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Thread: Basement Sump, looking for feedback

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Basement Sump, looking for feedback

    So this is my first post. After being away from the hobby for many years I'm jumping in with both feet.
    I'm planning a 120 gal in my living room, with a 50 gallon basement sump. Below is a rough drawing and I'm wondering if anybody sees any flaws in my design.

    I will have a Glass Holes 1500 overflow. I will have PVC running to two true union ball valves for each feed line upstairs under my stand. From there I will be using braided nylon tubing for its flexibility to run downstairs. One will enter the sump directly, while the other will run through a T. One side of the T will go to the sump input section, while the other will enter the refugium via another true union ball valve to control the rate of water entering the sump.

    The skimmer will sit within the feed section of the sump, water will flow through a channel to eliminate bubbles into the return. From the refugium the water will flow into the return section as well. Don’t think I need a bubble trap as the rate of return will be a lot less.

    Water will leave the sump via a drilled hole, through another true union ball valve into my external pump. It will leave the pump through another true union ball valve (not sure about this one as I don’t want to reduce the flow back to the tank?) and enter a T. One side of the T will go through a manifold then a true union ball valve and back into the sump return section. I do this to control the amount of water returning to the tank. I’m told limiting the return pressure can limit the lifespan of the pump. The reactors will be used for things in the future, GFO, Calcium etc. The other end of the T will then eventually T off again and return via ¾” returns into the tank. Each return will then split again at the bulk head into 2 ½” loc lines with various nozzles.

    Click here to enlarge

    Look forward to hearing your feedback both good and bad. I only want to do this once, so don’t hold back.

    Thanks in advance

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    That's alot of valves. lol Only thing I'd say is have both your drains going straight to the sump, and spin the return T line so it goes to the fuge after the reactors. Accomplishes the same thing with a bit less plumbing.
    I sold my soul... for corals..

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    you might not want to "Y" the return pipe, your gonna need a major pump to get it back to the tank from the basement as it is,
    measure the height before buying a pump, most of them are rated by flow at heights, and that is based on the diameter with no split sections

    other than that , looks decent, good luck with your build!

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    Good luck and keep us updated, with pictures. Do you know what you will stock the tank with?

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    i would put a one way valve on the return just in case there's a leak.

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    The returns will is high in the tank. The sump will be large enough to allow for all the back siphon.

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    What is the height from the location of the return pump to the display tank inlets? What is the pipe sizing of this run of pipe? Whatever you install for a pump will have to have a flow rate high enough to overcome the head pressure of this column of water. I would expect that a check valve in that line may be a good idea to prevent a siphon if the pump fails. Also you are right about shortening the lifespan of the pump by reducing the flow in the return line to the tank. This is called dead heading and makes the pump work harder than it needs to. If you move the hand valve that you show closest to the pump to a place above the reactor tee off line you should be able to close of the return to control flow back to the display tank and then by opening the hand valve after the reactors you can allow the excess flow back into the sump and not deadhead your pump.

    I am not sure of the exact set-up for this type of tank and am not familiar with all the components (ie. reactors). You may not be able to use that line as I described but you would need a line somewhere I would think to do the same thing that I am describing to help prevent dead heading your pump. You could probably install a line with a pressure relief valve to automatically bypass back to the sump if the pressure got to high.

    I have a tendency to over think this sort of stuff as I work with piping systems on a daily basis. So I might be doing that here!Click here to enlarge
    Last edited by Coyote251; 04-04-2013 at 11:07 PM.

    “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving:
    To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by diggler93 Click here to enlarge
    The returns will is high in the tank. The sump will be large enough to allow for all the back siphon.
    safety first..... a 120 gal sw is a big investment. an extra $10-$20 spent on an extra one way or pressure relief valve is pretty good.
    any power back up for the pump, skimmer....?

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    also, what kind/make of return pump are you thinking of using?

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    majmaj check valves and salt water do not agree with each other for very long. They have been known to get stuck open and fail. It is also another place for gunk to build up.

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    http://www.marinedepot.com/Loc_Line_...FTLLHI-vi.html

    "Blair"?? i had something similar on my tank, i was doing test/maintenance once a month to ensure it was working.

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    If you are building the sump anyway, plan it to be able to handle whatever backflow there will be in the event of a power failure. Then you don't have to rely on check valves.

    Do you know yet the size of return pump you'll be using? You have a glassholes 1500 but I can't think of any pumps off hand that'd put out 1500 gph at 12-15 feet of head pressure. Of course your overflow will only take whatever your return is putting back into the tank anyway.
    I sold my soul... for corals..

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by AFK Click here to enlarge
    majmaj check valves and salt water do not agree with each other for very long. They have been known to get stuck open and fail. It is also another place for gunk to build up.
    I agree that a check valve is definitely a place to get build up collecting but I would think that cleaning it would just be a part of regular maintenance. Also most check valves either come with a strainer, if it didn't I would certainly add one. With unions on either side and hand valves for isolation it would not be that big of a deal. Unless the sump was completely sealed, without a check valve I don't see what would stop all the water from the display tank from siphoning back to the sump if the pump ever stopped.

    With regular maintenance I think a normal brass or PVC check valve would not cause any issues and would provide years of service. I am sure that with a little research you would be able to confirm which material would provide you with the best results. I do quite a bit of work at BIO and see a lot of PVC fittings used in saltwater applications. There is always the potential for them to fail, as with anything, but if there is no back flow prevention in place, would that not be the same thing as a failed check valve? The key would be making sure that it is clean and working properly on a regular basis.

    “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving:
    To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DanMc Click here to enlarge
    If you are building the sump anyway, plan it to be able to handle whatever backflow there will be in the event of a power failure. Then you don't have to rely on check valves.
    Forgive my ignorance when it comes to this type of tank set-up but if you had a 120g tank are you saying that you would need a sump capable of taking that 120g of water? The sump itself contains water so would you have to have a 160g sump for a 120g display tank? A check valve seems like a cheaper option if that is what you are suggesting.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DanMc Click here to enlarge
    Do you know yet the size of return pump you'll be using? You have a glassholes 1500 but I can't think of any pumps off hand that'd put out 1500 gph at 12-15 feet of head pressure. Of course your overflow will only take whatever your return is putting back into the tank anyway.
    In order to meet those specs you might need to look at a commercial grade pump such as a small Grundfos or something similar.

    “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving:
    To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

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    thanks everyone for your feedback, it's appreciated.

    For a return pump, I do understand that I will need a big one. Was thinking an external, potentially a Waveline 10000. At about 12ft it will do 1600 g/h but offers the ability to adjust the flow from the pump. Likely looking to get between 1200-1400 g/h.

    As for the back siphoning. I would like a check valve, however I have read so many horror stories about them I'd like to not use one. If my calculations are correct, my return lines will be no deeper in the tank than 4 inches deep. If you calculate the volume of water you get 20 gallons. If my sump is operating at approx 25 or so gallons at normal operation, then it could easily accept that amount of water if the power goes out, eliminating the concern.

    At least that is my hope :)

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    That makes sense now, I was thinking that the return lines would be closer to the bottom of the tank. Thanks for the clarification!

    “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving:
    To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

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    Using the check valve is not a bad idea, however its only good if other back up plans are in place. Even with weekly maintenance on them all it takes is a grain or sand or a small amount of algae to prevent it from closing. One thing to take into consideration diggler is the water that would run in the return line and overflow line. Depending on how far away the tank is this could add up to a decent amount of water.

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    I originally planned to have my tank in my basement, what I considered was to put an overflow on my sump itself and pipe it to the floor drain, just as a precaution in case anything ever happened,

    not sure if that's plausible in your case though.

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    thanks, I did take that into consideration. A 17ft return line of 1.25 inches in diameter is only about 1 gallon of water.

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    the overflow in the sump is certainly possible, and in my situation is very easy to do as the drain is about 2 feet away. This will be my backup plan, if I find that the sump can't handle the return volume. My hope is I won't need it.

    My thought was putting a 1" bulkhead with piping as close to the top of the sump as possible, then running flex pipe right into the existing drain line. That drain line then exits the house. Is that how you were thinking to do it?

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