Silent No Drill Sump Drain
I have had a few PMs and questions regarding my drains so I thought it would be easier to start a thread.
I have tried several different drain systems and they either were too loud or were too difficult to keep functioning. So after looking at Herbie and Bean Animal style overflows I figured I could use those designs and make my systems silent and adjustable. Figured if I use two drains, one syphon=silent that handles 99.9% of the flow, and one overflow that handles the rest.
The most important part of the system is the overflow drain. Look up pvc flow rates and ensure your overflow can handle more then your syphon. This ensures if you lose syphon or the power goes out your display tank will not overflow. Any type of overflow pvc design will work but I prefer the one that has a u inside the tank. This sets the height of the display tank water level. An airline is run from the top of the tube to the very bottom of the tank. Air lines are used to purge the systems of air. Running the overflow air line as low as you can ensures that during water changes and power outages the overflow never loses syphon and will always resume drain.
The main drain is run under syphon and can be set up to pull water from whatever level of the water column you choose. I hook it up to a gate valve pictured to ensure I can dial in the flow exactly to maintain silent operation of the overflow drain. The less water that flows through the overflow drain the quieter the system.
The syphon drain airline is hooked up to a power head venturi at all times to attempt to remove any sir pockets, but this will not restart the syphon of the gate valve is open in my experience.
An important safety precaution to avoid overflowing your sump is to drill a hole in the syphon drain in the display tank an inch below the intended water level. If the pump shuts off or power is lost the main drain will lose syphon and prevent any more water from entering the sump.
As with any other sump setup a circuit breaker is used to prevent the display tank from overflowing. However with this setup it is easy to tell when the main needs cleaning or flow is reduced because the overflow drain increases in noise level.
I hope this helps anyone looking for a silent no drill drain for their sump when drilling isn't the best available option. The pipes are a little bulky and could be an eyesore, but I barely notice them with the riparium plants.
my recommendation would be 1 1/2" pvc for the main drain and 2" for the overflow. This would be what I do if I ever build one again.
If in doubt, add more plants!
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