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Got an electical question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dave54, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. dave54

    dave54 Smoking Fanatic

    Can I hook up a light dimmer switch to a fish tank pump to controll the pump?

       Any input would be helpful.

          Thanks' Dave
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    never have tried it but  i dont see why you couldn't do it . it may shorten the life of the pump but not much.

     The old style dimmers actually dropped the voltage by resistance. this would not be good for the pump. but the new ones cycle on and off many times a second and allways have 110 volts.
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Just a thought - why not leave the pump alone and install a pincher type valve on the air hose

    I do not know cause I have never tired it but it works with wate in aquariums
  4. what I did with my fish tank was to install a 1 in 2 out air valve.  use the second valve as a bleed off to control the amount of air.  this doesnt increase the pressure on the air pump and I would worry about a lower voltage burning out thoes little motors.

  5. brokenwing

    brokenwing Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Dave I have a filter on my 15 gallon tank, and it was to powerful, so the boys on another forum told me to hook a dimmer switch to it, so I would not see why it would be a problem.
  6. dave54

    dave54 Smoking Fanatic

    thanks guys.

      Picked up a vavle from the pet store and trying it but I still might give the

    dimmer switch a shot'

     (working on a cold smoker ,pictures coming soon)
  7. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    No! Do not plug a vibratory aquarium air pump into a dimmer.

    The little air pump is just a vibrator that presents an inductive load to the dimmer and most dimmers don't like that sort of load at all. They want to see a resistive load to be happy. It will damage either the dimmer or the pump or both, possibly in a spectacular fashion. 

    The magic smoke that all electrical stuff depends on to function properly will escape and stink up the joint.  
  8. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    That would be the preferred method of achieving a variable air control. You could be an engineer.
  9. dave54

    dave54 Smoking Fanatic

    What about using resistors then, would that work?

  10. brokenwing

    brokenwing Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    that my fault, Dave i thought you were trying to slow down an aquarium filter, not the air pump.  If you want to slow down the air flow, get a gang valve, and you can adjust the air flow.  That is what I have.
  11. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    In a word, no. The load is still a coil and adding resistance is just going to starve the pump of current. Just do as the others suggested and put a simple valve on the air tube. You can buy them at the same place you buy aquarium pumps and they only cost pennies.  
  12. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Add a "T" or "Y" to your hose and a valve to control air flow.  The other end of the "T or Y' will dump the air and not hurt the pump.

  13. dave54

    dave54 Smoking Fanatic