Flow Rate For CW-50 Scrubber

Discussion in 'Clearwater Scrubbers & Coral' started by chipmunkofdoom2, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    What is the optimum flow rate for your CW-50 scrubber? I recently set one up, but I'm not able to get much flow to go through it without overwhelming the primary drain and having water spill out the backup drain. DIY guides say you should have between 20 and 40 GPH of flow through the scrubber for every horizontal inch of screen, but I can barely get 40 GPH of total flow through the scrubber.
     
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  2. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    Just to update, I think I might have found why I was not able to run more water through the scrubber. The drain pipe extended a couple inches below the surface, which I believe applied back pressure and limited the flow. After making sure only an inch or so of the outlet is below water, it appears I can crank up the flow much higher.

    I would still like to know how much flow is appropriate for the CW-50 so I can fine-tune the performance. Thanks for your help.
     
  3. S.O.MLemos

    S.O.MLemos Active Member

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    I’m thinking of buying this scrubber as well and I’m not sure what pump to get. What are you using? So far I’m thinking of a sicce syncra silent 0.5 or 1.0 or the mighty jet DC pump from innovative marine but I’m not sure if they are too much flow or not because I’ve never even seen an algae scrubber before lol
     
  4. ZAB

    ZAB Member

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    Google clear water scrubber..saw several videos on u tube..that shows how to install and what size pump to use.hope this helps out..
     
  5. ZAB

    ZAB Member

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    150 gph for the CW 50
     
  6. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    I feed it from my return pump, so I'm not sure if a Sicce would work. I assume it would. The pump just needs to provide more than 200 GPH. You could then use a valve to divert or restrict flow.
     
  7. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    I saw a few videos, but there was only one official one from ClearWater and it didn't mention anything about flow rates. I saw a blog page where a user recommended 150gph and Marine Depot's site recommends 175gph for the CW-50. The math from the DIY community says about 175 gph (35 gph per inch of screen). So somewhere in there is probably right.

    Regardless, I'm still having trouble getting flow close to that. I probably have about 110 - 115 gph going through mine, but I'm having trouble getting any more.
     
  8. ReefWithCare

    ReefWithCare Active Member

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    BRS lists the flow rates - but it’s a little silly. I think the CW300 said 700GPH but my buddy has it and said you can’t even run that many GPH due to the inlet size . I wait for them to respond - but I have a feeling you will be alright given my buddy is growing algae at less of the GPH BRS states on the product page.

    What’s the size of your inlet for the CW50?
     
  9. S.O.MLemos

    S.O.MLemos Active Member

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    Since I’m so limited on space in my sump area I just decided to tap into the drain pipe with a tee and valve and let gravity do the work. I’ll post a picture when I’m completely finished if I don’t forget.
     
  10. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    You're right, Bulk Reef Supply does have flow rates listed for this scrubber now (recommended 150GPH). I could swear that before it said something outrageous like "Flow rate: 12 gph to 200 gph."

    The inlet is a 1/2" bulkhead. Which is just fine, as under pressure, you can actually get a lot of water into 1/2" plumbing. The problem is that the outlet is also 1/2". Not being a pressurized line, the amount of water that can go through this 1/2" line is much smaller. I'm able to overwhelm both the emergency drain AND the main drain with the 1/2" input.

    I'll freely admit, the plumbing isn't ideal on this scrubber in my setup. I'm cramped for space and used soft plumbing. If I had used hard plumbing and made sure the outlet came out just a 1/4" or so below the water's surface, flow rates might be better through the drain. But I really would have preferred a 3/4" outlet to give myself more wiggle room. 3/4" bulkheads are not that much wider than 1/2" bulkheads, but they can handle literally double the flow on a gravity-fed drain. With double the flow, the plumbing doesn't have to be perfect to work. With the recommended flow rate being right on the edge of what the drain can even handle, it kind of does.
     
  11. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    This will likely work, but be aware that the spray bar can easily become clogged with detritus coming down the drain from your tank. Is it not possible to plumb a T into your return line and feed the scrubber that way?
     

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