Auto water change hiccup
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
Kwitzats
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Auto water change hiccup


I am building a water changer, I got the refill part down but am having difficulty with the drain portion.

My goal is to get as much stuff out of tank as possible, but i have no sump. My original plan was to tee off of canister return line but that is causing me the headache.

I am using 5/8(about) ehiem return tubing and i cannot figure how to tee it off

if i do tee it off(somehow) it would be connected to a much smaller diameter solenoid 1/4" valve therefore giving very little pressure, necessitating an in-line pump.

all the small in-line pumps i can find use 1/2" in/out.

I am going to need to go 8 feet up so to minimize lift i need a larger diameter check valve on my down leg of drain.

arggggggg!

any ideas?

i used to use an powerhead inside the tank this go around I am trying to avoid that.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:00 PM   #2
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I think I would siphon the water out of the tank, not pump it out. That means the tee would go in the canister filter return line as high up near the top of the tank as you can get it. Then through the solenoid valve and out to where you want it to drain to. The problem is that solenoid valves tend to fail in the open position. If that happens, you will be constantly draining the tank, with the canister filter pump pumping water out of the tank. I think the canister filter return flow will drop to near zero as water begins to get lower in the tank, but it may not drop far enough that you won't empty the tank. It depends on the flow vs head characteristics of the canister filter pump.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
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Is part of the problem the solenoid size? Something you already have on hand or are you open to a cheap option for a larger solenoid?
When I look for solenoids to control water flow, I go salvage. Old washers and dishwashers can be picked up lots of time for free. Each will have a solenoid that is quite usable for water projects. Just a thought if you are into doing a bit of salvage.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:21 AM   #4
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I did the same thing for mine since I have no sump. My drain line used to use 5/8" tubing but now just screw a hose in and your good to go. I have a T coming out of the outflow line with two ball joints to redirect the water.



Good luck! How did you do the refill part? I would love to see some pix! Oh and my add-on cost a whole 8$ or less..
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:17 AM   #5
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I'm sure you've seen my setup...
Automatic water change system DI/RO + tap water (lots of large pics)

I've had fantastic results with this. By using a drilled overflow, there's no need for a solenoid valve (expense, or potential failure). As for getting clogged, that really doesn't seem to be likely. I have nymphoides aquatica (banana plants) growing very near by. That's a type of Lilly and even with the huge floating leaves, no problems. The water is draining down the sides walls of the pipe via surface tension so it would basically need a stopper intentionally stuck-in to plug the tube. If I were more paranoid, I'd put a finger strainer on there.

ACTUALLY, ++lightbulb++ that's not a bad idea. I'll set a 1" NPT over the top of the overflow. That will let surface scum through but keep foliage from getting too close. It can be installed without re-trimming or re-adjusting the vertical tube and it'll take a second to take off to clean. Ha, I'm a genius!


http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...ow_detailc.jpg


Here's a shot of the water going down the drain. There's nothing to see except the surface tension around the rim of the overflow. And spare me any comments about the algae, I have a wife and a house to take care of too ya know!

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH..._of_waterc.jpg
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwitzats View Post
I am building a water changer, I got the refill part down but am having difficulty with the drain portion.

all the small in-line pumps i can find use 1/2" in/out.

I am going to need to go 8 feet up so to minimize lift i need a larger diameter check valve on my down leg of drain.
Whoa, what? You need to go up 8'?? You'll need to post some pics or a diagram. I'm not clear on why you'd need a solenoid or check valve in this setup. . .



Excuse the crudeness, but is this what you're trying to do?

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH..._you_wantc.gif
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I think I would siphon the water out of the tank, not pump it out. That means the tee would go in the canister filter return line as high up near the top of the tank as you can get it. Then through the solenoid valve and out to where you want it to drain to. The problem is that solenoid valves tend to fail in the open position. If that happens, you will be constantly draining the tank, with the canister filter pump pumping water out of the tank. I think the canister filter return flow will drop to near zero as water begins to get lower in the tank, but it may not drop far enough that you won't empty the tank. It depends on the flow vs head characteristics of the canister filter pump.
that should help i still have to go up before i up (into wall an into attic) before i can go down so ill need a check valve to maintain siphon.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Is part of the problem the solenoid size? Something you already have on hand or are you open to a cheap option for a larger solenoid?
When I look for solenoids to control water flow, I go salvage. Old washers and dishwashers can be picked up lots of time for free. Each will have a solenoid that is quite usable for water projects. Just a thought if you are into doing a bit of salvage.
I am going off of what is cheaply available online i am not home yet but wanted all theparts ready i found a 1" solenoid for 400 bucks but im not willing to spen that. Also th DW would kill me if i brought more junk home.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch804 View Post
I did the same thing for mine since I have no sump. My drain line used to use 5/8" tubing but now just screw a hose in and your good to go. I have a T coming out of the outflow line with two ball joints to redirect the water.



Good luck! How did you do the refill part? I would love to see some pix! Oh and my add-on cost a whole 8$ or less..
thats exactly how to do it! That solves one of my problems thanks.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:50 AM   #10
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BTW the refill is just a pressurized ro sytem on a timer with a solenoid valve and float switch. Ran it for years without the NC solenoid failing open but a redundant solenoid couldnt hurt. I only allow it to refill for a specified time.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:59 AM   #11
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Search for high head pumps. I believe they're from Aquaeon. The larger two quote a nine foot head. I'm using the small one with eight foot head to pump five gallon bucks up nearly six feet and i'm getting probably 90gpm.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proaudio55 View Post
Whoa, what? You need to go up 8'?? You'll need to post some pics or a diagram. I'm not clear on why you'd need a solenoid or check valve in this setup. . .



Excuse the crudeness, but is this what you're trying to do?

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH..._you_wantc.gif
I am trying to get away from a pump inside the tank, I have done this in the paqst with succes but i am trying for techless look inside the rtank.
I have to go up because there is no drain near th tank and i have to go into the attic first. A sump would solve some of my woes i just simply do not have space under the stand.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sphack View Post
Search for high head pumps. I believe they're from Aquaeon. The larger two quote a nine foot head. I'm using the small one with eight foot head to pump five gallon bucks up nearly six feet and i'm getting probably 90gpm.

Cool, are they submersable or inline? I really do not need such a high head if i can maintain water in the line with a check valve. I might be wrong but i was thinking that a eight foot head and a five foot drop meant a 3 foot head as long as there was water in the line.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:55 AM   #14
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thats exactly how to do it! That solves one of my problems thanks.
Yesum! anytime! I really enjoy it and it's very simple, does it's job right, and let's me lift less buckets! Now I have to figure out my refill in-line part. I think I will just use a piece like the python syphons use and run it into the tank or the return.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:55 PM   #15
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except raise the tee as per hoppy's suggestion, and raise check valve to just above half watermark in tank and use an airgap after to prevent totall siphon in case of solenoid fail. My paint skills need help!
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