Stopping Murphy...

dreaminmel

New member
Thank you for the excellent article. I am most paranoid about plumbing issues as I am currently upgrading to a 125 gallon with a 30 long sump even though ever since getting into this hobby I have refused to have any exterior plumbing due to the risk involved.

I noticed that you explained very well how to stop siphon from coming back down the return line into the sump by having holes drilled into the return line just below water level. My setup was built by a prior reefer who had done exactly that so I already have the holes.

My question for you is this: When it comes to the overflow lines, what happens if there is a blockage? I understand limited water would enter the sump and therefore my pump would end up running dry but my display tank level should be able to handle it. Is there any way to keep this from happening as I'm sure it wouldn't be too great for the pump's life? If the overflows are screened is this something I should even worry about? I was told by the prior owner that these overflows have durso standpipes but to be honest I'm really not sure what that means to me.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you may be able to offer for me,

Melanie
 

Greg Hiller

New member
>My question for you is this: When it comes to the overflow lines, what happens if there is a blockage? I understand limited water would enter the sump and therefore my pump would end up running dry but my display tank level should be able to handle it. <

If your sump is small enough, or the point at which your pump removes water from the sump is high enough, then, yes, you will not have a flood. I would still call it a problem though as your circulation will be quite low or zero, and you could end up with dead fish due to low dissolved oxygen.

>Is there any way to keep this from happening as I'm sure it wouldn't be too great for the pump's life? If the overflows are screened is this something I should even worry about?<

If the overflows are screened, and the pieces of tubing are large enough you should not have any problems. You may want to clean or replace the tubing every-so-often, as critters will start to accumulate in the tubes over time.

> I was told by the prior owner that these overflows have durso standpipes but to be honest I'm really not sure what that means to me.<

Durso overflows are just a special modification that helps to quiet the return. Do a search on the web, or on RC on Durso overflow and you can see exactly what they are.
 

dreaminmel

New member
Gotcha ;)

My plumbing consists of 1.5" wide PVC so I'm thinking buildup will take a little longer inside the pipes but will still plan on replacing it every few years or so.

W/ the flow, I actually have 3 maxijet 1200s in the display that will probably avoid any losses in the event of a failure of the sump system. So I think I'll buy an extra return pump to have on hand in case this ever happens and the current one runs dry as I'm sure the pump would be toast at that point. Like you said, it's not seeming so likely to happen but Murphy and I are on a first name basis so a backup wouldn't hurt. :D

Thank you Greg!
 

Stephany

New member
Thanks Greg for the excellent series of articles. :)

I am looking for similar lidded mixing containers as pictured at the bottom of your article. There are so many kinds, and the wheels on garbage cans stink. (They also don't typically come in white, to mark levels conveniently.)
Is there a special plastic, industrial grade, to use?
Have any idea of where I should look for some?
Thanks in advance.
 

pwhitby

RC Sponsor
Team RC
Hi Greg, great article.

I also advocate having UPS on a single powerhead and having the neighbours know to call you in the event of power outages lasting more than a few minutes.

Paul.
 

Greg Hiller

New member
>I am looking for similar lidded mixing containers as pictured at the bottom of your article. There are so many kinds, and the wheels on garbage cans stink.<

Just make sure that the ones you get a circular. I learned the hard way not to use a 'squarish' trashcan to hold water! Oftentimes there will be a local place that has used 55 gallon drums to sell cheap, or give away. Just make sure it was something like sugar syrup, or a food item and not something toxic in the drum. The drums I have a picked up at a contract manufacturer that purchases large volumes of sterile cell culture media for mammalian cell culture pharmaceutical manufacter. I think it'd be pretty hard to find these!
 
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