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Old 07-20-2011, 01:02 AM   #1
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Help! Please show your DIY PVC Overflow

I am currently trying to make a DIY PVC Overflow and I do have the basic shape and requirements down but I could not find a video that showed safety of a overflow during a power outage as well how they made their pvc overflow. My main concern for this overflow is to keep the siphon in the event of a power outage, and will work properly once the power is restored.

Here is the picture of the PVC overflow I am planning on making.

My questions were,

1. Does it matter where on the pipe I place the "J" piece? Some videos I saw were high and some were low.

2. I was wondering in the event of an outage, which segment would the water remain at? (where would the water stop)

If anybody has personal experience with this it would be so extremely appreciated. This is my next step in getting a great clean tank for corals. Thank you! Please provide any advice you can! >,<
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:14 AM   #2
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Hope this pic helps a bit. I only used 1/2" PVC so the flow won't be too much.


Edit: idk why the pic came out upside down lol
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:20 AM   #3
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Yeah thanks I think that's pretty if not exactly what I was going to make. My concern is what are you doing to make sure the tank doesnt overflow in the case of a power outage?

And also if you know, can you please tell me where the water level would stop at in the event of an outage?
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:32 AM   #4
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You need to test and adjust. You need to make sure that the intake of the PVC is low enough to get water, but high enough so that the rest of the water that is getting sucked in, won't overflow the sump. You also need to make sure that the return pump will run dry before the display tank is overflowed, in case of siphon loss.

This design is about the same as yours, and it is said not to lose siphon. I have not been able to test it so idk if it true or not.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:37 AM   #5
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I am not worried about overflowing the sump because I will not be running it to the brim. However, I was worried about the return pump turning back on after an outage and overflowing my display tank (because my outflow did not resume syphon)

I think I could possibly just elevate the return pump within the refugium which would reduce the amount of water that would spill, but I would still like to know how to make a DIY PVC overflow to resume syphon by itself after power returns.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:49 AM   #6
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If you are worried about the siphon being lost, connect the piece of airline tubing to an air pump. They suck the air out of the PVC priming it and continuing the siphon.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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hmmm so could I just extend the tubing on top and leave it permanently connected to a small rio powerhead I have inside the tank? This would be connected to the check valve on section "F" and lead into the tank to the powerhead?

Would the powerhead continue with its regular flow if the tube is connected
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