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Re: DIY Float Switch, Waterchanger, Solenoids

> Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2001 07:26:18 -0500
> From: Dwight <boukmn at mindspring_com>
> Subject: DIY Float Switch, Waterchanger, Solenoids
> I'm curious to know if you Do-It-Yourselfers have developed your own Float
> Switch, Waterchanger, Solenoids system.  If so, did you find it easier to
> build your own from scratch or buy a pre-assembled brand.

The parts would cost me far more than the whole valve assy., so I bought
> How reliable was/is your system? 

100%, so far.

> How much did it cost?

$5-6 at Ace Hardware (if I bought new)for the float valve. Found a bunch at
a junk shop for $0.50 each.

> What is your parts/component list? 

For just the fill system?

One swamp-cooler float valve* and a refrigerator ice-maker installation kit,
plus 2 drip-irrigation barbed valves. Total cost about $15. One drip valve
was to slow the flow through my carbon filters to be sure to catch all the
chloramine. The other was to test the water between two filters to see when
chlorine is punching through.

> In terms of cost,value & reliability, what's the best way to go?

I'm happy with my system. I actually have two 40G Rubbermaid heavy-duty
covered barrels and do both tap (carbon-filtered) and RO storage in them
with a float valve to keep each full. A small submersible waterfall pump is
dropped into the desired barrel to deliver water to any tank in the house,
via 1/2" clear tubing. X-10 controller lets me turn on and off from
anywhere. Beats solenoids, hands down, around water.

> Any pictures?:-)

I have some, but they aren't up anywhere. Would not help much, IMHO.

The swamp-cooler valves will be special order in those parts of the country
with higher humidity. I drilled the sides of the plastic barrels and
installed them right through the side, just as they would be on the sheet
metal of a swamp cooler. I did them high, but right by the handles to be
sure they were rigid enough to turn off for sure.

My best gadget addition, recently, was a plastic horse-trough float valve
for about $15 mail order (Libertyville Saddle Shop --
http://www.saddleshop.com/). I put some rigid PVC pipe together, with a
friction-fit stopper disk, that lets me set it to fill a tank to whatever
height I want, and forget it. NO MORE wet carpets! The assembly is due to be
published in an upcoming BAKA newsletter, so I guess I should wait to post a
picture of it, too.


* Swamp coolers, for you Easterners, are evaporative coolers that use water
pumped from a sump to dribble down over a mesh-covered box with a big fan.
They are as effective as air conditioners in dry country, and way cheaper to
buy and run. The float valve allows automatic replacement of evaporation

Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

               "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
                              --Yogi Berra

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