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Got an electical question

dave54

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

   Any input would be helpful.

      Thanks' Dave
 

eman

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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.
 

scarbelly

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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
 

stircrazy

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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.

Steve
 

brokenwing

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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.
 

dave54

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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)
 

dick foster

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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.  
 

dick foster

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

dave54

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What about using resistors then, would that work?

 
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.  
 

brokenwing

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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.
 

dick foster

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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.  
 

tjohnson

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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.

TJ
 

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