Full Indicators for Cyclone Collection Barrels

It's nice to be notified when the barrel under your cyclone is full. Here are ways to accomplish that. June 15, 2014

I have a Torit cyclone dust collector with a 55 gallon drum receptacle and the tall skinny 4-bag filter arrangement shown in the photo below. I use metal and cardboard drums, but when they are full the filter bags load up, reduce the overall suction, and are way more trouble to empty than the barrel. I'm looking for ideas for an indicator light or limit switch that would prevent this.

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Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor G:
I use plastic 55 gallon drums from a local creamery. Cleaning solution originally came in them. They are an opaque white color. You can actually see through them enough to see the dust level. No indicator needed. Check with a local food industry to see if you can get empty barrels.

From contributor J:
Level sensor is the term you want to search for. I know there are mechanical and optical versions available, and even some DIY versions.

From Contributor M:
Try products called bindicators. They are sensors that will shut down the system or give a warning that the level is high. Some are vibrating wands while others are light beams.

From the original questioner:
I'll look for some of the opaque barrels, but I also like the Onieda product.

From Gary Katz, forum technical advisor::
I have the indicator from Oneida and it works great. I just installed it a few months ago. The blue light actually flashes so you can't miss it when the drum is full. I needed something like that bad. My cyclone was filling up because I never knew when the drum was full.

From contributor A:
I use the 60 gallon fiber barrels too and what I do is cut a 1"x6" hole in the top of the barrel where I want it to be considered full the adhesive 1/8 - 1/16" clear plexiglass to the inside of the drum over the hole the face the hole towards the shop and monitor it from across the shop. I currently run a two drum setup one in use and one on standby.