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Old 03-18-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
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Hang on basket sump return

Hi Everyone:

I've read several articles and debates regarding losing the prime in the U-Tube (allowing tank to drain into the sump) and the flooding potential during power outages. The one thing that I haven't read anything on is what happens when the power is restored. This is where I see the biggest problem for my type of system. When the power goes out the tank stops feeding the sump. If during the outage the u-tube loses prime I see a big problem when the power is restored and the sump pump starts up. It will keep running until the sump is empty thus overflowing the tank. Does anyone have any ideas or solutions for this type of setup? Obviously drilling would solve it but the system is completely set up with a tremendous balance of reef and fish.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:37 PM   #2
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Well, When we were hit by Hurricane Ike, I lost power for 2.5 weeks. So, needless to say, I lost almost everything. I waited up for the power to go out and just pulled my u-tube that was draining into the sump. I eventually ended up having the overflow built in to all of my tanks. That's what I would recommend anyone do with a nice size tank.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
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you should never get this problem if the return pump is sized correctly and maintenance is carried out on the pump filters!!
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:08 PM   #4
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re

My return pump is sized perfectly. If the u-tube loses prime if say power is out for some time then the connection between the sump and aquarium is lost. When power is restored the pump will automatically start pumping. Followed shortly by a flood.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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The U tube shouldn't ever loose prime even with the power out if it is set up correctly. Yes, the tank water will drain into the sump until it reaches the point where the inside tank basket is no longer having water go into it. It won't drain completely though because there is no longer enough pressure behind it to continue. Once the power starts up the return pump will put water back in the tank which will then start flowing back into the tank side basket and flow will resume.

If you are loosing flow after a power outage then something else is wrong.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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That's right. There is no way of fixing this.... It's better to have the overflow built inside the tank... or have a really big battery back up hooked up to the pump alone. I dealt with this until I broke down and had the overflow built in...
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
The U tube shouldn't ever loose prime even with the power out if it is set up correctly. Yes, the tank water will drain into the sump until it reaches the point where the inside tank basket is no longer having water go into it. It won't drain completely though because there is no longer enough pressure behind it to continue. Once the power starts up the return pump will put water back in the tank which will then start flowing back into the tank side basket and flow will resume.

If you are loosing flow after a power outage then something else is wrong.

Yes but there is not siphon when the pump kicks back on is what he is trying to say. The water will not fill the u-tube on its own with out re-siphoning the water through it.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:44 PM   #8
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But the water should never leave the u-tube. It should stay full while the power is out. The siphone never breaks it just stops flowing the water because there isn't enough to draw from.

There is a web site out somewhere that I've been going to looking at that guys sump designs. He has an animated drawing of what happens when the power goes out... but I can't seem to be able to find that web site right now. If I find it I'll come back and post it up.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
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I see what you're saying. I just recall from my own "old" set-up that the water was always drained from the tube and there was always an over-flow problem. Maybe if the u-tube is extra long on the inner tank side....?
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:49 PM   #10
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Well, the tube shouldn't just be in the tank. There needs to be a "basket" on the inside and outside of the tank. That basket will hold water and keep it from breaking if there is a power outage.

If you just have the tube in the tank without this then yes, it will break and you would have to re-start it after a power outage.
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