Write Up Wednesday: The automation trust factor
You trust your tank’s seals to not leak. You trust your tank’s stand to hold the weight of the tank. When you automate anything on your saltwater tank, you are trusting the equipment to do some task for you.
These tasks can be as simple as turning on/off a light or pump, or as complex as turning off several pieces of equipment and notifying you if a leak is detected.
Simple or complex, low-tech or high-tech, in any instance, you have to decide how much trust you are willing to place in your tank’s automation. I call this the “automation trust factor”.
If you have a high automation trust factor, then your tank’s automation will be complex and highly centralized. Just because you have a high automation trust factor that doesn’t mean that your automation has to be high-tech. There are plenty of low-tech tank automation methods such as drip lines, float valves, etc that you can use if you fear technology yet still have a high automation trust factor.
A low automation trust factor can also be high or low-tech. If you don’t trust equipment to do jobs for you, you’ll look for fail-safe equipment as well as put multiple back-up systems in place as you’re confident the primary system will fail. For example, I never plumb a RODI system directly into a float valve that is located in a sump. These float valves will fail and when they do, the RODI system will run until the sump overflows and your saltwater tank becomes a freshwater tank. Even though a float valve is a low-tech piece of equipment and I still don’t trust it.
Whenever I design a tank’s automation system, I stay on the low to medium automation trust factor spectrum as I’m doing a balancing act. My clients want systems that are as automated as possible (high automation trust factor) and I’m constantly looking for ways to make the automation fail-safe, easy to understand all while not becoming overly complex (low automation trust factor). The simple solution is not always the most trustworthy and the complex solution is not always the answer. It’s a balancing act and in the Chemistry and Tank Automation Program I show you how much risk you should be taking.Browse the Store! Questions?