Altitude Valve: What is it and How Does it Work?
Written by webtechs

What’s The Best Tank Level Sensor?

If you follow technological advancement in the workplace, you’ve probably heard about the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is fundamentally altering the game, and now is the time to participate.

But where do you even begin? Tank level monitoring is one example.

Tank level monitoring (TLM) is an excellent first step towards becoming familiar with the IoT, whether you’re tracking frac tank levels for a well stimulation project or monitoring a straightforward water tank. The objective of tank level monitoring, as with any IoT project, is to gather accurate and trustworthy data so that you can take action and produce results. People won’t trust your tank monitoring system if your data is inaccurate, lacking, or late, and you won’t receive the desired business outcomes.

Tank level sensors are the “bedrock” of any solution for remote tank monitoring. Your sensors are the first stop on the data route for tank level monitoring since they produce the information that eventually supports decision-making. Nothing else matters if your tank level sensors don’t get reliable data. The greatest analytics and most attractive dashboards cannot compensate for subpar tank sensors.

Garbage in, garbage out, as the saying goes.

We wanted to discuss how to select the best tank level sensor for your project because of how crucial tank level sensors are to your whole tank monitoring system. You may purchase accurate and trustworthy tank sensors that generate excellent field data without spending a fortune with a little help.

Five Typical Tank Level Sensor Types

Tank level sensors come in five different categories:

Water-pressure sensors
Ultrasound detectors
Infrared sensors
Float detectors
Sensitive capacitors

Your application will determine which tank level sensor is ideal, so we’ll outline the main benefits and drawbacks of each sensor to assist you in making an informed decision for your tank level monitoring project.

Sensors for Hydrostatic Tank Level

A tried-and-true method for obtaining affordable, precise tank level data is using hydrostatic tank level sensors. These sensors are used to gauge the fluid column’s hydrostatic pressure. Typically, hydrostatics are mounted to discharge piping at the bottom of tanks, submerged in the liquid at the tank bottom.

Hydrostatic tank level sensors can be installed in various types of tanks without the need to create a new sensor because they are affordable, accurate, power-efficient, and have variable ranges.

Unfortunately, because hydrostatic sensors are frequently entirely submerged in liquid, they can experience greater failure rates. This can be quite difficult, especially with corrosive or caustic solutions. The cable gland, where fluids can enter and short circuit the delicate electronics that power the sensor, is one of the most frequent locations for failure in hydrostatic sensors.

Tank level ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic tank level sensors, as their name suggests, assess liquid levels using sound waves. They are installed on top of your tanks, use ultrasonic waves to “bounce” off the liquids’ surfaces, and gauge level by timing how long it takes to hear the “echo.”

The fact that ultrasonic sensors are non-contact, meaning they don’t make direct contact with the liquid in the tank, is one of its key advantages. Fluid compatibility is less of a concern, and they can function effectively in tanks where the liquid contains mixers or other moving mechanical components (note that the mixers must be off for accurate level readings, as sloshing and turbulence interfere with ultrasonic sensors).

Additionally, the cost of these sensors is reasonable, ranging from $300 to $400 per sensor. If you want greater performance or hazardous area certifications, though, budget closer to $1,000.

The fact that ultrasonic sensors use a lot of electricity is one of their key drawbacks. They can need 10-100 times as much power as hydrostatic sensors, hence they are often not appropriate for battery-powered installations.

Additionally, compared to other sensors, ultrasonic sensors typically require more upkeep. They require precise installation, maintenance of a dead band or “blanking zone” between the sensor and the fluid, and periodic cleaning of the detecting device (some fluids can create a film that affects performance)

Last but not least, noise interference is a major threat to ultrasonic sensors. The ultrasonic waves that travel to and from your sensors can encounter problems if there is foam or vapor present.

Tank level sensors using radar

In that they gauge tank levels by the amount of time it takes radio waves to travel between the sensors and fluid surfaces, radar sensors are comparable to ultrasonic sensors in this regard. Like ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors are non-contact, which appeals to operators. However, compared to their sound-based predecessors, radar sensors are more accurate and better equipped to withstand interference because of more precise electronics.

 

Radar sensors are often substantially more expensive when compared to the other two gadgets we’ve discussed so far. A competent radar tank level sensor should cost more than $2,000 in total. Radar still requires a substantial blanking zone between the bottom of the sensor and the top of the tank despite the more precise electronics. It can be challenging to obtain precise measurements as tanks fill due to the fact that light waves move so much more quickly than sound.

One advantage of radar sensors is their ability to measure fluid interfaces, such as the presence of oil in water. Even a small amount of emulsion between the interface can be taken into account by more sophisticated electronics while maintaining reliable measurements.

Sensors for Float Tank Level

Float sensors extend a probe into the liquids near the bottom of your tank, and they have continuous detecting elements along the probe that are activated by floats. Float tank sensors may be made to be extremely accurate using this approach. They can even monitor fluid interfaces by utilizing numerous floats for various liquid densities because they don’t suffer from noise or interference issues.

Float sensors, on the other hand, can be very pricey. The price of a float sensor is almost immediately inversely correlated with tank height. You might pay $1,000–$2,000 for shorter tanks (less than 5 feet tall). On the other hand, larger tanks exceeding 25 feet may cost up to $3,000 or more.

“Sticking” is one problem that float tank sensors may have. Although some manufacturers’ recent technological innovations have addressed this issue in some circumstances, it can still arise in certain circumstances. For instance, floats may adhere to the probes in liquids that result in sticky or waxy substances, leading to inaccurate static level measurements. Investing in oleophobic probes that don’t stick or performing routine cleaning can assist guarantee float sensors are accurate.

Sensors for capacitive tank levels
Capacitive sensors will be the final category we discuss. These sensors consist of two electrodes, which are conductive probes that protrude into your tank. These probes track variations in capacitance when the fluid level in the tank rises and falls to determine the amount of fluid present.

The adaptability of capacitive tank level sensors is one of its main selling points. They can be applied to a variety of media, including solids and powders that aren’t liquids. They are also comparatively affordable. Capacitive sensors fall somewhere between radar/float sensors and hydrostatic sensors in terms of cost compared to the other sensors we’ve covered.

It’s crucial to be aware of the sensitivity and susceptibility of capacitive sensors before making a purchase. Capacitive level sensor readings can be impacted by temperature, humidity, and fluid type. Capacitive sensors provide another degree of operational complexity by requiring operators to calibrate equipment while tanks are both empty and full.

Standard vs. Quiet Sump Pump Check Valve
Written by webtechs

Standard vs. Quiet Sump Pump Check Valve

It’s difficult to perceive the difference between a Standard Check Valve and a Quiet Check Valve, but it’s easy to grasp the distinction because it’s in the name. A Standard Check Valve is placed if you hear a loud noise whenever the pump stops. This noise is the check valve closing, which causes a slamming sensation as the water reverses direction in the discharge pipe after the pump stops. If you have never noticed it, you probably have a Quiet Check Valve.

Let’s take it a step further and compare the advantages of installing a Standard Check Valve with a Quiet Check Valve, which will make it easier for you to determine what is ideal for your home.

What is a standard check valve for a sump pump?

A Standard Check Valve safeguards your sump and sewage pump installations against backflow. The angled seat reduces the distance the flapper must travel from the open to closed position. When closing, significantly reduce the force with which the flapper touches the seat. The tilted seat design reduces the flapper’s travel distance, hence reducing flow reversal, noise, and possibly damaging hydraulic shock (water hammer). This, combined with corrosion-resistant non-metallic components, produces a durable and dependable valve.

The graphic below depicts the closing action of gravity. Clearly, there will be a flow reversal when the pump stops, until the poppet reaches its fully closed position.

Definition of a Quiet Sump Pump Verify Valves?

When ultra-quiet operation is necessary, a Quiet Check Valve is an excellent option. Quiet Check Valves are identical to ordinary check valves, with the addition of a spring-loaded hinged flapper mechanism that compels the flapper to fully close against fluid flow when the pump is turned off. This quick closing motion against pressure eliminates noise caused by hydraulic shock before flow reversal may occur (water hammer).

The spring-assisted closing action prevents flow reversal when the pump is turned off. The poppet moves to its fully closed position before to the complete cessation of water flow.

It boils down to individual preference

The Standard Check Valve vibrates when the pump cycles and is resistant to corrosion. Providing a longer-lasting check valve and the assurance that you can hear your sump pump operating.

The Quiet Check Valve’s spring-loaded flapper design removes noise, resulting in a silent sump pump. Providing a peaceful environment throughout the day, morning and night.

Why Choose Water Line Controls

All of our water level controls and water level control systems are assembled right here in the U.S.A. where we monitor every step of the process.

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Written by webtechs

Why Do Sump Pump Float Switches Fail?

Why Do Sump Pump Float Switches Fail?

 

The main mechanical cause of the problems of the deposit of the pump is the exchange problem. Here are some common causes of tank pump float switch failure:

Float Change Frequently, the float falls into the trap between the pump and the reservoir wall and is unable to rise sufficiently to be effective. Due to the pump’s modest vibration during operation, it is able to “pass” through the well’s bottom, assuring buoyancy between it and the well wall.

Sometimes, after so many lifting and lowering cycles, the float switch simply gives up and ceases to respond to the rise and fall of the well’s water level. It frequently stops when the pump is operating. When this occurs, the pump stays on until the fuel burns.

Power outage due to inclement weather is a formula for a flooded basement. The entire tank’s float switch and pump are electrically powered. When the unit is turned off, the pump stops draining water altogether.

Why Is A Float Switch Valuable?

The float switch on a sump pump is the mechanism responsible for turning on and off the sump pump system. It functions using a small, floatable attachment that rises and falls with the sump pit’s water level.

As the water level in the sump pit rises, the float switch is raised. As it reaches a specific height, the mechanism is activated. The sump pump switches off once again as the water level in the sump pit decreases.

When this float switch fails to rise or becomes locked in the “on” state, the problem develops. At certain situations, the sump pump will either fail to turn on or be unable to turn off, eventually causing the motor to overheat and die. Regardless, you can anticipate a basement flood during the next rainfall.

Sump Pump Float Work
Written by webtechs

Choosing The Right Sump Pump

Sump Pump Float Work

Pumps vary widely in quality. Pumps are used in a variety of applications, such as chemical vats, fuel depots, and swimming pools, but each one may present a different set of difficulties. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests the following factors to think about when choosing a pump:

Fluid: Pumps that weren’t designed for the job can be destroyed by chemicals and fuels. Select a pump that is made to handle the fluid’s corrosiveness and consistency to prevent degradation or clogging from slurry or debris. Similar to this, be aware of the fluid’s viscosity to make sure the pump has sufficient force to draw the liquid through.

Calculate the desired flow rate by dividing the total volume by the desired transit time for the liquid. For instance, if a 500-gallon pond requires full circulation once every hour, you should choose a pump with a 500 GPH minimum rated flow rate (gallon per hour).

Although pumps can function in a wide range of temperatures, if you are working with liquids that are hotter than 200°F, make sure the pump is rated for the highest liquid temperature you will be pumping.

Vapor pressure: The force per unit area that a fluid exerts when changing from a liquid to a vapor is known as vapor pressure, and it can be used to reduce the risk of cavitation by making sure the pump is rated for it.

Choosing a Pump from a Variety of Types

You can start comparing your options for pumps once you know the materials they must handle and the capabilities they need. The most typical pump designs and operating principles available today are listed below:

Centrifugal pumps: A centrifugal pump draws fluid into one or more impellers, such as a paddle wheel or propeller, to maintain a steady flow of a large volume of fluid at high speed. It can be used to pump a variety of low viscosity liquids, including those containing solid components like wastewater, and is one of the most popular pumping systems. A wide range of industries, including agriculture, water utilities, industry, power generation, petroleum, mining, and more, use centrifugal pumps.

Diaphragm pumps: Also called membrane pumps, a diaphragm pump is a device that moves fluid by a series of diaphragms moving back and forth. In a cycle, fluid is forced out of one chamber as it enters the other. These pumps are useful for pumping liquids with high solid content or high viscosity, such as chemicals, paints, or syrups, because there are no moving parts within the diaphragm chambers themselves.

Pumps that circulate fluids within a system are used instead of pumps that move liquid from one location to another. In order to ensure that the hot water is evenly distributed with the incoming cold water and to maintain a constant temperature, circulating pumps are frequently used in water heating systems. A circulating pump can also be used to evenly distribute chemicals that have been mixed into a container or to move water around a pond to oxygenate the water.

Pumps for moving oil, fuel, and other materials from one container to another, such as transferring fuel from a tank into large machinery, are known as fuel and oil transfer pumps. Oil transfer pumps are made for use with high viscosity fluids and are toughly constructed for higher flow rates.

Pumps for chemicals: Chemical pumps are made specifically for the creation, use, and disposal of chemicals. They are constructed of corrosion-resistant materials like glass, rubber, plastic, rubberized steel, titanium, and stainless steel. Use a pump made specifically for the chemical you want to pump because different chemicals have different corrosive effects on materials.

Drum pumps: These pumps are designed to help you suction out fluids from drums, barrels, pails, and totes to reduce the risk of spills when pouring the container or to draw fluids out of a heavy container. Hand-powered pumps are useful for low-volume or remote pumping applications where electricity is not available, whereas electric-powered pumps are useful for tasks requiring high volume transfer. A pneumatic pump that runs on compressed air is a good choice if you need higher flow rates than a hand-powered pump and more precise flow control than an electric drum pump without electricity.

Sump pumps are set off automatically once the water level in the sump pit gets to a predetermined height. A homeowner can calibrate the pump to start at any depth they wish by adjusting the float device of the sump pump.

Water runoff and/ or seeping water is collected inside the sum pit. As the water gathers, a float rises as the water level rises. The float has control of an on/ off switch for the pump. Once the float rises to a predetermined height, the pump turns on. The pump continues to function until the float falls low enough to disconnect the switch. The pump is inactive once more until the water level increases again.

Types of Sump Pump Floats

Different types of floats are used by different types of sump pumps. Pedestal pumps will typically have a bulb type float connected to a metal rod that turns on the pump motor’s switch. Other types of pumps utilize floats attached to arms that will raise and lower as the water level rises and lowers. A tethered float is a float that is attached to the pump utilizing a tethering mechanism.

Old Sump Pump Float Working Principle

When the water level rises, the float will rise too. As the float rises the tether steadily releases. The tether is predetermined to start the pump when a specific amount of tether gets released. When the water levels lower, the tether becomes loose and the float falls back to its starting position.

New Sump Pump Float Working Principle

Float switches and water level controls typically start out open, meaning there are no alarms that are required to be activated since the water level is at its lowest.

  1. When the cooling tower stops using the water for its industrial operations, the water level starts to rise. No alarms have been activated up to this point.
  2. When the water level reaches the probes, a signal is transferred between the probes informing the high alarm to activate.
  3. When the high alarm is activated it can be programmed to tell the fill to stop filling up the water.
  4. Finally, when the water reached the predetermined limit, the fill stop kicks in and the process starts all over again.

With correct maintenance, your cooling tower float switches could last for years of operating. A lot of float switch failures typically occur due to degrading, wearing out, or fouling. Cooling tower coatings can safeguard the storage tanks, but what is safeguarding the float switches? Our water level controls can replace your old float switches once and for all and won’t degrade, wear out, or foul, because of any water quality.

Why Choose Water Line Controls

All of our water level controls and water level control systems are assembled right here in the U.S.A. where we monitor every step of the process.

Altitude Valve: What is it and How Does it Work?
Written by webtechs

Altitude Valve: What is it and How Does it Work?

An Altitude Valve is a mechanically operated control that relies on a differential of pressure between inlet and outlet to assume a level of water, and control its flow when the supply pressure becomes much higher than the head developed by the full reservoir or storage tank. Frequently used in supplying water in high-rise buildings, ground storage tanks or reservoirs, they have also traditionally been used in remote areas where modern equipment used to be at a disadvantage due to lack of electricity. Today, with cheap reliable batteries and solar power readily available, an upgrade to modern equipment with proper monitoring and alarm systems is within easy reach. Instead of using an Altitude Valve, use a Paragon Valve with a Waterline Controls Fire Protection unit.

Freezing Temperatures

In many climates low temperatures can be an issue when a mechanical valve is used. While in the past a layer of ice on the water surface could render a float valve inoperative and make a remote altitude type valve seem a good choice, today an electronic sensor can include temperature monitoring and reporting/alarm status when the potential for freezing arises.

Costs

Even smaller water suppliers who used to be concerned with costs of upgrading find that between the lower costs of electronic controls, the lack of maintenance issues or failures, along with remote activity reporting and monitoring, modern electronic sensor level control systems are helping relegate altitude valves to situations where conservation, reliability and supervision are not required.

Complications

Obviously, directly measuring the level of water with a sensor is many times more accurate than a pressure differential assessment. Consideration must also be given to the inlet pressure, to ensure it is always greater than the water level head pressure. Too low a pressure will cause the system to equalize the inlet and outlet pressure, and without a differential pressure, the valve will be stuck, trying to fill but never reaching the max level. With no differential pressure the system fails, with no water flowing in or out of the tank.

Options

Waterline Controls™ Liquid Level Controls Systems can operate from Solar powered panels that produce 30vdc, or a battery system charged via solar panel. All systems can connect to a Fire Panel or building management system for full monitoring and fault reporting, with alarms. Without the maintenance and costs of altitude type controls, with advanced monitoring and reporting, full automation compatibility and extreme reliability, there is no reason not to upgrade to modern reliable systems that take into account our responsibility to properly manage and conserve our limited and important water supply.

 

Sump Pump Float Work
Written by webtechs

How Does a Sump Pump Float Work?

Sump Pump Float Work

Sump pumps are set off automatically once the water level in the sump pit gets to a predetermined height. A homeowner can calibrate the pump to start at any depth they wish by adjusting the float device of the sump pump.

Water runoff and/ or seeping water is collected inside the sum pit. As the water gathers, a float rises as the water level rises. The float has control of an on/ off switch for the pump. Once the float rises to a predetermined height, the pump turns on. The pump continues to function until the float falls low enough to disconnect the switch. The pump is inactive once more until the water level increases again.

Types of Sump Pump Floats

Different types of floats are used by different types of sump pumps. Pedestal pumps will typically have a bulb type float connected to a metal rod that turns on the pump motor’s switch. Other types of pumps utilize floats attached to arms that will raise and lower as the water level rises and lowers. A tethered float is a float that is attached to the pump utilizing a tethering mechanism.

Old Sump Pump Float Working Principle

When the water level rises, the float will rise too. As the float rises the tether steadily releases. The tether is predetermined to start the pump when a specific amount of tether gets released. When the water levels lower, the tether becomes loose and the float falls back to its starting position.

New Sump Pump Float Working Principle

Float switches and water level controls typically start out open, meaning there are no alarms that are required to be activated since the water level is at its lowest.

  1. When the cooling tower stops using the water for its industrial operations, the water level starts to rise. No alarms have been activated up to this point.
  2. When the water level reaches the probes, a signal is transferred between the probes informing the high alarm to activate.
  3. When the high alarm is activated it can be programmed to tell the fill to stop filling up the water.
  4. Finally, when the water reached the predetermined limit, the fill stop kicks in and the process starts all over again.

With correct maintenance, your cooling tower float switches could last for years of operating. A lot of float switch failures typically occur due to degrading, wearing out, or fouling. Cooling tower coatings can safeguard the storage tanks, but what is safeguarding the float switches? Our water level controls can replace your old float switches once and for all and won’t degrade, wear out, or foul, because of any water quality.

Why Choose Water Line Controls

All of our water level controls and water level control systems are assembled right here in the U.S.A. where we monitor every step of the process. The are many reasons to choose Waterline Controls™ for all of your float switch and water level controller needs include:

SIMPLE DESIGN

No moving parts or mechanical floats to break or rust!

BEST TECH SUPPORT

No runaround, no guessing, no stupid answers. You’ll talk to the guy who’s been designing and installing these units for over 20 years.

BUILT TO LAST

Makes it easy to integrate with existing Building Management Systems and has an expected useful life of 15 years.

TOUCH TO TEST

One push of the button starts a complete validation cycle to ensure all systems are working properly.

RELIABLE & ACCURATE

Will not foul, plate, or deteriorate regardless of water quality.