well you knew it was coming...plumbing Qs

Madison Area Reef Society - Club and reef discussion

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Postby spbreeder on Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:07 pm

SOB!!!! I am having problems with the stupid union joint on the return pump. It is fine when the ball valve is open wide but with it slowed a little it pops off. I am running out of patience here and am considering gluing the damn union joint. ANy suggestions? Denise
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Postby jbartig on Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:11 pm

Denise,

What is popping off? Could you explain this a little more.

Does the pump have threaded pipe connectors on it? If so, I would connect parts in the following order:

pump
PVC thread to slip adapter
short piece of PVC pipe
union
short piece of PVC pipe
ball valve
PVC pipe up to top of tank

I would glue all of the pieces together, except for the pump-adapter connection. That I would wrap the pump threads with teflon tape and screw on the adapter.

Jeff
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Postby jbartig on Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:58 pm

Oops. Just realized that I had the ball valve and union in the wrong order. I was able to edit my previous posting, so it is now correct. Pump-union-valve.

Jeff
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Postby spbreeder on Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:25 am

It goes pump. union, ball valve. The pipe keeps slipping out of the top of the union joint. Should I glue it there? Seems like that would defeat the purpose of a union in the first place.
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Postby jbartig on Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:40 pm

Denise,

Here are some pictures of a PVC Union. The two halves of the union are held together with the threaded collar. When the collar is tightened, it presses the two halves together and the black gasket ring forms a tight seal.

Image
Image

Is this the type of union fitting you are using? If so, you definately want to glue your pipe into the fitting.

To be on the safe side, you could split the union into its separate pieces before gluing. This would prevent any excess glue from getting between the two halves of the union and sealing them together. If you separate the halves for gluing, remember to put the threaded collar piece on the pipe first before gluing on the non-threaded half of the union (my picture above probably explains this better). I'm assuming that the other end of the pipe is already connected to something and you wouldn't be able to add the collar from that end later. Is this making sense?

Jeff
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Postby spbreeder on Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:20 am

Ohhh, thanks. I didn't know that they came totally apart. I thought that they were just held together by compression, kinda like how the bulkhead is screwed on. Boy, all those parts need to come with instructions. I have a few more to redo :oops: . thanks for making that clearer. Denise
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Postby jbartig on Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:47 am

Glad to be of assistance. Good luck and keep asking questions when you have problems.

Jeff
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Postby spbreeder on Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:03 pm

You were right, I can't split the overflow. I am going to have to change it to split the return instead. I have to build something for my temporary fuge to sit on that is high enough to overflow to the tank. I should have listened. :oops: :( :oops: So my next question before I go about plumbing is where do you split it. My tank is 72" long and only have room for a fuge on one end. It would be easier to have a shelf behind and over the st, but there is really no way. So, could someone please show me what to do before I mess it up worse. Thanks

Denise (who is hanging her head in shame and considering locking the door to the aquarium room Saturday)
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Postby tapper of spines on Wed Mar 30, 2005 8:25 pm

spbreeder wrote:You were right, I can't split the overflow. I am going to have to change it to split the return instead.


What went wrong?

Denise (who is hanging her head in shame and considering locking the door to the aquarium room Saturday)


You'd better not! You have a beautiful tank! This is all part of the process. In my (admittedly cynical) experience, nothing EVER works the first time. You just get used to it after a while.

Chin up girl!

TOS
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Postby spbreeder on Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:37 pm

Well the overflows won't keep up with the return pump. I had split one overflow into a fuge but I think it slows it down too much. So what I need to do is to raise the fuge, have both overflows go to the sump and split the return flow, to the fuge and the main tank then let the fuge drain back into the main tank as well.

I am unsure of where to split the return flow. Any thoughts?

denise
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Postby tapper of spines on Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:52 pm

spbreeder wrote:Well the overflows won't keep up with the return pump. I had split one overflow into a fuge but I think it slows it down too much.


I doubt it. I'd have to see it in person, but I would be surprised if splitting the line would slow down the flow. If anything it should decrease the overall line resistance.

What pump do you have again? Was it a Mag18? And what overflows do you have, and what are they rated for? What size lines are running out of the overflows? What size U-tubes are you using, and how many? Where is the overflow not keeping up with the pump, on the tank-side overflow box, or on the external overflow box?

So what I need to do is to raise the fuge, have both overflows go to the sump and split the return flow, to the fuge and the main tank then let the fuge drain back into the main tank as well.


If the problem is the overflows not handling the amount of flow that the pump is generating, which would be my guess, then this probably won't solve your problem. It will help a little bit, since having the return pump pump all the way up to your fuge will decrease the overall output of the pump, but otherwise it's just moving the problem, not solving it.

Adding a Durso or Stockman standpipe to the overflow will increase the flow rate of the overflow, since it will then partially siphon. I'm not a big advocate of them though, since I couldn't get it to work on my tank.

Hang in there. :D

TOS
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Postby spbreeder on Wed Mar 30, 2005 11:44 pm

"What pump do you have again? Was it a Mag18? And what overflows do you have, and what are they rated for? What size lines are running out of the overflows? What size U-tubes are you using, and how many? Where is the overflow not keeping up with the pump, on the tank-side overflow box, or on the external overflow box?"

I traded for a mag 12 thinking that would help, but it still pumps too much, even with the ball valve 1/2 open. I have 2 lifereef overflows rated at 700 GPH each. They each have 1" pipe. The U tube came with the overflows (sorry, I don't know what size) one in each. I made some "gurgle buster"s and they work well to keep it quiet. The overflow on the right that goes straight into the sump keeps up fine, but the one on the left that gets split backs up on the external box. The pump drains the sump and starts sucking air.

If you can think of any solutions I would appreciate it. I would like to get it fixed before Sat.

Denise[/quote]
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Postby Ereefic on Wed Mar 30, 2005 11:56 pm

Are both overflow boxes at the same height? Make sure that the u-tube in the box in the inside of the tank is not too close to the bottom of the box. If it is, it won't be able to drain as fast and you should be able to tilt the u-tube towards the outer box which will lift the end a little in the inner box. If your drains are submerged too much, that can also put some back pressure and slow the draining ability.

With the 2 overflows the Mag 18 should of been fine for it. If you need the 18 back, let me know. If you can't get it figured out by Sat., we'll be able to help you out then. I'll bring the 18 with me on Sat. just incase.
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Postby tapper of spines on Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:17 am

Ok, since I haven't seen it in person I'm still guessing. We may need to do this in person (Which will be all the more fun. I love to plumb with margaritas!). However, a few thoughts come to mind:

1)

The overflow on the right that goes straight into the sump keeps up fine, but the one on the left that gets split backs up on the external box. The pump drains the sump and starts sucking air.


This doesn't make sense unless, as Eric mentioned, the overflows aren't at the same height. The siphon on the left should simply slow down to maintain the same water level as the right. Either that or they should both start overflowing. Are you sure that the overflows are both at the same height?

2)

Can you describe this picture to me? Where does the line split? I don't see where that's happening. Do you have a picture of the split?

Image

3)

I traded for a mag 12 thinking that would help, but it still pumps too much, even with the ball valve 1/2 open. I have 2 lifereef overflows rated at 700 GPH each. They each have 1" pipe. The U tube came with the overflows (sorry, I don't know what size) one in each.


I would aim to use the full potential of the pump. More flow is always better in a reef tank.

FWIW, I have 2 1" U-tubes, with 2 1" drains on my overflow (so about equivalent to yours), and it's draining about 650 gallons per hour. If I try to run with only one U-tube I can't keep up. I would be pleasantly surprised if 2 U-tubes could handle 1200 gallons per hour. You may need more U-tubes and more drains, when the time comes. How many holes are in the bottom of your overflow boxes, just the one?

If you can think of any solutions I would appreciate it. I would like to get it fixed before Sat.


Yeah, I know the feeling, but please don't rush this. You're going through a significant upgrade and it will take several iterations of changes before it gets to a level that is both stable and makes you happy. Patience, patience. :D

TOS
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Postby spbreeder on Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:28 am

That is a T joint at the base of the overflow, not a 90.

There is just one drain in the bottom of each overflow. I'll check the levels of the overflows and add a U tube. Boy would that be nice if it works. Denise
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