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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it has been about 10 months since I posted my introduction and I am finally going to post. After changing the sponge filters for a canister I have decided to ditch the canister for a sump. Original plan was to use a 20 long for the sump but after an embarassing rookie mistake it is a 15 gallon (24 x 12 x12). Poor looking into the future skills when I set the tank up has led to awful space issues now.

Hours and hours of research on sumps led me to PVC overflows. I am already building it but have a question regarding cementing the joints. How critical is it that absoutely every joint be cemented in leak prevention? Is there an option that would seal the joint but not be permanent? I don't have the room between the stand and wall for fittings so I have one joint that, if glued, will make it impossible for me to remove the overflow in case of maintenance and such.

Thank you in advance to those more experienced than I who can provide me with insight!
 

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I think we have the same problem???

My down pipes from my external overflow are glued up and they have a union in them. BUT where they turn and go into the cabinet for the sump I used 45's and DID NOT cement.

I think the same deal, I have to disassemble it at that point to get it into the cabinet.

I leaked tested a month ago, I set up the tank yesterday its been running about 48 hours with no leaks.

I'm more worried about them working loose than leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh and I hadn't thought of them working loose! Ok, one more thing to remember to check. I am glad to hear that yours doesn't leak. I have to still paint everything and deal with the foam that arrived today an inch too short to fit my tank.
 

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Unions are cheaper than flooded floor repairs.

That's what I did until my last 45 over the sump.

Didn't think to mention that...ya OP can you glue it all up, snake it up from the cabinet to a union? A union will allow you to turn it anyway you want.
 

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Not sure of your diameters, but I found some screwable unions in the swimming pool filter section recently. I put one on both the to and return lines between the sandfilter and the multiflow valve. The have standard smooth bore PVC fittings on one end and screw fittings on the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, the couple of things that I found didn't work. There just wasn't enough room between the wall and the pipe. Lesson learned. Next time set the stand away from the wall a bit before setting up th tank! I am just going to leave that one joint unglued. Everything else is cemented and ready for paint (hopefully tomorrow). I'm going crazy with the noise of my backup filter.
 

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Or use hose for part of the drain. Makes it flex some, might be able to get it through tight spots. You use hose clamps and can take it apart too. Not as nicely as with unions of course.

Or have the overflow on the side of the tank.

I just cut my drain when I needed to change things around on the 180 long with a rear HOB overflow. Not as easy to do under the tank as it was to cut on the patio with lots of elbow room, that's for sure.

I've used pressure fitted PVC for decades for various things. It works fine until it doesn't and you don't know when it will decide to quit on you. I've got a pressure fitted PVC garden tool rack currently leaning a bit more every month. Then again I never glued that corrugated hose you get with HOB overflows down and it never dripped or failed at the connection, just split when I didn't expect it.
 

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I would not leave it unglued.
This is more of a suction sort of set up, not pressure.
If it starts to leak it will leak air into the pipes, perhaps stopping the siphon.

I also agree with the above: Either connect some tubing to get through that tight spot, or else add in enough unions to be able to take it apart. I have several tanks and a pond that switch back and forth between rigid PVC and flexible tubing and have not had any problems. I have several set ups with unions, and these are really helpful, in the right place.

The tubing barbs x PVC fitting with a hose clamp is a little harder to take apart, but put some vegetable oil or vaseline on the inside of the tubing when you are putting it together. The union is a bit more bulky, and I find pliers or a plumber's wrench is helpful in taking it apart.
Either way, put these junctions out in the open where you have access to them with both hands. Either above the tank or inside the cabinet.

Alternate: Remove enough water from the tank to slide it away from the wall enough to make the system work with glued PVC.
 
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