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Thread: Pump Prefilter Options

  1. #1
    Tosai TomKoi's Avatar
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    Pump Prefilter Options

    Background Info:
    I currently have a 3500 gallon pond that has operating for about 5 years. The filtering consists of a 3” bottom drain feeding directly an Artesian Pro ½ hp pump to an Ultima 6000 back to a stream feeding the pond. I estimate that this circuit is flowing about 60 gpm. I have another circuit running from a savio skimmer box to an Artesian Pro 1/8 hp pump to a DIY foam fractionator and boiling K1 drum. From the boiling K1 drum, gravity flow back to the pond via an underwater return at about 25 gpm. All pumps are approximately 18 inches above the pond surface. Currently no way to convert over to gravity fed system with settlement chamber or wedgewire sieve (cetus, aquaforte).

    Problem:
    Major problem has been collection of primarily small pieces of algae which clog inlet basket of pump pulling from 3” bottom drain. Basket needs to be cleaned every 3 to 4 days or pump will be starved of flow. I would like to be able to go away for 7 to 10 days without any maintenance issues.

    Possible Solutions:
    I want to install some sort of pump pre-filter between bottom drain and pump. After searching for a few weeks, it seems my only options are:

    1) Install some sort of mega pump priming pot. Cost ~$500.
    Advantages: cost, small footprint, simple design and relatively easy to install.
    Disadvantages: Largest nozzle I can find is 2”. I would prefer to stick with 3” to avoid any pinch points.

    2) Fluidart Turbovortex: Cost ~$700
    Advantages: cost, relatively small footprint.
    Disadvantages: nozzle size also 2”. According to manufacturer, the inlet needs to be below the pond surface, so I would have to at least partially bury it. I also read that it does not handle string algae well which can be difficult to backwash. I don’t have a string algae problem as algae pieces are relatively short at ~1/4” pieces, but…

    3) WLim Pressurized VMS: Cost ~$1800
    Advantages: contains 500 micron microscreen. Automatic cleaning of microscreen so should handle algae pieces.
    Disadvantages: cost, complexity, nozzle size also 2”. I have read that some purchasers had problems with the microscreen getting stuck and not rotating. Sure would hate to fork over that kind of money if it doesn’t work. WLim is advertising an improved model. Not sure if they just upgraded the basket, or solved the non-rotation problems.

    4) Russell Water Garden Hydrosieve: Cost ~$300
    Advantages: cost, simple design, and 4” nozzles.
    Disadvantages: not pressurized, so if I installed I would have to gravity flow from bottom drain to Hydrosieve. Not sure how much flow I could gravity flow from a 3” pipe for a distance of 35 feet. Also, location would be about 1 foot above the pond surface, so I would have to rig some sort of extension collar.


    5) Living Water Solutions Static Suction Prefilter: Cost ~$2700
    Advantages: Can be positioned above water level.
    Disadvantages: Cost, Cost, Cost!

    Any suggestions or comments welcome.

  2. #2
    Tategoi
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    Although I do not have direct experience with the product, I think that the *cheap* option (the sieve from Russell Water Gardens @ $300) will be a waste of money for your application.

    While this sieve may be great for certain applications, your system is already clogging the leaf-strainer basket ahead of your pump. That RWG sieve is not much bigger than a leaf-strainer basket, and its 300-micro screen virtually assures that is will plug up even faster than your pump basket. To me, it seems like you would just be inserting another *thing* up-stream of your pump strainer basket that will also plug up at least as fast as does your current strainer basket.

  3. #3
    Tategoi
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomKoi View Post

    I want to install some sort of pump pre-filter between bottom drain and pump. After searching for a few weeks, it seems my only options are:
    Are there not other options than the ones you listed?

    Have you considered the possibility of a settling chamber (SC)?

    Even cheaper, a couple of 55-gallon drums with some filter brushes would quite possibily provide decent trapping of the algae chunks while still allowing water to great through at a decent flow rate?

    Just thinking.....

  4. #4
    Tosai TomKoi's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Paultergiest,

    Yea, gravity flow to some sort of settlement chamber or sieve would be best. Unfortunately, for my situation it's not possible. I have to keep the system closed (i.e. under vacuum/pressure).

    I'm curous what others have done to solve this problem. There must be thousands of ponds out there with bottom drains directly feeding pumps. Does everyone with these systems clean the pump strainer basket every 2 days?

  5. #5
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomKoi View Post
    Thanks for the reply Paultergiest,

    Yea, gravity flow to some sort of settlement chamber or sieve would be best. Unfortunately, for my situation it's not possible. I have to keep the system closed (i.e. under vacuum/pressure).

    I'm curous what others have done to solve this problem. There must be thousands of ponds out there with bottom drains directly feeding pumps. Does everyone with these systems clean the pump strainer basket every 2 days?
    you can call ZacPenn
    The NEW Zakki Sieve Filters and a breif explanation of Wedge Wire Sieve Filters
    904-288-6199
    [email protected]
    this may help.

  6. #6
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAVOTOI View Post
    you can call ZacPenn
    The NEW Zakki Sieve Filters and a breif explanation of Wedge Wire Sieve Filters
    904-288-6199
    [email protected]
    this may help.

    Thanks my friend He contacted me last week.

  7. #7
    Tosai TomKoi's Avatar
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    Well I went ahead and got the Zakki Suction Sieve Junior and installed the unit last week. The unit is extremely well made and operates exactly as advertised. Zak was also extremely helpful and answered my numerous questions almost as fast as I wrote them.

    I cannot believe all of the junk that is filtered out. The stuff that was clogging my pump strainer basket was maybe only 20% of the total. The rest apparantly got through to my Ultima 6000. Needless to say, my pump strainer basket is now immaculate. Also, there is a lot less dirt in my Ultima 6000 when I backwash. All in all, I am extremely pleased with the performance of the Zakki Sieve. For the past week, I've been flushing the gunk out of the Zakki Sieve on a daily basis. This week I'm going to experiment and let the unit run for 7 days without backflushing to see if I can go away for a week without any maintenance being required on my pond. I'll keep you guys posted.

  8. #8
    Tosai TomKoi's Avatar
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    Well I let the sieve run for eight days without cleaning it. No problems what-so-ever. I did collect a small bucketfull of algae as you can see. Overall, I'm very pleased with my purchase and would highly recommend it to anyone who needs a prefilter on the suction side of their pump.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pump Prefilter Options-img_6018_1.jpg   Pump Prefilter Options-img_6020_1.jpg   Pump Prefilter Options-img_6022_1.jpg   Pump Prefilter Options-img_6023_1.jpg   Pump Prefilter Options-img_6024_1.jpg  


  9. #9
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I guess I will be thinking about saving my spare change for a Zakki Sieve filter.

    You are the second person who recently had good things to say about this filter.



    Phil's sieve.

  10. #10
    Tosai
    Join Date
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    Yes, I'm quite happy with it. I have it on my skimmer circuit which has 2" plumbing, so a gravity feed sieve wouldn't work. I know, because I tried a Cetus. Even with three 2" lines, I had to cut back the pump so much that the skimmers were ineffective. As you can see from the pic previously posted, I did not install it with the three way valves so it can be back washed by the pump. I did this for two reasons; a lack of space in the filter area, and I must shut it down when I clean my main filters anyway, or it will run dry, so there wasn't much need to be able to backwash it with the pump. I simply shut off the pump, close the ball valves, open the drain valve, pop off the top and hose it out. Takes less than 5 minutes. I have been running a test to see how long it will go without cleaning. So far it has run for over two weeks without any problem at all. It should easily go three weeks, which is more than long enough for me to take a vacation without having the have someone come over and clean it. Naturally, I'll clean it on a weekly basis when I clean my main filters.
    I have added a few more pics of the inside for everyone to see.


    Phil
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pump Prefilter Options-dscn5659.jpg   Pump Prefilter Options-dscn5660.jpg   Pump Prefilter Options-dscn5680.jpg  

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