View Full Version : Apex control of Smart Buddie Booster Pump

08/05/2017, 05:49 PM
I design and build machines for a living so when my Smart Buddie died and my tanks top off stopped I needed to do something.

I love the Smart Buddie but always wished the flush before each top off was longer than 18 seconds. I ran the power from an Apex outlet and setup a program that would turn it on for only 15 seconds three times before doing a top-off. That way I flush the membrane for a lot longer than the 18 seconds before sending top off water to my tank.

The RO/DI unit, Smart Buddie, Apex EB8, DOS, and breakout box are in my basement. The controller and lots of other modules are in the living room. A long USB extender connects the Controller to the EB8 in the basement.

The Smart Buddie died one day. I verified that it wasn't low water pressure to the unit and nothing was clogged.

If you have this unit you know that it flushes the membrane for 18 seconds and then turns on the booster pump to send water to the tank. It's basically two functions, flush and deliver water to the tank. However, there are two switches which shut down the booster pump. The low pressure switch shuts the pump off if the source water pressure is too low. The high pressure switch shuts it down if a float valve at the tank provides too much back pressure or if there is a clog or something.

I took the cover off and diagrammed the internal plumbing and wiring including pin assignments on the controller.

It appears to me that there really is only two ON/OFFs to the whole system. A membrane waste valve is wired directly to the controller for both +DC and -DC and a green wire from the controller board which completes the circuit sending power to the booster pump, high and low pressure switches, and the prefilter to membrane solenoid valve.

I cut the wires and determined the controller board was bad. The pump ran and the switches worked just fine.

I cut the controller board wires at the controller to cut that out of the system. Quick search came up with no replacement board readily available for purchase. But I had a bigger plan anyways...

This is a work in progress and I needed a quick solution to top off the tank. But I think I see a path forward.

I drilled a hole in the side of the system housing and ran 2 wires to the Membrane Waste Valve (membrane flush valve). I now have long flying leads that can control that valve from outside the system.

I have the controller control wire (green) connected directly to +24VDC from the power supply. Remember that the power to the power supply is connected to an Apex outlet so I have ON/OFF control over the system anyways.

The last part is to run a second set of 2 wires into the housing and connect them to the low and high pressure switches which are wired in series. I then will have flying leads for those as well.

The plan is:

Run the low and high pressure switches to the breakout box so my Apex knows when the source water pressure is low or when the system pressure is too high... I may separate the two so the Apex would know if one or other or Both are true. I may not.

Purchase a 24VDC power supply (12 bucks on Amazon) to plug into an outlet on the EB8 power strip to give me power control over the Membrane Waste Valve. I would just need to cut off the jack and wire the flying leads that I made from the valve wires.

At that point I can turn the system on and off, turn the flush valve on and off, and detect when the source water pressure is too low or the system pressure is too high all from the Apex.

That would give me full control over the system from the Apex.

Please don't forget that I had a busted controller board, a working system otherwise, and Apex system, an EB8, and a breakout box right there... This gives me more control at a lower cost than buying a whole new unit.