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  1. #1
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    Help! Overflow not working

    Hello everyone,

    This past week I have been setting up my 90 g, and I have run into some trouble with my overflow sysyem. This is how it is set up: I have a hole drilled in the back wall of my tank with a screened bulkhead. The center of the hole is approximately 2.5 inches from the top of the tank. Attached to the bulkhead is a 1 inch hose going down to a 15 g sump tank. In the sump, I have a Mag Drive that is pumping aproximately 400 gph through a 1/2 inch hose back to the main tank (I am installing 2 powerheads so the total flow is around 900 gph). Here is the problem: The amount of water flowing into the sump is not equalizing with the amount of water that is getting pumped back into the main tank. In other words, the water is not draining fast enough to keep up with the pump. I find this strange seeing how the overflow tube is 1 inch dia. and the pump tube is only half inch. However, when the water is flowing down to the sump, air is getting mixed in with the water and causing a "bubbling" efect. This air is comming from the top of the screened overflow until the water level raises above the screen, where, in turn, it keeps on rising until my sump is dry. I had the 1 inch overflow line submerged in the sump tank at first, but I thought that this was causing the water restriction, so I cut the tube shorter so it would just fall into the sump, but this did not help at all; in fact it actally made is worse (plus the sound of the water splashing would drive me and my wife crazy).

    I have seen this type of overflow before in magazines and books, and it seemed to me like a no-brainer for setting it up. I hope someone out there could shed some light on this problem of mine. Thanks in advance for any help.

    Terry

  2. #2
    ijo
    ijo is offline
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    I have the same problem with one of my tanks in the back... try adding a T fitting to the back of your bulkhead, attach an end cap to to the top of the T and drill a small hole in the endcap to let air into the drain.

    This should help more water to drain as air can now pass in through the T and not your intake screen. Hope this helps.

    IJO

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by IJO
    I have the same problem with one of my tanks in the back... try adding a T fitting to the back of your bulkhead, attach an end cap to to the top of the T and drill a small hole in the endcap to let air into the drain.

    This should help more water to drain as air can now pass in through the T and not your intake screen. Hope this helps.

    IJO
    IJO...Thanks for the reply... I'll try that tonight after work. How do you have your overflow hose going into your sump tank? Is it submerged under water or falling into the sump? (or something else). I'm asking because this is the first tank that I have set up with an overflow and I guess I'm learning as I go along. I have read many articles and books regarding how overflow's work, but once you actually start to do it, and run into obstacles, it's a different story! At first, I was going to have my overflow hole drilled in the bottom of the tank and have a corner overflow, but I thought it would be a nightmare if for some reason it leaked. I hope I didn't make a big mistake by drilling it in the back wall. I'll drill a hole in a T as per you suggestion and update y'all tomorrow.

    Terry

  4. #4
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    Mine is just 1 inch underwater in the sump. If the overflow tube is too deep in the sump the back pressure could cause flooding.
    Get some 4" PVC pipe and insert the overflow tube in that. It will stop some of the bubbles from forming in your sump.

    If you want to make your overflow even quieter, once you drill a hole in the standpipe like IJO said attach one of the silencers that you got from the MAXI Jet's. Screw it on just enough so it stays in place.
    Hope that makes sense.
    ________
    Tanks: 400 gal Reef, 180 gal FOWLR, 300 gal Sump, 40 gal Frag Tray plumbed as one system - 900 gal total water volume.
    DIY Calcium Reactor, Nielson Reactor and Skimmer

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by reeferboy
    Mine is just 1 inch underwater in the sump. If the overflow tube is too deep in the sump the back pressure could cause flooding.
    Get some 4" PVC pipe and insert the overflow tube in that. It will stop some of the bubbles from forming in your sump.

    If you want to make your overflow even quieter, once you drill a hole in the standpipe like IJO said attach one of the silencers that you got from the MAXI Jet's. Screw it on just enough so it stays in place.
    Hope that makes sense.
    Thanks for the reply. I drilled on hole in the top of the bulkhead, and the water now flows great. The only problem now is that there is a constant "gergling" noise comming from the the hole I drilled. Are the silencer's that come with the Maxi Jet's suppose to be for the purpose to reduce the gergling noise? If so, I'll buy some tonight because it's driving me and my wife crazy! Do you know of any other ways to eliminate the gergling noise? :biggrinbo

    Terry

  6. #6
    ijo
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    The caps will definately help with that noise. If you have a hard time finding them... I'm sure I have a few kicking around... your more than welcome to them. Let me know and I'll call the search party.

    IJO

  7. #7
    Senior Member GoSUV's Avatar
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    The MaxiJet air tube "silencer" was meant to adjust the air quantity if you have the venturi attachment. Don't know if it will silence the gurgling noise though. The gurgling/slurping noise is usually caused by the rapid movement of air into a tight tube filled with fluid. Think sucking water with a straw from a glass. If the glass is almost empty, you get a slurping sound. This slurping sound stops when you are sucking in 100% air when the glass is completely empty.

    The problem with your setup is, your overflow is always sucking in water and air at the same time. Drilling a hole in the bulkhead and using a silencer helps a little, but the root cause is the water entry to the overflow. You should attach a 90-degree elbow or a street L on the tank side, and have the opening pointed down so that the opening is submerged all the time. If this lowers the water level in the main tank, consider building an overflow box around it. This allows you to keep a high water level, helps surface skim the water, and hide ugly plumbing equipment.

    This design is a variation of a so called "Durso standpipe" invented by Richard Durso. Do a search in Google using the above terms and you should have a pretty good idea of how this works.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

  8. #8
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    Here is a lionk to Durso's homepage. Go through it and find which type of setup will work for your tank the best. There are a few different ways of building these things. I myself have setup a few of them for different people and can help you with any questions or problems. As for the air noise..., firstoff, lets address the problem in your sump. A simple way of cutting down the noise AND the water hitting the surface is to put the end of the pipe back underwater ( not much though.. about 2" is usually good enough but measure this height with the system running). Next, drill a tiny airhole in the side of that pipe just above the waterline. This will cancel out the backpressure effect that is causing you a problem. Often when the end of the pipe is underwater, it will not allow the water to drain out easily enough and essentially creates a backpressure. This hole will allowit to flow better.
    Now, for the overflow up top. The problem you are having is because the standpipe has to be tuned!! That little hole can vary as to what is the right size depending on youe volume flowing through it, size of the tubing, pipe.... aaagghh!!!! ( you get my drift). A good solution is to make the hole a bit bigger and run a good length of air tube down the hole, into the drainpipe and down a ways into the tubing running down to your sump. Make sure it is airtight around the hole in the standpipe where the tube fits into it. This creates a muffler effect ( which is what I'm using too by the way..., I even have about 8' of tubing on my air intake on my skimmer, because this beast really sucks it in and can be somewhat nosiy!!). You don't really need those Maxijet things, just a plain soft clear tube will do. Usually about 1/4" ID. is good. If you have more questions about what I explained... ask away!!! Hope this helps you out a bit though.http://www.rl180reef.com/pages/stand...pipe_frame.htm

  9. #9
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    Wow... This is such a great website! Thanks to all who replied to my problems with the overflow. I researched the Durso Standpipe and have come up with an idea that I will be trying out tonight. It will be very similar to the Durso design, however the standpipe itself will be on the outside of the tank rather than inside. The street "L" will replace the screened bulkhead basket (as per GoSUV's recommendation), and I will probably cut a length of PVC and attach that to the bulkhead overflow. If you think about it, I am simply swapping the location of the bulkhead and the threaded male adapter. I'll let y'all know tomorrow how it turns out.

    Terry

  10. #10
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    o.k. we'll just edit this post and try again...

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