View Full Version : I think my JBJ auto top off just gave up the ghost...


ares
05-09-2009, 10:35 AM
Its about 8 months old, and I didnt send in the 6 month warrenty card anyway... so yeah, pending me taking it apart and looking for an easy fix that probably wont be there. I need to pick a replacement.

I could get another one... and I might. but just shopping around.

I found www.autotopoff.com. they make a float version and an optical version, which sounds nice... I worry that the optical version will be too sensitive. My topoff is done by a mag 9.5 from another room, but they offer the option for the safegaurd float to trigger it off instead, so that should let it run for an extended period of time Im thinking.

just not sure if the optical thing is even worth it. alot cheaper for the float one. my float got stuck on 2 weeks ago due to calcium build up(and the tank was fine thanks to the timed shutoff protection on the JBJ, the failsafe float should do the same function on the autotopoff), but 7 months without a cleaning seems like a fine service interval for a float valve to save about 100 bucks off the optical sensor. I can dunk it in vinegar every 3 months or so.

the tunze has its own pump which is useless to me, so thats out.

penny for your thoughts?

Mockery
05-09-2009, 10:51 AM
Tagging along cause I need an answer like this too.

Amici
05-09-2009, 11:05 AM
Ares if I were you, I would wire up a system using good quality float valves to suit your needs. Youre good with electronics and I am sure if you made it and used good quality parts then it would last a while. On my next system I am going to bite the bullet and get the tunze it looks like.

ares
05-09-2009, 12:01 PM
seems like the autotop off is pretty much there... I dont have the no how to build it from total scratch, its the controller Im particularly needing. which the JBJ really was a great one... till it died.

looking at the tunze, I felt a bit confused on why it cost so much, the floats looked the same as the JBJ, then aside from the little pump, 190$ struck me as alot, I thought it was using optical sensors, but it seems not. didnt dig too deep since the pump killed the deal for me anyway.

This is what Im thinking so far...

Double Switch - Sump Mount
Item # DS Mounting Bracket Size: 1.5" (fits 1 - 1.5")

$50.00 USD

Low Voltage Upgrade
Item # 12V $7.00 USD

Latching with Backup Switch Upgrade
Item # LATCH_BACKUP Mount Style: Sump Mount 1.5 inch Gap
$30.00 USD

Subtotal: $87.00 USD


Im not sure what the low voltage thing is for... Im not sure if Im supposed to be worried about these floats failing and putting off 120v current in the tank, or if the relay is going to just create a possible fail point itself...

Amici
05-09-2009, 12:53 PM
The tunze is more money because it is an optical switch and not a float switch.

Mockery
05-09-2009, 12:59 PM
I wonder how hard it would be to build this here (http://benkrasnow.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-detail-for-diy-auto-top-off-system.html)? I emailed the guy but it is a little over my head.

ares
05-09-2009, 1:08 PM
The tunze is more money because it is an optical switch and not a float switch.

had to look again, your right, it does have 1 optical sensor, and then what I presume to be a failsafe magnetic float. similair to the more expensive one at autotopoff.

I cant maintain a level that constant, the mag would self destruct if it was kicked one very 2minutes lol.

geno
05-09-2009, 7:44 PM
My JBJ auto top off bit the dust after a power outage/surge!

I was going to buy a new one but didn't want to spend another $90 so I used a high quality float switch in the sump that starts and shuts down the pump in the reservoir. The only thing I miss is the added switch in the reservoir that prevents the pump from coming on if the water is low -- it really has not been a problem and the whole set up was much cheaper.

Hey, you can go on YouTube and do a search and see a guy build one!

geno

RealFish
05-09-2009, 9:12 PM
That seems like an awfully big pump for an ATO. Seems like with the amount of water that pump pushes, it would give a quick burst and then be done. I use the Tunze for my sons Cardiff and plan to use a level loc connected directly to my R/O DI on the system I am setting up.

JessPete
05-09-2009, 10:34 PM
I think this thread jinxed me. I was reading earlier and almost posted that we were so far happy with our ato from ato.com. Tonight, I heard something, don't know how, but I did, and it was the ato dumping nine gallons of freshwater into the tank. Float valve stuck somehow, and the wires had pulled tight, causing the "electrical warning' tag to catch on the emergency back up float valve also incapacitating it.

sigh. Don't know what caused the first valve to stick.

georgiadawg
05-09-2009, 11:49 PM
My JBJ auto top off bit the dust after a power outage/surge!

I was going to buy a new one but didn't want to spend another $90 so I used a high quality float switch in the sump that starts and shuts down the pump in the reservoir. The only thing I miss is the added switch in the reservoir that prevents the pump from coming on if the water is low -- it really has not been a problem and the whole set up was much cheaper.

Hey, you can go on YouTube and do a search and see a guy build one!

geno My JBJ did the same thing after a power outage, and they replaced it. We had another power outage that killed the second one. I just recieved one from autotopoff but I have not tried it yet

ares
05-10-2009, 12:12 AM
That seems like an awfully big pump for an ATO. Seems like with the amount of water that pump pushes, it would give a quick burst and then be done. I use the Tunze for my sons Cardiff and plan to use a level loc connected directly to my R/O DI on the system I am setting up.

it is very big. but the topoff is in another room, has to pump the water up for 8' of head and then over and down, so needs some oomph. its also the same system for the water change, so to not spend 8 years filling up for a 40g water change lol... it worked alright, till it died. and maybe that was the cause of it diding, finally got tired of cranking up the mag 9.5.

I went with the autotopoff unit, with the latching on plus failsafe. Ill set it for a few inches of gap there, so it can pump 5 or 10g of top off water before it cuts off. should help I expect. we'll see though!

jhutto
05-10-2009, 6:45 AM
I have used the auto top off.com for nearly three years with no problem. Its simple and works. Mine is close to sump so I use an aqualifter pump as the water container is close by.