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Old 10-08-2013, 05:50 AM   #1
tefsom85
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Overflow plumbing sizing


I am trying to digest how to properly size the plumbing for a bean animal overflow on a 130 gallon that I am going to have built. I read the beananimal overview, along with many other posts but I am still a little confused on a couple things.

First, in Bean's design, he has a 1" bulkhead going through the back wall which then transitions to 1.5" down to sump. Why does the size change? Wouldn't the flow rate be governed by the smallest opening, ie the bulkhead?

Second, how would this design change for a bottom drilled tank? Would the bulkheads still be 1" with 1.5" pipe below the tank leading to the sump? What size would the standpipes be?

Would the emergency drain need to be bigger than the main siphon?

Note I am using 1" here as the flow calculator on Bean's site indicates that a 1" bulkhead would handle ~1900gph under full siphon... way more than I would need.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:55 AM   #2
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I run 2 1" returns - one in full use and the other as an emergency. They can take quite a lot of flow but the one thing I find is I do get a bit of noise from the water overflowing down the pipe if it isn't set up as a full siphon - I wonder if the reason for the pipesize change is to have more internal surface area in the pipe to control any noise.

The emergency would probably be fine at the same size - but in the very unlikely condition that both returns failed you would need to have it handle double the flow.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tefsom85 View Post
I am trying to digest how to properly size the plumbing for a bean animal overflow on a 130 gallon that I am going to have built. I read the beananimal overview, along with many other posts but I am still a little confused on a couple things.

First, in Bean's design, he has a 1" bulkhead going through the back wall which then transitions to 1.5" down to sump. Why does the size change? Wouldn't the flow rate be governed by the smallest opening, ie the bulkhead?

Second, how would this design change for a bottom drilled tank? Would the bulkheads still be 1" with 1.5" pipe below the tank leading to the sump? What size would the standpipes be?

Would the emergency drain need to be bigger than the main siphon?

Note I am using 1" here as the flow calculator on Bean's site indicates that a 1" bulkhead would handle ~1900gph under full siphon... way more than I would need.
Bean stated that he used 1" bulkheads because that is what he had on hand for the experiment. Otherwise he would have gone 1.5 all the way. As far as the 1.5 being too big, in a vertical stack a gravity fed pipe will flow alot more water the bigger the pipe is vs a horizontal pipe. I am entry level plumber designer so trust me on this one, lol. Also the bigger pipe allows a quieter operation due to the way water wraps around a pipe and leaves the center of the pipe hollow unless under full siphon. It's like using a coffee straw to drink a shake instead of using a normal straw. You just don't have to work as hard.

If you used a 1" in your vertical, you limited the overflow itself. It can be done but you definitely need to run a pump that will not out perform the overflow itself and use a ball valve on the return to regulate it. The 1" to a 1.5 will flow at 1000+ gph, more than enough for most. Thats why there is a ball valve to control the flow on the full siphon at the least. You don't have to put ball valves on all three but the full siphon must have one. Better to have more capacity than not enough. Not enough and you will have to redo the whole system. Most people just use what bean designed and call it a day. That is the route I will be going once I get to building my 150g or 180g next year.

The emergency overflow is fine where it is. It is the redundant factor in the system. Only time it should kick in is when power is lost and the system re-primes itself. The open siphon will kick in way before the emergency in normal operation if needed. With all three drains going (if needed) there is plenty of flow. Now there is nothing wrong with going with a 1.25 or 1.5 emergency, its just more cost involved.

There are weir calculators on the net that will give you the needed size for your overflow piping. On a 130g, I would recommend the exact setup as Bean himself though. Add the sump water and you will need to turn that x times per hour. You will be happy you have a drain system that can handle it without having to redo it. I would go 1.25 at the least for verticals though. On a 55g or less tank, I would chance a 1". And that 1" would be class 200 piping and not schedule 40 or 80.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:22 AM   #4
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Thanks, flight,
I had been considering the same thing on several sizes of tanks.
Do you think 3/4" class 200 would be OK for much smaller tanks? 20 gallon, and smaller, for example?
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:48 AM   #5
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Thanks flight. I am thinking I might just go with 1.5". Hole sizes appear to be the same as the 1.25", according to this http://www.haywardflowcontrol.com/im...PDF/BFCuts.pdf

Now the next question may seem obvious but..... If I choose a pump that has a 3/4" outlet.. Can I run a single 3/4" up through my tank bottom (into the overflow box, its a single center OF box) and then split inside the box to 2 return lines?
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Thanks, flight,
I had been considering the same thing on several sizes of tanks.
Do you think 3/4" class 200 would be OK for much smaller tanks? 20 gallon, and smaller, for example?
I think 3/4" class 200 would be perfect for smaller tanks. Granted that the sump pump itself is sized for the overflow. I would still use a ball valve though. You always want a ball valve for added control. One thing that I found in my researches is to place the ball valve just above the sump tank as the return water leaves. Right below this ball valve add a tee for a return line going right back down to the sump. If the ball valve is anything but fully open, the extra water will return to the sump and take the extra stress off the pump itself and extends life. You can add another ball valve on the teeing return for bypass options if needed. So if a pump is stronger than necessary, having a teeing return line makes alot of sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tefsom85 View Post
Thanks flight. I am thinking I might just go with 1.5". Hole sizes appear to be the same as the 1.25", according to this http://www.haywardflowcontrol.com/im...PDF/BFCuts.pdf

Now the next question may seem obvious but..... If I choose a pump that has a 3/4" outlet.. Can I run a single 3/4" up through my tank bottom (into the overflow box, its a single center OF box) and then split inside the box to 2 return lines?
One thing I can say about bulkheads, is that every manufacturer I have compared, all have different hole size opening. So if you get a hole saw that works for one manufacturer, you may want to stick with them because all bulkheads, may not fit that hole. As far as the return line goes, sure you can split the line once it comes up. Most don't have it going thru the overflow though. Typically it hangs over the tank edge or thru a bulkhead. If you go thru the overflow, it should be sealed 100%. Most people split returns for a couple of reasons. One to distribute more co2 (if applicable) across more of the tank. Two, to lessen the flow. One return line may cause too much of a current so you can slow it by splitting the lines. Also the more bends in the pipe causes more friction which also slows down flow. Be sure to factor in your max head for any given pump. I will be splitting lines myself coming from a reactor though. Positioned and planned correctly, you can eliminate a power head at the surface for water movement and save them for deeper in the tank.
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:08 AM   #7
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The more I look into this, the more I am questioning the absolute need for 3 drain pipes in my overflow. I'm thinking maybe two 1.5" might be sufficient (and take up much less tank real estate). Bean's calculator shows a full siphon on a 1.5" pipe is 3000gph+. Even with a strainer to restrict the flow, I can't imagine I would ever get a return pump that would overwhelm the main siphon. I am assuming I would have to throttle the drain just so the return pump could keep the main in siphon mode. If by chance, something did manage to clog the main drain, the emergency would take up the slack. And with the main drain in full siphon, I should be silent.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:47 AM   #8
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I thought the 3 were:
Main- full flow. fully submerged so no air enters, thus is practically silent.
Secondary- takes up that little bit of extra that may happen once in a while- since the flow is so low it sheets along the pipe, minimizing gurgling sounds.
Emergency- only is in use when both the others are maxed out.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:09 AM   #9
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You have it right Diana. The Bean has the 3 that you described while the Herbie only has the main siphon and the backup/emergency. I believe the Bean is also a little more hands off while the Herbie requires some frequency of 'tuning' the gate valve on the main siphon to balance the flows.

Quite interesting to me actually, but the footprint required in a tank is non trivial which keeps me going back and forth between the Herbie and Bean. I'm now leaning towards a bean design with 1" pipes, but given my track record, that will change tomorrow
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I thought the 3 were:
Main- full flow. fully submerged so no air enters, thus is practically silent.
Secondary- takes up that little bit of extra that may happen once in a while- since the flow is so low it sheets along the pipe, minimizing gurgling sounds.
Emergency- only is in use when both the others are maxed out.
To add to that..the second drain is technically called an open drain. However, in the event that the full siphon fails, the open drain kicks in as a full siphon when the water raises to the tube that dangles just above the overflow's water line. If this happens you know you have a clog. Worst cases scenario, then the emergency kicks in. At 1.5 there isn't much in a tank that won't pass thru. An advantage to using larger pipes. When reducing the pipe size, not only can noise increase, but it decreases the passage way in which larger debris/object and get stuck easier.

The Bean Animal is truly a set it and forget it system. If power fails, there is no tuning necessary to kick back in. Once the pump starts back up, typically 30-60 seconds later the Bean has finished purging and is back to being quite again.

The Bean does take up real estate that is for sure. But the extra fail safe can't be matched. Good thing about the Bean is that its versatile in configurations. You have the traditional bean (side penetrations, you have external overflow boxes with vertical penetrating, you have durso style bean, 2/3 bean in which some run just a vertical emergency tube without elbows, I have seen herbie/bean hybrids (two hole penetrations but 3 opens).

The ultimate decision comes down to what you have space for. I have even considered notching out or passing thru one of my walls and then re-penetrating it lower on the wall just to incorporate the Bean. This would be for a 180g that I really don't have space for, lol. If no 180 build I will shave the 4 extra depth inches and make a 150g that won't require modifications to my wall.
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