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Hey Folks,

Does anyone know if there are some plans/designs for a cutoff in case of low level of water in your FT?

The wind blew the plastic into my pipes and the pipe came off the GB and pumped all my water out. This is the second time this has happened, so I glued my pipes this time. However, I would like to know if anyone has installed a cutoff in case of low water level and how they did it.

Thanks for any help,


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Is it possible to elevate the pump off the bottom of the fish tank? Then if a pipe comes off you would only loose part of the water and the oafish would just be a little crowded at the bottom when you get back to them.
This is the reason I use the SLO (solids lift overflow) design for the fish tank and put the pump in a sump, or as is the case for my current system I have the pump under a floating raft - too cheap to pay for a sump :)

Hi Bryan,

Square D has these switches for low level or overflow. Works with a float ball an arm. Simple and cost effective but reliable.

Thanks for the replies. I believe for now I will raise the pump until I can figure out a way to mount a float switch. I may try to see if there are any examples on YouTube . Thanks again for the responses.

I don't glue my pipes anymore, I drill an 1/8" hole and put in a dry wall screw into the fittings to hold things in place.

I also have had the stunned feeling of finding my pond drained.  Luckily, the pump did not take the last few inches of water and the fish were sucking wind from one side.       I have since lifted my pump up so the water level can never get below 6" in my 600 gallon in-ground pond.  The original pump for my system was set up with a switch for a sump to keep basements dry.  The switch would shut off the system until I shook it to get things going again.  I finally screwed it up above the water level so it didn't work anymore as it was too unreliable.

I have also added a water level float to the system that feeds directly from the city water supply to keep the system topped up.  The main line fills a barrel for out gassing and the float in the pond calls for gravity fed water from the out gas barrel.

hope this helps,


This is what I use and wouldn't run without it:

As an example  Click here for more examples

Yep, my pump has one of those prewired, had to shake it every couple of days...mine is not reliable, your experience may be different

Hi All,

Electrical float switches may malfunction over time. I've looked at simple mercury filled switches, and this mechanically activated one from square d. As long as you provide protection from debris getting in the way of the float arm, these type of systems may offer an advantage.

Stick with the electric float switch (industry standard) as posted above.
I wouldn't be suggesting "Mercury" filled switches in any food production system...

There's a bunch of different ways to skin that cat...and as Ryan notes, mercury filled mechanical switches are just not appropriate in an AP application IMO...check out this thread for some other ideas/options...

Here's another potential product. Depending on how catastrophic low/no (or even high) water levels might be for your particular system...It might be a good idea to have some redundancy. Say, a float switch and an alarm device, like some of the electronic level sensors posted...or if your a bit of a tech geek the 'secondary alarm sensor' could also be wired to shut a pump off in case of primary float switch failure etc...At the very least it's a real good idea to have a back up pump sitting around in the shed :)

My pipes are glued together (never was able to stop all the leaks without it), except the pipes in my tank which connect to the pump are held with screw only - no glue.

My system gravity-drains back to the tank, which is at the lowest point.  I never thought about pipes being kicked apart but that could happen.  I may back up the glue with screws.

It's amazing what can happen that you didn't foresee.   

I have had at least 4 occasions in the past year when I probably would have suffered pump damage (if not total failure) due to clogged FT outflows, evaporation, etc. if not for my float sw. This type (pictured above) is generally used in a very hostile septic tank environment for pumping up to a field line. They are designed to handle all sorts of crap (and why they are so simple) and still function day in and day out turning that 2 hp motor on and off (not just a "safety" switch normally). In a clear water sump like my set up I would expect them to last pretty much forever as they are extremely rugged and rarely actually do anything.

More depends upon how they are placed than anything else. Nothing we deal with in AP should ever interfere with one of these. (I mean think about it) I had dealt with many a septic system as an electrician over the years and these are real troopers. Can't remember a failure. It was always a worn out pump but we usually replaced both anyway as a precaution. And that's where ours came from. Another freebie

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