If you need your solar pump to shut off when your stock tank or storage tank is full, we recommend using a float valve, a reverse-action pressure switch and a check valve in order to use pressure as a signal to turn off your pump. Today, Mike walks you through this process beginning to end.
00:00 – Intro
01:02 – Components Needed
02:26 – Wiring
08:51 – Demonstration
09:46 – Troubleshooting Advice
12:16 – Outro Shop pressure switches: https://shop.rpssolarpumps.com/products/reverse-action-pressure-switch-for-solar-pumps-optional-poly-pipe-barb-tee
Learn more about float switches: https://www.rpssolarpumps.com/learn/wiring-a-float-switch-with-rps-solar-pump-system/
Learn more about tank full shutoff options: https://www.rpssolarpumps.com/learn/tank-full-shut-off-options-%E2%8F%AF/
Learn more at RPSsolarpumps.com
if you need your solar pump to shut off when your stock tank or your storage tank is full there’s a couple of different methods we can utilize first we can use a tank full sensor this is our most reliable option but it requires us to run a wire from our controller to our stock tank and hang that sensor in the top of the tank all of our controllers have tank full input so it’s easy to hook that up second most common way is a wireless tank full sensor if you want to use our wireless tank full sensor there’s a link down below where you can check out the details the third method and the one i’m going to go over today is using a float valve a reverse action pressure switch and a check valve in order to use pressure as our signal for when to shut off the pump this is mike with rps solar pumps and today we’re going to go over how to use pressure as a signal to tell our solar pump when to turn off for that we’re going to need our float valve our reverse action pressure switch a check valve and a couple of wires let’s get in there show you how to set this up and show you how it operates so let’s go over what you’re going to need in order to shut off your pump using a pressure switch first you’re going to need a controller that has a tank full input all of our systems come with a tank full input so it’s super easy to wire this up the second thing for your pump you’re going to need a check valve if you don’t already have a check valve installed you’re going to need to pull up the pump and install the check valve it’s required because we’re going to need to be able to store pressure in our line and we can’t have it run back down past the pump the other components you’re going to need are a reverse action pressure switch a float valve and a little bit of wire in order to hook those two up let’s go over our system requirements and the components you’re going to need in order to get this set up first you’re going to need a solar pump controller with a tank full input luckily all of our systems come with a tank full input so it makes it very easy to set up second you’re going to need a check valve at your pump if your pump has a built-in check valve then you already have that covered but if you have one of our helical pumps and you haven’t installed a check valve you’re going to need to install that because we need that to hold the pressure in the system to prevent the water from running back down past the pump next you’re going to need a float valve a reverse action pressure switch and a little bit of wire to hook it all up so we’ve installed our reverse action pressure switch and we’ve also installed our float valve the nice thing about this setup is you can have multiple float valves going to different tanks if you want to do multiple stock tanks off of a single system so let’s head on over we’re going to do our wiring now in this case i’m just using a little bit of our tank full wire the gauge is important if you need to get other wire it doesn’t matter you can use anything from 14 gauge up to 22 gauge you do want it outdoor rated so it’s not gonna degrade in the sun and if you’re doing a long term installation it’s probably best to install this in some conduit so if any animals or critters get in so they don’t chew on the wire so the first thing we need to do is install our float valve in this case you can see we’ve installed it in the side of the stock tank we’ve drilled through and then tightened up the nut there in order to get it positioned there’s multiple different types of float valves what’s important here is we want a float valve when the ball raises or the little float raises that it completely shuts off the water any drips here are going to cause cycling of our pump so it’s very important once this closes it completely seals off and doesn’t drip or leak any water as that is going to cause it to cycle so we have this installed it’s all set you’ll see later on when the water is flowing when the float valve comes up it shuts off all the water and the system shuts off so let’s head over we’re first going to wire this up to our reverse action pressure switch then we’re going to go and wire it to our controller and then test the whole thing out so as you can see here we’ve already installed our reverse action pressure switch let’s talk really quickly about reverse action versus standard action our solar pump contacts that are going to shut the pump off are expecting reverse logic compared to an ac pump so if you’re using this with an ac pump no problem you’re going to use a standard action pressure switch when the pressure is reached the contacts are going to open it’s going to stop the flow of electricity of the pump in our case that’s the complete opposite our controllers go off of a closed contact in order to shut off the pump and that’s called a reverse action pressure switch so when the pressure is reached in our case the contacts are going to close and those closed contacts are going to tell us the tank is full we need to shut the system off these are a little bit harder to find but we have plenty available so if you need one give us a call and we’ll get you set up with a reverse action pressure switch now we’re going to go ahead we’ll pull the cover off here this is the two pole reverse action pressure switch but we’re going to only use one of the poles either the left side or the right side it doesn’t matter which one we have our wire here we’re going to run through the hole and we’re going to hook it up to these two contacts right now there’s no pressure in the system so you’re going to see the contacts are open when the pressure is reached contacts are going to close it’s going to have continuity and that’s going to tell the pump to shut off so let’s get these wired in here both of the wires on the same side my wires have red and blue this does not matter for the controller which one goes to which terminal in either the pressure switch or the controller so let’s get this hooked up real quick
the connection here is super easy to make what i like to do at the end is take a little piece of electrical tape and wrap it around here to hold the wire in place so we’re not pulling on our conductor if you’re going to do a long term installation then i do recommend running a piece of flexible conduit from here over to your controller to prevent the wire from getting chewed on so that’s as simple as the connection is here what i’m going to show you later is when we’re testing our system and raising the floats this is the adjustment screw for the cut on and cut off pressure this is preset at the factory for a turn on at 30 psi in a turn off at 50 psi for some of these that can be a little bit high so we turn this counterclockwise and that’s going to reduce the turn on and turn off pressure of our system so when you get this all set up if you raise the float valve and you’re not seeing these contacts close and you’re not hearing it close then you’re going to want to back off this screw reduce the turn on and turn off pressure until we have it sufficient where the solar pump can turn it off so we’re all set for here now during the troubleshooting phase when we get it all set up i like to leave the cover off makes it really easy to see whether our contacts are open or our contacts are closed now that we have the reverse action pressure switch hooked up let’s go to the other end and we’ll hook up the wire to our controller takes about 30 seconds then we’ll be able to test this system so let’s go ahead and get this wired up to our controller in our case we’re using our tank full inputs labeled com and th if you’re using our pro system you’re going to use the little pigtail that comes out of the connector again like i mentioned polarity doesn’t matter so we can hook the red and blue wire to either of the controller inputs in this case we’re going to run it up through our gland
and into our terminal strip
so how this whole system is going to work is when the float valve raises it’s going to shut off the flow of water the pump’s not going to know that and the pump’s going to keep pumping and the pressure is going to raise in the system once the pressure reaches our turn off point of the reverse action pressure switch the contacts are going to close that’s going to send a signal over to our controller that says we’ve reached the pressure it’s time to turn off the pump and our controller is going to ramp the pump down now it’s going to sit there with pressure in the system until say the livestock or your horses come over drink some water the float valve is going to lower and water is going to start flowing into our tank that’s going to lower the pressure in the system when the pressure lowers past our turn-on point for the reverse action pressure switch the contacts are going to open again the signal is going to be sent to the controller that the tank is empty we need to start pumping again water is going to start flowing once our pump ramps up over a couple of seconds with the soft start and once the water level rises back up the same thing is going to happen over again the pump’s going to shut off let’s go ahead i’ll show you how that works right here with our demonstration we’ve got it all wired let’s flip the system on and see how it actually works
currently our contacts are open so that’s going to tell our pump to start pumping it’s going to ramp up to speed take about 10 seconds to get to full flow and then once it fills up we’re gonna see
so there we have it the float raised the reverse action pressure switch closed the contacts because the pressure was reached and the tank full light turned on our controller shutting off the system so this is a very simple and reliable setup in order to shut off your controller when your tank is located significant distances from your well now there are two main aspects of troubleshooting i want to mention here one is like i said at the beginning if the reverse action pressure switch is set too high it’s set at 30 50. the system might not be able to generate enough pressure in order to shut off your pump in that case we’re going to want to go counter clockwise with the middle screw and that’s going to back off and lower the turn on and turn off pressures in my case i had to go about five turns and i have it set around 10 to 15 psi for the turn on and then 25 to 30 psi for the turn off the beginning i just couldn’t generate that 50 psi especially because we kind of have a hazy day here today so if you make that adjustment up front just raise up your float see if your system turns off if it doesn’t turn off lower your float make that adjustment and just do that multiple times until you get reliable turn on and turn off the second thing i want to mention here is your float valve and possible cycling of the system so you want a float valve that turns off very reliably and shuts off the flow of water completely that’ll prevent cycling in the system if you have a float valve maybe an older one with the gasket worn out that’s leaking that’s going to cause cycling of the system now it is normal when the float valve is closing to have possibly one or two instances of system cycling with our controller that doesn’t matter at all our controller always ramps up and ramps down the pump so it’s not going to reduce the lifetime of your pump if you’re using at the ac pump you definitely don’t want that turn on and turn off to happen when the float valve is closing if you’re finding some reliability issues with cycling either because you have a leak somewhere or your float valve’s just not closing crisply then you can add a small pressure tank here of anywhere from one to five gallons that small pressure tank is going to act as a buffer for the system and so any small leaks aren’t going to cause a significant change in pressure it will greatly reduce the cycling when it turns off and if you have a small drip it’s going to help prevent cycling from that small drip but overall these are very reliable systems about as reliable as our wireless system you don’t want to mess with all this like i said we have a wireless system that just wirelessly communicates the tank full status back to your controller works with ac pumps work with solar pumps if you want to just go with that system give us a call or check it out online but otherwise if you want to use the float valves and go to multiple tanks this is a great option for it this is mike with rps solar pumps if you need these components give us a call at 888-637-4493 or visit us at rps solarpumps.com
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