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DIY Automatic Tank or Sump Top Off

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What you will need - DIY (Do It Yourself) Automatic Top Off System
Auto Top Off

Auto Top Off

Graphic by Stan Hauter
Here is a reliable automatic top off system which is simple to install with only a couple of tools. This Do It Yourself automatic top off system can take less than an hour and can cost less than $50. This system feeds filtered water to the tank/sump in small amounts as it is needed, reducing water parameter swings.

This DIY Automatic Top Off System consists of a saddle valve to tap into an existing cold water pipe (usually found under the sink in the kitchen or bathroom), a length of 1/4" plastic (NOT copper) tubing from the saddle valve down through the floor, under the house, then up through the floor under or behind the aquarium. A float valve is installed either in the tank or in the sump. A tap water filter is installed in the water line at either the aquarium or saddle valve end.

Tools needed:

  • Portable Drill
  • 5/16" Long Shaft Drill Bit
  • 7/16" Drill Bit
  • Scissors
  • Adjustable Wrench  (or Box End, Open End Wrenches)
  • Phillips Screw Driver

Supplies Needed:

  • Caulking
  • Wire Staples
  • Stiff Wire
  • Tape

Parts needed:

  • Saddle Valve
  • Tap Water filter
  • Float Valve
  • Electric Float Switch
  • Solenoid Valve
  • 1/4' Flexible Hose

The Auto Top Off graphic above shows the basic set up of the Auto Top Off System with a second Electric Float Switch and solenoid installed as a fail safe to prevent sump overflow.

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