View Full Version : Sump plumbing help!

08/29/2008, 09:20 AM
So I'm not a plumber.


Closest bulkhead is a 1" fitted one, with a screener attached inside the tank. This is my out to sump.
Furthest away is a 1" slip bulkhead. This is my return.

I plan on running a flex hose from the sump pump to a T, with a ball valve back to the sump ( to control return flow ) then continue on to the return on the DT up to a 90 degree elbow and in. Inside I'll probably use some loc-line with a flare nozzle. So I "think" I got that right so far, if not, please enlighten me.

The "out" to the sump is what is confusing me however. I currently have a mpt nipple screwed into the bulkhead, connected to a fitted 90 degree elbow with a slip fitting on the down end.

Do I use PVC all the way to the sump? Or do I use flex?
Do I use a T at the bulkhead with a drilled endcap instead of the elbow ala a Durso?
Pvc all the way down to a 45 degree and into the sump?

I'd also like to throw in a ball valve here to adjust the flow leaving the tank as well.


rick rottet
08/29/2008, 11:46 AM
what you have for the return will work. it isnt necessary to put a T to put excess flow back to the sump, the valve will control the return flow by itself, but there isnt anything wrong with putting the T in there either. that would be good for future use if you ever decide to add something that needs some water supply (another fuge, a bigger return pump with a second pipe...)

whether you use flex or hard PVC for the drain to the sump is purely a matter of personal preference. i like hard pipe myself, but many people prefer flex. if you use flex, it is only one glue joint at the 90 from the display tank, just be sure to cut it long enough to sit well down inside the sump so it doesnt have a chance to fall out. if you use hard pipe, it is 3 glue joints and yes, you run pipe down to the sump and 45 degree elbow into the sump (and likely another short piece of pipe after the 45 to get into the sump). i like the standpipe for the drain (the T with a drilled endcap).

personally, i wouldnt put any valves in the drain pipe. i really cant think of any reason why the drain flow should be adjusted, just let it flow as it will.

08/29/2008, 11:58 AM
Will you be putting in a overflow? Without your water level will drain down to bulkhead.

Rigid or flex PVC is easy, see people use vinyl hose and barb fittings so your call.

The T on the outside is used if setting up something like a external Durso to quiet drain noise.

Valve for restricting drains are used if having a Herbie style drain, thing is a Herbie uses at least two drains and only on has the valve (other is unrestricted).

08/29/2008, 12:27 PM
Since the tank is so small, I didn't figure I needed the overflow box.


Kind of why I was planning on a ballvalve or gatevalve on the sump line to adjust how fast the water pours out. It should be around 300 gph by math... and my return is good for about 200 gph factoring the head. So I wanted to be able to slow it down if I needed to.

Comments on that? I'm confident on the rest of my plumbing now, I suppose the only reason question is how to work the "overflow"...
Make a box and lose the strainer, or leave it how it is.

rick rottet
08/29/2008, 12:44 PM
you dont "need" the overflow box. it will work with what you have there. many people (myself included) dont like to see the water level down below the trim, boxes also allow for better skimming of a thin layer of water from the surface. with what you have, the water level will be roughly at the middle of the screen strainer/bulkhead. with a box, you can put the top of the box where you want the water level to be.
i think i see what you were trying to accomplish with the valve on the drain, but once you reach the point where the water level starts to go any higher than the middle of the bulkhead, it will tend to want to keep going higher and higher. it would be very difficult to balance a restricted drain with the incoming water from the pump. it would be just like trying to balance a return pump with a drain pump... best to leave the drain open if just one pipe.
another option instead of the overflow box is to replace the strainer with a 90, then you can have the water level where you want it by inserting a short piece of pipe into the 90... also can turn the 90 to the side at 45 degrees-short piece of pipe-45 elbow then put a piece of pipe horizontally from the bulkhead with a slit cut down the length of the pipe...many ways to accomplish the same thing

08/29/2008, 01:09 PM
Wouldn't restrict a drain unless a Herbie as really no reason to. Flow will equalize out to what the return pump is pushing.

Don't need a overflow chamber but I'd rather have the water towards the top of the tank that a third of the way down. A up turned 90° would work but might find little noisy.

The Overflow doesn't need to be a box all the way to the bottom, can be a coast to coast rectangle or
triangular (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1425519) (take a look at the pictures and links). Other style which looks interesting (haven't tried myself) is a horizontal pipe (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1257783)

08/29/2008, 01:11 PM
guess I should have read ricks post as basically what I said after

08/29/2008, 01:12 PM
So in essence, I'd be making a standpipe which I could notch at the top, or put a screen on correct Rick?

I think I understand completely now.

Is there anything already made that you know of that converts easily into a clean DIY overflow box? I can't find black lexan in my area, and hoping to get water in my setup this weekend.

08/29/2008, 01:31 PM
I appreciate both of your help guys, I'll post some pics this weekend once I get it done.

rick rottet
08/29/2008, 01:51 PM
the notches would be up to you, the water will overflow the standpipe with or witout notches, a screen is a good idea... keeps snails from going over the pipe.

anything plastic and box-shaped LOL. there are ready-made overflow boxes, if you've got a decent LFS in your area, maybe they would have something... i think the Aqua-C Remora skimmers have little black boxes available for about $30 (dont know if they would fit your application or not) or visit lowe's and get 4 pieces of glass cut to a 5 or 6" squares and silicone them in... takes about 24 hours to cure. maybe one of those net style breeder holders (6" net tank to put a pregnant fish into so you dont loose the babies) and wrap it with saran wrap, or some 6" square pieces of eggcrate and wrap it in saran wrap... just temporary until you find a permanent solution. personally, i would go with the glass, if you would like it black, Krylon Fusion paint works.

08/29/2008, 03:56 PM
image is from hahnmeister post here (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=13254476#post13254476)


08/29/2008, 07:21 PM

Well, I got the sump pump to return figured out, now I just need some loc-line to finish her off.

I fashioned myself an external stand pipe, which I must say came out just fine. The only thing left at this moment is to figure out the overflow. I know WHAT I want to do, just don't know HOW.

My overflow hole is 2" from center of hole to top of tank.
The trouble with all the fittings, is that they would make the way Das showed, and the way I WANT to do it stick up way to high out of the tank.

Is there a way to go from a thread 1" hole to say....3/4" at least?
The 1" elbows are so god damn huge.

08/29/2008, 07:53 PM
Nevermind, as much as I like that idea, I simply used one 90 elbow pointing up, and dremeled some slots out of it. This way, my water is just at the bottom of the black rim.

Will post pics tomorrow evening after the paint is dried.