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oddball topic; cistern water level

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by barnartist, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Not sure who else to ask. Im looking for a way to moniter my cistern water level from my house. Its a 2500 gallon tank, its sits a few feet from my house entry door.
    I get tired of lifting the lid off to check it. There must be something out there that would work.
    Oh yeah, I dont want to spend 3 months salary.
    Thanks for any ideas. Sorry if this is out of the hearth.

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  2. 76ER

    76ER New Member

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    anyway to put a float indicator through the lid?
  3. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    I can drill a hole. I thoght about a gallon jug and a pole, but hate the thought of a pole sticking out all the time.
    You have an idea?
  4. 76ER

    76ER New Member

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    I was thinking of something a little smaller like a slip float used for fishing..they make them in florescent colours for night fishing...plastic...and obviously waterproof...a small hole in the lid and put the float on top of a 1/4 in dowel (you will have to figure out the proper length of dowel) so it travel up and down through the hole...making sure the dowel doesn't bind in the hole is key..I don't think that would look too bad ;-P
  5. 76ER

    76ER New Member

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    almost forgot...something like a Styrofoam ball on the end that sits in the tank would be needed to keep the contraption on top of the water indicating its level..other wise the dowel may eventually take in too much water and not work properly..
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    What about one of those remote electric or battery flood alarm type sensers? Put it in the tank at the level where you would start to be concerned about available water, and when the alarm turns off, you know what's happening.

    Or, I think you easily could make a senser with multiple contacts to put in the tank, run on low voltage to a few LED's, and based on the number of LED's lit, you would know the tank level.

    Or, put a few fish in the cistern, and when they start to smell, you know it's empty.
  7. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    you could buy a fluid indicator cheap at your local auto store or on line. I had one in my windshield washer tank that lit up when it was low. Very cheap and simple. You could also buy an oil tank gauge and install it in the lid. I think they are about 40 or 50 bucks.
  8. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Search Ebay "fluid sensor" for some around $15 incl shipping.
  9. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Hey thanks everybody!
    Any more ideas post em!
    I'll look for fluid indicator.
  10. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Not a bad idea. I wonder if I could "gear" it even.
  11. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    Posting a pic of the lid would be helpful : )
  12. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    heres the lid. By the way, whats the easiest way to post a pic-the quickest

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  13. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Sorry For the double print.
    The things about 7 feet deep counting the opening for the lid.
  14. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    You could rig up a buzzer alert to sound when your cistern is full. Being close to the house,
    you could drill a small hole in the neck of the tank (just under the lid) and bury the wires and
    run them into the house for the buzzer. Make (or buy) a bracket to hold the float switch near the
    bottom of the neck of your tank. Change the battery when you change the ones
    in your smoke detectors. Cost: 25 or 35 bucks : )
    http://www.aquahub.com/store/diygbuildverwater.html
  15. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Caz. Im more interested when knowing its almost empty though. It has an overflow pipe.
    Something like a gas gauge on a car would be the berrys.
  16. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    you could also use a float from a sump pump. Most of them are a floating ball with a micro switch in them. The wire is attached to the side of the tank. When the float is in a downward position the switch is on. You could wire it to a light bulb somewhere. When the tank is almost empty the light comes on.
  17. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I'd drill a hole in that concrete cover, big enough to run a "stick" down into it, pull it back out, and check it for the water level. You know, a narrow pole, maybe 1/4 or 3/8 inch dowel, 8 or 10 feet long, slide down that little hole and pull it back out, like a dipstick on a car. Use a rubber plug or cork the hole some how when not in use.
  18. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Do you have a pump in the cistern? A zero cost / minimal effort solution would be to suspend the pump (or at least pump inlet) off the bottom at what ever level you consider critical - ie 1/3 left. When your pump goes dry, you'd know you are at that level. Then lower the pump/intake to the bottom and access your last 1/3 capacity. Definitely not as nice as the gauges and sticks that others have mentioned, but should be about zero cost.
  19. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    (Thanks Caz. Im more interested when knowing its almost empty though. It has an overflow pipe.
    Something like a gas gauge on a car would be the berrys.)

    Must have missed that bit.
    Ok, a float on a stick inside a length of perforated drain pipe and a hole in the lid : )

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  20. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    how do you make those drawings?
    Ive considered that idea, but again don't really want a long pole sticking out all the time.
    Use that same consept but if that "stick" could bend right back down into the tank, and have it marked on the stick/wire/something.
  21. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Pook, I like it. You think I could rig an old tape measure in place of the string? It may need to be inside a piece of PVC. I suppose the tape would rust.
  22. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Maybe I could use string and color code it.
  23. 76ER

    76ER New Member

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    it would be cool if you didn't have to use any hydro :zip:
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