON Then OFF
Defer 00:10 Then ON


Can I add a statement that when the ATO runs for specified amount of time (say 5 minutes) it will switch off regardless of mid and high float? I've seen min time but what about max time?

swearint
11/21/2011, 01:58 PM
Not directly, but you can create a virtual outlet to act as a maximum timer.

[Max_ATO]
Set OFF
If Outlet FloatLow = ON Then ON
Defer 30:00 Then ON

[TopOff]
Fallback OFF
If Outlet FloatLow = ON Then ON
If Outlet FloatMid = ON Then OFF
If Outlet FloatHigh = ON Then OFF
If Outlet Max_ATO = ON Then OFF
Defer 00:10 Then

The Max_ATO outlet will attempt to turn ON whenever the FloatLow is ON; however, the Defer will keep it from doing so unless it stays ON for a full 30 minutes or longer (set as needed). As soon as that happens, the ATO will shut OFF.

This acts like a lockout. If FloatLow never changes to OFF, the ATO won't be able to run again without manual intervention. So the ATO needs to run long enough to reset FloatLow.

Todd

BZOFIQ
11/21/2011, 04:05 PM
Totally makes sense.

When you say manual intervention, what would have to be done to reset it?

swearint
11/21/2011, 04:14 PM
You could set the Max_ATO to Manual OFF. That deactivates the lockout. Otherwise, you could set the ATO outlet to Manual ON until the sump fills sufficiently. Just don't forget that it is ON.:)

Todd