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View Full Version : Such a thing as an overflow box that won't flood?


amheck
08/30/2007, 09:32 AM
I was thinking of getting a new setup. I have a lead on 2 systems and both are not drilled. I know, I could get them drilled, but that makes me nervous, too.

Is there such a thing as a fool/flood-proof over flow box?

Thanks!
Aaron

Tennsquire
08/30/2007, 09:37 AM
I don't think anything is fool-proof. If you neglect cleaning the U-tube, it can eventually overflow. Ditto of something like a big snail gets in there. I suppose you could add a second overflow for redundancy, or a float switch that would shut your return pump off if the water level in the overflow got too high. That being said, I've had overflow boxes for years (Lifereef, Americle), and have never had a flood because of the box.

amheck
08/30/2007, 09:41 AM
I remember reading that you could drill a hole in one of the tubes to break the siphon? Is that a good fix? Of course the search isn't working now, so I can't find the old thread.

Jim_S
08/30/2007, 09:41 AM
Yes, the Lifereef and amiracle both have an outstanding track record. My preferred way is using a drilled tank, however, a reliable system can be run with these two overflow boxes.

aninjaatemyshoe
08/30/2007, 09:45 AM
Actually, I believe the trick is to get the overflow box that correctly matches the amount of flow that you are considering having from your return from sump. Too small an overflow and your tank will flood because it can't keep up. If you use too large an overflow, the flow through the U-tubes will be too slow and could easily trap gas and have crap build up on the walls. A correctly sized overflow will avoid these problems.

amheck
08/30/2007, 09:50 AM
Thanks. Looking at the Lifereef site, they do look very nice.

Anyone have any experience with the Silencer they sell?

They say the base model is rated for up to 700gph. I just want to make sure to pick a return pump that is close to that with about 4' of head?

Tennsquire
08/30/2007, 12:22 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10667343#post10667343 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by amheck
Thanks. Looking at the Lifereef site, they do look very nice.

Anyone have any experience with the Silencer they sell?

They say the base model is rated for up to 700gph. I just want to make sure to pick a return pump that is close to that with about 4' of head?

The return pump on my 75 is a Mag 7, and the Lifereef single overflow handles it just fine. I used to run a Mag 9.5 on it, and just put a ball valve on the return line and turned it down a bit. Even with the Mag 7 and about 3.5 to 4 feet of head, no bubbles accumulate in the u-tube. Just make sure to clean it every now and again, as stuff will accumulate in there.

sjm817
08/30/2007, 03:56 PM
I always recommend Lifereef if you want the best, most reliable overflow out there. They are rock solid. I've also used Amiracle. They are very good as well, but have a lower flow capacity.

That being said, a new tank that is not setup yet should be drilled. It is not a difficult thing to do.

amheck
08/30/2007, 04:06 PM
I just worry about stressing the glass after drilling. It is fairly safe to say that once, if the glass doesn't crack during drilling, that the integrity of the tank is as good as before?

sjm817
08/30/2007, 04:24 PM
Yes, there is no integrity problem after drilling. People drill tanks all the time. You cant drilled tempered glass. Most of the time, the bottom is tempered, but the sides are not. You typically drill the back about 2" down from the top. There are a ton of threads in the DIY forum on doing it, or you could have a reef club member or a glass shop do it for you.

woz9683
08/30/2007, 04:39 PM
I'm with sjm817, drill the tank. Get a diamond hole saw and cut through the glass that way. Unless you put too much weight on the drill as you're cutting there's almost no way you can put an integrity-damaging crack in the tank.

woz9683
08/30/2007, 04:44 PM
Oh, and I'm not very familiar with hang-on overflow boxes in general, but I think they're designed specifically so that they don't break siphon in the event of a power outage. The reason being, when the power comes back on the tank will overflow if the siphon has been broken. So, no you don't want to add a siphon break. Someone please correct me if I got this mixed up.

DarG
08/30/2007, 06:26 PM
First off, a Lifereef overflow will not fail. It will not lose siphon during power outage. A failure has never been documented by Lifereef either.

As far as drilling the glass ... If you get it drilled without breaking the tank you are fine. Unless you bump the fitting connected to the bulkhead hard enough. The tank manufacturers wont warrant the tanks when that happens either. Not like they honor any warranty on them for anything anyway.

hansmatt
08/30/2007, 08:06 PM
I have the lifereef with silencer, with an eheim 1260 return. My fish buddies are amazed how silent it is, though there is a slight gurgle. I cut a car washing sponge to fit over the opening, and have an airline tube inserted into the tube to help tune it. Though I would much prefer a drilled tank, and will do so in the future, it works great. not an issue
Matt