Why Try the FOGRod

We installed the FOGRod system @ Osteen Lift Station for a trial basis. It has been in place for 6 months, with no issues. This station was selected based on the large amount of grease. The system installed easily with no reconfiguration to our back panel, since the control module is relatively compact.

Based on the success of the test, and the cost of the system, we are in process of installing on the remaining stations. Additionally we are making program changes to our telemetry system to monitor station levels.

Mike Williams
Town of Callahan

Simplicity – How it Works

FOGRod installed in well

FOGRod installed in well

The FOGRod hangs in the wastewater and connects to the LIT in the control panel with its 11-core cable. The LIT applies a small voltage to each metal contact on the FOGRod and looks for current flow. When a FOGRod contact is under water, current flows to ground. When a contact is dry, no current flows. It’s like closing a lightswitch – but in this case wastewater completes the circuit.

The LIT has 10 relays corresponding to the 10 contacts on the FOGRod. Pick the relays you want to use and wire them into your PLC, your pump controller – or even directly into your starters. If you are replacing floats, just unhook the float wires and connect the LIT relays into the same points.

LIT installed in control panel

LIT installed in control panel – Click to expand

It’s like having 10 floats, but you just pick the ones you want to use.

The LIT also has a 4-20mA output that increases in 1mA steps for each FOGRod contact. So you can replace pressure transducers, ultrasonics and bubblers. If you are replacing floats you can wire the 4-20mA into your telemetry system and get remote level.

Failsafe in the Worst Grease

The FOGRod has no moving parts, no electronics and no sensors – so there’s nothing in the wetwell to tangle up, get stuck in position, or fail.

But what about grease buildup? Grease does build up, especially around the lead pump start. Hang the FOGRod in the turbulent part of the well near the inflow. The grease is all broken up and when it builds up on the FOGRod it doesn’t completely isolate the metal
contacts from the wastewater.

Two months grease buildup - FOGRod still working fine

Two months grease buildup – FOGRod still working fine

Suppose the grease buildup gets so bad that it completely isolates the lead pump contact from the wastewater – the lead pump won’t start. The level keeps rising, but when it gets to the contact above (which is cleaner) the LIT registers that level.

The LIT now activates all the level relays up to this point – so the lead pump starts, just a little later. And the LIT knows there is a problem because there is a “dry” contact below a “wet” contact so it activates a fault relay and a fault light comes on. The fault relay can be wired into telemetry.

That warning tells you it needs cleaning – it’s not usually an urgent alarm, but you know when the grease buildup is starting to affect the device. The FOGRod is easy to clean. Just pull it up by the cable through the tough “squeegee”, the cleaning pad that is held in the mounting bracket.

Mounting bracket with cleaning pad

Mounting bracket with cleaning pad

Compare that with cleaning floats. Transducer “cleaning” often results in an (expensive) return to factory.

The whole solution – the LIT which goes in the control panel, the FOGRod which hangs in the well with 50ft cable, the mounting bracket & cleaning pad – costs $980 delivered to your door.

With 100ft cable, the delivered price is $1,080.

Ragging and Normal Grease Buildup

What about rags? This is a major issue (usually) for conductive level devices. The FOGRod/LIT has some patented technology to deal with rags and buildup.

First, the metal contacts are not one above the other, they are offset by 120 degrees. This makes it much less likely to short two contacts with rags. More important – the LIT checks for two different contacts being activated too quickly. When this is detected, the LIT starts a 3-minute timer and holds out all of the higher level relays from activating until the end of the timer period. This prevents short cycling. At the end of the 3 minutes the Clean FOGRod alarm latches on the LIT, giving a visual alarm and activating a fault relay. You can wire this into telemetry so you will know there is a problem.

Normal grease buildup eventually can have the same effect of “shorting out” adjacent contacts, starting the lead pump earlier. The fault monitoring described above will prevent short cycling in the same way.

This video shows the functionality:

Cable Breaks

The FOGRod cable has 11 cores but only 10 contacts. One of the cores is a “loopback” test for the top contact. If the cable is broken (e.g., from rats eating the cable) the LIT will register an alarm and activate a fault relay. The same happens if the cable insulation is stripped off in the cable conduit.

Ease of Installation & Warranty

The FOGRod has a 10-year warranty. The LIT has a 2-year warranty – extendable to 5-years for another $100.

You can replace your floats or your transducer (or ultrasonic or bubbler) without any changes to your control logic or PLC – no rewiring or reprogramming needed. It’s a very simple install.

Ask for a demo, or request a free 35-day trial. See for yourself why the FOGRod is so popular with collection system guys.

How tough is the FOGRod?

In the five minute video below, you see the FOGRod being thrown up into the air, landing on concrete…

FOGRod-thrown-1-vidextract

FOGRod-thrown-2-vidextract

Being bent…
FOGRod-bent-vidextract

And still working at the end…for those who want to skip to the throwing part, it’s around 2:45 into the video:

That’s one reason why there’s a 10 year warranty on the FOGRod. Another reason is the AL6XN stainless steel used for the FOGRod contacts, much higher grade than 316.

Right click and “Save As” to copy the high res version of the video.

How bright are the LEDs in the Level Indicator Transmitter (LIT)?

In the video above, the LIT is shown in the bright Californian sun. Here is a frame from the video of the LIT when the level is at 90%:

FOGRod-LIT-LEDs-in-sunlight-vidextract


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