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Friday, June 5th, 2015
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Pump Controller, Plan B

How it behaves:

Power fails, power to the pump is cut off until I press the Start button; or, if it is running and I need it to stop, I can turn it off with the Stop button. Once stopped, another press on Start will re-start it. Pressing both buttons does no harm, and will stop the pump unless you release the stop button before the Start button.

There's an indicator for each state.

My litany of excuses:

Seems like overkill, eh? Yeah, probably. Okay, surely. But that's the way I roll. Don't just knock it down and walk away. Knock it down and kill it. I've watched enough horror movies to know.

This is my solution to the problem that when the sump stops, the output hose drains down into the aquarium, and then when it starts again, the output hose resists flow for a short time, being full of air which doesn't really like being pushed underwater. Because Physics. Because I didn't initially build it with a second overflow outlet like I should have. Sigh.

As a result, in the V1 design, the level in the output chamber of the sump rose alarmingly, nearly to the top, when the pump restarted after the lines have all drained (which only takes about ten seconds.)

This was okay with me if I'm there to watch and make sure it doesn't overflow, but if I'm not... if power fails and I'm not there... I could have a real mess. And then Deb would get the rolling pin out, and then... yeah.

And besides...

Motors in general, and pumps in particular, don't like having their power banged on and off. As a recent power failure reminded me. We had some kind of nasty glitch during a thunderstorm last week, and the power went out for about ½ second, came on for ½ second, off for ¾ second, back on for same, and this continued for about eight or nine cycles with the on and off periods getting a little longer each time, then power finally went out altogether. It took the power company four hours to fix, whatever it was. While it was out, I was thinking about the stress on motors. So this is a a nice, though unintended, solution to that problem as well.

So there you go.

As smarter people than I have observed:

     "You should have an overflow pipe."

Whoops. 😊

Parts

All from Amazon:

  • MK2P-I AC DPDT Power Relay: B00KHTUUSQ
  • Paneltronics 120 VAC Green LED: B000NVH3PG
  • Paneltronics 120 VAC Red LED: B00KOEXCWK
  • Alpinetech N.C. momentary switch: B00KJXBELC
  • Alpinetech N.O. momentary switch: B00FNZAQN8
  • 25 foot, three wire extension cord (any will do)
  • 5 position screw terminal strip: B008X0NNEY
  • Spade connectors: B009EPOIMI
Also:
  • Wire
  • Solder
  • Wood for 6 sides of case and mounting
  • Galvanized sheeting for front panel

#aquarium #sump

Width: 1607
Height: 2048

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