Here’s a simple water-level indicator for overhead tanks that uses three LEDs (LED1, LED2, and LED3) to indicate minimum, middle, and maximum water levels in the tank.
The sensor probes comprise A, B, C, and D, where A is the common probe and B, C, and D are meant for sensing the minimum, middle, and maximum levels, respectively. When water in the tank touches sensor wires A and B both, a small current passes from A to B through water and to the base of transistor T1 via resistor R1. As a result, transistor T1 conducts, causing LED1 to glow. Similarly, when water touches sensor C, LED2 glows to indicate that the water has reached the middle level. Finally, when water touches sensor D, LED3 glows to indicate the maximum level of water. Thus all the three LEDs glow when the tank is full. At this stage, the motor should be switched off manually.
The circuit can be easily assembled on a general-purpose PCB and enclosed in a wooden box. The three LEDs should be mounted on the front panel of the box with a spacing of about 4 cm between them. Short lengths of four 18 SWG copper wires may be used for sensor probes. For the common sensor A, a bare copper wire of 18 SWG should be used. For sensors B, C, and D three single-core PVC wires should be used, with their insulation removed to a length of one centimetre towards the ends. All the four wires may be tied around a 12.5mm dia. PVC tube with nylon thread at different heights, without touching each other (not shown in figure).
The sensor probes should be kept in the tank vertically and connected to the main circuit using four flexible PVC wires of different colours.
The circuit is powered by a battery eliminator or a 6V battery and kept near the motor switchboard. The current drawn by the circuit, when all the LEDs glow, is up to 50 mA, which is less than the current drawn by a 6V bed-lamp.
The circuit costs around Rs 50.