gravity fed skimmer problem?

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Gz28
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gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gz28 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:10 pm

I am running a recirculating skimmer that i am gravity feeding with a tee and ball valve from my dorsi overflow drain. The problem i am having is the dorsi is sucking alot of air down with the water and it is going into my skimmer causing large bubbles to break up the foam. i have tried blocking the flow into the sump with a ball valve to send more water to the skimmer, to keep the pipe full of water and force the air higher up in the dorsi, it works but the skimmer skimms wet and because the pipe is smaller it surges making the skimmer not work. plus i need some water going to my refuge. so how can i stop the air from entering the skimmer?
below is a diagram of my setup. 1=overflow pipe @=ballvalve

1
1
1--------------------------@-------------------------|
1 | |
@ Skimmer Refuge
1

Gz28
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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gz28 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:14 pm

ok so the diagram looks a little different once i posted it the refuge goes on the far right after the ball valve the skimmer is connected between the ball vavle and the overflow pipe. basically just scoot the skimmer tee and teh refuge to the right.

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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by sparky » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:29 pm

good question im about to pipe up my skimmer and refuge very similar? i also have a gravity feed recirculating skimmer.
Answers or ideas please!
refer to my posting before this me SUMP/REFUGE

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Gerwin
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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gerwin » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:46 pm

ever thought about trying the skimmer return becoming the refuge feed? honestly I told you some things to try at the shop but alot of this is just playing with the plumbing till you get it right. Once I have explained the goal and what you need to try to accomplish it you must take that info and tinker.

you know what you are trying to achieve, you know better than anyone the components you have hooked up and flows.....now you play with fittings and tell us what worked :wink:

and try a real picture instead of all that font stuff...old folks like me cant make that look right in my mind :lol:

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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by phisher » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:16 pm

Yea pictures would help. Its hard to get consistent water like you are doing on the drain. I do not really understand the diagram either but if I were going to try and make this work I would Tee off the main drain with a 3/4" line to the skimmer and but a ball valve between the Tee and skimmer. I would also put a ball valve on the downhill side of the Tee on the main drain. This way you can force some back pressure to the skimmer side as needed.

The problem is the pressure on the drain line can change enough to kill your skimmer performance through factors like evaporation. Is there any way you can Tee of your return pump?

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Gerwin
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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gerwin » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:18 pm

you may even consider bring the main drain to the skimmer and the extra become the drain to sump with the smaller pipe. kinda opposite of what you have going on....if that makes sense

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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by phisher » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:22 pm

Still depends on some unknowns like how much water he's moving. I wanted to set mine up gravity fed, but all the reading I did said it was really hard to keep the gph consistent enough.

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Gerwin
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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gerwin » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:12 am

phisher wrote:Still depends on some unknowns like how much water he's moving. I wanted to set mine up gravity fed, but all the reading I did said it was really hard to keep the gph consistent enough.
your are absolutely correct, he and I discussed alot of this in the store but this is where being there and seeing helps alot..... maybe a video as well Gary? where is all tha computer geeky skills :)

with a little head pressure kept in the overflow box, I think it could be kept consistent...maybe.

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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gz28 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:42 am

I tried the things we talked about gerwin, after letting it run for a couple of days i am no longer getting air with the main return blocked off and 100% of water going to skimmer and refuge. Now the problem is like you said the water flow surges just a little like 1/4-1/2 inch in the skimmer and it is not skimming that well. I will get a video posted. Thanks for everyone's help.

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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gz28 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:03 pm

Ok I am getting ready to try to eliminate the dorsi stand pipe as per Gerwin's instructions, I think this will solve the problem. I'll let you know.

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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gz28 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:03 am

Removing the dorsi stand pipe in the over flow worked. I shut off all ball valves and let about 6 inches or so of water build up in the overflow and then adjusted the ball valves until the level in the overflow stayed the same, Next time i plumb my tank i think i will use gate valves instead of ball valves the ball valves are harder to get the adjustment just right, the skimmer is skimming pretty well, and no more air bubbles are being introduced into the skimmer input. Thanks gerwin!

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Re: gravity fed skimmer problem?

Post by Gerwin » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:44 pm

I will accept a gold clap for that fix.... :clap:

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