shutting off an overflow box to stop a leak

Pontius

New member
I have a problem that needs fixin and feel you people are the best in the business at helping me fix it. This post may be wordy, but I want to lay it all out so it's as understandable and clear as possible........

The Setup: 180 gallon All-Glass Aquarium (fowlr) with 2 overflow boxes. the overflows go to a 65 gallon tank in the stand. the 65 is divided into 3 compartments. 1 overflow goes to a fuge (not really a fuge, more like an unlit area that has rocks and sand in it). the other overflow goes to a compartment with the skimmer (ASM-G3). the 2 compartments flow over baffles and meet in the middle (sump). in the sump are 2 pumps. 1 pump goes back to 1 overflow to the tank and the other pump goes to the other overflow back to the tank.

The Problem: there is a slight leak in one of the overflows. more specifically.......the pipe that goes from one of the sump pumps to the overflow........where that pipe meets the nozzle that's screwed into the drilled hole, it's a slight leak. it's a very slow drip actually. now, the stand isn't a cheap tank stand, it's a heavy duty custom made oak cabinet with a 2x4 frame. but the leak is dripping to the back 2x4 that connects the 2 back corners of the stand. I'm worried that this will.......

a) explode from a small leak to a big leak and cause major problem, or
b) the water will gradually weaken the 2x4 and cause a major problem


The Proposed Solution: now, I've determined that even as slight as this leak is, it's not something that can be fixed while the tank is setup. it's also not something that can be fixed with plumber tape or epoxy due to how close the drilled holes and nozzles/pipes are to the stand (can't wrap the stuff around the nozzle/pipes because it's too close).

so what I propose is shutting that whole box down (flow from and to the box) completely. I would first shut down the pump that runs to that overflow box (where the leak is happening). all the pipes are pvc, so I would try to prevent any backflow from the box by putting a completely closed pvc pipe in that drilled hole. I would also shut off the other hole (the one that takes water from the main tank to the filtration tank).

if both holes were closed off and nothing in the filtration tank was sucking water from that overflow, would the overflow box be empty, or would it fill up and be full of water at all times? what would happen? would the leak stop?

now, I would have to do some rearranging in the filtration tank. namely, I'd have to put the skimmer in the side that the good overflow would be running to. I don't think I'd miss much filtration from the "fuge" because I have over 200 pounds of LR and a 6 inch sandbed in the main tank, and the skimmer is a pretty good one. I also wouldn't miss the flow movement from this much, because I already have a lot of water flow in the tank even without the flow from this one pump.

so, would this work? is there a better solution that does not include taking the whole system down (because that's something I'm not going to do and setup again)?'

Thanks for your assistance.
 

sjm817

On Yer left!
Premium Member
If you shut off both return pumps you can service the overflow. It is sealed to the tank walls and no water enters it except through the weir.
 

Pontius

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14762439#post14762439 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sjm817
If you shut off both return pumps you can service the overflow. It is sealed to the tank walls and no water enters it except through the weir.

thanks for the reply. what exactly do you mean by "service" the overflow? as far as I see it, the leak can't be fixed except by PERMANENTLY shutting off that overflow. what is needs is to be wrapped really good with plumber tape to stop the drip, but that is impossible due to how close the nozzle/pipe (where the drip is coming from) is to the 2x4 of the stand. it's like a few millimeters from the stand, so I can't get anything around it. so I just want to shut the overflow off completely and permanently.
 

Pontius

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14762497#post14762497 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sjm817
In that case, I would cap off the standpipe in the overflow.

yes, that is pretty much what I was proposing. so if I capped off both holes in that overflow with closed pipes, would that overflow still fill with water or would it be empty?
 

Pontius

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14762552#post14762552 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sjm817
It would fill. You would need to block off the wier too.

ok, how could that be blocked?
 

sjm817

On Yer left!
Premium Member
Come on. You're from SC. Duct tape! :D

This will be a little harder. Its a flat weir, or a curved corner? If its flat, maybe silicone a piece of plastic to the outside or inside of the overflow?
 

Pontius

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14762604#post14762604 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sjm817
Come on. You're from SC. Duct tape! :D

This will be a little harder. Its a flat weir, or a curved corner? If its flat, maybe silicone a piece of plastic to the outside or inside of the overflow?

no, it's one of the black boxes with the curved corners. there are are 2 or 3 rows of slots that run around the outside of the box, but it all fills up the inside from the top, right? if that's the case, I can cut a piece of acrylic that is close to the size of the inside wall and just seal it with silicone?
 

sjm817

On Yer left!
Premium Member
I just thought of something else. This is a megaflow, right? It has slots down toward the bottom, middle and top? You would need to seal the top space in the double wall too if it is. Block off all the slots on the top. What a pain. No way to fix that leak?
 

Pontius

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14762682#post14762682 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sjm817
I just thought of something else. This is a megaflow, right? It has slots down toward the bottom, middle and top? You would need to seal the top space in the double wall too if it is. Block off all the slots on the top. What a pain. No way to fix that leak?

nope, no way to fix it.

if the 2 pipe holes in the overflow were sealed, even with the overflow being filled, would there still be water getting through the hole to continue leaking?
 

sjm817

On Yer left!
Premium Member
Good point. It depends where the leak is. If its from one of the bulkheads, yes it would still leak. If its from plumbing attached to the bottom of the bulkheads, it would not.
 

Pontius

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14762723#post14762723 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sjm817
Good point. It depends where the leak is. If its from one of the bulkheads, yes it would still leak. If its from plumbing attached to the bottom of the bulkheads, it would not.

the leak is not caused by the bulkhead. it is the pipe that connects to the bulckhead at the bottom.....the pipe that runs from that sump pump back to the bulkhead. that where the leak is, it's not as good a fit as it should be, so it's dripping a little bit.

I'm going to think it over some more and be back tomorrow. thanks for the help.
 

sjm817

On Yer left!
Premium Member
Thats easy then.

Cap off the return plumbing inside the overflow and continue to use it as a overflow but with no return plumbing. You would have two overflows, but the return would just come from the other one.
 

Pontius

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14762754#post14762754 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sjm817
Thats easy then.

Cap off the return plumbing inside the overflow and continue to use it as a overflow but with no return plumbing. You would have two overflows, but the return would just come from the other one.

very good, thanks for your help. I'm going to try that.
 
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