Remote sensing of water holding tank levels (measuring contraption)

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On Sat, 20 Aug 2011 18:13:39 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The thought was that the sensors are 'shorted' with water such that they remain shorted and continually show a short ... thereby triggering something (e.g., a light) which stays on as long as the sensor wires are shorted (by the water).
At least that's how it looked to me.

I thought about that too. The inside of a holding tank is very humid. Soaking wet humid, in fact. So, it really depends on how well the sensors reject super saturated air.

Hmmmm... that would be bad news. I 'thought' each sensor would be a different 'zone' so that the warning light would be a ladder of sorts.
For example, zone 1 triggers at, say, 1/6th the tank, zone 2 triggers at 2/6th, zone 3 at 3/6ths, etc., until zone 6 triggers at full.
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SF Man wrote:

Yes, you can do it like that. Waterbugs are submersible, that's why they say can "detect ABSENCE of water". I've been in the business a while, and they are reliable (first hand experience). The other Winland environmental sensors are great too.
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Yes, he can do it like that. But as I recall, there are two tanks in question and they are 100 to 200 ft from the house. He wants to know the level of water in each of the tanks. Let's assume they are just connected directlyh together, in which case the water levels are the same. To get that level with a reasonable degree of accuracy he's need about 6 of these sensors. Then, he'd still need to somehow get the results back to the house. Which means either running these waterbugs individually back to the house, or else using wireless networking with an I/O device to read the status of the waterbugs and then send it to the home network. Even if he does individual runs, then what? He still needs something to display the status because from the spec sheets neither the WB200, nor the WB350 has a display. If he wants to go that route, he could use 8 sensors and the WB800, which appears to have a suitable display. But doing 6 or 8 runs of wire 100 - 200 ft outside sounds like a PIA. Plus, don't know how he feels about the price, but online a WB800 plus another 4 sensors is ~ $260
And if he goes the wireless route, instead of a bunch of sensors he could use one transducer that measures water pressure in the bottom of the tank and know exactly how much water he has. He just has to interface that to an ethernet I/O device that is compatible.
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On 8/21/2011 8:12 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

...[discussion on connections/display/etc elided for brevity]...

As well, I'd question how well the waterbug will work as a level sensor rather than a dampness detector as it is intended. In a tank the wall will still be wet after the level has dropped past it for a (probably considerable) length of time and I'd wonder what the sensitivity will be to detect that film surface...it might work satisfactorily but reading the doc's online doesn't give me a warm fuzzy that they're at all designed for the purpose. Perhaps the sensitivity is adjustable or they require more water than the damp surface but I'd surely go w/ a trial run or talk w/ manufacturer on the proposed application before I'd spend much money on the idea.
--
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a different approach add a tank for non essential uses like watering lawn etc.
when its dry you dont irrigate.
this would add capacity and be realtively simple to implement.
no sensors needed other than protection for the pump irrigation.....
i did something similiar when just out of high school my mom depended on a cistern which would spill water when full.
i added a tank to the spillage line, and mom used the waste water to irrigate her garden. the cistern was on top of the hill so no pump was needed
of course drip type irrigation would cut water use dramatically
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That' not how they work, there are 4 pick-up's on each sensor on each corner. If he mounts them right there is no problems of humidity to worry about. They are fully submersible (of course).
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I was thinking immersed thermisters. Self heat generators just like a gas tank. You might be able to use a small bank, how many do you need, there are temperature sensors that have an adjustable range, with on on off output. Same as magnetics without need for magnet.
Greg
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On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 21:49:56 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

That is an interesting idea.
I think you mean the standard pipes that go into the house for water? If so, that won't work (I don't think) because the booster pump at the tanks pressurizes the water to something like 60 psi.
But, if I could somehow put a separate hose to the house from the tanks ... that might work ...
But, the other ideas seem simpler. :)
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SF Man wrote:

Ok, booster pump in the way at the house. Can you put a pressure switch at the outlet of the tank and just run wire back to the house to operate a warning light?
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On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 07:27:00 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Oh. My mistake. I should have made it clearer. - The well pump is nowhere near the house. - Neither are the tanks (which are nowhere near the well pump).
PS: I didn't design it; I just bought it! :)
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SF Man wrote:

Do you have an alarm system? You could add a wireless water sensor and have it alert a trouble on the keypad.
You could put a wireless web-cam in an enclosure maybe.
You can definitely do it with pro CCTV gear, right down to Internet monitoring and control of relays.
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On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 08:15:01 -0500, G. Morgan wrote:

Yet another interesting idea!
Yes, in fact I do have a 24-zone alarm system! I don't think I'd want the security company called every time I run out of water ... but I suspect that can be programmed to not call them for specific zones.
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SF Man wrote:

It can, it would not be programmed as a burglary zone, just a supervisory signal (or no CS report at all).
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On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 08:15:01 -0500, G. Morgan wrote:

Yet another interesting idea!
Yes, in fact I do have a 24-zone alarm system! I don't think I'd want the security company called every time I run out of water ... but I suspect that can be programmed to not call them for specific zones.
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SF Man wrote:

I would suggest that one of the simplest ways to monitor for low tank level on this apparently non pressurized tank would be to install a decent pressure gauge at the house and sharpie mark the pressures that correspond with low tank level and full tank level.
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On 8/19/2011 6:18 AM, Pete C. wrote:

pressure pump at the tank end of the pipe, so from the house, it looks like a pressurized tank.
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chaniarts wrote:

Little to no chance the tank is pressurized:

After reading several more posts is seems to be that this is a gravity tank presumably on a hill, with a booster pump near the house.
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On 8/19/2011 10:52 AM, Pete C. wrote:

didn't say the tank is pressurized. i said 'from the house' it looks like it is pressurized, implying that it's not a gravity pressurized system.

already stated the pump is next to the tank
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On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 12:52:34 -0500, Pete C. wrote:

My fault for not being clear.
The 'only' gravity part of the system is the four inch pipe that goes from the tanks to the fire hydrant, about 20 vertical feet or so down the hill (about 150 feet away from the tanks and on the other side of the house).
The rest of the system is certainly pressurized since that four inch outlet pipe almost immediately (within a few feet) branches off with what looks like a two inch pipe that goes to a pressure pump and blue tank that is almost right next to the large unpressurized holding tanks.
So, for all intents and purposes, all the house water, from the pressurizer next to the holding tanks to the house is pressurized.
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On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 08:18:43 -0500, Pete C. wrote:

The problem is that the holding tank isn't pressurized, but, the piping goes immediately to an adjacent 4-foot tall blue pressure tank and pump.
So, the water, to the house, is pressurized.
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