Water damage prevention

For those who don't know it, we've had extensive water damage. This was caused by a faulty float switch. Apparently these kind of switches tend to fail.

When the water level in the tank drops the float will hang vertically and activate an electrical water gauge, and the tank is filled. When the water reaches some level, the float will float vertically (thanks to a counter-weight) and the gauge will switch off.

In this case, the float didn't switch off the gauge and water flowed out of the tank, eventually flowing out of the machine room, into our bedroom, down the stairs, down the second floor... all the way down to the kitchen. Five floors down!

To prevent this from happening again, I've taken two measures.

1. I adjusted the counter-weight of the floater so that is has less free space.
2. I created an additional float switch in series with the original.

I bought a standard water closet floater and build a switch into it. It works!

There are three problems with the new switch.

1. Safety.
The switch is inside the tank and isn't grounded yet. This means that a 'hot' wire can contact the water. To solve this problem, I'll just add a ground wire. This will mean there will be a third measure against the faulty float. If the ground ever gets activated, the circuit breaker will kick in and safe the day.

2. Contact.
The current switch doesn't maintain a good contact, so the movement of the tank with the water filling it, will trigger the switch before the tank is properly filled. I'll just have to add a better contact surface.

3. Corrosion.
I'm not sure how the copper wire will behave in a 100% humid  environment. I'll have to protect the whole switch water proof.


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