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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    Just wondering, why do you want to combine and split the return pipes the way your drawing shows?
    Redundancy. My choices were:

    1) Two pumps, one for each tank

    2) One larger pump that splits to both tanks.

    My thinking was if I stuck with two pumps if one were to go out, i can close the valve on the failed one and let one pump do the work (obviously with a much lower flow rate, but better than no flow rate). This buy's me time to repair or replace the broken pump without the tank going fallow for days at a time. I live in Reno, NV and there is no place locally to acquire this kind of equipment, so it would need to be ordered and shipped.

    The other option is simply to buy two pumps, and keep one on hand, but that will cost even more because I will need to buy two large pumps that can individually handle the entire load.

    Another modification that I am still thinking through would be to have each split of the Y (that goes to each pump) have a check valve in it. This way if one pump fails, or becomes weak, gravity and pressure would automatically close the valve on the failed pump allowing an automatic fail safe. The problem I have with that is check valves are somewhat unreliable, so I'm trying to think of worst case what would happen with that setup. I would probably put a manual valve behind the check valves anyway so if a pump did fail I could shut it down totally.

    Basically, if I go on vacation for two weeks, I don't want to spend the whole time worried a pump failed and my tanks have gone fallow. So I'm trying to make sure the critical systems are as fail safe as financially feasible.





  2. #22
    www.centralcoastreefclub. com Ace25's Avatar
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    2 pumps I can understand, and even putting some type of "join/split" in the pipes as well with valves you can open/close to do what you say, but some reason in my head doing it the way you have drawn seems like it may cause a problem if one pump goes out and your not around for a few hours when this happens. Not sure what bad may happen, just something in the back of my head thinking there is a better method to achieve the same goal you want to do. I could be wrong though... never tried what you want to do.. so it is just a feeling I have.

    Check valves IMO are not a good thing to have. I was told that same thing by someone else, but I went ahead anyway and got that nice $30 one from MarineDepot... and sure enough, it failed when I needed it to work just like I was told would happen. Those are a very false sense of security IMO, but in your case I can understand why you would need something like a check valve in place and working, that is a lot of water just in the pipes to come back into the sump (which brings up another question, how big of a sump are you planning on using?)



  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    2 pumps I can understand, and even putting some type of "join/split" in the pipes as well with valves you can open/close to do what you say, but some reason in my head doing it the way you have drawn seems like it may cause a problem if one pump goes out and your not around for a few hours when this happens. Not sure what bad may happen, just something in the back of my head thinking there is a better method to achieve the same goal you want to do. I could be wrong though... never tried what you want to do.. so it is just a feeling I have.

    Check valves IMO are not a good thing to have. I was told that same thing by someone else, but I went ahead anyway and got that nice $30 one from MarineDepot... and sure enough, it failed when I needed it to work just like I was told would happen. Those are a very false sense of security IMO, but in your case I can understand why you would need something like a check valve in place and working, that is a lot of water just in the pipes to come back into the sump (which brings up another question, how big of a sump are you planning on using?)
    Ya that is kind of why I posted it, looking for devils advocate opinions. Thankfully the check valve wouldn't be 'critical' as worst case the sump would splash a bit, it's in the garage anyway so it wouldn't be the end of the world, and I could shut the valve when I saw the issue. Check valve would just be an extra little, though relatively unimportant, safety feature. I'm not sure it could really 'hurt' anything, but that's the question.

    Sump wise it sort of depends. I will just look to find something cheap, that holds water, no matter how scratched, on craigslist. Just need to be able to put a hole in it for a drain (for water changes) so most likely acrylic. The only problem I see is that acrylic tanks generally have large lips at that size which makes using it as a sump tough. If I have to I can use a glass tank from petsmart ($1 per gallon sale maybe) and just drain it with a siphon. Thinking 55-60g maybe.



  4. #24
    www.centralcoastreefclub. com Ace25's Avatar
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    Easier solution for a waterchange, put a T connector a few feet above the pump and put a valve just above the T and to the side of the T, then when you want to do a water change you just open the sideways valve and close the top valve and use your return pump to pump the water out of the sump. This is how I have mine setup.

    As for negatives of check valves, they actually restrict the flow quite a bit. Thinking like 10-20%.

    For the sump, bigger the better.. and tall so you can have room for back syphoning during a power outtage. You will get about 1" out of your tanks and all the water in the pipes going back into the sump, which seems like a considerable amount, so you would want a big sump (1/2 empty under normal use) to be able to handle all that.



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    Easier solution for a waterchange, put a T connector a few feet above the pump and put a valve just above the T and to the side of the T, then when you want to do a water change you just open the sideways valve and close the top valve and use your return pump to pump the water out of the sump. This is how I have mine setup.

    As for negatives of check valves, they actually restrict the flow quite a bit. Thinking like 10-20%.

    For the sump, bigger the better.. and tall so you can have room for back syphoning during a power outtage. You will get about 1" out of your tanks and all the water in the pipes going back into the sump, which seems like a considerable amount, so you would want a big sump (1/2 empty under normal use) to be able to handle all that.
    Noted.

    I agree, no check valves.

    Here is the modified plan, though I do lose the 'built in' redundancy, this would be manual. Still not sure I am totally happy with this plan.




  6. #26
    www.centralcoastreefclub. com Ace25's Avatar
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    The only thing I would change is move the valve on the left hand side down just a little to be in between the V.

    I have been trying to think of a sensor you could put in your sump where if the water level reaches a certain height an alarm would sound letting you know a pump failed. If one pump fails you will get some back syphoning which will raise the water level higher than normal in your sump. Still not a perfect solution though, but the biggest problem I have seen with return pumps is during start up. Power goes out and when it comes back on the pump doesn't come back on due to a worn impeller. Had this happen to me a couple times with Mag pumps that were using impellers a couple years old. A $15 replacement impeller solves that problem and if you put it on your "yearly maintenance" schedule along with replacing heaters you shouldn't normally have any issues.



  7. #27
    Why would ******* be censored? Zaffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    The only thing I would change is move the valve on the left hand side down just a little to be in between the V.

    I have been trying to think of a sensor you could put in your sump where if the water level reaches a certain height an alarm would sound letting you know a pump failed. If one pump fails you will get some back syphoning which will raise the water level higher than normal in your sump. Still not a perfect solution though, but the biggest problem I have seen with return pumps is during start up. Power goes out and when it comes back on the pump doesn't come back on due to a worn impeller. Had this happen to me a couple times with Mag pumps that were using impellers a couple years old. A $15 replacement impeller solves that problem and if you put it on your "yearly maintenance" schedule along with replacing heaters you shouldn't normally have any issues.
    There are flood alarms available in the appliance section of stores like sears which can be set up to automatically shut of if wetness is detected. The kind I'm thinking of would need some creativeness applied to it for it to work in this case though.
    W.W.J-L.D.?
    Quote Originally Posted by Chill View Post
    Wow Zaf you're like a One Man Gang, you can dish out vigilante justice, blackmail, and snitch all without breaking a sweat.



  8. #28
    www.centralcoastreefclub. com Ace25's Avatar
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    Ya, I have a few "flood alarms" myself, but those are really meant to go on the floor, not in a sump and the moisture within a sump would make them go off. The battery powered ones are bad, when the battery fails, the alarm goes off. In my case I wasn't home and a neighbor thought it was a smoke detector going off. Plus the battery didn't seem to last much longer than a month in that one. The ones you plug in for power are much better IMO, but still, doesn't really solve the issue I was trying to. I am thinking more along the line of a float sensor somehow attached to an alarm that would do the job. Still, good to have others chiming in with ideas for the OP. I was starting to feel like it was just me and that is certainly not my style. I like to see people get as many different opinions/options as possible.



  9. #29
    Why would ******* be censored? Zaffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    ...

    For the sump, bigger the better.. and tall so you can have room for back syphoning during a power outtage. You will get about 1" out of your tanks and all the water in the pipes going back into the sump, which seems like a considerable amount, so you would want a big sump (1/2 empty under normal use) to be able to handle all that.
    We can calculate the volume that would siphon, so we'd know exactly how much extra space is needed. So if it comes down to it he can know how much extra volume his sump needs.
    W.W.J-L.D.?
    Quote Originally Posted by Chill View Post
    Wow Zaf you're like a One Man Gang, you can dish out vigilante justice, blackmail, and snitch all without breaking a sweat.



  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    Ya, I have a few "flood alarms" myself, but those are really meant to go on the floor, not in a sump and the moisture within a sump would make them go off. The battery powered ones are bad, when the battery fails, the alarm goes off. In my case I wasn't home and a neighbor thought it was a smoke detector going off. Plus the battery didn't seem to last much longer than a month in that one. The ones you plug in for power are much better IMO, but still, doesn't really solve the issue I was trying to. I am thinking more along the line of a float sensor somehow attached to an alarm that would do the job. Still, good to have others chiming in with ideas for the OP. I was starting to feel like it was just me and that is certainly not my style. I like to see people get as many different opinions/options as possible.
    I was thinking, if I was to do something like that, a simple float alarm attached to a solenoid like you have in a lot of auto top off systems would suffice.

    That said, I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. The tank will be in an extremely traffic heavy part of the house and I'm sure I will see that there is no flow very quickly. As long as the sump is large enough it shouldn't be an issue. I am even considering using my 75g tank as the sump, though it feels like a waste!

    I'm sure more people will start commenting once I start building. Have to get the tanks first, and that's a few weeks off still (unless I can find another source).



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