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Thread: ATO Programming

  1. #1
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    ATO Programming

    Hello All,

    Please see program below for my ATO pump with switch actions via I/O breakout box and (2) float switches:

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Sw1 CLOSED Then ON
    If Sw1 OPEN Then OFF
    If Sw2 OPEN Then OFF
    When On > 003:00 Then OFF
    Defer 150:00 Then ON

    Both float switches are oriented downward as the switches close when bottomed out. I would like the ATO pump to turn on when SW1 closes, turn off when SW1 opens, and SW2 is safety high level. The system shall only run every 3 hours and the ATO pump shall shut off if running more than 3 minutes.

    Does this program look ok?

  2. #2
    Frequent Visitor Todd's Avatar
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    The Set OFF is redundant since you have sw1 controlling both ON and OFF conditions. Also, the 150 minute Defer seems excessive. I suspect you will be bumping up against the 3 minute limit of the When command. Your switch will want to add water, but will delay over two hours, and then only be allowed to fill for 3 minutes before it locks out.

  3. #3
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    That defer will bite you. I would do this instead if you want filling to be limited to every 2.5 hours.

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Sw1 CLOSED Then ON
    If Sw2 OPEN Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 003:00 Then OFF
    Min Time 150:00 Then OFF



    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, but please explain the issues with the original defer statement and your reasoning for the 10 second defer on/off you show in your programming.

  5. #5
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    Thanks. The 3 minute time limit and 150 minute defer was originally set as the ATO typically runs for 2-1/2 mins every 3 hours.

  6. #6
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    I was also having issues with the TAO pump running and overfilling to my high level sensor causing my skimmer to go crazy. This happens about once every 2 weeks. I've cleaned the sensors and checked everything else with no luck. This is the reason I added the 3 min time limit.

  7. #7
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    The Defer statements essentially make sure that the condition that would turn on (or off) the outlet are present for the required time before the outlet actually turns on or off. For example, if the switch is bouncing up and down a bit, "Defer 000:10 Then ON" would mean the switch needs to be continuously closed for 10 seconds before the outlet would turn on. Likewise, "Defer 000:10 Then OFF" means either Sw1 or Sw2 would need to be open for 10 seconds before the outlet would turn off.

    In contrast, "Min Time 150:00 Then OFF" means the outlet will stay off for at least 150 minutes before it can turn on again. (see this thread for a description of the 'Defer' and 'Min Time' statements)

    It's good to base your programming statements based on expected usage, but be careful that you don't allow enough room for normal variations. For example, it's -16º F in Minneapolis right now, so the air is bone dry and my ATO runs about twice as much as it does in the summer when it's humid and warmer. If I were to program my ATO limits based on my July usage, my sump would probably be dry by the end of the week!

    I don't know the exact configuration of your sump, but if you are having issues with the skimmer overflowing, I would suggest moving the upper sensor down to a level at which the skimmer will not overflow. You can then add the line "If Sw2 open then OFF" to your skimmer outlet programming.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksoje00 View Post
    Thanks, but please explain the issues with the original defer statement and your reasoning for the 10 second defer on/off you show in your programming.
    Defer applies to the whole outlet. So that switch will not trigger the outlet for the entire defer period.


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  9. #9
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    Thanks to all for the replies and explanations. I'm going to try the program below and keep an eye on it and will let you know how it goes.

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Sw1 CLOSED Then ON
    If Sw2 OPEN Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 003:00 Then OFF
    Min Time 150:00 Then OFF

  10. #10
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    All - I believe there are issues within this program. Ever since I have added the statement using the "When" command, the ATO runs and then switches to OFF. I have to manually go back in to Fusion and switch the ATO outlet back to Auto. I believe the statement above switches the ATO outlet to OFF after 3 minutes.

    Thoughts and further advice please.

  11. #11
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Lose the when line or make it larger like 10 minutes temporarily. Get a good gauge after 2 or 3 days on the length of time it takes to fill each time. Double that value and use that in place of 3 minutes.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  12. #12
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    Ditto - what's probably happening is that you're forcing it to wait 2 ½ hours between top offs and then it takes more than 3 minutes to fill 2 ½ hours worth of evaporation. After waiting 150 minutes, the controller fills for 3 minutes then dutifully shuts off, just as you told it to (hence my comments about programming too 'tight.') Since you have this timed, you can actually see what's happening. Turn the outlet on and watch it run, then set a timer and come back in 149 minutes and watch what happens.

  13. #13
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    Thanks guys - I've chosen to remove the "When" statement and will let you know how things go. I just did a water change and some other reactor maintenance that slightly affected the water level in the small 25G system. I'll give it a few days and report back. Thanks again as your advice is appreciated.

  14. #14
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    The only issue now is that the ATO now stops when Sw2 is open. I've added the statement so that the ATO shuts down when Sw1 is open.

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Sw1 CLOSED Then ON
    If Sw1 OPEN Then OFF
    If Sw2 OPEN Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 003:00 Then OFF
    Min Time 150:00 Then OFF

    I cannot move the 2 float switches closer together due to the mounting device.

    Do you see any issue with using just Sw1 for level control and Sw2 for high level safety?

  15. #15
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    That line is redundant, which is why I removed it in the code I gave earlier. The set OFF handles the sw1 open condition.

    Double check your connections and make sure the float is changing states when you push it up or down (keep in mind fusion updates like every 30 seconds so you have to hold it for a bit). You might have a short in the way you connected it or it might be too close to a magnet and is holding the reed closed

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  16. #16
    Frequent Visitor Todd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksoje00 View Post
    Do you see any issue with using just Sw1 for level control and Sw2 for high level safety?
    That was how I assumed you were using it.
    If you are using actual float switches, they can be reversed without installing them upside down if needed. Remove the retaining clip at the bottom, remove the float, invert the float and re-assemble. However, the Apex switches default to OPEN when no switch is present. Therefore, I prefer to have the outlet fail safe when the switch is disconnected.
    If sw2 is causing it to shut off too soon, it needs to be moved farther apart rather than closer.

  17. #17
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    Hello all and thanks for your replies. Living in the Midwest, we've had extreme weather for the past week which has been effecting power and internet and ultimately effecting my Apex system. In the sort times I've been able to monitor the ATO, it seems to be working well using the program below and controlling water level from Sw1 only and using Sw2 for sump high level alarm and emergency shutdown. I'm logging ATO run times and the ATO pump sees to now trend towards running ~every 1-1/2 to 2 hours and for 1-2 minutes.
    And hopefully my last question is - should I remove the redundant statement from program of SET OFF?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Current program:

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Sw1 CLOSED Then ON
    If Sw1 OPEN Then OFF
    If Sw2 OPEN Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 003:00 Then OFF
    Min Time 150:00 Then OFF

  18. #18
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Remove sw1 open not set off to get rid of the redundancy. Code should always start with set so you don't inadvertently create a hysteresis that isn't wanted later.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  19. #19
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    This has been done, thanks

  20. #20
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    And the ATO system is running flawlessly and controlling water level perfectly! Thanks again all!!!

  21. #21
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    Hello again everyone. Just an update after the ATO has been running for a while and need further advice. The ATO pump outlet shuts off completely a few times a day. This was due to the WHEN ON time statement of 3:00 mins. I tried extending the WHEN ON time to 3:30 and decreasing the MIN time from 150 mins to 120 mins and didn't seem to help. Would you suggest increasing the WHEN ON time to say 4:00 mins? Thanks.

    Set OFF
    If Sw1 CLOSED Then ON
    If Sw2 OPEN Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 003:30 Then OFF
    Min Time 120:00 Then OFF

  22. #22
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    What appears to be happening is the ATO is running longer than normal for some reason. When you check the log, is there anything else different going on? Is there any pattern to when it happens?

    Either significantly more evaporation is occurring intermittently (pretty unlikely,) or there is something else that is causing the water level in the return section of your sump to vary more than normal. Is your overflow working properly? If there is a snail or some other critter obstructing it, it could cause decreased return to the sump causing the ATO to run longer than normal.

  23. #23
    Frequent Visitor Todd's Avatar
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    The WHEN command should be used as a safety condition, not normal condition. If you keep bumping up against it and the level in the sump is not abnormally high, like above SW2, then increase the time. Decreasing the Min Time amount would help also by letting it run more frequently.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksoje00 View Post
    Hello again everyone. Just an update after the ATO has been running for a while and need further advice. The ATO pump outlet shuts off completely a few times a day. This was due to the WHEN ON time statement of 3:00 mins. I tried extending the WHEN ON time to 3:30 and decreasing the MIN time from 150 mins to 120 mins and didn't seem to help. Would you suggest increasing the WHEN ON time to say 4:00 mins? Thanks.

    Set OFF
    If Sw1 CLOSED Then ON
    If Sw2 OPEN Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 003:30 Then OFF
    Min Time 120:00 Then OFF
    We would need to see your outlet logs to know for sure. The rule of thumb I use for when timing is to take the longest run in a 24 hour test period and double it.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Sw1 CLOSED Then ON
    If Sw1 OPEN Then OFF
    If Sw2 OPEN Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:10 Then OFF
    When On > 003:00 Then OFF
    Min Time 150:00 Then OFF

    That line is redundant, which is why I removed it in the code I gave earlier. The set OFF handles the sw1 open condition.

    Double check your connections and make sure the float is changing states when you push it up or down (keep in mind fusion updates like every 30 seconds so you have to hold it for a bit). You might have a short in the way you connected it or it might be too close to a magnet and is holding the reed closed

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.
    Probably obvious but, because of the "set off" command, when any of the "if" commands are not true, the outlet will stay off or revert to back off, correct? This is why the statement is redundant? Defer, Min Time & when on commands aside.

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