Drip system glass overflow

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself' started by Florian Pellet, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Florian PelletWell Known MemberMember

    Hey Fishlore community,

    I have realized that my bathroom (where my canister filter and heater are) is readily equipped with an available water source and a drain, I don't have to plumb anything. Great, I HAVE to make a drip system now :)

    The dripping part seems pretty straightforward. It's more the overflow part that worries me, it has to be failsafe or I'm just asking for a flood. On the other hand, it doesn't have to handle large flows seeing as it will likely just have to handle 1 gallon per hour (or even less). It doesn't have to be especially silent I assume, because such a small flow rate can't generate much noise.

    Here's the basic plan: a container hangs on the back of the tank, a u-shaped pipe makes the tank and the HOB container connected vessels (meaning they'll always be at the same water level), and a pipe goes through the bottom of the HOB container to the drain.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 00.23.43.png

    Now here's the bill of materials I'm actually planning on using.
    1. 61jnBuMdPjL.jpg test tube with flat bottom (lab glassware), ⌀30mm H120mm
    2. img_713160.jpg U-shaped tube (lab glassware), ⌀14mm H140mm
    3. 51OgsD1S0kL._SL1000_.jpg glass straw (for cocktails in fancy bars), ⌀12mm H200mm

    Here's the procedure I'm planning on following:
    • drill the test tube with a diamond coated drill bit (⌀12mm), as close as possible to a side without breaking the tube,
    • cover the outside of one leg of the U-shaped pipe in silicone and slide in place inside the test tube (on the opposite side from the hole)
    • insert the glass straw and silicon in place from the outside

    If everything goes right, and after curing, I will be able to hang the device outside my tank and the weight will be supported by the U-shaped pipe. The legs of the U-shaped pipe will actually be longer than on my drawing (see photo instead) thus will be less likely to collect air bubbles and disconnect the vessels. For redundancy, I am planning on making (at least) two such devices.

    Is this going to work?

  2. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Bumping this up for you
  3. Florian PelletWell Known MemberMember

    Too bad no one is answering.
  4. Scott HValued MemberMember

    This type of over flow will work, the only problem is the flow rate. If the flow through the u pipe is to slow it wont be able to clear itself of bubbles that collect (wich they will eventually). A safer option (flood wise) would be to drill the tank and install a small bulkhead if thats possible, otherwise just keep a close eye on that u pipe, make it part of your tank mantainance to check it for bubbles and clear it if there are any.

    Ps. Love your idea to use the glassware, very inventive.
  5. Florian PelletWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks Scott H. I'd love to drill the tank, but I didn't think I'd want to before I made it and now it's planted and full of fish... Maybe in a few month.

    For bubbles, I'm planning on checking on it regularly and install two of these devices (or at least have 2 u-pipes on one), so that if one fails (fills w/ bubbles) there is a backup.

    For the flow rate, that's kind of the entire point of this design: because this is not a sump overflow but just a drip system overflow, it only needs to handle a very small amount of flow. That way I might be able to make it look somewhat like the ADA Lily glassware instead of an ugly HOB overflow.

    Can you think of any other way this could fail?
  6. Scott HValued MemberMember

    The only way I have ever had an overflow fail is air breaking the siphon. So long as you check it regularly it will be fine.
  7. Florian PelletWell Known MemberMember

    Trying to think up solutions to what you are mentioning Scott H.

    What if the end of the U-shaped pipe that is inside the tank has itself a little U-turn pointing upwards? Could then bubbles get inside it ?

    What if the end of the U-shaped pipe that is inside the tank is baffled with foam (which I intend to do anyway so that baby shrimpies don't end up in the drain)? Could air still get inside it then?
  8. Scott HValued MemberMember

    If you have shrimp then definatly put the foam on it, as for the the extra u turn I doubt it will be necessery if you have a back up like you said. The likelyhood of both of them failing is extremly low.
  9. Florian PelletWell Known MemberMember


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