How to refill water filter automatically?

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laurie71

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Spot on; if you fill the top tank before the lower tank is empty, you get a spill... There are holes in the bottom of the top tank that the filters install into; there is provision for up to four filters, and I have two installed now, with the other two hole plugged with blanks.

I could probably buy an additional top tank to act as a holding tank, and let it flush into the input tank when the bottom tank empties, but I still need the mechanism to make that happen.
 

bud16415

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That would be any kind of a container /tank with a $7.00 flush master float installed to set the water level at X gallons. Then a system in the lower tank to trigger the top tank to dose the middle tank. It could be electric or mechanical. As simple as a float in the bottom tank pulling a string to flush the top tank. I think electronic would be better float switch sends signal to solenoid on timer to open dump valve for say 5 seconds. I wouldn't wait for lower tank to be bone dry. Maybe signal at one quart left. That way the filter tank will be using the full length of the filters. Parts needed 5 gallons bucket from home-depot, flush master valve , sealed float switch tether type, solenoid valve, one timer relay, low voltage transformer, small electrical enclosure and of course some PEX tubing and fittings.


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slownsteady

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Ok, I watched a few videos and now I get the situation a bit better. My original thought is moot because the tanks are not sealed to each other.

The main problem is having to hand-fill the top tank. So in it's simplest form, you want to be able to fill the upper tank without carting the water. You could have a a manual fill setup so that all you do is turn open a valve, standby until the tank is filled and then manually shut it off. Simple, easy to operate and the only negative is standing by to turn it off. The more pressure and or the bigger the feed line, the quicker it fills, but human error (like a distraction) could result in a spill. This is where Bud's idea makes sense. By having a measured pre-fill tank, you don't risk overfilling the top tank, and that means the lower tank is also safe. And the "dump" valve means no waiting for the top tank to get it's full load (dose, I guess, but it sounds funny).
The problem with trying to control the flow at the top tank is having two outlets (four possible) from the top tank so you would need a shutoff for each in order to stop flow. It doesn't seem practical to try to control the flow at that point.

I'm actually looking at this as just an exercise. It's obvious to me that this becomes impractical very quickly, and if you are already using tap water, there are other filtration systems that make a lot more sense. Save the Berkey for it's intended use.
 

ProudGecko

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I know this thread is a year old, but I've been toying around with this exact same idea. We have a Berkey water filter setup on our counter that seems to always be empty.

My original thought matched the ideas discussed here regarding use of a float switch. After considering the same issues mentioned, I'm thinking of using a digital scale to monitor the amount of water in the entire system (top and bottom portions). A Berkey that's full in the upper tank or bottom tank (or somewhere in between) should have a constant-ish weight. If the total weight drops below a certain threshold, open a solenoid driven water valve to flow water into the upper tank until the total system weight reaches the "full" level.

Anyone see any holes in the theory?
 

bud16415

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I know this thread is a year old, but I've been toying around with this exact same idea. We have a Berkey water filter setup on our counter that seems to always be empty.

My original thought matched the ideas discussed here regarding use of a float switch. After considering the same issues mentioned, I'm thinking of using a digital scale to monitor the amount of water in the entire system (top and bottom portions). A Berkey that's full in the upper tank or bottom tank (or somewhere in between) should have a constant-ish weight. If the total weight drops below a certain threshold, open a solenoid driven water valve to flow water into the upper tank until the total system weight reaches the "full" level.

Anyone see any holes in the theory?
Sounds good to me.:welcome: to the forum.
 

Tom B

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I also find our Berkey filter always empty. I thought about this auto-fill possibility then searched the web and found this chat. Cool. I have not done this yet, but my idea was the dual float switches with a 12v solenoid valve. The float switches would be wired in a series circuit to the solenoid load. The fist float switch would be low in the bottom tank. You would wire it as normally closed when float is down. The second float switch would be high in the upper tank above the filters and also wired NC when float is down. When water runs low in the bottom tank the lower float switch closes allowing current to flow opening the solenoid which needs to be NC as well. Your water inlet is high in the upper tank and when the tank fills to the top activating the upper tank float switch it kills the circuit. It takes a good while for the Berkey to drip down, so most likely the upper tank will fill before the lower float switch cuts the power. You could also put in a delay timer. I am using one I got for $30 for my soda ash injection system. You can wire this delay timer into the circuit to only allow the solenoid valve to stay open for a desired time. If your water inlet is at a relatively low GPM you can be assured that that GPM will be consistent even when your water pressure is at its lowest. That way you can time pretty accurately how long it will take to fill the upper tank. All of this equipment is about $100. This could elevate the horror of no water left in Berkey syndrome.
 

Junto

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I enjoyed this thread as I also have a Berkey and my wife and I used to have the problem with running out of filtered water.
First, I'll submit that you should consider what Berkey has to offer: Auto-Fill
I haven't yet gone this route.

In our case, extortion worked for me. If my wife didn't insure there was water in the top tank when we went to bed, she'd have to wait for her coffee in the morning, since I'm usually the one who makes the coffee.

Another consideration I don't recall seeing noted is the fact that the top tank inserts into the bottom tank, and the two tanks are sized such that the contents of the top tank will fit into the bottom tank if the bottom tank is empty when the top tank is also empty when filled. An issue surfaces when you just top-off the top tank. You may not overflow the bottom tank, but if the level rises to the point where it covers the interface/lip between the two tanks, you no longer have air-behind-water and you won't have flow (or very little).

Good luck.
Rick
 

68bucks

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I never heard of these filters. What's the advantage over a pressurized RO system other than the water the RO wastes? It doesn't look like they are cheap.
 

Junto

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My understanding is that RO systems remove minerals where a Berkey system does not. (Best to confirm that.)
 

68bucks

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My understanding is that RO systems remove minerals where a Berkey system does not. (Best to confirm that.)
Yes an RO will remove desirable minerals. My system has a re-mineralization stage for that.
 

Tom B

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I enjoyed this thread as I also have a Berkey and my wife and I used to have the problem with running out of filtered water.
First, I'll submit that you should consider what Berkey has to offer: Auto-Fill
I haven't yet gone this route.

In our case, extortion worked for me. If my wife didn't insure there was water in the top tank when we went to bed, she'd have to wait for her coffee in the morning, since I'm usually the one who makes the coffee.

Another consideration I don't recall seeing noted is the fact that the top tank inserts into the bottom tank, and the two tanks are sized such that the contents of the top tank will fit into the bottom tank if the bottom tank is empty when the top tank is also empty when filled. An issue surfaces when you just top-off the top tank. You may not overflow the bottom tank, but if the level rises to the point where it covers the interface/lip between the two tanks, you no longer have air-behind-water and you won't have flow (or very little).

Good luck.
Rick
Junto, the product you are referring to is quite a coincidence. It is sold by Berkey Supply but is actually for ponds and stuff. I called them and they say they get calls all the time about it.
 

Junto

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Wow, I stand corrected. Should have looked more closely. As I drilled a little closer, it wouldn't have worked anyway. However, my extortion idea works.
 

Junto

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Cool. Thanks for posting.
 
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