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Partial Closed Loop?

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Partial Closed Loop?

Post by matt_longview on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 9:18 pm

Quick question for plumbing guys.

I'm wanting to run a partial closed loop. Let me know if this will work.

I have a rack with three tanks, one on top of another and a sump below. Each tank has two bulkheads. I'm wanting one bulkhead to work an overflow and drain to the sump, and the other to tie into the external pumps (3600gph Dart) input to operate on a closed loop. I believe I would need to add a backflow valve on the bulkhead of each of the lower two tanks, and between the sump and the external pump. Then I can put a gate valve on the closed loop plumbing to choose my flow through the sump.

If anyone understands this well enough to give me some advise, please do! :-)
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Re: Partial Closed Loop?

Post by Yeti on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 11:51 pm

OK Matt I have a question. The different heights will not only vary the pressure of water being drawn down by the syphon effect, but the pressure required to equal the pressure and flow from the return pump will also differ.
( I know, as I think I messed up my calculations on my return pump, the Eheim 1048 I fear will only be able to turn over the 30G of water 5 times/hr, not the 15 I calculated at a 4ft head of water...mutters)

The only solution I can think of in your case, with 3 different heads of water would be to either have a control valve in each so that you can refine the flow to each until it's balanced, or you use different diameter of pipe, again restricting flow.
Now there may be a really simple solution I haven't thought of, or the difference in the heads of water may not be that different. Either way, I'd be interested to know how you balance the flow.
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Re: Partial Closed Loop?

Post by matt_longview on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 12:14 am

The head loss will restrict the pumps ability to push the water up. That loss will be calculated at the pump and will spread evenly across all returns.

Your solution for the 30g is fairly simple. 5x turnover rate is just fine running through the sump. You need 20x to 25x total tank turnover for FLOW, not for filtering. Chaeto algae will catch nutrients better with slower flow, many people will actually slow down the flow through their refugium on purpose. The only other method of filtering in the sump is the skimmer, so the max gph of your skimmer is really the max capability of filtering through your sump.

Google, "sump turnover rate" and you'll find TONS of forums and articles discussing this. Most say 3-5x display or as much as your skimmer can handle.
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Re: Partial Closed Loop?

Post by Yeti on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 12:32 am

Ahh.. thanks...goes off to read
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Re: Partial Closed Loop?

Post by matt_longview on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 12:52 am

Think of it like this. The reason that the head loss exists is because of the weight of the water that the pump has to push up. That weight combines together on the way down. The pump then has to push that weight up, but it will push all of that water up at the same rate. Since water is filling the space in between all exits when you push water in it will displace that exact amount of water spread evenly across all exits. I'll restrict certain pipes to force less water through those, but all unrestricted pipes will flow at the same rate.
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Re: Partial Closed Loop?

Post by Yeti on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 1:13 am

I guess one day I'll have to see how it works, as in my imagination, unless you have 3 separate direct outputs from the pump, then, if you use a single pipe up, with outlets off it, the pressure at the lower as it exits will be higher than the next two, and so alike for the pressure between lvl 2 and 3.
If you are using a 3 way splitter off the pumps output to have 3 feeds, one per each level, then I can see how it would work, but again still see a differential in the actual GPH between level 1 and level 3.
I must admit I'm seeing this in my mind from the view of the flow of molten plastic being injected into a multiple cavity moulding, where we would have to design the individual feeds at different diameters to ensure an even fill to each impression within the multiple impressions of the mould.
I'm probably over complicating this. AKA It's late, I had the day from hell at work, and my brain is befuddled from constantly dealing with hassles for 9 hours.
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Re: Partial Closed Loop?

Post by matt_longview on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 2:01 am

Yeah... I completely understand what you're talking about. That's the way I thought it would work in the beginning, but something (God knows what) that I've read within the last couple of weeks has me convinced otherwise. No idea what...

I've been wrong about 500 times before (this week... two if I'm lucky?). Maybe for fun I'll pour water into the sump, fill it enough to turn the pump on and try it out. See if the bottom tank fills faster than the top! :-)

However... each return does have a ball valve... so I could partially close the ball valves on the bottom and middle tanks and even things out... if I chose to. :-)
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Re: Partial Closed Loop?

Post by matt_longview on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 10:10 am

I did end up completely talking myself out of this idea by the way.

Having to rely on check valves too often would have been a disaster at some point... because once again it's not "if" it would fail, but rather "when" it will fail.

The old safety law... if it can go wrong, eventually it will.
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Re: Partial Closed Loop?

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