Softener low salt level


(Beckwith) #1

I need to be alerted when the softener salt level is low. My plan is to set a moisture sensor on top of the salt after I fill the softener. When I refill the salt the next time, I take out the sensor, pour the salt and place the sensor back on top of the salt. If I don’t get to it in time, the sensor will eventually settle into the brine and trigger an aleart.

I have one of these already and it indicates it will float. It also recommends caulking the screws.

Will this moisture sensor handle the salt water? Will this idea work? Any other ideas?


Detect when salt level in water softener is low?
(Andrew Urman) #2

@beckwith ooohhhh thats clever. You should for sure caulk the screw holes. Not sure how the moisture sensor would handle that constant salt though.


(Dave) #3

Good idea. I don’t have a softener, so I’m speculating. Is the salt on which you’ll rest the sensor completely dry? It seems to me that salt pulls moisture out of the air in sufficiently wet environments, so I’m wondering if the salt will always be a bit wet, enough to trigger the alarm. In that case, just build some tiny legs to keep it off the salt, until the legs sink into the brine.

If you get one of the Utilitech sensors, it has a long wire that leads to the contacts. Build a little table for the contacts, and the sensor itself never has to touch the salt or brine. Bonus: if the contacts do eventually corrode, just splice in a new wire attached to a block of wood with a couple screws in it to serve as your new contacts.


(Beckwith) #4

It worked, sort of…

I got the push notification today. However, after I retrieved the sensor an hour later, it was water logged. Seems the water came right through the seams. It wouldn’t take much for Fortrezz to design it with proper seals but for me to do it now is impractical.

I opened it up, removed the batteries, washed off the brine, dried it out and buttoned it up. Guess what? It still works! I didn’t even have to re-pair it.

The concept is doable, though. A softener can get damaged if you let the salt level get too low. Now I can sleep better knowing I’ll be warned if I forget.

I’ll have to try the fibaro waterproof unit when they are available:


(Matt) #5

Unless someone has come up with a better idea. I recently purchased the Wireless Tag hub and a few sensors. I’m thinking of getting one of these http://wirelesstags.myshopify.com/products/long-range-water-moisture-sensor to monitor my salt level. I figure dip it in or spray it with one of the many available rubber type water proofing liquids available. At $21 it’s worth a try.

I’ve thought about getting a couple more for indoor plant soil moisture monitoring. Could easily, if it works water proof them for outdoor use as well.


(Wallace McClure) #6

Hmm… my parents had one of those type water softeners.

Could you build a piston float type sensor, using a door open/ closed switch?

Drill a small hole in the top of the salt compartment (the old one my parents had was thick plastic). Put a rod through – flat plate or float on the bottom, and magnetic type door sensor on the top. The “closed” sensor goes on the top of the salt compartment. Think of it as the capital letter “I”. As the salt is used, the rod sinks – and eventually the mag sensor comes close enough to the closed sensor to trigger it.

Keeps all the hardware out of the salt and moisture. You might need a sleeve to ensure the depth rod stays straight and doesn’t rotate.


(Matt) #7

I had thought of this as well.


#8

Multi sensor and a paint stirrer.


(Dan) #9

That’s a very ingenious solution! Thank you for sharing.