G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are any of you with ponds using to maintain water levels?

I have been using a Melnor battery operated programable device for quite some time. However, I need to replace the batteries about three times per year. Each time I do, the unit must be re-programmed. It can be programmed to add water up to six times each day. But the water level does vary between the fill times. I was thinking of installing a simple automatic float valve in it's place. This way the water would be added in smaller increments, keeping it at the same lavel constantly.
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
21,345 Posts
I have seen the guts used in a toilet to do this, $12 at your local home depot.

I have an electronic one from leviton, but it's kind of expensive, and all it is is a control unit, and runs from 120v, does not sound right for you.

Regards, Greg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,510 Posts
Do you have fish? Where are you obtaining the water?... Chlorinated city water?

If you have fish and city water, you might want to also automatically add chlorine killer to keep from killing the fish.

When I had a pond, (admittedly a small one in the shape of a "C"...with a hill in the opening of the C, water was pumped from the one end of the C up the mountain to flow down the other side and around the C to keep the water flowing in the whole pond), I only added water once or twice a week. Rain often took care of that task.

I had plants and fish... a dozen very small gold fish ($0.98 per dozen) that I fed every other day until they were fat enough for the sewer bears (raccoons) to eat. Thus when I added water I had to be sure to immediately add the chlorine killer or the fish would die. A friend of mine fills an old huge aquarium first, then adds the Chlorine killer and dumps that into his pond.
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
21,345 Posts
we have a new problem here... they stopped using regular chlorine and now use some chlorinated compound that lasts much longer... not sure if the chlorine killers work on the new stuff...

Regards, Greg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No chlorine in my well water. I am fortunate to have water that needs no treatment. The house plants seem to love it. I did think of using a toilet fill valve.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
991 Posts
Toilet fill assembly mounted in the pond in a separate enclosure ( my old toilet tank ) .... I have one installed with a garden hose feed. Works and is really simple. Hide the tank in some way.


The toilet tank enclosure acts as a baffle for waves and wind as well as a natural hold point for the float assembly. disconnect and remove the flapper.


gg
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
21,345 Posts
Use the fluidmaster one, and put in a 6" diameter pvc pipe, and have that connect to the pond with a pipe, so it can sense the level and the water will go into the pond... put a cap on the bottom of the pipe, and a removable cover on the top, you can adjust the unit up or down to set the pond level.

Regards, Greg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
95 Posts
You can find at any farm supply or feed store a float valve for stock tanks that will work beautifully with your pond. If it’s in your layout, just put a dock in and mount it underneath.

Yes, the munis are using a bonded Chlorinator in the water. There is a de-Chlorinator available for this. You can generally get it at a good aquarium store. Another source you might consider is Lillypons. They’re an all round supplier for just what you are looking for. Here’s their link: http://www.lilypons.com/
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,716 Posts
At the Chicago Botanic, one brat notices the waterfall looking puny and gets the hose out. For the geyser, the same brat fills up a watering can and pours it down the hole.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,521 Posts
I do just the opposite, but something similar could also work for you in reverse.

I do not let sprinkler water stand in my lake and breed mosquitos. Also, I have only limited space for a float switch with the two pumps in a very crowded area.

Sooooo,

I took two round fishing "bobbers" and glued them together to make a single bobber that resembles a figure 8. These are sized to just fit inside a piece of PVC pipe standing vertically. A neodymium magnet is glued to the top of the bobber assembly and the whole assembly is free to rise/fall within the PVC. The shape of the two bobbers glued together maintains the magnet at the top. The top of the PVC pipe has two "notches" cut and a piece of hollow, rectangular Plastruct fits within these notches and is held with a friction fit. A magnetic reed switch is housed within the Plastruct and sealed in with Marine Goop. The reed switch trips a relay that turns on a pump to drain the lake each time the sprinklers come on. At the bottom is a PVC cap that fits the pipe. This is attached to a flat piece of aluminum with a couple lead "torpedo" fishing weights that are "cinched around the aluminum. A small hole is drilled in the bottom of the PVC cap and aluminum. This was necessary so that the pipe acts as a "stand pipe" and drains slower than the lake and keeps the pump on for a little extra time after the water drains. Also a capacitor on the relay holds the pump on a little longer. This was necessary because otherwise, when the lake "falls" the pump would instantly shut off and the water in the lines would back-up into the lake causing the lake to rise ensuing in an endless cycle of on-off-on-off, etc.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
Posted By toddalin on 03/23/2009 10:27 AM
I do just the opposite, but something similar could also work for you in reverse.

I do not let sprinkler water stand in my lake and breed mosquitos. Also, I have only limited space for a float switch with the two pumps in a very crowded area.

Sooooo,

I took two round fishing "bobbers" and glued them together to make a single bobber that resembles a figure 8. These are sized to just fit inside a piece of PVC pipe standing vertically. A neodymium magnet is glued to the top of the bobber assembly and the whole assembly is free to rise/fall within the PVC. The shape of the two bobbers glued together maintains the magnet at the top. The top of the PVC pipe has two "notches" cut and a piece of hollow, rectangular Plastruct fits within these notches and is held with a friction fit. A magnetic reed switch is housed within the Plastruct and sealed in with Marine Goop. The reed switch trips a relay that turns on a pump to drain the lake each time the sprinklers come on. At the bottom is a PVC cap that fits the pipe. This is attached to a flat piece of aluminum with a couple lead "torpedo" fishing weights that are "cinched around the aluminum. A small hole is drilled in the bottom of the PVC cap and aluminum. This was necessary so that the pipe acts as a "stand pipe" and drains slower than the lake and keeps the pump on for a little extra time after the water drains. Also a capacitor on the relay holds the pump on a little longer. This was necessary because otherwise, when the lake "falls" the pump would instantly shut off and the water in the lines would back-up into the lake causing the lake to rise ensuing in an endless cycle of on-off-on-off, etc.



THAT is a great concept. I love the fact that it is small. Most of the other solutions are so big they're hard to hide.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
991 Posts
Posted By jamarti on 03/23/2009 3:54 PM
The question in my mind is: Why do you need to add water on a daily basis? Is there a leak?

Evaporation is typically the main issue here.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not a leak in the way you would think of one. More like what GG said and some absorbtion by the many plants at the perimeter the pond. The ferns in particular must drink water at an amazing rate. Near the water they grow to four and five feet high, and multiply as fast as rabbits. Whereas in the areas farther from the pond, two feet is the norm.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That is a nice system. Alittle pricey for my pond budget I have seen the float valve part of that system without the filter on Ebay for about fifteen bucks. I was looking at a spare Fluidmaster kit I have and since I like to fiddle with inventing the wheel again, and hate spending money I will give it a try.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
436 Posts
I have 2 ponds and on both ponds for 7-8 years or so I've used a swamp cooler filler/float available at Home-Depot connected to a water pipe with 1/8" copper tubing...works great... :) :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
Posted By pdk on 03/24/2009 11:43 AM
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=7481&cmpid=sc

How about this?


I've gone through two of the fluid level cutoff valves and have been disappointed with their size (big...hard to hide) and their long term reliability.  Both of them used a variation on the kind of float vavle you find in a toilet.  Simply put, the valve begins to leak after being in use outside for six months or so.  Todallin's approach to making a float switch from bobbers got me doing some invetigation and planning.  I found a float switch on eBay for $5 ( http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&item=110367654613http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=7481&cmpid=sc ;)" border=0>" src="http://www.mylargescale.com/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wink.gif" align="absMiddle" border="0" />.  My plan is to do essentially what Todallin did by putting the switch into PVC pipe with small vents located on the top and bottom to allow water into the PVC pipe. 
 
The design looks like this http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/mikereilley/Pool%20-%20pond%20fill%20sensor.jpg .  The one shown is for my swimming pool where I already have a fill pipe running under the decking.  This one Velcro's onto the tile around the pool and will be painted to blend in.  I'll put a plug on the pigtail that comes out of the switch and route control wires from the float switch to a solinoid controlled antisiphone valve through the expansion joints in the decking. 
 
If this works, I'll build a similar one for my GRR pond in which the PVC pipe will be pushed into the bottom of the pond and the inlet hole relocated to be above the mud line.  That switch can be buried in rock so that it's completely hidden...something you can't really do with the regular pond float valves.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top