Plumbing a Portable UV Sterilizer - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Plumbing a Portable UV Sterilizer

Received some PMs on how I built my Portable UV Sterilizer. It has been modified a little since my last post, here is how I did it:

Parts List:

3/4" schedule 40 pvc about 18"

5/8" tubing about 2"

(2) 3/4" threaded coupling

(4) 3/4" 90 degree pvc fittings

(1) 5/8" x 3/4" nylon barb to MIP adapter

(2) 3/4" unions

(1) Maxi jet 400 powerhead

(1) plastic tie wrap

All purpose cement for pvc, abs, and cpvc

Completed and hanging on 10 gallon tank

Input side disconnected at union

Input side disconnected at union (different angle)

Return side disconnected at union

Sterilizer disconnected at union

Assembled unit

Assembled unit (different angle)

Assembled unit (different angle)

Assembled unit (different angle)

Building tips:

Test fit the assembly before gluing to ensure it fits over the rim of your tanks.

Use a lot of teflon tape at the threaded coupling to sterilizer connection (pic 5). Leak test in an area that can have water spilled. Mine leaked several times until I built up enough teflon tape. Another option is using 5/8" tubing with 2 more 5/8" x 3/4" nylon barb to MIP adapters (I did this on my first attempt but opted to hard plumb it). Here are some a pics showing the tubing option installed.

Now look back at the first pic in the thread to see the difference.

The unions are only necessary if you choose the hard plumbing option. You will need the movement the unions offer when you take the unit apart for cleaning, etc. Without the unions the plumbing might not line up the way it came apart since it is all glued together. If you use the tubing option, it will rotate if needed so the unions are not necessary.

Make the length of pvc that is in the tank as short as possible. The reason I modified my origional is beacuse it was too long; it tore up the substrate when used on my 10 gallon tanks.

Cut 2" pvc pieces for all connections except the return which is 5.5".

Tie wrap the connection between the powerhead and 5/8" tubing.

A tupperware bread box (stolen from my wife) makes the perfect storage container.

Let me know if I left anything out....DC
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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I keep reading about folks putting UV sterilizers inline with their filters and I wonder why? Convenience?, certainly not because it is necessary! If you had a motorcycle trailer, would you leave it connected to your truck/car and drive it around all the time or connect it to your truck/car when you need to trailer your motorcycle? Would it make sense to keep your car running 24/7? I have 15 tanks, recently had 23 going and I cannot remember using my UV sterilizer more than a couple of times a year for the 400+ gallons in all of those tanks. Keeping it portable makes more sense, costs less to operate, and frees it up for loan to a friend in need.......DC
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