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Old 02-14-2007, 10:38 PM   #1
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Spraybar using return pump and check valve

I just plumbed a spraybar to run horizontally across the back of my tank, down near the sand to get some water movement deep. I've got a 110g high tank and it's hard to get flow down there.

Here's the problem, since the holes are at the bottom of the spraybar under 24" of water - during a power outage the backflow siphon is going to drain my tank dry, overflowing my sump and flooding my house - SO, I drilled four small holes in different places directly below the surface of the water to break the siphon when the pump stops. It appears to work great. One hole works, but I made 3 more in case a snail or urchin is covering one during power outage.

Does anyone else do this? I'll probably get paranoid and just add a check valve but thought I'd ask if anyone had problems with this method of breaking the siphon.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #2
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Great idea! I've always just used a check valve, but that's an interesting idea.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:59 PM   #3
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I have 3 different "plumbed" returns in my tank and all 3 have holes drilled above the water line to keep from having a flood! I'm speaking from a similar experience. I hate to hear it happen to someone else but it was a good lesson learned non-the-less! Good idea having multiple holes I do the same thing!!
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy953
I have 3 different "plumbed" returns in my tank and all 3 have holes drilled above the water line to keep from having a flood!
Oh, ABOVE the water line. Interesting. Mine are just below. Does it cause noise, or microbubbles?
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:24 PM   #5
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no when the pumps are running it squirts a little bit of water out of the holes and when the pumps are off the syphon is broken almost instantly. I had holes just below the water line also but they got clogged up or covered by sails and I ended up with the same problem, so I decided that I would fix it once and for all and drilled holes above the water line. Works for me. Now mind you these are small holes....3/32" drill bit so we arent' talking about a lot of water shooting out or anything. One thing to remember is to make sure the holes are drilled and pointing into the tank or, well you know...I'll take a pic of one of my returns and post it....
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:46 AM   #6
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Hey guys, I'm a newbie. Need a little clarification on this topic. Just filled my new 180 tank today with tap water to test for leaks. Quickly found out I have a backflow issue, sump almost over flowed when I shut off my pump.

I have a single overflow in the middle of the back wall. In there I have the 1 1/2 pipe going to the sump and I also have my 1" coming from the pump (return pipe?). What I am unclear on is to where I need to drill the hole, in the return pipe comming from the pump or the pipe going to the sump? THe pipe going to the sump has a cap at the top with lots of holes underneath. The water line is about half way up the overflow. If I have to drill the hole on the pipe comming from the pump, I'm guessing I need to drill the hole right below the water line? Doesn't that take away from the water preasure entering the tank? Meaning it will reduce water movement?


Your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:36 AM   #7
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I positioned my returns (from the pump to the tank) just below the water line so that when the pump shuts off the siphon is broken when the sump is about 85% full. No need to drill any holes. If you can't or don't want to repositon the return lines, then drill a small hole just below the water line. That will let air in so the back-siphon will break before the sump overflows. Just to be clear, this in the tube coming from the return pump to the tank.
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