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  1. #1
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    Mar 2005
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    Sump Overflow Potential

    Here's one for you guys.

    I am very concerned with any potential for flooding as my 70g's of saltwater could surely threaten my bedroom, including the cutom computer sitting beside my display. I use a siphon overflow leading to my sump, and I've taken the precaution of using a float shut off in case that siphon ever fails. My worry comes from somthing I remember when I was setting the sump up. I filled my sump and then turned on my pump to get the display water level at the right place before starting my siphon. Once I got the water level right, I turned off the pump and proceded to work with the overflow siphon. Almost instantly I realized that the display water level was dropping at an extrodinary rate! I instinctively looked towards the dump from the return and my eye caught a bubble flowing backwards from the display to the sump. The pump's hose was actually turned into a siphon hose and if I hadn't caught it almost immediately, flooding would have occured. The sump was full in mere seconds. The problem was that I had located the pump's return hose below the water level in the display to avoid the sound of great Niagra in my bedroom. When flow was shut down, the laws of physics came into effect and began draining my tank. I would simply lower the level of the sump beyond the overflow potential of the hose (which is just an inch or so below the water line) but the bak pak skimmer which I use (and love) requires a high level in the sump.

    Who has a suggestion for me that would eliminate reverse flow down the return hose to the sump, while maintaining little to no sound levels, and allows for the high sump water level required for my skimmer?

    If I have to I will move my skimmer back to my main and just lower the sump level, but this is a terrible thing to resort to for me. I really want my display free of the "matrix" look - all that equipment etc.
    "Killed your clownfish? That's 30 days in the electric chair for you!"

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    You drill a small hole just below the water line on whatever sort of nozzle or pipe you are using to return water to the tank.

    When you turn off the power, the water will drop to the hole and then pull in air to break the siphon. Check to make sure this hole is clear as part of your weekly maintenance.

  3. #3
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    Perfect!

    Thanks!
    "Killed your clownfish? That's 30 days in the electric chair for you!"

  4. #4
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    You can also add a check valve just above the pump in the sump. This will stop the back flow. Then the little air hole will let the water escape from the "in tank" portion of your return and no syphon will be available even if the check vavle leaks a little.

    I am curious to know where you put the safety float valve. If it is in the sump, have you accounted for evaporation in the picture?

    If it is in the outside box of the overflow, it should be okay.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  5. #5
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    It's in the sump. If the water drops too low, the pump kicks off. I have one skimmer and heater in the main in case of this. It's an unobtrusive prism just to hold things together for a couple hours. I run two heaters anyways because everything I have in there is not worth a $15 POS.
    "Killed your clownfish? That's 30 days in the electric chair for you!"

  6. #6
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    Yeah, the hole in the return line, the check vavle, low water shutoff in the sump and a high water shutoff in the display (or overflow) and you have pretty good protection from water on the floor.

    After that you hire a dedicated, if poorly educated (they're cheaper), security guard to watch the tank when you are not around.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  7. #7
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    LoL.

    Anyone interested? I can go 1.50/hr... Anyone?
    "Killed your clownfish? That's 30 days in the electric chair for you!"

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