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View Full Version : Auto shut off an overflow on power outage?


electricd7
12/28/2006, 10:14 PM
Hello,

I have a 46Gal tank with a drilled 1" overflow which drains via flexible tubing to a small 3gal sump (CPR 500). The problem is that if the power goes out, the sump quickly fills and will eventually overflow. I have a APC SmartUPS 1000 on the return pump, but worry that if the battery goes out, I will have water everywhere. Is there some type of valve I can install that can be hooked to a relay or something that will close if power is lost to the relay? Seems like it could be done, but I don't want to re-invent the wheel if there is something already out like this. Please point me in the right direction. I appriciate it!

ED7

Abengochea
12/28/2006, 10:21 PM
when the power goes out, the sump should have enough extra room to hold the water in the plumbing. Make sure u are breaking the syphon from the return line so the water isnt coming back into the sump because of the tips being submerged

electricd7
12/28/2006, 10:29 PM
even if the sump is dry, i think it would fill up as the hole drilled in my tank is 3" down from the top (with a 90 elbow up and a bulkhead strainer on top.) I am not sure how I can break the syphon on the return line as the eheim outlet is submerged about 1". A check-valve on the return line perhaps? Please excuse my newness, but I need to be able to assure my wife that i am not going to "flood the living room!"

jacmyoung
12/28/2006, 10:51 PM
Get a bigger sump to hold the overflow water. Nothing else will be sure proof.

luke33
12/29/2006, 06:07 AM
If money is a concern, get a rubbermaid container. They come in many shapes and sizes so i'm sure one would fit. Also, a 3 gallon sump won't do much better than a large hob IMO. Thats just to small.

sideways13
12/29/2006, 06:08 AM
Why even bother with a sump that small? You should fit at the very least a 10 gallon. My 46 gallon sphions roughly 4 gallons if the return pump turns off. Your evaporation and top off would be a PITA with such a small sump, unless you've got some type of auto top off.

electricd7
12/29/2006, 06:09 AM
Lets just assume there isn't room for a bigger sump under the tank. Is there not something that can be done with a solenoid valve or the like?

electricd7
12/29/2006, 06:11 AM
I do have an auto top off unit. The sump itself seems to do a good job fitting my protein skimmer, heater, and return pump without a problem. Maybe its bigger than 3GAL im not sure. It looks about the size of a 10gal aquarium, but I could be wrong.

electricd7
12/29/2006, 06:13 AM
Here is a link to the sump i am running. It has a 2 gal media capactity and a sump resevoir, so i am guessing it is a bit bigger than the 3 gal i originall thought. It is the CR500:

http://www.cpraquatic.com/products/wetdry.html

JayB1224
12/29/2006, 06:18 AM
I would not use a solenoid valve. for one its not a common method and two you run the risk of exposing various metals to the aquarium water. it only makes sense to have a sump that would accomidate the run off from the tank and the water inside the plumbing. a check valve on the return is a good idea but it will eventually fail. bigger sump is the only safe bet.

sideways13
12/29/2006, 06:21 AM
Have you done a power outage test yet?

electricd7
12/29/2006, 06:23 AM
No not yet, only turned off the return pump temporarily to see how full it gets. Got scared about 2" from the top. Is there a recommended level to keep the sump at? If it is only a few cm above the pump, is that adequate, or does it need to be half full, etc? I am new the the sump (as I am sure you can tell!)

sideways13
12/29/2006, 06:30 AM
I would keep the water level atleast few inches above the pump. Having it any lower might cause the sump to suck in air.

electricd7
12/29/2006, 06:32 AM
Ok...I will set the level a few inches above the pump tonight and try a power outage test. Hopefully all will be good, but I am not holding my breath! :)

DiViNeLeFT
12/29/2006, 12:12 PM
i would also use some sort of overflow box that keeps the display tanks level constant... the way you have it setup now it doesnt stop syphoning from the tank until air hits your bulkhead strainer. with an internal overflow box it will only drain to the bottom of the overflows teeth before it breaks the syphon. the 3 inches it has to drain probably equals at least a gallon or 2.

pjf
12/29/2006, 12:25 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8846981#post8846981 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by electricd7
even if the sump is dry, i think it would fill up as the hole drilled in my tank is 3" down from the top (with a 90 elbow up and a bulkhead strainer on top.) I am not sure how I can break the syphon on the return line as the eheim outlet is submerged about 1". A check-valve on the return line perhaps? Please excuse my newness, but I need to be able to assure my wife that i am not going to "flood the living room!"
Here are some ideas:

(1) Raise the return outlet. By raising your Eheim pump return outlet so it is almost touching the surface, you will break suction as soon as the pump stops.

(2) Slow the return pump. By adding a valve to your return line, the water level in your main tank may be lowered so there will be less water to flow into your sump when the pump stops. If you are dissatisfied with the lower water level, you can raise the overflow inlet by adding an extension between the overflow elbow and strainer.

electricd7
12/29/2006, 01:48 PM
Thank you all for your quick and helpful responses. I just did a power test, and the sump comes within 1" of overflowing, but does not overflow. I guess I was worried for no reason. thanks again!