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View Full Version : ATO newbie here, need help


Kizzy911
10/13/2016, 01:27 AM
Hi everyone, I don't usually use ATO and I just top it off myself everyday. Just wondering on how ATO works, i know the general just of it (it adds water when your system is low)
1) Which ATO should I purchase and why?
2) Is there a pump that alerts the top off system and then turns that pump on to get it to the right level?
3) how exactly does it work step by step.
4) How much gallons of ATO reservoir is ideal for a 139 gallon system?

I was thinking of using a 5 gallon bucket but i also have a 25 gallon hex tank that would be perfect for an auto reservoir. would any of these work?

desjardinii
10/13/2016, 05:54 AM
I use a Tunze 3155, I've owned a couple over the years and they've been reliable. My system's about 200g and for a reservoir I use a 15g drum which lasts over a week.
Here's a vid on how it works:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpieiDIumas
:beer:

dendrite
10/13/2016, 06:04 AM
I use a Tunze 3155, I've owned a couple over the years and they've been reliable. My system's about 200g and for a reservoir I use a 15g drum which lasts over a week.
Here's a vid on how it works:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpieiDIumas
:beer:

same. The tunze is great. I have three of them, one 3155 for a 180, and two 3152 for a 30 gallon and 40 gallon. I can now actually leave town for a week without worrying about a sump running dry. It doesn't take me any more time to refill a 15 gallon reservoir than to add a gallon at a time to a tank. One of the best purchases I have made

WiDataTech
10/13/2016, 06:57 AM
+1 for Tunze. Has been very reliable for me ( knock on wood) dont know how i lived without it, lol. just be sure to keep the optical eye and float clean.

jacksonpt
10/13/2016, 07:09 AM
I've been running a cheap, basic setup for a long time and have had no problems with it.

A float switch in my sump senses water level.
When water gets low, the float switch kicks on an aqualifter, which pulls water from a reservoir into the sump. As the water level rises, the float switch senses the rising water and turns off the pump.

mcgyvr
10/13/2016, 08:10 AM
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9f/99/af/9f99af21583f49e3069e2fd7e5d19204.gif

Greybeard
10/13/2016, 12:16 PM
Some sort of sensor in the sump detects low water level, fills to desired level. Can be mechanical (float valve) or electrical (float switch, optical sensor). May also have an emergency shut off, 2nd float valve, electronic timer, etc. that shuts the pump down if it's overfilling the system.

The reservoir is an integral component to an ATO... you want one big enough that you don't have to refill it too often, and not so big that a stuck valve will flood your floor and kill off your tank.

Simplest option is a gravity system, with a reservoir mounted above the sump, and a float valve mounted in the return pump compartment of the sump. Simple, and cheap... not necessarily reliable. If the float valve sticks 'on', whatever volume of water is contained in the reservoir is going to end up in the tank. In my system, I'm using this type of ATO. 5g reservoir, ~75g total tank volume. 6%. Not a tragedy, if it fails.

Plumb that same float valve directly to your RO/DI system, and you've got a high probability of a nightmare headed your way.

I will soon be switching to a Tunze osmolator system. I want to put a Kalkwasser reactor between the ATO reservoir and the sump, and a gravity system doesn't lend itself to doing so... and that same 5g of Kalk would indeed cause a major problem.

Tunze's universal ATO has an optical eye that detects water level, and an emergency float valve that catches it if the eye gets stuck on somehow. All in one block, mounted magnetically. Comes with the pump, controller, all you need is a reservoir... a 5g bucket would work fine. Generally recognized as the best system, but it ain't cheap.

You can also use a float switch or optical sensor to control a solenoid valve directly connected to your RO/DI filter. MAKE DARNED SURE that there is some sort of reliable emergency switch on this sort of system. Returning to a dead tank and a flooded floor is a real possibility.

FirstContact
10/13/2016, 02:48 PM
I was using the Tunze Osmolator until the other week when I dropped the control box in my sump! Oh well! I have run through two of them in 8 years. The first one I dropped the control box in the sump too. So, I suggest mounting it permanently in a dry safe area.

The Tunze Osmolator works great and I might buy a third one or run the top off system through my controller this time to save some coin. It never failed on me.

mcgyvr
10/13/2016, 03:54 PM
I was using the Tunze Osmolator until the other week when I dropped the control box in my sump! Oh well! I have run through two of them in 8 years. The first one I dropped the control box in the sump too. So, I suggest mounting it permanently in a dry safe area.


You are one of those people that keeps dropping their phone into the toilet too aren't you..:lmao:

sil40sx
10/13/2016, 04:09 PM
Another Tunze Osmolator here,.. best $40 I've spent in this hobby (bought used).

Just make sure to clean the sensor and/or float valve every 1 or 2 months

FirstContact
10/13/2016, 06:53 PM
You are one of those people that keeps dropping their phone into the toilet too aren't you..:lmao:

Yeah, twice was rough. That's $400 down the toilet! :headwally: