PDA

View Full Version : Return Pump Failure Question


JaySchulz
09/05/2017, 09:20 AM
Just curious how everyone protects your tank should the return pump fail. Obviously I have a backup pump just in case my main return pump fails but I'm more curious about notifications should I not be home and also the scare of your heaters staying on in the sump which would possibly melt the acrylic sump.

I've noticed some members use their controllers to have their heaters turn off if the pump stops working but I'm not sure how exactly that would work. I currently have a Profilux so I'm curious how I would have it set up to notify me. The only way I see it being able to realize a pump failure is through a flow sensor. Any other ways?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

slief
09/05/2017, 09:29 AM
Having good flow inside the tank via the use of power head/wave makers is critical. The biggest issue with a return pump failure is a lack of oxygen due to the loss in flow and often a loss in surface agitation. As such, insuring decent surface agitation in the absence of your return pump will help mitigate hypoxic conditions that usually follow a lack of flow. Power heads are great for that. Lastly, a battery powered air pump that connects to AC power is great for power failures as the power outage will turn on the air pump.

JaySchulz
09/05/2017, 09:38 AM
Having good flow inside the tank via the use of power head/wave makers is critical. The biggest issue with a return pump failure is a lack of oxygen due to the loss in flow and often a loss in surface agitation. As such, insuring decent surface agitation in the absence of your return pump will help mitigate hypoxic conditions that usually follow a lack of flow. Power heads are great for that. Lastly, a battery powered air pump that connects to AC power is great for power failures as the power outage will turn on the air pump.



Thanks for the response Slief. I'll have a considerable amount of flow via (4) vortech mp60's. And I'll still probably need two more. I'm not so much concerned about lack of O2.

I'm more so wondering how to get notified about return pump failure while I'm at work. I'm also worried about the heaters melting my sump. I had originally want to space out my heaters as much as possible for a more stable temp but I'm thinking I will need to keep them in the same sump section as the temp probe hooked up to my Profilux so that it can turn off the heater outlets.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

mcgyvr
09/05/2017, 10:13 AM
And why do you think you heaters are going to be a problem?
You do have the temp probe in the same tank as the heaters right? If not fix that problem..

JaySchulz
09/05/2017, 10:58 AM
And why do you think you heaters are going to be a problem?
You do have the temp probe in the same tank as the heaters right? If not fix that problem..



Ok after thinking this through I'm way over thinking everything. Haha sorry I have a lot on my mind and I'm not thinking clearly. I forgot that the Eheim Jager heaters have an internal temp control as well. I also forgot that the Profilux will shut off ALL heaters should the temp probe register a high temp in the section it is in. I was originally thinking that if the return pump failed that the stagnant section of the sump w/o temp probe would overheat the water.






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ca1ore
09/05/2017, 11:06 AM
I tend to view the main return pump as perhaps the most critical piece of equipment to have continue to run because so much of my support equipment is in the sump (ATS screen will die if left dry for too long). It's one of the reasons that I have not jumped on the DC pump bandwagon - that and the lack of a sensibly priced pressure pump. Got 20 years out of an Iwaki, going on 10 with my current PW. Even so, I have a spare that can be swapped in quickly, and now use the Apex FFM to tell me when the pump has stopped (along with multiple sump float switches). I generally keep the temperature probe downstream of the heaters but within the sump so that they cannot go unchecked. You could also use the FFM to turn off heaters should the pump fail. All this necessitates maintenance of the sensors - I literally just had one fail on me today. In my impending build, I am going to use flow sensors on both the return and siphon drains, so even a sensor failure will not eliminate the ability to detect pump failure. I believe with the new apex you can also use power draw to sense equipment problems.

JaySchulz
09/05/2017, 11:16 AM
I tend to view the main return pump as perhaps the most critical piece of equipment to have continue to run because so much of my support equipment is in the sump (ATS screen will die if left dry for too long). I have a spare that can be swapped in quickly, and now use the Apex FFM to tell me when the pump has stopped. I generally keep the temperature probe downstream of the heaters but within the sump so that they cannot go unchecked. You could also use the FFM to turn off heaters should the pump fail. All this necessitates maintenance of the sensors - I literally just had one fail on me today. In my impending build, I am going to use flow sensors on both the return and siphon drains, so even a sensor failure will not eliminate the ability to sense pump failure. I believe with the new apex you can also use power draw to sense equipment problems.



I have a waveline 12000 as a spare and I'm about to get a deepwater aquatics BLDC15 for my go to return pump (until I can swing the cash for an abyzz). I'm pretty sure the waveline won't be enough flow except as an emergency pump.

Now that figured it out with the help of you guys. I'll space out my heaters in the first and second baffle of the sump and have my temp probe downstream of the heaters.

Do you have all 4 or 5 of your heaters in one area? Or spaced out?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

slief
09/05/2017, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the response Slief. I'll have a considerable amount of flow via (4) vortech mp60's. And I'll still probably need two more. I'm not so much concerned about lack of O2.

I'm more so wondering how to get notified about return pump failure while I'm at work. I'm also worried about the heaters melting my sump. I had originally want to space out my heaters as much as possible for a more stable temp but I'm thinking I will need to keep them in the same sump section as the temp probe hooked up to my Profilux so that it can turn off the heater outlets.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

if you have a controller like the Apex or Profilux, a float switch in the sump that is dedicated to sensing high water levels will notify you of an issue (assuming you have it programmed to do so) because when the return pump goes out, the sump level will rise. I use multiple float switch's in my controller programming. One redundant pair for ATO, one that is lower than those for "sump too low" and one above the ATO for "sump too high". The newer Apex can notify you of wattage changes on each outlet so in the case of a pump failure, the change of wattage on that outlet could be used to trigger an alert.

ca1ore
09/05/2017, 12:26 PM
Do you have all 4 or 5 of your heaters in one area? Or spaced out?

I have them all in the initial sump chamber; pretty close together. BTW, unless you are wedded to a submersible, you will never make up the purchase premium of an abyzz over something like an Iwaki with power savings (if there are even any). Just my 2 cents.

jda
09/05/2017, 01:47 PM
The most important thing is to have the most reliable pumps that money can buy, some heaters in the tank and some in the sump with the temp probe in the tank where the good stuff lives. This way, your tank can live with a few heaters hidden out in the corners with the MP60s even the main pump is off for a few weeks. If you plan well, it is not important to know the second that your return pump failed... everything will be OK until you get home and notice it.

Laguna, Fluval, GenX, Iwaki, PanWorld or Dolphin Pumps for me. I have mags too, but I only use them for backups since I never cleaned them enough and they go loud. DC pumps have had too many iterations and failures for me to trust them... maybe in another four or five years if they have a decade of success with no iterations, then I will think about one. The speed control seems dumb to me and there is no energy savings, so why use a less reliable unit, IMO?

I trust Ranco many times more than I trust a temp probe on a hobby unit - Ranco are industrial grade and are proven to fail off on the rare instance that they fail (have only ever heard of a few in twenty years). I have a few old Medusa controllers still, which while excellent are long out of production. :( I also use Ehiems with the built in thermostat for redundancy. This is the most reliable that I feel that I can get.

scuzy
09/05/2017, 05:12 PM
I use a flow sensor or if you have new Apex. Have it alert you if socket is < 20 watts? That's good I have mine setup without using float switches.