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Thread: Skimmer Screw-up

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    Skimmer Screw-up

    I made a bad "error" during the installation of my skimmer. I "tee'd" it into my drain line (from the 3" B.D.) I am going to install another 3" pipe, and route it to my S.C. (totally separate line), and gravity fed. My pond is small (1500 gal), and is gravity fed to (2) barrel filters. *If my flow is still slow, could I install a small pondmaster pump in-line, to help "push" the pond water to the S.C.??? Thanks in-advance for your comments/suggestions. All other aspects of my plumbing appear to be functioning fine. Hine site: wish I would have installed a 4" B.D. and 4" drain line. Oh well, lesson well learned.

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Suggestion gravity feed the skimmer via 3" to the filter pit. connect it to a DIY shower filter with a winter bypass (for the 3 or 4 cold days you will have). Let the BD(s) continue to feed the barrels.

    You have indeed learned one of the basic guidlelines of pond design...every output (BD, skimmer) from the pond should be a seperate circuit to filtration and back to the pond. Tieing outputs means a PITA trying to balance flows and minimizes the ability to deal with a problem (such as dead pump). I have one 1/6HP on each BD circuit and one 1/2HP Wave II on the skimmer circuit that feeds two showers. Works for us.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  3. #3
    Tosai
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    Thank you very much for your response. Got to get busy digging!!! *I've already P.P.'d the entire system. I can't seem to filter out all the "tea" colored water. Should I completely drain the system? Quilt batting is just not working that great. Thanx Again

  4. #4
    MCA
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    Personally I hate quit batting as badly as foam. A big impossible mess to clean. After PP the water will go brown which is maganate by product that will settle out in a couple of days. You can hurry the clearing with a water change. I would NOT put in peroxide to clear the brown as that drows the ORP...needlessly.

  5. #5
    Tategoi
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    Quote Originally Posted by baddiesel1 View Post
    I made a bad "error" during the installation of my skimmer. I "tee'd" it into my drain line (from the 3" B.D.) I am going to install another 3" pipe, and route it to my S.C. (totally separate line), and gravity fed. My pond is small (1500 gal), and is gravity fed to (2) barrel filters. *If my flow is still slow, could I install a small pondmaster pump in-line, to help "push" the pond water to the S.C.??? Thanks in-advance for your comments/suggestions. All other aspects of my plumbing appear to be functioning fine. Hine site: wish I would have installed a 4" B.D. and 4" drain line. Oh well, lesson well learned.
    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    Suggestion gravity feed the skimmer via 3" to the filter pit. connect it to a DIY shower filter with a winter bypass (for the 3 or 4 cold days you will have). Let the BD(s) continue to feed the barrels.

    You have indeed learned one of the basic guidlelines of pond design...every output (BD, skimmer) from the pond should be a seperate circuit to filtration and back to the pond. Tieing outputs means a PITA trying to balance flows and minimizes the ability to deal with a problem (such as dead pump). I have one 1/6HP on each BD circuit and one 1/2HP Wave II on the skimmer circuit that feeds two showers. Works for us.
    ---------------------------------------

    There is nothing wrong with running two lines into a pump or even a sump. They have to be sized to gravity flow with the sharing determined by you (1500gpm vs 3500gpm) The two pump circuits have evolved with the larger pond installations because the pond builders arn't hyd engineers/plumber/pipefitter types and they stuck with 2" skimmer drains long enough for separate pump systems to catch hold in the hobby. Now it's a 'factual myth' that will never go away.

    If you're using two 3" lines in a 1500 gallon pond and are experiencing low flow, the problem is somewhere else. The only problem I can see in a circuit you describe would arrise if you have the T down near the BD. Then the skimmer may not have enough differential to flow. If it's convinient, add a separate valve somewhere on the skimmer circuit. With sizing like yours, the skimmer circuit is the one needing restriction and that's better than most folks using the skimmer/BD sharing, make an oriface for the skimmer to limit the flow to a reasonably small flow so the most water is flowing through the BD. Of course a separate line with a valve installed would be a good thing. Unless there is some unusual head in that system, the lines sgould GRAVITY flow around 3000 GPH.

    What are the specs on the pump you are using. And describe the lines. How long, how many fittings, how high are you pumping? You're pump may simply not be able to respond to the head created by the rest of the system. The 3" lines wouldn't be a problem with gravity flow with a one hour (even 20 minute) turn over. How high is the gap between the BD dome and the bottom?

  6. #6
    MCA
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    As an engineer I can definitely say that as a basic principle of good systems design, you build in as little interdependency as possible to maintain system flexibility and availability. I would never tie two sources (BDs, BDs plus skimmers) to one filter system. Multiple filter systems, expecially different types (pressure, open shower) gives the pond greater bio diversity to handle the nitrogen (and other) polution.

    Indeed 2" lines from a drain or skimmer will not support much flow. My skimmer uses 3" line and gravity to deliver flood suction to the 1/2HP pump that feeds the showers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    As an engineer I can definitely say that as a basic principle of good systems design, you build in as little interdependency as possible to maintain system flexibility and availability. I would never tie two sources (BDs, BDs plus skimmers) to one filter system. Multiple filter systems, expecially different types (pressure, open shower) gives the pond greater bio diversity to handle the nitrogen (and other) polution.

    Indeed 2" lines from a drain or skimmer will not support much flow. My skimmer uses 3" line and gravity to deliver flood suction to the 1/2HP pump that feeds the showers.
    ------------------------------------------------

    I can support different types of filters after the mechanical filtration but there is simply unnessary redundancy with two pumps and bead filters.

    As we approach energy conservation we will have to look at the value added by our waterfalls. they don't supply anything toward healthy water that they did before we added sir stones everywhere. The only value left is the appearance and sound of them. Do you need them 24h/d? With filters removed they can operate when we are there to appreciate and leave them off the rest of the time. A timer can do that automaticly.

  8. #8
    MCA
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    As we approach energy conservation we will have to look at the value added by our waterfalls. they don't supply anything toward healthy water that they did before we added sir stones everywhere. The only value left is the appearance and sound of them. Do you need them 24h/d? With filters removed they can operate when we are there to appreciate and leave them off the rest of the time. A timer can do that automaticly.
    I disagree. An air stone can improve gas exchange. A waterfall can provide greater gas exchange and provide a large surface area for bacteria to do bio conversion.

    It was the action of waterfalls that inspired Monotaro to develop what is today the bakki shower as the prime filtraiton mechanism. Using showers and trickle towers you get direct gas exchange and an O2 rich large surface area for bacterial. The showers may be "greener" that a water fall as it uses less floor space and may provide even more surface area than a pile of solid rocks. I am sure there are specific examiples where a shower is better, or worse, than a waterfall.

    When I ran 2 Nexus on our pond, the ORP averaged 325mV. By adding two short showers to the system (on the skimmer circuit) the ORP average was raised to the 340mV range. That is a very significant improvement.

    I don't think I have met anyone who has had TTs or showers up and running and took them back out because they did not improvie the water quality. I do believe a shower can do a better job than most waterfalls.

  9. #9
    Tosai
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    Thumbs up

    Sorry, it's taken so long to respond. I'm traveling....Here's an update: I went ahead and installed (via "crafty pipe art work") a separate 3 inch line to my S.C.; I opened up the valve to my skimmer, hoping that gravity would prevail, and the fruits of my labor were unsuccessful. The 3 inch line was sloped and well below waterline...So, I thought it was "air-locked"; I jammed a hose down the pipe and forced water down it to clear the air out, but this would not work. Next, I installed a small submersible pump inside the pond, and energized the unit. *Success!!! Yep, it was a LONG day/night. By the way, there was a lot of air in that line. I just could not clear it. By installing the appropriate fittings, and getting a tight seal, the pump blew out the air. I tried to see if this skimmer would flow without operating the pump, but no, it wouldn't. I know this was a lengthy message, but I wanted to respond you y'all and thank you very much for your inputs & info. I'm tired & gotta' go to bed.

  10. #10
    Tosai
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    I also forgot to mention, I do not have a flow meter. I do know that when I initially open the gate valve(s) to allow water to flow from my 3 inch B.D. into my first stage 64 gallon S.C., it shoots in like a fire hose with lots of force. The length of travel from my B.D. to my S.C. is about 8 ft, with (3) 90 degree elbows and 2 gate valves. I did not attempt to "crack open" the gate valve from the skimmer to the "T" fitting. I did not read the post in-time. So....I will never know if creating a "pressure differential" (generic venturi effect) would have worked. My time at home sometimes is very limited, due to my work. So, I had to make a command decision, and carry-it out. Just wish, this skimmer would have operated without the need for a pump inside the pond, to shove water down the skimmer line. My wife is the pond puppies' feeder/caretaker. I'm the "maintenance man". Thanks again for your help.

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