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Old 09-07-2003, 11:40 PM   #1
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DIY slim overflow

OK ... this is the third overflow I've built, second I've actually constructed... learning a tad more every time, by the 10th or 11th overflow I think I'll have it down

my objective is to have an overflow that fits behind my tank, which is close to a wall, not leaving a lot of "width" available for a large drain box (found on most commerical overflows)

so I designed an overflow that is 12" long by 3" wide. It has two 3/4" drains and a 1.25" (or maybe two 1") siphon. my target GPH is ~400-500, not sure if two 3/4" will push that or not, especially since I'm using hose and not pipe. failing that, I should have enough room to ream out the holes for 1" drains.

so, here's so pics (more to come, ran out of good light)
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:56 AM   #2
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looks pretty sweet, where do you get those bulkheads, the ones at my local aquarium are like $20 each!
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Old 09-08-2003, 09:18 AM   #3
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Two 3/4 drains should easily handle 500gph. I have a tank running with a 1200gph pump using two 1" drains and a 1 1/2" siphon tube. You may even find that you need more flow to make the overflow operate at max efficiency. I have another tank...doing about 200 gph there...where the DOC on top of the water never gets pulled into the siphon because there isn't enough flow through the overflow box.
Your design looks good to me. My guess is the "bulkheads" are PVC adapters?
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Old 09-08-2003, 10:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mono
where do you get those bulkheads, the ones at my local aquarium are like $20 each!
Quote:
Originally Posted by loganj
My guess is the "bulkheads" are PVC adapters?

yea, what he said! :P

39 cents for the 3/4" Socket to Male Pipe Thread fitting

99 cents for the 3/4" Female Pipe Thread to Hose Barb fitting

$1.59 for a 3/4" O-Ring

so for under $3 I got a nice bulkhead - just wrap the threads with a little teflon tape and hand tighten till the o-ring is seated.

watch out however, that trick only works on 1/2" through 1" sized parts, once you go over 1" the pieces only thread together using teflon lubricant and heavy pipe wrenches.

-----

Guess I should add a complete rundown:

Approx $18 in Plastolite 1/8th Inch Acrylic Sheet
Approx $6 in "bulkheads"
Approx $10 in 3/4" hose (need to get more though)

Assembly time about 6 hours
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Old 09-08-2003, 12:55 PM   #5
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more pics

here's a shot of the drain box sans weirs and the skimmer box.

I may use stand-pipes (with a modified compact durso) and dispense with the weirs completely

I haven't worked out the perfect method of joining the two yet ... the skimmer box has that extra lip on it which I might try bending over, but 100% sure on how to do it yet.
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Old 09-08-2003, 02:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
I might try bending over, but 100% sure on how to do it yet.
got any spare 1/8" left over? you can try using a hair dryer on its highest setting (may take a while). Just set the box on its side with the part you want to bend hanging over the edge of the table. Heat... heat some more apply slight preassure on it while heating and see if it sags. If the hair dryer doesn't work you can also, if you have one or access to one, find a "heat gun" wich is like a hair dryer on steroids ) people that might have one:

Model Airplane enthusiasts
Car/Home Audio enthusiasts
Electronic enthusiasts (aka HAM radio operators ;o) )
Cusomt Chopper builders ('cause I see em use them on the discover shows! lol)

I've also heard of folks "baking" acrylic to accomplish the same thing.. but the fact that your box is already assembled makes that difficult at best.
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Old 09-08-2003, 02:21 PM   #7
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for my last overflow, I bent the sheet using my stove (electric), wearing leather gloves I held the section over the burner until it softened, and then formed the bend using a wood scrap.

however, this piece is too "long" to heat evenly over the burner properly, so as you mentioned, I might try some strips.

will have to stop off at the hw store, don't have any here ATM
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Old 09-08-2003, 07:33 PM   #8
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Was the logic behind the two 3/4" drain lines to keep the width down?
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:20 PM   #9
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yea, to minimize the behind-tank space needed, but still provide some good flow ability.

actually 3" was more than enough for a 3/4" drain ... the hole needed to be about 1.125

so I could actually ream out and upgrade to 1" drains if I wanted to move this overflow to a larger tank, requiring more flow

the CPR and other brands all seem to be between 4" and 8" wide, which really sucks if your tank is right up to a wall ... so instead of short in length and wide in depth, I went long in length and short in depth

I just picked up the rest of the plumbing to make a pair of modified durso's as well as some plastic scraps to attach the boxes together. - will post more pics shortly.
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Old 09-08-2003, 10:07 PM   #10
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Cool

Awesome. I plan on building myself an overflow (I refuse to pay $100 for a box!). So I thought I'd ask, where is usually the best place to find acrylic? Thanks!
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