return pump too powerful! HELP ME PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by Blue Falcon, Oct 8, 2009.

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  1. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon Fire Goby

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    It's a 65 gallon DT with a magnaflow drilled overflow. The overflow is rated for 600 GPH. The sump is a 20 gallon long with skimmer on left, return in the center, and refugium on the right. The drain is split between the skimmer and fuge via ball valve. I just got a mag drive 9.5 (950 GPH). I knew it was a strong pump before I got it but I figured with the head pressure it would be fine. The problem is that the flow rate through the sump is way too strong. I'm getting so much noise and so many bubbles into the sump that bubbles are bursting out of the drain pipe and spewing all over the inside of the stand and my refugium light. The magnaflow overflow pipe (the one in the tank) already has a hole at the top like a siphon break, I figured it would help release the bubbles before they make it to the sump but the water flow is so strong it's forcing the bubbles down too.

    BEFORE YOU ASK, I already have a ball valve split off the return to tune back flow to the DT. The dang thing is wide open and allowing as much flow as possible to re-enter the sump and it's STILL too much flow. If I were to close the ball valve the DT would flood. I was wondering if it would be possible to place another ball valve on the actual return line to force more water back into the sump before it gets to the DT. Can you help me fix this problem
    cause I just spent $100 on this pump and I really don't want to drop another $75 on the next size down pump.



    [​IMG]


    PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO TO SEE FOR YOURSELF!!!!
    http://s810.photobucket.com/albums/zz29/BlueFalcon365/65 Gallon reef/?action=view&current=return.flv
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
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  3. PackLeader

    PackLeader Giant Squid

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    A valve on the return is standard, you should never run one without.
    Skip the ball on the return though they are a pain to get dialed in and keep dialed. Get a true PVC gate valve.
     
  4. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon Fire Goby

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    Thanks for responding pack. But the valve is already wide open. So replacing that one with a PVC gate wouldn't do anything. Are you saying place a gate valve on the actual return pipe to "force" water back into the sump? Do they make a true PVC gate valve with barbs for flexible tubing or would I need to run it in hard PVP tubing?
     
  5. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    Yes, put one in the return line to restrict flow back to the DT and thus dial down flow into the overflow.
     
  6. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon Fire Goby

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    let me try that right quick I'll update ya'll in a few minutes.
     
  7. bioreefdude

    bioreefdude Fu Manchu Lion Fish

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    filter socks that way you can keep ur flow nice and high with out the bubbles
     
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  9. AZDesertRat

    AZDesertRat Giant Squid

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    Toss the valve configuration you presently have, they are energy wasters plus add to the turbulence problem in the sump.
    Instead plumb a ball valve into the line leading up to the display so you can add head or backpressure to the pump which reduces flow, reduces watts or power consumption and often makes a pump run cooler and more efficiently. It does not hurt a centrifugal pump to valve the discharge down even quite a bit.
    By returning the flow to the sump the way you are doing now the pump is still pumping close to its maximum thus drawing more power and creating more heat.

    The question is do you have a standpipe on the overflow so it has a smooth flow down to the sump? If not or if its improperly designed or built it can be causing your bubble problems. With the correct design it should be a very laminar flow and very quiet.

    Your sump is WAY TOO FULL! When you shut the power off does it overflow? I run my 30G long sump down about 6" at all times so I have freeboard or excess capacity to contain all the backsiphonage from the display which is only 3.8 gallons maximum but I play it safe.

    Never ever, did I say never? rely on a drilled hole to prevent a flood. Never! The only positive backflow prevention method is an air gap. By this I mean keep your returns just slightly below the surface so once power goes off only a small easily calculated amount of water returns to the sump before the return(s) are exposed and the siphon breaks. Holes plug, a snail parks on them, food sucks into it, an anemone sticks to it, a fish basically anything. It does not matter if you clean it 2o times a day, it can stil plug, its only a matter of time. Air gaps don't fail and require no maintenance. Check valves are also a no no since all it takes is a single grain of sand to defeat it much less the slime and algae coatings wee see in a reef system.
     
  10. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon Fire Goby

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    Thank you for your response. I have a few things I would like to address and hope you will read this and answer them.
    First, what is a stand pipe? I'm guessing its is the vertical pipe that came with the overflow system that is adjustable to change the height of the drain pipe? It already has holes in it to prevent siphoning and there is a very large air gap. The pipe is just barely (maybe a 1/4") below the surface.

    Secondly, my sump is not too full. The pic you see is when all power is off. There is still enough space to hold about 2 more gallons of water but in the pic all the water has already drained down. There is little to no siphoning on the drain pipe. Did you watch the video? You can see the water level lower when the pump comes on.

    Thirdly. You suggest restrict the flow of the pump all together and you suggest this will reduce watt consumption. Wouldn't this just cause stress on the pump? How would restricting flow draw less power?. The pump is still pumping as hard as it can and the impeller would be spinning just as fast, the water would just be restricted.

    Again, thank you for your response. I am very grateful. I'm just trying to understand this pump thing you mention.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  11. Geoff

    Geoff Teardrop Maxima Clam

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    I run a mag 9.5 on my 55gal dt 20gal long sump/fuge and have no problems with the flow but I have a hob overflow rated at 1000gph so it handles the pump gph fine. I also have the overflow draining into a small 4" x 4" section filled with live rock rubble which then overflows into the skimmer section.The live rock rubble takes care of most of the bubbles and the baffles get the rest. It's also very quiet untill the water evaps down alot and then all you hear is water falling from the fuge compartment into the return section,this is my audible warning to top off the tank water.Your set-up is close to mine so I don't think you need another pump,maybe just some adjusting.
     
  12. PackLeader

    PackLeader Giant Squid

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    Some pumps will reduce the wattage, some will not. And no, it won't overly stress the pump. Nearly tanks have a valve on the return. Or this happens ;)
    I think at some point you got confused as to where to put the valve, and put it on the overflow. There really is no reason to have it there, the overflow will only drain at the rate to what is being supplied back into the tank. You can't really under-draw an overflow.