View Full Version : Plumbing Help

03/09/2006, 10:38 AM
Is this ok for plumbing the new 120 gallon?


03/09/2006, 10:49 AM
Make sure you put a union inbetween the pump and the bulkhead -- in your case, it would be best to put the union below the ball valve. The union lets you unhook the pump from the system without having to cut the pipe :)

You can also buy ball valves with union ends -- kill 2 birds with one stone :)

I did the same on my drain (used a union). It makes it a lot easier to mess with the pipes if you ever need to replace a bulkhead or move the sump.

Also, depending on the power of your return pump you may want to think about putting a Tee in the return pump plumbing and route flow through a ball valve back into the sump. This is better for tuning the flow from the pump (if it is too powerful for your overflow) than using a ball valve on the main line because it accomplishes the same task (reduced flow into the main tank) but doesn't change your resistance so the pump doesn't have to work harder and can last longer. Here is a link to example of this kind of plumbing (scroll about 1/2 way down):


If you plumb it this way and end up being fine with the flow to the tank, you can just leave the Tee'd ball valve closed and get the full flow from the pump...


03/09/2006, 11:12 AM
How is your drain set up? Is it a reef-ready tank, drilled in back, or are you going to use an overflow? In any case, consider what will happen when your return pump (Mag 12) is turned off (i.e. if the pump or power fails). You want to anticipate anything that might cause a flood.

03/09/2006, 11:17 AM
It is drilledon the bottom. I just don't fill the sump all the way so that if the pump stops working, the water will drain into the sump. Before the sump gets full, the water will have stopped draining because it is not high enough to go into the overflow. Is this correct?

03/09/2006, 11:34 AM
Yep. That's how I do it. I considered getting a flap valve on the return line to stop back flow, but I ended up making sure the excess capacity in the sump could accomodate the volume of water flowing both through the drain, and backflow through the return lines.


03/09/2006, 11:46 AM
I've not used them, but the SCWD has a bad reputation for restricting flow and failing after a while. Also, consider the effects of a back-siphon through your return-line when the power is off. Many people (including myself) drill some small holes just below the water line on the return to break that siphon and minimize back flow into the sump.