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Old 07-09-2004, 11:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Avi
What do you mean when you say you have "back up" the CPR kind of overflow??
Not to butt in on Biggen but they are the most prone to trouble and spillage. The "C" type tube used causes constant headaches with keeping the syphon and a small pump is recommended inside the overflow itself to maintain the syphon. If there a problem and the return pump from the sump quites or vice versa, you will definately have a flood.

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Old 07-10-2004, 12:25 AM   #12
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I'll be the first one to tell ya, if I had to buy another overflow, it would be a U-tube type overflow. But only because of their price.

CPR's are great overflows IF you have a good PH (i.e. Maxijet) used to keep the siphon going. The problem is, a lot of people are using cheaper PH's (i.e. Rio's) and don't maintain them properly. Once the siphon breaks on the overflow, the next step is the contents of your sump being pumped to the floor.

I have been running mine for a year and I have had ZERO problems with it. As long as the PH is cleaned regularly, I never will. Even if the PH is turned off, the siphon will still stay intact for a while. It only breaks if air enters the overflow which can only happen if a lot of wave action causes air to be pulled in.

The nice thing about the CPR's is that they can start back up right away in the event of a power failure. I have never used a U-tube overflow, but will their siphon not break if the sump pump loses power?
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Old 07-10-2004, 12:38 AM   #13
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I can tell you that if I cut the electricity off going to my pump....it's a Mag Drive that's in the sump...the siphon isn't broken...The water level in the tank drops, with water going down into the sump, then stopping. When I put the electricity back on, the pump starts, sending water back up to the tank and the overflow starts and along with it, the siphon. Nothing needs to be done.

If there were ever a power outage, the same would happen. The water always remains in the U-tube.
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Old 07-10-2004, 12:40 PM   #14
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back them up as in defend them.

The reason I dont like them is this. They dont use a U tube but instead the entire lenght of the overflow is a channel for water to go up an dover the back of the tank. The isssue is that they have such a bad problem with air collecting in this long "c channel" that they have a hose connection at the top to not only aid in starting the syphon but to also keep air out of this channel. The recommend you attach a powerhead to this line to keep the channel full of water. When power fails and the c channel empties the powerhead will fill it back up again once power is restored in comapirson to the U tube overflows that dont need such assistance.

Should that powerhead fail to power up then you have a flooded floor. I have a friend whom has a CPR overflow and they recommended he run a hose extension down to his sump instead of a powerhead because his sump is in the basement. This works fine and dandy until the hose clogs with algae either at his sump end or at the overflow end. The few times that this drain line has gotten about 1/2 way plugged with algae his overflow has failed or has slowed down due to the amount of air in the channel that he has suffered a flood.

I figured out that it was the algae on the hose and suggested he wrape his clear drain line with dark tape so as to keep light from getting inside the line.
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Old 07-10-2004, 12:45 PM   #15
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I have never used a U-tube overflow, but will their siphon not break if the sump pump loses power?
NO. You could cut the power off and leave it off for more than a day and power the pump up and the syphon will still be there. As long as both ends of the U tube remain under water you wont lose syphon. The outside portion of the U tube is under water because there is a small chamber whos shortest wall is higher than the bottom of the U tube. The inside portion of the U tube is maintained underwater because its depth is lower than the highest point of the outside tube chamber. Since water will naturally find itself a level point both ends stay under water and will remain that way until evaporation causes one of the ends to get air.

The biggest problem with U tube overflow is when people underdrive them. If you have say a 600GPH unit and you put only 150GPH thru it then air bubbles may collect at the top of the tube and overtime break the syphon. If you drive the overflow close to what its rated at you wont have such a problem. The only maintance I do on them is every so often I take the U tubes out and clean them with round brush to remove any algae buildup on the inside.
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Old 07-10-2004, 01:58 PM   #16
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http://www.lifereef.com/siphon.html

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Old 07-10-2004, 05:48 PM   #17
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The biggest problem with U tube overflow is when people underdrive them. If you have say a 600GPH unit and you put only 150GPH thru it then air bubbles may collect at the top of the tube and overtime break the syphon.
This must be what is happening to a couple of the employees of my LFS. The tell me they have to "restart" their U-tube every few days because it breaks. This is why they only recommend and carry the CPR overflows.

I have never had any such bad experiences as a flooded floor that your friend has had with his overflow. I used to run a PH down in the sump and run the airline back to the top of the overflow (like your friend), but I also had algae growth in the line. I since moved the PH into the tank and shortened the line nearly 5 fold. So long as I don't ever pull the airline out from around the nipple on the overflow (which would allow air to enter the channel), my siphon never breaks. I can even turn the PH off and the overflow will continue to perform at the same speed. It has a lot to do with the angle the overflow is positioned at. That is why CPR installed two screws on the inside back of the unit. This allows you to position the overflow at an angle to the tank to keep air bubbles from being trapped inside. You may want to mention this to your friend.

Again, if I bought another overflow, it would be a U-style. Less expensive and a bit more simplistic. I just think the CPR gets a far worse wrap than it deserves...
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Old 07-10-2004, 07:21 PM   #18
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i would add a good book to the list of things to have
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:39 AM   #19
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i have decided not to go with a reef tank, but simply stick with fish and a few inverts. It's a 55g tank with 60 pounds of lr as well as ls. I would like to have a sump underneath.

Do I still need a skimmer for this type of tank? Can I start w/o one? Thanks everyone for your help.
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