Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
A way to help reduce the water on the floor failure from plumbing failure. Does not help if the bulkhead fails:
Intake can be near the bottom.
Pipe goes UP while still in the tank. Makes a U and goes down and out through the bulkhead.
Drill a hole in the pipe near the top that is under water most of the time, but will be exposed if 'too much' water drains out. 'too much' might be 1" or 2" below your desired water level. Not too high, you do not want evaporation to expose this hole. Not too low. When water is draining out because of some failure in the pipe you will have that much on the floor. You can set up a tray under the tank to catch this, but more water = bigger tray.
You will need to do more research to find the optimum size of this hole.
On my tank, I bought a kit that has the holes already there. 2 holes, opposite sides of the pipe, about 1/4" each.
This will work if there is a power failure. When the pump stops pushing water into the tank the level stops rising. Then whatever is in the pipe COULD start a siphon, draining out through the failed pipe, or cracked canister. When the water level hits that hole near the top air enters and breaks the siphon.
This will work if the power is still on. The pump keeps running, but water is leaving the system through the break. When there is less water in the system the level gets lower in the tank. When the siphon breaks no more water enters the filter. This could burn out the pump.
Most of the failures I have had have been slow leaks, not catastrophic. By sitting the canister in a shallow container (dish pan or similar) you will see a slow accumulation of water and will be able to do something about it. A 5 gallon bucket or other deep container is OK, but it is harder to get the filter in and out to clean it when the bucket and filter are under the tank, in a tight space. I have used both, and prefer the shallow container. It is not that much water when the problem starts slowly.
I have not had plumbing failure due to faulty pipe, fittings or assembly (I have done PVC for more years than I want to think about and I just do not 'do leaks'.)
Failures have always been the canister. Usually the O-rings, which is a maintenance item. They start to leak, buy new ones.
Last edited by Diana; 12-08-2012 at 04:48 PM.