Discussion in 'Coral Health' started by ReefSparky, Jul 27, 2009.
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It's much sexier when it's plugged in. Take my word for it.
Very nice purchase and as always a well written story to go along with it.
Thanks for the compliment, Mike.
"Cool" purchase (hehe) congrats!!
congrats on the new purchase
So Luna called me about 12 times last night asking where the pics were (just kidding), but I thought I might as well document it for those interested.
At first, I was going to put this chiller inline with the return. Water would come out of the sump, into the return pump, to the chiller, and back to the hard-plumbed return line to the tank. Then I read that a chiller adds approximately 6' of head pressure. Plan A blown away.
I learned that a chiller must have a certain amount of water flowing through it. My paperwork says it needs (approx) b/w 450-1000 GPH. Whether the chiller is running or not, this flow is constant. My present pump is good for 435 GPH at 4' head. Putting that flow through the chiller would have resulted in almost no turnover, and certainly blowing out the chiller in no time. The lack of flow would have resulted in the chiller running 24/7-not good.
My choice was to buy a larger return pump, and do it "right," or do something else. After dropping this money on the chiller, I wasn't feeling another couple hundred for a larger return pump. I opted to use a CA3000 powerhead (I had sitting around that I use for water changes) rated for 1,000 GPH at 0' head pressure. With the 6' head pressure provided by the chiller, I'm getting 528 GPH. This will work.
So it's really a very simple setup. It's pretty much a closed loop system from sump to chiller and back to sump. The powerhead delivering water to the chiller sits in the sump directly under where water enters from the DT, thusly, only warrm water enters the chiller. The line returning to the sump from the chiller, enters the sump at opposite side, downstream of the powerhead. This is right where water is exiting the sump to the main return pump, going back to the DT. This way, there is no mixing of warm and chilled water in the sump. Only warm water enters the chiller, and only chilled water enters the DT.
Enough talk. Here are the pics.
Here are the materials:
I learned this trick years ago. When putting poly tubing on hose barbs, dunk the tubing in boiling water for 30 sec's or so, insert the barb, then plunge into ice water for a few seconds. It's a method that's never failed me. I've yet to lose a hose off a barb.
It's blurry, but you get the idea.
The line in place on the pump.
So here are a few shots of the sump before the install. The water comes in on the left, only a few bioballs there to deaden the waterfall sound at night. The water exits the sump on the right, after the skimmer and reactor.
My relatively inexpensive Coralife 220 is a beast, I tells ya.
OK. So I slid the powerhead/pump to the chiller to the extreme left side of the sump. You can see this is right where the warm tank water enters the sump.
I placed the chiller a few feet away from the tank, because Tangster told me that the heat coming off the back of the chiller will find its way back to the tank if placed too close. Cut the hose to length. . .
Placed a "boat type" stainless steel (screw is stainless too) hose clamp around for insurance, and the inlet to the chiller is done.
A little detail to show how these connections work. Hand tighten only, no tools!
Taking a step back:
A couple of corals for you junkies out there.. . . .
As they say in England, "Right!" So let's move on. Now the outlet from the chiller to the sump.
Another step back:
So if you look closely, the poly tube in front comes from the powerhead and goes to the chiller. The one behind it, is the return from the chiller to the sump. Notice the 90 degree hose barb elbow. I'm ashamed to say I stole this on accident. I placed it in my pocket in the hardware store while measuring a piece of tubing, and never found it until I was home. Whoops!! That's a buck.30 I owe them. I'm good for it. Sorry fellas!!
This picture is an attempt to show where the return line descending off the 90 degree elbow lays right in front of the bulkhead to the main return pump. See it?
and the last one:
OK. So the directions say to circulate the water thru the chiller for a few minutes and check for leaks before turning on. I did just that. It says within 3 minutes, it'll come on.
You can't tell anything is going on in this pic, but the water is circulating. I had to add about 1.5 gallons of newly mixed SW I made to make up for the water consumed by the chiller. Would you believe I googled for an hour last night trying to find out how much water I'd need? I just mixed a 5 gallon bucket's worth to be safe.
Once I was satisfied that I added enough water, and not too much, I plugged it in. As promised, in about 4 minutes, the reading told me what my tank temp was. HOLY CRAP!!! All this time I thought I was peaking at 82 or thereabouts. Well, here's a reliable thermometer. I didn't like what I saw. See for yourself:
The rest of the pics require no explanation.
So I've got the chiller set for 78 degrees. It went off at 77.9. It's now after 9pm, and I'm happy to say it's not come back on yet!
Thanks for reading, folks!
I should mention that the small 2-hole strap and plastic screws and nuts in this picture:
will be used to fasten down the return from the chiller. I'm going to drill at the top of the sump just below the plastic 90 degree hose barb. I just didn't do it today. I'll post another final pic when I get it done. 9:30 and the tank level is "chillin'" at 78.7. At 79, it will come back on. I'll post how long it remains on, that's what I'm most interested in--even though the halides are out for the night.
WOW that temp dropped fast. Looks good.
Better 777 than one less.
Thanks for the input, jonjonwells. I really didn't know if that was good, bad or indifferent. I have no experience with chillers. I do now, though.
FWIW, I would have GLADLY paid $666 for it instead.
Wow, that was very fast, I hope not too fast. Looks good buddy, So everything worked out great huh?
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