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View Full Version : Maintenance Practices for Apex FMM Sensors


ca1ore
09/05/2017, 07:54 AM
Curious what folks do for maintenance on the apex flow sensors? I've had the 1" sensor on my main return start to drift a bit over the last couple of weeks, and now it's reading zero. I've tried the first four steps from the generic Apex troubleshooting guide - unplug/plug back in module, reseat probe cord, gently tap sensor, curse at sensor ..... all to no avail. I figure either the paddle wheel is clogged with chaeto strands or the sensor is kaput. Will remove and clean it to determine if it is the former, but curious how frequently folks have found it necessary to clean them?

FullBoreReefer
09/05/2017, 08:53 AM
Haven't had any of mine apart yet. But just guessing off the top of my head that a full tear down may be needed. Not sure how the wires are secured internally so be careful when pulling apart.

coralfish
09/05/2017, 08:55 AM
Thinking about ordering the FMK so I'm interested as to what you find.


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mcgyvr
09/05/2017, 10:17 AM
Depending on what you allow to flow through it (and what you are doing with that signal) maintenance could be required quite often..

ca1ore
09/05/2017, 10:22 AM
I had a spare, so subbed it in and back to normal. Looking into the non-functioning sensor, it was observably free of debris but the paddle wheel was 'locked' and would not freely rotate. It was pretty simple to disassemble, and no wires secured internally (though I was careful). Removed the paddle assembly and there was a lot of crud in the pivot holes. Cleared that out with a toothpick and the paddle wheel now rotates freely. I will put it back in later today and see if it reads/operates properly. Have to check and see how long I had it running, but clearly a periodic removal, disassembly and cleaning is going to be required.

ca1ore
09/05/2017, 10:22 AM
Depending on what you allow to flow through it (and what you are doing with that signal) maintenance could be required quite often..

Uh ..... tank water .......

mcgyvr
09/05/2017, 11:54 AM
Uh ..... tank water .......

and chaeto strands in your case.. ;)

A sensor directly downstream of a foam filter or filter sock,etc.. will potentially need less maintenance than one not protected by one.. Thats where I was going with that..

ca1ore
09/05/2017, 12:19 PM
I know, I just thought it was funny .....

I have a large screen on the pump intake to keep as much chaeto as possible out - mostly so it doesn't grow in the display but also to protect the flow meter. As it turns out, there wasn't any in the paddle wheel.

LQT
09/05/2017, 12:40 PM
Just curious... how long have you had it running for it to be jammed up already?

ca1ore
09/05/2017, 01:15 PM
Six months, almost to the day.

mcgyvr
09/05/2017, 02:17 PM
Six months, almost to the day.

Sounds like you've already taking it apart,etc..
Did you get it back working again? or is it just a fail..

ca1ore
09/05/2017, 02:39 PM
Sounds like you've already taking it apart,etc..
Did you get it back working again? or is it just a fail..

Yeah, I did. Was all gummed up with detritus and other not clearly definable shmutz. Pretty easy to get apart ..... though there were a few bits left over after I put it back together ..... I wonder if that's a problem ..... :lol: Kidding. It went back together pretty easily and the paddle spins now. I'll report back once I put it back into the circuit. Hopefully not a fail.

hkgar
09/05/2017, 02:46 PM
Good information. I have 3 on my system and will plan on maintenance. Might just schedule a 6 month cleaning for them so to prevent going down at the wrong time. Well that was a stupid statement. They just monitor and it makes no difference if they shut down.

The only one that realy gives me actionable information is the one on my ATS so I can dial tight in to the 35 gph per inch (350gph in my case).

ca1ore
09/05/2017, 02:57 PM
They just monitor and it makes no difference if they shut down.

:lol: Except in my case, I have a 'low flow' virtual outlet that triggers the system alarm if it goes below 100 gph. My system alarm isn't just the polite, musical apex alarm, I have a continuous tone 'annuciator' on my system - basically a scare the $hit out of you 95db alarm. It's designed to wake me up if something goes wrong - but it's not pleasant experience.

hkgar
09/06/2017, 08:55 AM
:lol: Except in my case, I have a 'low flow' virtual outlet that triggers the system alarm if it goes below 100 gph. My system alarm isn't just the polite, musical apex alarm, I have a continuous tone 'annuciator' on my system - basically a scare the $hit out of you 95db alarm. It's designed to wake me up if something goes wrong - but it's not pleasant experience.

How does the virtual outlet "see" the flow rate of the FMM?

Also, I am curious about your 'annunciator'? Does it plug into an outlet and is triggered by certain conditions like an ALD? I am separated, at night, by two floors from my sump and would be interested in installing one. Of course I have two EB8 and every outlet is already in use.

ca1ore
09/06/2017, 10:49 AM
I have a physical outlet on one of my energy bars called 'siren':

Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Output MajorProblem = ON Then ON

Major problem is a virtual outlet that triggers siren and email alerts:

Set OFF
If Output Temp_Hi = ON Then ON
If pH > 8.50 Then ON
If pH < 7.40 Then ON
If ATO_3 CLOSED Then ON
If SmpLo CLOSED Then ON
If SmpVHi CLOSED Then ON
If Swx10_3 CLOSED Then ON
If QT_Tmp < 75.0 Then ON
If Output Temp_Lo = ON Then ON
If Output Water_Floor = ON Then ON
If Output Low_Flow = ON Then ON
Defer 010:00 Then ON

Low_Flow is another virtual outlet that triggers based on a FFM sensor:

Set OFF
If Main < 600 Then ON
If Frag < 50 Then ON
If CaRx < 100 Then ON

Where main, frag and CaRx are the individual flow sensors.

Annuciator (basically a piso electric buzzer) plugs into the EB8 outlet.

ca1ore
09/06/2017, 12:21 PM
Did you get it back working again? or is it just a fail..

Put it back into service and it works fine post disassembly and cleaning.

hkgar
09/06/2017, 12:26 PM
Your calcium reactor flow is >100? Wow, I thought I ran high at 55. What is your daily dKH usage?

Did a google search for pizo - piezo - alarm and don't see any for 120 volts. All seem to be 12V.

Curious about the program line: If Output Temp_Hi = ON Then ON, why not just "If Temp >X Then ON?

ca1ore
09/06/2017, 12:38 PM
Oh, sorry, yes 'piezo' not 'pizo' :lol: and it is 12v attached to a wall wart that plugs into the EB8. CaRx measures recirculation within the unit not effluent output. I use the virtual outlets because I long ago exceeded the apex limit for custom probe/switch names and it makes it easier for me to know what is amiss - versus having to consult my apex to English dictionary.

hkgar
09/06/2017, 12:59 PM
Oh, sorry, yes 'piezo' not 'pizo' :lol: and it is 12v attached to a wall wart that plugs into the EB8. CaRx measures recirculation within the unit not effluent output. I use the virtual outlets because I long ago exceeded the apex limit for custom probe/switch names and it makes it easier for me to know what is amiss - versus having to consult my apex to English dictionary.

Never tought about measuring the reactor internal flow Hmmmm? I use a Masterflex pump for flow through.

That's a lot of control and monitoring you have set up.

I think I will set up your FMM alert programs Never thought of using only the device name, even though that is what you do for all the other probes, I was thinking IF FMM = rtn_Pump

ca1ore
09/06/2017, 01:13 PM
Never tought about measuring the reactor internal flow Hmmmm? I use a Masterflex pump for flow through.

I have a custom MTC ProCal which has an Blueline 20 pump that recirculates water though the two main cylinders. I also use a Masterflex for effluent. I had thought about using the FFM 1/4" flow sensor to measure that, but flow is too slow and below the minimum flow requirement of the sensor. Plus I already have two FFM modules that are full and really don't need a third :lol:

hkgar
09/06/2017, 02:07 PM
I have 3 FMM's return, skimmer and algae turf scrubber.

ca1ore
09/15/2017, 08:00 PM
Happy to report that gummed up,sensor has worked properly since cleaning. Will add 'clean flow sensor' to by semi annual husbandry.