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04-26-2012, 09:31 AM
JBJ ATO users
Hi everyone, Well, I am looking into ATOs and have a question that JBJ ATO users may be able to answer. A feature I really like about the JBJ ATO is that the controller will shut off the water pump if the float switch is activated for longer that ~3-4min (this feature is available on Tunze ATO but not units from autotopoff.com). If a low gph water pump such as the Tom's Aqualifter is used, it seems like this back up could ensure the tank will not overflow (assuming water level is not set close to top of tank). So for example, a snail crawls onto the float switch, pushing down and activating the switch to turn on the pump. The tank fills with water but not enough to overflow the tank in 3-4min. My question is, when a float switch has been activated for ~3-4min and controller shuts-off the pump, how is the ATO unit reset? Can you reset the unit by simply lifting up (deactivating) the float switch, or does the ATO controller need to be manually reset (like, unplugged and plugged back in)? I would prefer the latter requirement of manually resetting the unit controller. My concern is this: Extending the example with the snail from above, let's say the snail which was on the float switch for 3-4min (causing the tank to fill, but not overflow, and the controller to shut off the pump) steps off of the float switch, allowing the float switch to lift/float-up and turn off/deactivate. But then the snail decides to immediately crawl back onto the float switch, pushing it down. Will this action of the float switch being pushed down again be able to now turn on the pump? If so, the tank might then overflow since the starting water level would be higher because of the previous time the snail activated the float switch. So, my hope is that the JBJ unit requires some manual reset of the controller after it has shut-off due to the float switch being activated more than 3-4min. It seems the Tunze ATO is more fail safe than the JBJ, but the ATO sensors need to be in my display tank. Currently I maintain water level in my standard 29 gallon tank at the bottom of the black plastic rim (~1inch from top of tank). A lower water level is less aesthetically pleasing and I do not think my HOB
skimmer works as well at lower water level. For the Tunze sensors which use large magnet tank attachments, I think that the highest water level that could be maintained would be ~1/2 inch below the black rim. If a single float switch is used from with the JBJ unit, I think that the water level could be set a little higher. Are there other factors I should be considered pertaining to reliability (tank not overflowing) for the JBJ and Tunze ATO? If water level can be maintained where just below that black rim of the tank with the Tunze, I would go with that unit. Thanks in advance for your input.
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