Reef Box Etc wrote:There are many X10-based automations, but since pretty all the equip. are in one location, I usually use relays instead. There are cons and pros of each type, but IMO, it is easier to trouble shoot.
The most common item on reef tank to be automated is light. For this, I just use regular applicance timer. Those that are into astronmical timing (moonlight simulation) may use more sophicated timer, but I am not a big fan of it.
Another item is topoff. This topic is a whole field by itself. I prefer to use electric solenoid-based automation because of the reliability compare to mechanical valves, such as floats.
Reef Box Etc wrote:Not specific data, but misapplication is usually the issue with float valve. For example, some float valve can't handle line pressure of 100 psi, if you are one of those that use straight tap water as top offs.
So you never have leaky toilet?
Reef Box Etc wrote:I agree with you that nothing is failure-proof. But it is difficult to assign fault to the solenoid in clothwasher if the sensor or other ancillary part is at fault.
Solenoid value does seem to be more expensive than float valve. I don't know if you are going to agree with me on this on not, but solenoid-based automation give you more flexibility than mechanical valve because there need not be a physical, rigid rod (connection) between the float (sensor) and the valve (actuator). More specifically, the float and the valve usually is in the same container, while a solenoid can be on a different location than the pressure/level sensor.
Reef Box Etc wrote:Not a QA engineer, but I my assertion is based on the number of on/off operation that the solenoid are rated for. Most are "certified" to millions of operation, and mechanical float switch don't usually brag about it.
So how deep is my hole?
I do everyhting I can to avoid automation. The more you automate, the more room all the equipment takes up.
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