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Running a top off water line from garage to inside house


FarmerTy

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So, I'm realizing that one of my last non-automated tasks for my tank is refilling the top-off water reservoir every week. I don't really have any ideas yet on how to accomplish this yet but I wanted to put it out there in case some reefers have some sage advice for me.

My RO/DI system is out in the garage. I run it into a 35-gallon trash can with a float valve on it so it's always nice and full for me to use.

My tank is in my game room, which is adjacent to the garage. I have a 20-gallon reservoir on wheels by the tank. Every week i manually roll the reservoir to the one in the garage and refill it.

Obviously, after hearing how clunky my setup is right now, you can see why I would like to automate this process.

A direct line from reservoir to reservoir is about 12'. I envisioned a hole in the wall between the room and my garage, but the issue is the tank is not against the wall that is adjacent to the garage. There is an entryway at that point between the tank and the garage, so I would probably have to run the line above the doorway and along the wall to my reservoir.

Option 1) Run this massively ugly PVC pipe through my wall, above my doorway, and then back down to the other side of the tank where my tank reservoir is. I would paint the PVC the same color as the wall and maybe add some things here and there to distract from the fact that there is PVC running along the door frame. The pump would also have to be pretty strong to pump the water and I would have to install an on/off switch to manually turn the pump on/off to fill up the reservoir from inside the house.

Option 2) Run just the smaller diameter line that comes straight out of my RO/DI unit and run that along the wall. The only issue being that my house may not supply enough water pressure to push the water 12-14' to my tank, with about 6' of vertical head as well. The piping would be much easier to hide. The downside would be if there ever was a failure on the float valve, my game room would be flooded with water until I noticed. Small worry I guess because it's been in operation for 3 years and never once failed in the garage. I believe I can supplement the additional pressure needed to pump straight into my game room from my garage with an additional booster pump.

These are the two options that pop into my head right now. Any other ideas/tips or advice is certainly welcome. TIA!

-Ty

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if your going to run a line that far and up and over and all make sure you have a strong enough pump to push that far. cuz usualy the ato dont have strong pumps that would prob go that far.

you've seen my tub for ato and its under the stand and holds 25 gals of water and i just refill that by running tube from garage to the tub and fill then roll the tubing up again.

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I would leave the R/O in the garage and just run a 1/4" polyethelene line. I would also add a drain line in case your float valve fails so you don't flood your house. Automation is fine but you have to plan for what happens when not if something fails. I have chosen not to automate top off in the past because the consequences of a failed float valve are much worse than the labor of moving water.

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I worried about it 2 years ago when we had the really bad freezes in the winter, but it didn't affect anything Bio. At the worst, it's hung up there and I could just take it in when a real bad freeze may be coming.

Wizard- That's why I'm liking option 2 a lot more. Use the smaller diameter tubing and add a booster pump. The smaller diameter tubing would require less force to push the water so I'm hoping that might work for the distance and the vertical head I have to overcome.

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Timfish - thanks. I was liking that option best. I like the idea of a drain line in case my float valve fails and the RO/DI system keeps churning out water in my game room. I'm not worried about overdosing the tank with topoff water because that is regulated by my ATO. I'm just getting the water to the reservoir, the ATO controls the amount of topoff water that leaves that reservoir into my tank. Now, there's no guarantee that ATO wouldn't malfunction though and dump my tank full of freshwater... but that's a whole other set of problems.

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I like the idea from the RO/DI unit straight to the sump. I'm assuming two things here, you either will have a float switch in the sump or you will be adding water based on time.

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Dave, I actually have a reservoir for my topoff water right beside my tank already. The reservoir was being run with an ATO system to my main tank for replenishment of evaporated water.

The idea was to run the RO/DI unit straight to that reservoir with a float valve to keep it from overfilling. I originally had it running to another reservoir I had in the garage to use to mix salt for water changes but since I haven't changed my water in 1.5 years, I'm thinking of just routing the line straight to my reservoir beside my tank.

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This could be a stupid idea but could you plumb a hose to your tank from the garage and use a maxi jet to pump out of the reservoir. then have a valve to dial in the pressure. or something to that effect, using a normal pump to get it from the garage?

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Hi,

Running a ro/di unit straight to your sump is very bad indeed and an accident waiting to happen. As you mentioned, floats fail over time(hardening of the rubber seal) and there is alway's the risk of a rogue snail getting trapped on the float in such a way that the float can't rise to seal off the input. I'm not sure how they treat the water in Austin but water company's have to treat to excess in order to battle algae and bacteria blooms during the summer which causes filters to not last as long and can damage filters/membrane enough to let some nasties thru, which would go straight into your system. With a reservoir, a lot of these nasties dissipate over a short time(ammonia/chloramine for example). You also don't want to quick cycle your ro/di unit that much as your will suffer from not only tds creep, but you would burn thru resin pretty quickly. I would run a 1/4" line as suggested but skip any type of booster pump and instead purchase a peristaltic pump for this duty. Try to find a brand used in laundrymat applications since they can run continueously without overheating, and can push water a really long way. I got rid of a complicated setup and went pretty simple, I use an elevated reservoir that hold 4 gallon's,(my tank evaporates 3 gallons a day). My ro/di is connected to a solenoid valve then feed's a kent style float valve located inside my reservoir. The reservoir has a johnny guest fitting epoxied at the bottom for a 1/4" output line that gravity feed's to another solenoid valve which in turn feed's another kent style float valve located in the sump(actually it is a Level-Loc ato). I refill the reservoir once a day(which eliminates ro/di quick cycling) and top off twice a day. My Apex controller control's the solenoid's but you can accomplish the same thing with two cheap programmable timer's. With this setup, you would have to have several failures occur before even thinking about turning your reef into a freshie. Here's a good start to finding a nice peristaltic pump. http://www.ebay.com/...Id=250556502684 HTH

Cheers,

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