Discussion in 'Show Off Your Fish Tanks!' started by Tilian, Mar 7, 2013.
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Nope. That should be fine.
You might be able to get away with it because the flex in the pipe will absorb the hammer, but a good rule of thumb is never to exceed 10 ft/sec with rigid pipe. Good design is usually in the 6-8 ft/sec range.
First Big Build Weekend – WATERSTATION
BIG UPDATE GUYS! My first real build weekend is done. This weekend my brother and I build the water station. So here’s what went down…
So, day 1… Friday afternoon.
We started by a trip to Lowes to pick up supplies. Needed to buy ¾” PVC and fittings, the Rubbermaid Roughneck tubs, some John Guest style fittings for the RODI install, and lumber to build the stand. My first mistake started early in the build process… I miss calculated how many 2x4s we’d need which meant a second trip to Lowes later in the day! BAH!
So, we started in on the stand. The two pics below show the stand in progress. In the first, we attached the bottom shelf but not the top yet. In the second picture you can see how we joined the legs. The legs were one long 2X4 on the outside of the leg and then I sandwiched a short leg on the bottom inside of the long leg. Then we did a cross beam and rail on each corner which both rested on that short interior leg. Once that bottom frame was in, we fastened the ¾” plywood shelf, and then added longer interior legs, again sandwiched to the long exterior leg, which went 3.5” short of the top of the long leg. This left enough room to duplicate the rail/cross beam frame procedure above. The final step was to fasten down the top plywood shelf.
Here’s a pic of my hero, savior, cheap labor god… my little brother Sean. He and his wife just moved here to Colorado from Arizona so they’re still getting use to the colder temps. It was a beautiful 50 degree day this day and he was freezing in the garage! LOL. You can also see in the background the frames we made to support the water bins we’ll be using. These frames just keep the sides from bowing out too far.
After all the trips to Lowes, the layout and cutting of all the lumber (All I have is a circular saw… damn I miss my Dad’s chop saw!), and all the work taping and screwing all the joints… it was midnight before I finally got a coat of paint on the tops. I decided to only paint the tops but I may end up painting the legs later… I definitely don’t like the look of bare legs when they’re not tanned and curvy! LOL
So that finishes Friday! We’ll pick back up on Saturday morning!
First Big Build Weekend – WATERSTATION – Day 2
So the plan was to get started early in the morning but we both overslept! Too hyped up Friday night to fall asleep!
We got started around 11:30am or so. Saturday was all about plumbing. We started by drilling the bottom hole of each tub to fit the ¾” Uniseals I bought from Bulk Reef Supply. Now, as you’ll see… these uniseals are tricky. You need to get a perfectly round smooth hole which is tough on curved surfaces. If I were to do it again, we’d raise the holes up higher to a flatter area of the tub. In this pic we’re dry fitting the pump intake section. The pump will be able to take water from either the top RODI tank, or the lower Saltwater tank.
We then drilled and fitted the uniseals for the top holes in the tubs. We then measured and cut all the required pipe to dry fit the rest of the plumbing. Lowes only had 3 of the ¾” true union ball valves so on the lower drain hole of the upper tub, we had to use a standard ball valve and then we put a union in a bit lower on the pipe. One thing we learned is that UNIONS ARE AWESOME! Sure, it’s nice to be able to take the pipes apart but even better is the fact that it lets you rotate the fittings while gluing them. This really makes getting all the 45 and 90 degree angles lined up properly. Here’s a pic of everything all dry fit together.
So then we began gluing. My sister-in-law took a quick snapshot of my brother and I admiring all the purple drips all over our beautiful white pipe! I hate primer!! We definitely need to work on a better technique when it comes to assembling the display tank plumbing. Any tips on how to prevent the one-eyed, one-horned, ugly purple drip maker from showing all over the place!? As you can see in the pic… my little brother isn’t just younger than me… he’s also quite clearly littler than me too! That will come into play on Sunday.
So we finished gluing everything up including the hose spigot! It’s time to test it with real water! We ran the garden hose in and started filling up the top tank. Here are the two tanks with actual liquid in them!
So after about 5min, the water level raised up high enough to cover the lower drain hole of the top tank. We started out with all the ball valves closed just to test the top tank itself. We noticed a pretty big leak in that bottom uniseal. When we drilled that one, the circle saw didn’t come through cleanly so the hole was not perfectly round. So we decided to be safe and take out that top tank and replace it with a third tank I had planned on using for curing my rock. We re-drilled both holes and started it up again. Unfortunately it still had a slow leak! Just a drip a second or so but enough to support the echo of curse words in the garage that afternoon!
Since the leak was slow enough, we decide to go ahead and test the rest of the joints. I opened the bottom valve of the top tank and the bottom valve of the lower tank and let gravity drain that top tank into the bottom one. On the lower holes of each tank, there is a downturned elbow which sucks the water from the indented “feet” on each tub. That lets me drain all but about 2 cups of water from each tank.
Once the bottom tank was filled, we saw that there was another fairly slow leak in the bottom tank’s lower true-union valve. The Uniseal was fine on that one but the leak was coming from the actual union in the valve itself. So we turned the interior elbow up and added a standpipe to keep the water in the tank and disassembled the valve. The rubber gasket was suspiciously missing!! To quote Adam from Mythbuster’s, “Well THERE’S your problem!”
Fortunately I had an extra union lying around so I scavenged the gasket from it and BOOM, leak was sealed! So we proceeded to walk through all the valves and possible water flow directions and everything worked great! Here’s a pic of the Saltwater tub mixing water from the bottom drain back into the top of the lower tank. It’s got some pretty good flow!
No more leaks… just the one uniseal giving us problems. We drained out all the water, dried it all well and ended the night by applying a good coat of silicone, inside and out, around that drain. Here’s my terrifyingly ugly silicone job.
So that closed out Saturday… we finished things up around 6pm, just in time to start watching the UFC fights! Sunday would be all about the RODI unit.
First Big Build Weekend – WATERSTATION – Day 3
So Saturday night, my brother Sean wasn’t sure if he’d be able to come give me a hand on Sunday. He’s helping a friend build a new hot rod in time for a big car show in June. So I was going to have to do the RODI unit on my own!
As you can see in the pic from Saturday’s work, I’m not the fittest human specimen on the planet! I’ve been a computer nerd for the last 25 years and have worked in the computer industry for the last 16 years. When you’re tied to a desk for work all day and all your hobbies are desk or chair related as well, your muscles tend to rebel a bit when you’ve had a good physical weekend like this! Needless to say, I was moving pretty slow on Sunday! LOL
By the time I actually got started working it was close to noon again. Just as I was getting going, Sean called and said he was on his way over! The real handyman in the family was back to save my ass again!
So we started by getting the RODI unit on the wall. I moved the sprinkler timer and the power strip over to the side of the grey cabinet and then mounted a piece of scrap plywood to the studs. Then, I hung the RO and DI units to that scrap wood.
Unfortunately the garage doesn’t have any water or drains in it so to power the RODI unit I’d have to go through the wall. The garage shares a wall with the kitchen so we decided to run the input and drain lines through the wall, through a cabinet, behind the dishwasher and under the kitchen sink. Simple right!? So here’s the cabinet that we’d have to drill through the back wall into the garage. Thank god for “little” brothers! If he hadn’t showed up today I still would have tried to drill it, but as my Dad told me I’d have take my cell phone with me so when I got stuck in there I could call someone to pull me out!
So Sean did his best contortionist impression and crawled under there to drill through both walls. He did a great job and we now had a red and black tube running to the kitchen sink!
So next, we had to connect the lines. The drain line went smooth by drilling a ¼” hole just below the sink drain and using the saddle clamp supplied by BRS to run the drain line down the actual drain. If only the input line went as smoothly!
So we used the BRS “Tee” fitting to connect the cold water line to the RODI unit. We shut down the cold water valve under the sink, pulled the flexible copper tubing off and put the RODI Tee in between. Hooked everything back up, opened the valve and turned on the cold water up at the sink. We were getting just a trickle of water. There was almost no pressure.
Since I’ve never had an RODI unit before, I was worried that this might be normal. I opened the valve on the RODI unit and started flushing it out. Once flushed, it finally started to produce some RODI water but it was very slow. We went back under the sink and realized that the brass shut off valve under the sink had died… it wouldn’t open. Apparently these are made to only close once and then never open again! LOL
In my experience, the best plumbing tool it the house is a phone. I’m just not a handy type of guy! Sean took the lead on fixing the copper plumbing and went out to get a new valve at, yes you guessed it, Lowes again. After several attempts, and several leaks, we finally got the new valve in! Here’s how it turned out.
We kicked the RODI unit back on and started running the RODI into a bucket. BRS recommends running it for the first hour into a waste bucket anyway to clear all the fines. After fixing the brass valve under the sink, we measured the output from the RODI unit at about 50g per day. Considering the water temperature here is probably below 40 degrees, that’s a flow rate I can live with. While it was running I cleaned up the tubing and wires a bit. Here’s how it finally turned out.
So I’m finally making good water! Now since it had only been 24hrs since I siliconed that leaky uniseal, I didn’t want to start filling that tub yet till it was fully cured. I’ll give it one more day before I start that. In the mean time though we had that third tub laying around with the wonky ¾” hole in it that was leaking. Somehow I’d have to close those holes off in order to use that tub to cure my rock.
My final solution was to actually use a couple of 1” uniseals to plumb that tank to my eventual display tank pump. Since a circle saw wouldn’t work real will when there is already a ¾” hole in the tank I decided to take a different approach. I drew a circle around the existing hole so that the bottom of the new hole would touch the bottom of the existing hole. Then, I took a Dremmel with a barrel sander on it and filed the hole out to the edge of the circle I drew. This worked surprisingly well and we were able to plumb the tank using 1” PVC to my new pump. I’ll use this pump, along with a heater, to keep the water flowing quickly through the rock as it cures.
So here it is, the final view of what we ended up with. It was a long weekend but I think we accomplished a lot. I’m thrilled! Please let me know what you think so far!
This is a great build! I wil be following this one.
Looks great! Do you park an auto in that garage?
On a tangent- my ro/di was designed as a house drinking water system also- the ro water anyways goes to a 3G storage tank with a pressurized bladder. My unit and the tank is all under my kitchen sink, the ro goes to a separate smaller faucet on the sink top and also plumbed to my fridges water ans ice maker. The ro then also goes back thru my di resin and to my sump. Works great
Your computer images of the build and overflow are amazing.
The way you have the overflow designed is the most optimal way to do it, nice design/function work!
Much more awesome than my current system. Actually, for my next design build, if the dt is not already RR, this is precisely the overflow design I had envisioned on a drilled tank!
Your animated drawings of it are phenomenal!
I can not say or express enough how optimal your design is with the c to c part skimming so much surface area, and then to the bean style box! Superb!
Again, THIS is the most optimal design for a drilled tank, actually functioning BETTER than a bottom drilled RRstyle overflow tank! IMO
Thanks for the kind words Todd... yes I'll be parking in the garage. There's enough room in there for me to pull my car in to the left of the water station. I'll want to drop a tenis ball on a string from the ceiling to be sure I don't get too close to the plumbing ;D
Very nice job on the water station!
And what I find the most impressive is that your build came out just like your drawing. No "field fit as necessary" pipe runs.
I'm impressed! Looks great to me! Congrats on the results of all of your hard work.
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