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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: Seangie on February 09, 2013, 07:03:29 PM



Title: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Seangie on February 09, 2013, 07:03:29 PM
Hey all -

I have been searching to see if anyone has used a solenoid to automatically turn off the water supply when the fresh water tank is full. I have not found anything in the archives so I figured I'd propose an idea here and see what you guys have come up with.

I am thinking that I could use a water solenoid to control the on/off flow of water to the fresh water tank when hooked up to city water.  I will have one manual on/off valve on the cold water manifold to fill the fresh water tank and in line with that would be a solenoid that will automatically turn off when the tank is full. 

Trying to think through what I would use for a trigger.  Different ways to do this using either an NO or NC solenoid. With an NC solenoid I'm thinking that I'd like to have a manual switch inside the coach that would "open" the solenoid by turning the switch on and applying voltage but I can't think of an easy way to automatically remove the voltage once the tank is full.  Maybe some kind of water sensor in the tank that opens the circuit when it gets wet.

I know some of the newer coaches have systems like this and I am sure its nothing ground breaking.  I was just wondering if any of you had built anything and how well it worked before I try to reinvent the wheel.

Thanks.

-Sean


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Brassman on February 09, 2013, 07:20:29 PM
A place to research a float switch:  http://www.gemssensors.com/Products/Level/Single-Point-Level-Switches/Float (http://www.gemssensors.com/Products/Level/Single-Point-Level-Switches/Float) .


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Melbo on February 09, 2013, 08:42:00 PM
I think Scott Bennett was trying to figure this out a spell back

I don't know if he did or not but you might check with him and see.

HTH

Melbo



Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: 06 Bill on February 10, 2013, 03:40:51 AM
A pressure switch out of a automatic washing machine.    06 Bill


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: luvrbus on February 10, 2013, 03:55:35 AM
Mine is a Aquatec Valve tied to a pressure switch you can either have it automatic or manual control kinda of waste IMO I am always using CLR to remove the deposits caused by the water to keep it working  

 The way it works is it has air release valve(Watts) on the tank to expel the air while filling when the water hits the valve it closes and builds pressure turning on the pressure switch then closing the valve then it by passes the tank and goes to the city water supply  

More trouble than it's worth keep it simple use over flow tubes on the tank and turn the water off when it is full


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on February 10, 2013, 04:33:08 AM
Mine is setup so that i can hook up a hose to a quick dis-connect fitting and have water all of the time without filling the tank or running the pump.....i never use it because i do not want to take the chance of a leak or broken pipe flooding the bus while i am gone somewhere during the day.  What i do is hook up to the other quick dis-connect fitting and fill my tank and then shut the hose off. I then use my pump to supply water as needed. If i am going to be away from the bus for a day or longer i just flip a switch to turn off the power to the pump. We can go a week on 100 gallons of water if needed, but i just usually fill the water tank and dump the black tank every 3-4 days.  In 9 years of fulltiming we have had 3 leaks,.... ( it is not a question of IF you will have a leak, just a question of WHEN you will have a leak and how much of a mess it will make! ). Twice it was the old ice maker which is no longer with us. The other time it was a fitting in one of the bays that cracked. Luckily i found all 3 leaks before they got bad,(one was in the middle of the night, :(  heard the pump cycling), doing it my way the most water that i would have lost would have been 100 gallons if the tank was completely full at the time. Using the other part of the system and developing a leak could result in many hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water lost into the bus if i was not there at the time.  Don't know how old the pump was when we got the bus but i did have to replace it a couple of years ago. All in all, a pretty fool-proof and easy system....no floats, switches, relays, etc. to worry about.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: zubzub on February 10, 2013, 05:48:39 AM
fwiw commercial espresso machines have a very nice valve that runs on 120 that does just that..... uses a couple of rods in the water to sense level to turn on and off.  Have this on my espresso machine, works flawlessly, would  work in other applications.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Seangie on February 10, 2013, 02:40:31 PM
So this project has been stuck in my head for a while and I had to put it down on "paper" to get it all out.

Special thanks to Scott Bennett for inspiring this (without the inspiration I might have had a good nights sleep :))

Quote
A place to research a float switch:  http://www.gemssensors.com/Products/Level/Single-Point-Level-Switches/Float ([url]http://http://www.gemssensors.com/Products/Level/Single-Point-Level-Switches/Float[/url]) .

Also thanks to Brassman for turning me on to the single point level float switches

Attached is the drawing that I came up with.  The overall objective is to keep this really simple. 

Quote
I am always using CLR to remove the deposits caused by the water to keep it working

Cliff - I think you make a good point about the solenoid clogging up from the deposits and not working correctly.  I have 2 filters inline that will hopefully help reduce this problem. 

The basic operation is turning on the switch inside the coach which closes the autofill circuit.  The float valve is NC (Normally Closed) so that when the tank is less than full the circuit is powered and causes the solenoid to open and fill up the tank.  When the tank is full the float valve then opens the circuit and turns off the solenoid. 

Some additions that I would like to add to this are -
1. A light that comes on in the coach when the tank is full (could probably use tank indicator lights but a simple light indicating that the autofill circuit is open is what I am thinking here)
2. A moisture/spill indicator in the overflow tube that powers a circuit with an alarm to let you know that water is flowing through the overflow tubes.

Because my coach is 12v I will keep all things electrical 12v as well.  You could changes the parts/pieces to fit your coach.

I think I could pull this off for less than 100$.   I have seen 1/2"  12v solenoids for less than 30$ on amazon.  The single point valve fromt he gems website is $35 or so and I am sure that I could find one cheaper.  The relay and switch would be about 10-12 bucks and the wire would cost about 20$ unless I have some lying around somewhere.

I have a 3/4" FPT opening and a 1.5" FPT opening on the top of my freshwater tank.  My Idea is to have the 1/2" pex line feed into the 1.5" opening  along with the connection to stick a hose in to fill up as well.  The 3/4" opening would be where I would screw in the float switch.  They look pretty small on paper and I think I would have no problem fabricating something that would just screw into the top of the tank.

This project is a ways off for us but when I get to it I will post my success failures on our website and here as well. 

If anyone else wants to get a head start on me take lots of pics and let us know how you do.

-Sean
www.herdofturtles.org (http://www.herdofturtles.org)


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: bobofthenorth on February 10, 2013, 04:34:46 PM
K.I.S.S.

Every stock watering trough in the country has a dead simple mechanical float that shuts off the water when the trough gets full.  Go to Tractor Supply - I'll bet they're less than $10 per each.  And did I mention - they're dead simple.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: gus on February 10, 2013, 04:35:44 PM
My tank has a simpler solution, water just runs out the top vent!


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on February 10, 2013, 05:17:16 PM
Sean, your idea of "really simple" is a lot different than mine! ;D


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: belfert on February 10, 2013, 05:22:55 PM
I believe Scott didn't want water running out and making a muddy spot around the bus. 


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: luvrbus on February 10, 2013, 05:23:56 PM
Sad part he still needs to go outside to disconnect and turn the hose off then roll it up


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: bobofthenorth on February 10, 2013, 05:35:12 PM
My tank has a simpler solution, water just runs out the top vent!

That's the way mine works too Gus.  If its a quiet day & I take the time to stand there and listen carefully I can hear it start to gurgle when it gets close to overflowing.  But generally I lose interest, go off to some other project and come back in a while to find a puddle.  I know its been full for a while when my feet get wet. 


Title: Re: Re: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Seangie on February 10, 2013, 06:59:54 PM
Sad part he still needs to go outside to disconnect and turn the hose off then roll it up


Cliff - still working on the automatic hose disconnect and rollup machine.  :)

www.herdofturtles.org (http://www.herdofturtles.org)
1984 Eagle Model 10S


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: zubzub on February 11, 2013, 12:33:46 AM
K.I.S.S.

Every stock watering trough in the country has a dead simple mechanical float that shuts off the water when the trough gets full.  Go to Tractor Supply - I'll bet they're less than $10 per each.  And did I mention - they're dead simple.
now that you mention it so does every toilet.
 Major points to Bob for keeping it simple.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: TomC on February 11, 2013, 05:53:27 AM
My water tank is under my bed. I also have a halogen puck light above to check the level of the tank by seeing the level through the translucent tank. When I fill my tank, that's the only thing I do since my vent does not vent to the outside (on purpose to keep road dust out). So if the tank overfills it floods the inside-it happened once-and that was enough to convince me to make it a singular job without distractions. After that, I've had no over fills. Mainly because I'm sitting next to the tank and when it gets full the sound changes to a more muted tone so I know the tank is almost full.
All the fore mentioned solenoids, switches, float switches, relays, etc are all unnecessary if you just pay attention to what you're doing and make filling the water tank you're only job at that time. After all-how long does it take-10 minutes maybe? I'm a firm believer in KISS. Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Len Silva on February 11, 2013, 10:24:20 AM
Just for information, a 24 volt AC sprinkler valve will work on 12 volts DC quite well.  Ten bucks at your local big box.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on February 11, 2013, 04:22:20 PM
I think Scott Bennett was trying to figure this out a spell back

I don't know if he did or not but you might check with him and see.

HTH
Melbo

Yah no. I wish. I am considering a fuel pump handle with autoshutoff. Not sure it will work. Certainly not conventional. But didn't have the desire to work on something complicated in the middle of single digit temperatures. I would love an easy solution for this besides a vent that dumps the overflow onto the ground. We are filling our tank every three days and it's a stinking frigid job and it's making me cranky.  >:(  Sean, if you figure it out...I'll send you a trophy.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Chuck Hancock on February 11, 2013, 06:10:05 PM
I agree with Ed ( I run off of my tank so I can't accidentally flood the bus - which I have done when hooked to / using shore water).   Sea give has a good idea about an overflow alarm, which I will try in the spring (2. A moisture/spill indicator in the overflow tube that powers a circuit with an alarm to let you know that water is flowing through the overflow tubes.).
 


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: arutkow on February 11, 2013, 06:14:06 PM
I believe it was mentioned elsewhere, but a simple, mechanical hose timer from the garden section would work nicely.

Hook it up between the hose and the fill connector. turn the dial to 30 minutes, and go do something else.

easy peasy Japanesy



Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on February 12, 2013, 11:05:15 AM
I believe it was mentioned elsewhere, but a simple, mechanical hose timer from the garden section would work nicely.

Hook it up between the hose and the fill connector. turn the dial to 30 minutes, and go do something else.

easy peasy Japanesy

This is a nifty idea with one exception. This assumes you always empty your tank to the same level of emptiness every time. We fills ours on a non-timely fashion. In other words...sometimes we don't get to it for a few days and the tank is empty (sure, 30 minutes would work) but other times it's only half empty cause we get a chance to fill it early (30 minutes would overflow) so how do we know where to set the timer unless we time the fill up and make markings on the tank....then you have different water pressures at different sites...oh dear.  :-\


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: arutkow on February 12, 2013, 01:16:16 PM
This is a nifty idea with one exception. This assumes you always empty your tank to the same level of emptiness every time. We fills ours on a non-timely fashion. In other words...sometimes we don't get to it for a few days and the tank is empty (sure, 30 minutes would work) but other times it's only half empty cause we get a chance to fill it early (30 minutes would overflow) so how do we know where to set the timer unless we time the fill up and make markings on the tank....then you have different water pressures at different sites...oh dear.  :-\

All valid points :)

I was just tossing it out as a quick fix, and a way of at least filling the tank (coming close to filling) without worrying about forgetting the hose is on for 8 hours.

Of course, I don't own a bus yet, so ALL of my ideas are just "in theory" :P



Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on February 12, 2013, 05:17:52 PM
It actually would work to prevent serious overflows. I've flooded my bay twice now. And vow to never do it again. It's a mess.  :-\


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Lin on February 12, 2013, 06:26:09 PM
The float valve as used in toilets, troughs, and other things is about as easy and fool proof as you can get.  They would need to be built into the tank though.  If you have or can get access to the top of the tank, you could cut a hole just big enough to install the valve, and then patch the hole.  Since it would be on the top surface, I do not think that it would pose any integrety threat even if it was just glued and screwed closed to allow for future access.

The timer is also a simple way to go.  If you use a city water regulator, the pressure should be reasonably under control.  You would just then need to know about how many minutes per inch fills your tank.  Observe the tank, multiply by the measurement of the void, set the timer a little short to be safe, and take a nap.  If there is still room, you can just add more.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Brassman on February 12, 2013, 06:51:51 PM
I'd use a float switch, relay, and solenoid valve, but that's just me.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on February 13, 2013, 02:08:20 AM
In my research on this last year, the toilet valves don't allow enough GPM to flow through. That might be an issue for me because in the winter, my heated bay has to be open for fill and I hate leaving it open longer than needed.


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Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Lin on February 13, 2013, 08:09:32 AM
I mentioned the toilet valve not because it is the most practical, but merely to point out float valves are everywhere.  There are lots of them manufactured just for tank shutoffs.  Here's just one of many http://www.jefferspet.com/float-valves/camid/liv/cp/16041/ (http://www.jefferspet.com/float-valves/camid/liv/cp/16041/)


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Iceni John on February 13, 2013, 12:12:21 PM
I like Chuck's idea of a sensor in the overflow pipe (you do have an overflow/vent pipe?) that will do its thing when the tank is completely full.   If you tie this sensor to a solenoid valve on the fill hose, it's almost KISS-simple.   This way you wont need to hack into your tank or deal with slow-filling loo shutoffs.

Also, why not have your fill entry located so you don't need to keep your bay door open, then you won't waste heat from the bay as the tank fills.   Obviously this unprotected fill entry will have to be drained when not in use to prevent freezing and cracking, but wouldn't it be drained anyway?

Just cogitating out loud.
John


Title: Re: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Seangie on February 13, 2013, 04:44:06 PM
The cheap and easy alternative is a mechanical float.  The difficulties that I would have with that is how to get the float in the tank, esp now that they are already installed. Because the float on a mechanical is attached to the spicket, even mounting a small float would be tough in a 1.5" hole if leaving room for a manual hose as well.  Maybe a custom float in a site tube coming off the side of a tank?

My main reason for wanting to build this is that I have 4 kids and a lack of attention span.  I can totally see myself starting the tank fill and then within 15 minutes having to take care of kid emergencies and forgetting about the tank fill and then the little ones playing in the mud puddle.  I also have a tendency to be distracted doing other stuff while waiting for something (such as filling a fresh water tank ) like organizing, cleaning, replying to posts on busconversions.com

I'd also just like to have the tank full before we leave a place without it being another task to do.  Flip a switch and pack up the bus.  By the time you are done packing (all distractions and children aside) the tank is full as you disconnect and you just wrap up the hose, sewer and electric and drive off.

-Sean
 www.herdofturtles.org (http://www.herdofturtles.org)
1984 Eagle Model 10S


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: bobofthenorth on February 13, 2013, 05:03:20 PM
I've been thinking the same as Sean just suggested.  As long as the float can be positioned at the height of the top of the tank, it doesn't need to physically be inside the tank.  This isn't a high priority for me but it sure would be nice to have.  My fill runs through a manifold so it would be pretty simple to route the line that currently goes to the tank through some kind of a shutoff valve.  I have exactly the same gnat-like attention span - start the tank filling and next thing I know I'm racing back through a puddle of water to shut it off.  Where did those last 45 minutes go?


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Len Silva on February 13, 2013, 06:30:04 PM
I understand about the ADD, we have to use whatever tools are available to us.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on February 13, 2013, 07:04:34 PM
John, I actually do have a hole in the side of my luggage bay where the hose comes out. But I have to watch the level in the tank so the door has to be open. My goal would be to have an automated system so I could walk away and come back and shut off the water supply. That being said, Sean and I must be of the same breed. I flooded our bay rice because I was distracted by some other nefarious project.


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Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: arutkow on February 13, 2013, 07:59:05 PM
I would think this would be doable with a few probes from a tank monitoring system and a solenoid.

Just a little 12 volt wiring and it could be done.... :)


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: arutkow on February 13, 2013, 08:08:54 PM
I would think this would be doable with a few probes from a tank monitoring system and a solenoid.

Just a little 12 volt wiring and it could be done.... :)


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Van on February 13, 2013, 09:19:27 PM
Maybe a camera with led lighting in the bay, pipe it into the big tv upstairs? just a thought! good luck


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Sam 4106 on February 14, 2013, 02:51:28 AM
Scott & Sean,

I think that if you are successful in developing an, inexpensive, effective system, you could market it to others. I know I would like to have one. Maybe a little side business for you. I encourage you to pursue your idea to it's conclusion.

Good luck, Sam


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: robertglines1 on February 14, 2013, 05:45:14 AM
Float on rod thru top or tank. float  rises hits micro switch shuts valve.  Could be fishing cork on a 1/4 inch  dial rod thru a 3/4 in pvc pipe plug with a 5/16 hole drilled in it.  1 small 1/16th pin thru dial rod could keep short rod from fallin down in tank. The whole assembly only needs to be a few inches long.  You just need to sense full tank. rod rises hits switch shuts valve off! Still have to disconnect hose.  Could use same set up to work a toilet valve.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Len Silva on February 14, 2013, 06:43:40 AM
If you can get a 1/2" threaded hole in the side of the tank, there are inexpensive float switches for that application.
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/MADISON-Liquid-Level-Switch-5DYC2?cm_sp=IO-_-IDP-_-RR_VTV70300505&cm_vc=IDPRRZ1 (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/MADISON-Liquid-Level-Switch-5DYC2?cm_sp=IO-_-IDP-_-RR_VTV70300505&cm_vc=IDPRRZ1)


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Lin on February 14, 2013, 06:57:27 AM
Easiest thing to do would be to have your wife watch the tank fill.  She could even learn to shut the water off and maybe disconect the hose!


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: lostagain on February 14, 2013, 07:08:55 AM
Maybe some techno-geek could design a smart phone app...

JC


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on February 27, 2013, 07:34:44 AM
Ok guys. I've flooded my luggage bay for the fourth time. I'm normally a calm guy with a reasonable disposition. But I'm over this. The tank is plumbed in pretty solid. It's winter. I don't want to disconnect it all and pull it out to drill a hole in the top and put an overflow pipe fitting or bung or spin one on. That would be major drama. I just want an easy way to kill the water when it's full. Something I can install with the tank in place. This forum consists of an ingenious group of people (of which I am not a member). I know float valves, toilet valves, and a sundry other ideas have been floating around (no pun intended) but can some dear soul please outline something I can build to deal with this once and for all. I would happily build something and experiment, but it's winter in Michigan. I'd rather just freeze my tushy off installing something once rather than experimenting. I'm over this...  :-[ Here are some pics of my setup for reference. The first one shows my most recent (just now) flooding experience:
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/27/yvyba2a6.jpg)
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/27/e6y3e8em.jpg)
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/27/uruqetas.jpg)
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/27/ygyme6et.jpg)


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: bobofthenorth on February 27, 2013, 08:27:21 AM
What I said to begin with - a stock trough float valve.  Now that we see your setup it couldn't be easier.  Here's the first link that came up on a Google search but just go to Tractor Supply or wherever the cowboys shop locally and buy the cheapest float valve they have.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/livestock-watering-valves.html (http://www.plumbingsupply.com/livestock-watering-valves.html)

I've never actually seen a float valve exactly like the one in that link but any of them will work.  The ones I'm familiar with have an oblong float inside a plastic housing and they clip over the side of the tank.  The one in the link looks like it would work perfectly for you but don't get hung up looking for that exact float - any of them will work.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Lin on February 27, 2013, 08:51:03 AM
1. You could go with a timer temporarily until you settle on the ultimate fix.
2. There are side mounted float switches that you should be able to find a place for without moving the tank (http://www.fluidswitch.com/pages/float-switch-horizontal.htm (http://www.fluidswitch.com/pages/float-switch-horizontal.htm)).
3. There are side mount float valves (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:X_U4P5QLfVMJ:www.floatvalve.com/documents/KerickValveBrochure_004.pdf+side+mounted+float+valve&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjKeRhronNXMrhr5dEytVkTHskyW51LVe5vPmw7h7Py_hv6IBaO8XSZspqqX2JaGoOjgCOwDc5wEIQc67CM4Rf_X6Mf-Gex69iiZdQatN0IwhVxEH7gsE_k-rYt8qSv6dz-zs8Q&sig=AHIEtbQl6WUY_GjvfxwdQnqz65bOgaTp6Q (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:X_U4P5QLfVMJ:www.floatvalve.com/documents/KerickValveBrochure_004.pdf+side+mounted+float+valve&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjKeRhronNXMrhr5dEytVkTHskyW51LVe5vPmw7h7Py_hv6IBaO8XSZspqqX2JaGoOjgCOwDc5wEIQc67CM4Rf_X6Mf-Gex69iiZdQatN0IwhVxEH7gsE_k-rYt8qSv6dz-zs8Q&sig=AHIEtbQl6WUY_GjvfxwdQnqz65bOgaTp6Q)). This would require opening and sealing a hole in the side of the tank, but it would be doable.

Personally, I would use a timer for now before putting any work into something that I am not going to like long term.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: jonesyjonesy on February 27, 2013, 11:48:54 AM
Just tee off where the water comes into the coach, before the check valve.  Run that line into tank float valve.  This way when your running off pump pressure your pump wont try to fill the tank.  tank will get filled when ever you hook up to outside water supply and be full when your ready to go.


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: robertglines1 on February 27, 2013, 03:24:15 PM
Like the other Bob said keep it simple stock tank float valve under your tank lid. We use it on storage tank on steam engines all time.  Have about a 18 inch piece of garden hose attached to it permanent. then hook hose from shore supply up to it to fill up tank. Shuts off when full! we can disconnect at our pleasure... Kiss Principle=   keep it simple stupid. ( Just a principle) works for us old guys---  Bob


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on February 27, 2013, 04:01:38 PM
Ok. My blood pressure has dropped enough for me to think. I'm going to try and retrofit a stock tank float like you guys suggested and see if it works for me. Thank you so much for your guidance. In case you guys think I'm overreacting, I flooded the bay enough this time I soaked 3000 of my CDs in boxes. $45,000 worth of product. They are plastic wrapped, but I freaked. I have no other place to put them. Need to make some changes to my luggage bay setup.


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Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: robertglines1 on February 27, 2013, 04:13:34 PM
Ok: Scott; We run the hose attached to storage tank on steam engine tank open top opening aprox 12 inches. Float anchored to opening. Water hose (short 18 inch) attached to it-- so we can detach and move engine to another location and reconnect without removing tank float valve.  We are sometimes hooked up to 90lb water pressure when running saw mill which takes allot of water to make steam and it keeps tank level full so we can draw from it as needed--without running over.  Your wanting to shut the water off when full then go out at your leasure and turn connection off.  This will not relieve you of that responsibility in cold weather!  If you need to talk in person to make this easier pm me your  cell and we will talk it thru. Or just go look at what we are talking about. It hooks to the end of a garden hose.Or you can hard plumb one in.   Bob


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on February 27, 2013, 05:39:47 PM
PM Sent Bob. Talk to you soon.  Our water line is freeze proof and wrapped in heat tape and insulation. The reason we have to turn the connection off is because the pump/plumbing in the house is susceptible to freezing since the house is under renovations and has zero heat running in it. So just in case something freezes and busts, I have to keep the pump turned off until I'm ready to fill the tank. Long story short, another month and a half of this and we're done with the cold weather. But I need to fix this now. I'm not procrastinating anymore. I have a luggage bay electric heater down there that got soaked too. Dangerous as all get out. 


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: TomC on February 28, 2013, 07:40:11 AM
All this discussion when all you need is a puck light above the tank and watch it fill. No more simple than that. Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: luvrbus on February 28, 2013, 07:58:43 AM
A simple overflow hose same size as the supply hose now that is simple


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: robertglines1 on February 28, 2013, 09:13:15 AM
Sometimes standing outside in single digits 20mph winds.  Also overflow on ground that creates sheets of ice that last weeks . Mud that doesn't go away till April.  We all have brain lapse. This takes it one step past simple. Here our over flow in summer often creates soft unstable ground.  With frost in ground a few weeks ago a 2 inch rain made the Ohio river jump from 16ft pool to 37ft in 5 days. The rain couldn't soak in.  The odd thing we are considered in a drought.  We all live in a unique part of the world.   Our frost can reach 20 inches here. Not this year. Usually gone 1st of April. Scott is 300 miles north of us.  Fwiw     Bob


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on March 01, 2013, 02:41:12 AM
I missed your call last night Bob. At the moment you called my wife and I were helping a friend with an oil leak on her Toyota Camry. I don't want to miss it a second time. Will connect with you today. As Bon said, it's cold here in Michigan. We've already had days with wind chills below zero. Overflow leads to lots of ice and yes soft ground. Coach is on levelers and those are on 1/4 inch steel plates and she still sunk a couple
inches. Frost heave is crazy around here. It takes 20-30 minutes to fill from empty. I've been dressing warm and standing out there watching it. The timer  idea can work, but I never fill the tank with the same level of water left in it so some days it's a 30 minute fill job. Some days only 15. Water pressure varies a lot depending on where we are so there's no true accurate way to measure the time it takes to fill. Unless you have had to fill your tank every couple of days in 20 mph winds with temps in the teens or single digits and snow smacking your face, you have no idea how much of a blessing a float valve shutoff will be.


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Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: chessie4905 on March 01, 2013, 07:14:28 AM
You don't have to run the overflow line out on the ground if your sewer line is handy.
How about installing a whistle on the overflow line; the whistle stops when it is full and starts running out the overflow.  Or hook up a permanent water line, to bus water line inlet after water pump with a heat tape on line to keep from freezing. They have this on house trailers/ mobile homes all the time.


Title: Re: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Seangie on March 01, 2013, 10:05:17 AM
Scott,

For a cheap quick fix, how about a water detection alarm?  You can put the alarm in the coach, run the cable to the tank and set it at the desired level in the tank and when it gets wet the alarm goes off....you run outside and turn off the water.  Not the same as a valve but at least you won't forget about it and you can sit inside while it fills.

http://m.homedepot.com/p/Honeywell-WaterDefense-Water-Leak-Detection-Alarm/202491357/ (http://m.homedepot.com/p/Honeywell-WaterDefense-Water-Leak-Detection-Alarm/202491357/)

-Sean

 www.herdofturtles.org (http://www.herdofturtles.org)
1984 Eagle Model 10S


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on March 01, 2013, 02:24:15 PM
Much thanks gents for your always great ideas. Even though i didn't respond to every one of them, I considered every one of them...I even considered starting this beast up and moving down South.....forever.  :-\  In the end, I had a nice chat with Bob (Robert Glines) and he helped me sort out how to get a stock tank float to do what I wanted it to do. My fingers are numb, but I think we have a winner. I can't tell you how thankful I am for this. It's the little things. Bought this float at a Tractor Supply Equivalent (Quality Farm and Home). Here are some pics of my particular setup:
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/unu4e4a9.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/y6uhuheb.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/a2agegev.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/ebudydur.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/te6uzy3e.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/u7e8yne2.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/y9ame4y5.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/a9uma4yn.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/u2agu3eq.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/jemu5a8e.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/7ehy7uru.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/hy3ubavu.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/02/y7aqudet.jpg)


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: luvrbus on March 01, 2013, 03:05:58 PM
80 degrees here in Scottsdale today and my fingers are not numb or is there any ice except in what the ice machine makes lol you do know the stock tank floats will freeze


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on March 01, 2013, 03:12:51 PM
80 degrees here in Scottsdale today and my fingers are not numb or is there any ice except in what the ice machine makes lol you do know the stock tank floats will freeze

Must be nice. I grew up in Tucson and then in Phoenix. Went to ASU and lived in Maricopa. Wish I were there right now. In any case, our luggage bay is heated Cliff. We're good there. If that float freezes, we have much bigger things to worry about at that point  :o


Title: Re: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Seangie on March 01, 2013, 04:41:27 PM
Scott,

Great job.  I wish I had as large an opening as you do on your tank.  If I ever order tanks again I'll have large openings with covers that can be drilled out and replaced as the needs change.  Let us know how it works out!

-Sean

 www.herdofturtles.org (http://www.herdofturtles.org)
1984 Eagle Model 10S


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: bobofthenorth on March 01, 2013, 05:06:15 PM
That's exactly the style of float I am familiar with.  I can't tell how you are keeping it oriented inside the tank.  Are you just letting it float up against the lid?  Perhaps that will work but I wouldn't have thought of it. 


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: robertglines1 on March 02, 2013, 04:45:28 PM
Sean;they make one that will go inside a 1 inch pipe thread horizontal with a horizontal 3/4 inch float on it. The whole thing is brass but is only rated about 70lb max pressure. is aprox 14 inches long(with bulb) with about 1 1/2 inch female 3/4 inch thread outside tank.  Not adjustable so you have to have it at your max water level.   Bob


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on March 02, 2013, 08:57:25 PM
That's exactly the style of float I am familiar with.  I can't tell how you are keeping it oriented inside the tank.  Are you just letting it float up against the lid?  Perhaps that will work but I wouldn't have thought of it.

Yep, it's just bumping up against the the underneath of the lid. Works like a charm. I sat out there on my first full up with the system in place to monitor the fill. I honestly though it wasn't going to work. Murphy's law and all. But it works flawlessly. I can't believe it. This is my answer. Highly recommend this mod.


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Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: robertglines1 on March 03, 2013, 07:07:24 AM
to old school?? from the 1800's    ;D  Bob 


Title: Re: Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
Post by: Scott & Heather on March 03, 2013, 08:19:20 AM
 :) Yes Bob  :)  And just so you know, I'm just as comfortable chatting with you about it as I would be a younger person. I respect all of you guys and many of you have no idea you are "virtual mentors" to us. As I type this...I realize that I forgot my tank was filling. Snow is gently falling, and I'm warm in our bus...not freaking out that I again flooded the luggage bay...because WAIT!, oh yeah! I have an auto shut off!  8) Going to go out and turn off the water now.