Building fluid level gauge

Bandit5

Bronze Supporter
Jul 19, 2014
128
Philadelphia, PA
I currently have a standard Stenner 15 gallon tank with mount for my pump. I am trying to make a gauge that will let me know exactly how much chlorine is left in the tank. My current plan is to run a capped 50" piece of 2" diameter polycarbonate tubing through a grommet on the flat surface of the tank. The bottom half inside the tank will have holes in it to let fluid in. Then I put in a slightly smaller polycarbonate tubing with a corked bottom inside the larger tube to float inside which should show the level through the larger tube.

Everything seems pretty simple, but I am wondering what I should use for the cork material to help the inside piece float. I don't think real cork will last in chlorine. Will a synthetic cork float well? Is there something else I could use that I haven't thought of?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,059
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
If it's going to be a hollow tube, just use a rubber stopper. The hardware store ought to have them, in the drawers where all the oddball hardware is kept.

Why not just cut a long thin strip of pool noodle?
 

Bandit5

Bronze Supporter
Jul 19, 2014
128
Philadelphia, PA
Because I over engineer everything I do... But yes, I think a solid core 1.5" pool noodle would work perfectly. Thanks! That was a brilliant idea. Also much cheaper.
 

crusemm

Bronze Supporter
Sep 1, 2011
149
North Texas
How did your tank gauge go? did it work as expected? I am thinking of going the other way with a reverse level gauge with a float and a string. as the leve goes down, so does the float, which will draw the string up. so the indicator will be at the top when the tank is empty.
 

stebs

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
126
Seems to me all that you need is a hose barb out the side of the bottom of the tank, with a piece of tubing up the side of the tank with the other end left open. The level in the tube should follow the level in the tank.
 

kefjens

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2011
68
Michigan
Industrial applications use laser or ultra sonic sensors.

What about using weight? I'm not familiar with the stenner systems but could you use a pressure tranducer under the tank? That would make it a non-contact system with the fluid in the tank.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,489
SouthWest Alabama
You see a lot of older water towers with the reverse level indicator. It's kinda weird to look at but they work without fail.

The clear tube idea is a good one. You only need 3/4" diameter clear PVC with a 3/8" PCV pipe inside it capped at the bottom. Then just mark the level lines on the clear tube at the top of the 'float' tube.
 

crusemm

Bronze Supporter
Sep 1, 2011
149
North Texas
So I made the reverse float type, made a float out of pvc, attached to a nut and washer with fishing line and cut a channel in a piece of pvc pipe to use as a window. Marked the pipe every gallon as I filled it.. 108698
 
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jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
Reverse float...nice idea! I didn’t like the idea of a hole in the side of my tank (that same one) either. My tank is buried so I went with this modeled after this krugman sentry gauge. It screws into the hole on top of that tank. But I wouldn’t recommend trying to duplicate that project it was fun, but waaaaay too much work. Yours is better.


BE4ACCD8-217B-41AC-BF84-DB12447CEA76.jpeg

So the solution worked well, but I still have to go out there and check it, which I am not good at doing.

So now I am going with this as part of my automation project:

18F75FFE-FF35-4ACE-A10F-365F2280152F.jpeg
 
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crusemm

Bronze Supporter
Sep 1, 2011
149
North Texas
Man, I like that. I wonder how I could get it to output in either gallons or percent, and maybe send me an email daily or when tank level hits a certain point. I've got a son that's into robotics, maybe I can get him to figure it out.