Measuring water level in a tank -- help with the parts list

I’m new to Arduino and electronics in general, and one of the projects I’d like to take on is building a simple sensor that’ll alert me when water reaches a certain level in a tank.

I found this great little tutorial:

But there isn’t much of a parts list. I was wondering if any of you more experienced people could let me know what I need to buy to get this going. As a beginner I’m not even sure what to Google to find out, and the comments section was of no help at all.



Google "water level sensor" for the options -- there are very many (inside/outside the tank, contact/noncontact, float switch, pressure etc.). Once you have decided on the type, come back here.

Whoops, it actually does recommend a sensor, in this paragraph:

"We will use the open source Arduino hardware device, an ultrasonic Parallax sensor to measure the height of the water, a 16 x 2 LCD display with Hitachi HD44780 driver and a buzzer that is activated when the level exceeds the threshold."

So I can just buy a Parallax sensor from their website. I'm still unsure about the 16 x 2 LCD display. Do I just get a generic 16 x 2 and install the Hitachi driver on it? What sort of buzzer should I get?

Thanks again!


Hello tfowler,

The Hitachi driver is actually the "chip" that interfaces with the LCD itself. It's not like a "Windows Driver" which is a piece of software.

The HD44780 is a very common one and you can find on most 16x2 LCD, like this one:

For the Buzzer, I don't think it matters, just get anything that runs from 3 to 5 volts (or even wider voltage range) and you should be fine.

Another thing is the ultrasonic sensor, depending on your environment you might prefer to use a waterproof one


Thank you!

So the parts list is:

An Arduino UNO R3

One 16 x 2 LCD

One Hitachi HD44780 (which may be integrated with the LCD)

A waterproof ultrasonic distance reader

And some sort of Arduino-compatible buzzer?

Best -Trent