Faster water changes - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Faster water changes

For the princely sum of $3.40 from Lowes and a Mag 7 pump that was lying around along with the python water changer:

50%WC on my 125g took all of about 10 minutes to drain. This is with the shutoff valve attached to the python hose which I am sure is causing some slowdown.

To drain: I have the output of the pump going up and over a u-bend straight into the toilet.

To fill: Unplug pump, flip shutoff, unscrew hose from pump, place on faucet to refill

25 minutes to change 60 gallons. And I feel cooler for using powered equipment
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Last edited by jstehman; 12-21-2014 at 06:55 PM. Reason: clarity
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 07:17 PM
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My diy python I do 40g WC in 10-12 min in my 75

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh yeah. I just looked in the on/off valve on the python..it goes down to like 1/4" in there!

I knew I should be getting better flow.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 09:18 PM
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How are you re-filling so fast? I can drain a tank very quickly. The limit for me has always been the re-fill. If I re-fill at anything more than a very modest pace it disrupts my substrate and plants.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 09:20 PM
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Anything that makes water changes easier and faster is worth 5 times the cost you lay out. Nice work!

Just a few words of caution on the Magdrive. They say they can be run externally, but don't push it beyond the 10 or 20 minutes it takes you to take care of the water change. It's a water-cooled pump. Beyond that it will start to transfer heat to the water it's moving. Shouldn't be an issue for this application, but just keep it in mind. Also, the volute that the PVC is attached to is the weakest point of that pump, physically. Don't try to pick it up by the PVC and hold the pump horizontally. The point where the outlet meets the volute is just weak and if it cracks, it's easy to replace, but just a headache you don't need.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I plan on mounting the pump to a square board for stability and an added handhold.

The shutoff valve on the python was definitely the bottleneck. I have removed the valve so draining should be MUCH faster.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:50 AM
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If you're pumping that into the toilet I hope you're on a sewer system and not a septic tank. Large amounts of excess water are bad for septic tanks. Granted the amount here is only equal to about a 20-30min shower, it adds up with all the other water that gets put in.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fodder View Post
How are you re-filling so fast? I can drain a tank very quickly. The limit for me has always been the re-fill. If I re-fill at anything more than a very modest pace it disrupts my substrate and plants.
Put a spreader on the end. A few CPVC or PVC parts so that the water comes out of a tee rather than straight down to the bottom. An el works but go for the tee as it spreads the output two directions. While on the project make a hook so that the hose doesn't flip back out of the tank.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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I had to go to the irrigation section to find my fittings for the python.

And now I've noticed a crack in two parts of the couplers for the python. Not bad for almost 15 years of use! Replacements commencing. .

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 02:56 PM
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If you're pumping that into the toilet I hope you're on a sewer system and not a septic tank. Large amounts of excess water are bad for septic tanks. Granted the amount here is only equal to about a 20-30min shower, it adds up with all the other water that gets put in.
Before anybody gets too worried about this item, a little info may help. Septic tanks use bacteria to process the waste much like the bacteria in our tanks do it. The bacteria can be killed by very large amounts of CHLORINATED water like when a stool sticks and too much of the bacteria is killed. Tank water, drained into a septic tank is a different thing as there is no chlorine.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 03:03 PM
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Not talking about the bacterial aspect. Flat out dumping too much of any excess water into your tank isn't good for it. Also odds are if your water is chlorinated, you're probably on a public sewer service as well.

Excessive water is a major cause of system failure. The soil under the septic system must absorb all of the water used in the home. Too much water from laundry, dishwasher, toilets, baths, and showers may not allow enough time for sludge and scum to separate. The less water used, the less water entering the septic system, resulting in less risk of system failure.

Long story short, your leach field gets plugged up and all that water starts coming back up out of the lower most drains in your home. Then you'll need your leach field redone.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 03:15 PM
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Not talking about the bacterial aspect. Flat out dumping too much of any excess water into your tank isn't good for it. Also odds are if your water is chlorinated, you're probably on a public sewer service as well.

Excessive water is a major cause of system failure. The soil under the septic system must absorb all of the water used in the home. Too much water from laundry, dishwasher, toilets, baths, and showers may not allow enough time for sludge and scum to separate. The less water used, the less water entering the septic system, resulting in less risk of system failure.
The chlorine aspect would depend on where you live. I know many who have public water with a septic.

Actually it's the drainfield that handles the water. And a properly designed system would handle it. Unless you're in full clay and have a crummy perc area. Even then you might have an elevated drainfield and would be golden.

Not only does the soil absorb the water but some is also lost to evaporation.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead2fall View Post
Not talking about the bacterial aspect. Flat out dumping too much of any excess water into your tank isn't good for it. Also odds are if your water is chlorinated, you're probably on a public sewer service as well.

Excessive water is a major cause of system failure. The soil under the septic system must absorb all of the water used in the home. Too much water from laundry, dishwasher, toilets, baths, and showers may not allow enough time for sludge and scum to separate. The less water used, the less water entering the septic system, resulting in less risk of system failure.
All of this is my worst nightmare. Been in the house for 25 years and raised 3 kids who religiously followed the rule of "if it's yellow, let it.....", and grease of any sort is wiped clean from every dish before it hits the dishwasher.

With 24 tanks and counting, I can go through 80-120 gallons a day. I modified the window in my fish room to accept a garden hose connection on either end. It all goes out into the woods with no issues.

Lots of homes in the northeast built in the 80's and later have unique septic systems. The standard tank accepts water from the house, but the leach field is built above ground since the soil wouldn't pass whatever perc test standards that were established. So there's a second tank that the fluids drain into before being pumped upward to the top of the "Turkey Mound" where the leach field is located. If you think a standard septic system is expensive to replace, these may cost more than the house would sell for to replace. So I've just been rather religious about not putting anything down the drain that will tax the pump or clog that leach field if I can find a better home for it. I'm a chicken when it comes to pushing the limits of my bad luck, lol!

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 03:30 PM
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All of this is my worst nightmare. Been in the house for 25 years and raised 3 kids who religiously followed the rule of "if it's yellow, let it.....", and grease of any sort is wiped clean from every dish before it hits the dishwasher.

With 24 tanks and counting, I can go through 80-120 gallons a day. I modified the window in my fish room to accept a garden hose connection on either end. It all goes out into the woods with no issues.

Lots of homes in the northeast built in the 80's and later have unique septic systems. The standard tank accepts water from the house, but the leach field is built above ground since the soil wouldn't pass whatever perc test standards that were established. So there's a second tank that the fluids drain into before being pumped upward to the top of the "Turkey Mound" where the leach field is located. If you think a standard septic system is expensive to replace, these may cost more than the house would sell for to replace. So I've just been rather religious about not putting anything down the drain that will tax the pump or clog that leach field if I can find a better home for it.
It's called an elevated drain field. My last house had one. I loved it. When we flooded I was the only one in the neighborhood who could take a shower and flush.

Many houses built back in the day also had grease traps for the kitchen. Had to clean mine and also redo the drainfield for that. 25 feet long. 4 feet deep. 2 feet wide. By hand. It was the old clay pipe. This house has a standard system since it's newer. No pump station. No elevated field. I take long showers with narry a problem. It is still recommended to pump every 3-5 years though.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 03:57 PM
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While we pump it every 3 years too, in PennsylTucky, we call 'em Turkey Mounds, lol!

Angelo

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