New Member In Need of a Little Help

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by RISpeed6, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. RISpeed6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Hello Everyone,
    I am a new member and I was hoping to get a little help with a project that I am working on. I want to create an automatic christmas tree watering system. Here we're my initial thoughts on how it would work: The system would be activated with an on/off,low voltage toggle switch. This switch would then energize one side of a NO float switch that is mounted inside the tree stand reservoir. When the water level In the reservoir reached a certain low level, the float switch would close. This would then energize the low voltage side of a relay which would activate a small submersible water pump that is mounted within a separate fresh water reservoir. Once the water pump supplies enough water to open the float switch, the power to the pump would be cut.

    I have a couple of questions:
    Do I need 2 float switches to make this work as I would like ? (High/Low)

    Should I use AC power throuout the circuit or would it be advisable to use DC power as well?

    Has anyone done something similar to this using an easier method? I have a tendency to over complicate things :p

    I would like to thank you all I advance for any insight that you may offer and also for all of your help.

  2. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Wow, AC power and water is such a wonderful combination. So good that the tank fill controller you already own doesn't use any electricity at all.

    Hint: open up your toilet tank and have a look see.

    No matter how you do this something will get stuck and you will flood your house.
  3. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    Welcome to the forum.

    First you are going to need to do a better job at your subject lines. People tend to ignore the "I need help" subject lines and the fact that you are new is pretty much useless information in valuable subject line space. Fine if you want to mention it in the body of the message.

    This is a create project for MCUs (Microcontroller). I would use low voltage DC throughout if possible it would be much safer.

    But such a project is a little complicated for a newbie for this Christmas. Maybe next year. I would read what I can on microcontrollers.
  4. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    Ernie brings up a good point. You do run the risk of a flood. Perhaps if the tree was in the basement or something it might work. I would do extensive testing on this one.
  5. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    I'm of the mind that the best solution is the simplest one that works. What you've described sounds (to me) several levels more complicated than it needs to be. How much can a Christmas tree "drink"? I'm picturing a 5gal bucket, higher than the level of the tree base, with a small diameter hose (surgical tubing maybe) coming out the bottom bottom of it and leading to the tree base. hose has an adjustable hose clamp on the middle of it for an adjustable flow restriction. you just adjust it for whatever drip rate keeps the water in the base at a constant level.
  6. SPQR


    Nov 4, 2011
    I do hydroponics, and this sounds like a typical hydroponics "problem".

    Classic hydroponics contains a 1 - reservoir, 2 - pump, and 3 - timer.

    You could have a hidden reservoir that you check once every two weeks, a VERY small pump (Harbor Freight has them for ~$6) and a cheap timer.

    Once a day, the timer comes on for x minutes, and the unused water drains back into the reservoir.
  7. Jaguarjoe

    Active Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Just week I repaired my wife's Bissell carpet cleaning machine. It has a nifty little 6V DC centrifigal pump in it, perfect for Xmas tree watering. Maybe if you poke around vacuum cleaner shops they'll be a scrapped unit you can have.
    IIRC, "GEMS" makes all different types of small float switches. You might also cruise a pick and pull wrecking yard. Most cars have small float switches in their windshield washer reservoirs.
    This would be trickier but use three small metal rods (stainless steel preferred) mounted above the tree stand looking down at the water. One is always in the water, one at the low fill point and the last one is at the high cut off point. The resistance will change as a probe touches the water.