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View Full Version : How to plumb a sump


brad
07/17/2013, 12:08 PM
I just upgraded my return pump to a Reeflo Snapper - had no idea how much flow this would be. I just had flexPVC set loose into the sump, but now it flops around like a fish out of water! I tried tying it down, which mostly keeps it inside the sump, but there has to be a better solution. What does everyone use?

Donkeykong
07/17/2013, 12:11 PM
I use hard pvc for the drains. How big is your drain?

brad
07/17/2013, 12:19 PM
1 used 1 1/2" flex PVC pipe

Donkeykong
07/17/2013, 01:02 PM
I have never seen a drain flop around, some movement but never what you are describing. I suggest you hard plumb it.

brad
07/17/2013, 04:01 PM
Anyone else have advice?

d2mini
07/17/2013, 04:26 PM
Anyone else have advice?

I have a question first.
Like above, i have never seen true flex pvc flop around when used as a drain. You might want to post a pic or a quick video of what you are talking about to make sure there is no confusion and it would help people make suggestions.

But if it's what people are thinking so far, then I would go along with what every one else says and hard plumb the drains.

But there should be no flopping of any sort. The drain flow should be smooth. Unless there is some weird restrictions I don't see how it could be so turbulent to cause movement like that, especially with flex pvc where there wouldn't be any hard turns like 90 degree elbows. :confused:

Sonyardo
07/17/2013, 07:47 PM
More info about the system is required for meaningful assistance.

planedoc
07/17/2013, 08:02 PM
What size in gallons sump and tank? How many returns into tank and what size? How many drains back into sump? What kind of overflows feeding those drains?

brad
07/18/2013, 07:44 AM
What size in gallons sump and tank? How many returns into tank and what size? How many drains back into sump? What kind of overflows feeding those drains?

Sump is about 100 gallons, display tank is 270 gallons. There is 1 return from the sump but it splits 4 ways near the tank. It starts 1 1/2" hard PVC, changes to 1 1/2" flex PVC and then splits into 4x1" hard PVC. There is only 1 overflow feeding the drain. I am not sure what you mean by "what kind of overflow". Is there more than one kind? There is only 1 drain back to the sump.

I thought the problem was simply the volume of water, but now I am wondering if I have a backpressure issue. If I have time, I will try to make a video, however it is very dark. I am not considering replumbing everything with hard line just to see if that fixes it.

Pastey
07/18/2013, 07:50 AM
Yikes...one drain pipe on a 270 gal. with a Reeflo Snapper? I know this is off the topic of your question but...you either didn't consider the possibility of a clogged drain or you have andromeda sized brass balls.

planedoc
07/18/2013, 04:55 PM
I don't know who built your tank but you need at least 2 drains back into your sump. Types of overflows are like herbi, durso, beananimal and many more. You need to Google each one. Overflow box's also come in many styles. Flow is one of most important things in a tank an even more important the bigger the tank. Google "types of overflows for aquariums" and read read read. It is really a hard decision. Whats even harder is sump design. That can take a month to decide and most likely you will change it in a year. That is a really big pump, even for a 270. It would be best for a closed loop system. That is a hole nother design that you can also Google.
As far as spaflex or ridged that is up to you.

Savant
07/18/2013, 06:19 PM
I guess the question is what is the diameter of your drain?

Sonyardo
07/18/2013, 09:25 PM
I agree, What size is the drain pipe and where is the return pump located in regards to the DT? How much head loss do you have? At a quick glance it sounds like you have way too much pump for your plumbing.

brad
07/19/2013, 10:46 AM
Yikes...one drain pipe on a 270 gal. with a Reeflo Snapper? I know this is off the topic of your question but...you either didn't consider the possibility of a clogged drain or you have andromeda sized brass balls.

I would always trust 1 larger drain not to clog over 2 smaller ones.

brad
07/19/2013, 10:54 AM
I don't know who built your tank
Why does it matter? He had the tank many years and it was probably the most successful I've seen in person.

but you need at least 2 drains back into your sump. Not sure why, as I above, 1 larger drain is less likely to clog than 2 smaller ones. Tank has been successful for about 15 years with 1 drain, however it had less flow.

Types of overflows are like herbi, durso, beananimal and many more. You need to Google each one.


I am using a Durso standpipe.



Overflow box's also come in many styles.


They all look the same to me.


That is a really big pump, even for a 270. It would be best for a closed loop system.

I am not going to run a closed loop.

brad
07/19/2013, 10:56 AM
I guess the question is what is the diameter of your drain?

As stated above, 1 used 1 1/2" flex PVC pipe.

brad
07/19/2013, 11:04 AM
I agree, What size is the drain pipe

As stated above, 1 used 1 1/2" flex PVC pipe.

where is the return pump located in regards to the DT? Aproximately 8 feet below and 3 feet north, depending where you measure from (display tank is several feet).

How much head loss do you have?
With plumbing, I am guessing around 10 feet. I haven't done an exact calculation.


At a quick glance it sounds like you have way too much pump for your plumbing. It might be too much pump for my tank, but I doubt it is too much water for 1 1/2 " PVC. Take a look at:
http://flexpvc.com/WaterFlowBasedOnPipeSize.shtml. 1 1/2" PVC is listed as 2100gph, close to what the Snapper is listed at for 2 feet of head and more than twice what it is listed for at 10' of head.

Everyone seems to want to comment on how to plumb systems that are either very different from what I have. I cannot be the only person in the world using 1 1/2" flex PVC and a pump with the flow of a dart. Everyone also keeps asking about the display tank, which I think is mostly irrelevant.

I've had a reef tank well over 10 years, 2 different tanks, countless ways of plumbing drains and sumps. I've never had a very good system for connecting the drain to the sump.

brad
07/19/2013, 11:27 AM
A good design shouldn't be too hard to modify to include more or less flow, multiple drains, larger or smaller sumps, and completely different display tanks. We all use the same basic design (or choose from a few designs) for skimmers, lights, heaters, pumps or anything else.

I know a drain seems like a simple thing, but it isn't. I've seen hundreds of reef tanks, and none have something I am completely happy with. Specifically, any setup that is easy to change later (such as to add a refugium, deep sand bed, use the flow for something) fails miserably on being low splash and quiet. Anything Quiet or low splash tends to require replacing most of your sump or plumbing to make changes.

If you feel your drain to sump connection is good, please post details about yours.

Sonyardo
07/20/2013, 12:27 AM
It almost sounds like you have more volume going thru the plumbing then the chart suggest. Are you sure you don't have one of the higher volume hybrid pumps?

AZBigJohn
07/20/2013, 12:55 AM
Well, back to your original question, I do have flex pipe for my drain, and while it didn't "flop around" as you describe (my tank and sump are somewhat smaller volume) I did have the flex pipe move around and make noise.

My solution was a 4 inch filter sock holder without the filter sock. A little foam pipe insulation, and the pipe sits in its cushioned home quietly.