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Old 10-26-2004, 12:45 PM   #1
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sump operation question

We just built a new stand for our fowlr. Here's the question. If we wanted to install a sump/fuge, what keeps the water from overflowing in case of a power outage? Wouldn't the water just start syphoning out to the sump and overflow on the ground until the main tank was below the outtake tube? Is there some kind of back up to keep this from happening? How do they work?
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Old 10-26-2004, 02:33 PM   #2
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You need to drill a hole in your return tube than sits in the tank. This hole needs to be just under the water line when it normal operation. This way, when the power goes out, the water will siphon back via the return line, but it will "break" when the water gets down to the hole you drilled because it is drawing in air as well. When I turn my sump off, it back siphons for less than one second before air is exposed to the siphon break hole.

This is hard to explain but I hope you understand wha I am talking about. A picture is worth a thousand words so hopefully someone will have one. If not, when I come back from lunch I'll take a picture of my return line with the hole drilled in it and show you what I am talking about.

Also, be sure you don't have you sump operating with water all the way to the top of the container. Mine has water up to about 75% of its total capacity. I leave the other 25% as margin of error incase it was to overflow if the siphon break didn't work (unlikely however). This way, my sump could still handle the extra water.
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Old 10-26-2004, 02:57 PM   #3
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You can also buy a check valve. Surprises me that I never hear of anyone using them. I guess drilling a hole is cheaper. MarineDepot.com sells them.
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:13 PM   #4
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Here is an older thread talking about siphon breaks. There is also a drawing included so you can see what we are talking about.

Do a search on "siphon break" as well on this site. There is a ton more information about them.

Gatorfreak wrote:

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You can also buy a check valve. Surprises me that I never hear of anyone using them. I guess drilling a hole is cheaper. MarineDepot.com sells them.
Yeah, you could do this I guess. I run 1/2" PVC as my return. MarineDepot sells a 1/2" check valve for $16.99. That is without shipping.

Your right, must cheaper to drill a hole.

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