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I want to read in the values to an arduino analog input.

The approaches I have been looking at are:

1.) A ultrasonic distance sensor; my concerns are that tehse are not usually waterproof.

2.) A pressure transducer; these tend to be very pricy.

3.) Some kind of level switch which provides digital input (Is water level here: yes/no?)

Would anyone happen to have some advice on what sort of sensor would be good for the application of reading in the tank level and using the information in a sketch?

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    Options 4 & 5: Resistive measurement between two probes (can cause electrolysis) and Capacative measurement between two insulated probes (harder to do but safer and can be used with corrosive / dangerous liquids). – Majenko Mar 18 '17 at 10:07
  • You may find Robotics Stackexchange useful for this question. (If you post there, delete here) – James Waldby - jwpat7 Mar 18 '17 at 13:12
  • what's best to you depends on your objectives / criteria. a much better way for you to ask the question would be what are the pros / cons of various way of measuring tank levels? then you can judge for yourself which is best for you in that particular application. – dannyf Mar 18 '17 at 13:18
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There are some ultrasonic sensors that are specifically designed for this very application. I have used something simlar as a water level sensor, and they seem to be reliable. The sensor that I used was from MaxBotix, and had a range of up to 5m, resolution of 1mm, and both analog and serial data output. Interfacing it with an Arduino was very easy.

Have a look at This article for details

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1.) A ultrasonic distance sensor; my concerns are that tehse are not usually waterproof.

Ultrasonic rays will ping through water till it transfer back from the bottom of tank. So it can not provide you the level of water.

2.) A pressure transducer; these tend to be very pricy.

Yes it will be very pricy.

3.) Some kind of level switch which provides digital input (Is water level here: yes/no?)

This option will be best and more reliable. You can use some water level indicator probes or magnetic float switch.

Probes/Electrode

When electrode is in contact with water it will pass current through it and give indication to system or controller.

Magnetic Float Switch

Magnetic float switch having magnet under water proof enclosure. When water level reach upto Float switch then circuit will be close and will give level signal to system.

In above to switches magnetic float switch will be best option. Because if water having High TDS then there will be erosion of electrode or element of TDS will gether around electrode and result in conductivity loss of rode.

And this is not possible in case of Magnetic Float switch as it is under water proof enclosure. It is also cheap solution.

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  • You are mistaken about the ultrasonic. While a transducer well coupled to the water will measure its depth, one placed in air a distance from it will measure to the reflection off the surface, readily measuring the unused capacity. A return that's gone through the water/air interface twice would likely be too weak for the simple ones to detect, and besides they report only the first meaningful return. Similarly, with an immersible sensor you might even be able to get a reading from the floor looking up through the water to the surface, though it's not clear that would be worth the trouble. – Chris Stratton Mar 18 '17 at 17:41

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