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What's wrong with my sump setup?


vanz
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Miles have been extremely helpful in assisting me implement a sump/overflow to my system. He's the DIY master (rock2)

 

But it looks like this is one of the things you need hands on experience to figure out what is faulty with my project.

 

(scratch) I'm stumped....don't know what to do.

 

Here lies my problem...can you guys see what's wrong?

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The dry side seems to be doing okay. Don't mind the weird standpipes...testing purposes.

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This is the sump. Pump is on 2 clicks from the LOWEST setting.

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What do you guys think?

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Well, the water level in the main tank is caused by my pump pumping out more water than what is going down the overflow. It looks like the overflow can't keep up with the pump. I keep on adding water when the pump was gonna go dry.

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Well' date=' the water level in the main tank is caused by my pump pumping out more water than what is going down the overflow. It looks like the overflow can't keep up with the pump. I keep on adding water when the pump was gonna go dry.[/quote']

You have a similar problem I have with an 800gph pump. Oldbrownies gave me another pump since mine broke and it's even more of an issue since it runs about 2100gph! I have to have a ball valve slowing the output of the pump otherwise the sump goes dry before it ever has a chance to fill up. I have 2 elbow siphons running like you, but only 1 downpipe to sump from the overflow box. The more water in the tank makes for faster flow to sump, but you must be cautious with putting too much water in there. I insist you don't make the same stinky mistake I did and do a power failure test NOW to make sure your sump is going to hold the extra water you've been putting into the main tank. Do it now with this wind storm brewing again or you may be sorry when the power goes out...just don't take your eyes off the water level and keep your finger on the power switch to turn the pump back on in a hurry..... At least you have clean water if you end up with a spill.... I didn't and it took a half a bottle of Lysol on the carpet and 1 1/2 weeks to dry before the smell went away.(wife)

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The overflow should be able to handle more than 1000 gph, and my pumps max is around 800 i think. With 3-4 ft. head, it should be a lot less than that....and the setting is 2 clicks from the lowest...so I don't even think 200 gph is entering my tank???

 

Yeah, I took precautions on doing my experiments...it's outside on the balcony...overflow will go straight down to my neighbors. hahaha. It's freshwater anyway.

 

Oh i've done many power tests...sump fills almost 2" from the top. I don't think I'm gonna add more water than that.

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The thing is, that overflow should handle 1200gph easy. Or at LEAST the ~580gph pump hes using. It can't even handle the full flow of the pump. So something is off.

 

You can't adjust the inside the tank part of the overflow lower into the tank can you? Don't remember if i asked that.

 

And the U tubes are being blocked even slightly on the inside box right?

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I can probably adjust it about 1/2" lower into the tank, and I've tried it...it looks like the overflow isn't even skimming the surface. I'll even try tonight without the overflow box to see if it makes a difference.

 

The problem is not enough water is going into the sump. Seems like there is a blockage in the intake area.

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Yes, you need to get rid of that air pocket or else you won't be getting the full flow of the U-tubes. If it was a problem with the pump pumping too much water in the tank, the water level in the chamber with your down tubes would be very high. It's an issue where not enough water is getting into the outside box. Just take some airline, stick it up into the air pocket and suck out the air. I'm almost certain that will do the trick.

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Hey. I think it maybe your 1 inch outlets being to tall in the overflow. Try shorter ones or take the pvc out of the bulkheads and it should flow faster. The outlets look to be about the same height as the chamber wall separating the u-tubes from the 1 inch outlets.

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If the problem is air getting trapped in the bend of the tubes. Drill a small hole and glue in an airline nipple on each of the tubes, then run the lines together with an airline "tee" fitting. Then drop a powerhead into your tank and hook the airline to the aerating nipple on the output nozzle of your powerhead. This will draw any trapped air in your overflow tubes into the airlines and out the powerhead.

Kind of like a poorman's aqualifter pump.

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I can't quite tell if the overflow is homemade or purchased... has it been used successfully on another setup?

 

There are only a few places to improve performance that I see and you've already tested some of them from the sounds of it.

 

1) Water entering the teeth of the overflow... lowering/removing the box inside the tank eliminates that possibility.

 

2) Water traveling through the U-tubes... ensure a full siphon and no air pockets and clearance at the end of the suction side.

 

3) Water draining down the riser pipes in the outer box... As long as the pipes are not taller than the overflow wier in the outer box that shouldn't pose a performance hit. If the water is higher than the overflow wier than you are losing siphon potential by giving up the differential in height between the inside water level and outside water level.

 

This is an area where performance could be improved. If you could shorten the overflow in the outer box to lower the water level there you could siphon a larger volume of water. The closer the two water levels the slower the siphon. It looks like the u-tubes are not long enough to change that much since they have to stay submerged to maintian the siphon when the pump stops. It certainly looks like it could siphon way more water than the pump you're using though.

 

4) The distance the drain is submerged in the sump is adding some back pressure to the drain lines but that's not effecting the problem from the sounds of it...

 

A lot of that is redundant but that's how I see it. I had a similar sump on my first tank and I really regretted making the pump zone as small as I did because evaporation had a very fast effect on the water level there... you'll probably see that too with that setup. It kept me on my toes with the top-off, however. :)

 

good luck...

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Yes' date=' you need to get rid of that air pocket or else you won't be getting the full flow of the U-tubes. If it was a problem with the pump pumping too much water in the tank, the water level in the chamber with your down tubes would be very high. It's an issue where not enough water is getting into the outside box. Just take some airline, stick it up into the air pocket and suck out the air. I'm almost certain that will do the trick.[/quote']

 

Try this first..... once you do it once as long as the water levels dont allow air in the overflows you will have full speed ahead.

 

If you don't understand the post just ask... but Im willing to bet this is the problem. Good call Palani

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Pump flow isn't the problem. Seperate the U tupes a little, lower the inside box a little, remove the PVC stand pipe in the overflow, to get that little air out, jiggle the U tupe up and down. Be very carefull of the syphon breaking, when power is off, if the tupes are not at the same level in the inside, the water will drop, and stop, with one, pulling out the water from the other

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I'm not sure if it's homemade, but it looks professionally built. I'm pretty sure it was successful on the previous owner's tank.

 

Miles you were right again...just didn't fully understand your post, until I saw it myself. I didn't bother looking through the side of the tank when I was doing my tests. The u-tubes look to be a bit too long, but can't help it there...if it's shorter, then the tubes going to the outerbox will be above the baffle.

 

The solution was to drop the inside box till it's about to fall off the screws. If it's at it's max height, there's about maybe a couple of mm of clearance between the bottom of the overflow box and the u-tubes. I'm pretty sure I tested dropping the overflow box lower. But this time I really see what the problem is. It's working flawlessly...but since the u-tubes are higher, more air bubbles are being collected inside because of the water crashing in. I'll have to find a happy medium, and I'll attach a venturi to the u-tubes if I have to. At full throttle, the overflow works like a charm now.

 

Thanks guys for your help and suggestions, I'll look back to this thread when I encounter other overflow problems.

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