Herbie overflow.......out of patience

The_Paradox

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I'm not sure how the OP has his pipes sized - but the way I look at it..... If the secondary pipe is taking 5% flow... a snail crawls into said pipe allowing that 5% to continue to flow with no issue - something happens to the primary drain - you now need that secondary drain to pickup the slack, you have a problem.

Do I think it's a likely scenario? No. Do I stand by that makes the secondary pipe a secondary and not an emergency, yes -100%. This is why 3 pipe setups are superior in every way.

The main has a gate on it. That gate is closed quite a bit to get full siphon. The main also usually has a strainer. Flow them out. Depending on your setup the secondary will flow 25-75% more water assuming same diameter, same bends.
 
OP
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reef tank 2.0

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Not sure if it matters, but I am using 1" pvc for return, emergency, and main drain.

And I did have my fyre on pulsating. I have since changed that.
 

vetteguy53081

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I am out of paitence. I don't know what else to do. I have spent the last two hours trying to adjust my gate valves so that the overflow drain level STOPS fluctuating. I haven't changed anything, other than adjust the gate valve a 16th of an inch at a time.

I have opened my return gate valve all the way. From that point, I adjust the drain valve to the point that it is A) quiet, and B) stable. A) isn't a problem at all. I can quiet that down pretty quick.

B), right when I think the level is finally stable, I watch it for 5-10 minutes, and I watch it slowly creep upwards or downwards. The further down it goes, the louder the overflow becomes.

I don't understand why this is happening. Nothing is changing from the sump, up to the overflow.

I have the system filled with water, rock, and sand, and getting ready to drop in raw shrimp tomorrow to begin the cycle process.

I understand one needs patience in this hobby, but this is ridiculous. A 16th of an inch should not change the level by INCHES!

Here is an image of the set up instructions I used.

Screenshot_20240225_205230_Chrome.jpg
On your main drain standpipe, try an elbow

1708920346077.png
1708920372739.png
 

BOYERZ

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Nice setup!

Didn't realize you has a basement sump.

Are you sure there are no air pockets in the main drain.

You will be able to hear and feel this.

The air pockets will not leave for a long time creating cavitation and disrupting siphon until they are purged.

Ideally the gate valve for adjustment should be as low as possible.
 
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reef tank 2.0

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@BOYERZ - when i am at the sump, the drain line is perfectly quiet. no popping, gurgling, lines shaking, etc. it is smooth and quiet.

ever since making the adjustment last night to allow for that slight trickle....things seem to have stabilized and are quieter. we'll see how this goes from here on out.

thanks for all the help
 

Dburr1014

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Agreed this is the way to go, but to be clear - if that second pipe is anything besides completely dry, it's not a true 'emergency' pipe.

The only way you can guarantee that pipe will never have any obstructions is to ensure it never gets wet.... unless there's an emergency.
This is wrong.
On a herbie system, you have to have a trickle going down the emergency to keep it stable.
Maybe you are thinking of the bean animal and the 3 drain system. Even then a trickle goes down the open channel. Then the emergency sees no water.
 

JM302

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This is wrong.
On a herbie system, you have to have a trickle going down the emergency to keep it stable.
Maybe you are thinking of the bean animal and the 3 drain system. Even then a trickle goes down the open channel. Then the emergency sees no water.
If the pipe is getting wet, it's not an emergency drain, it's a secondary. That's all I'm saying. Call it semantics, call it what you want.

As far as I know, you're supposed to tune with the gate valve and match the flow of the return pump with the siphon - and it's a complete pain to tune and what the OP originally pointed out.

If you are running flow into the Emergency pipe of a Herbie to make up for an improperly tuned siphon, you no longer have an emergency pipe. The trickle into a secondary pipe for 'auto-tuning' was a feature of the Bean Animal, not the Herbie and as I pointed out, this is increasingly difficult with DC pumps.

1708978558486.png
 

The_Paradox

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As far as I know, you're supposed to tune with the gate valve and match the flow of the return pump with the siphon - and it's a complete pain to tune and what the OP originally pointed out.

Will never work like that. Temperature, chemistry, cleaning, power head settings, pump variations all make it impossible to completely match the siphon rate exactly.
 

JM302

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Will never work like that. Temperature, chemistry, cleaning, power head settings, pump variations all make it impossible to completely match the siphon rate exactly.

That was the original design and implementation of a Herbie overflow. I didn't design it nor have I ever suggested it works well. Implementations of the Herbie have obviously evolved over the years and based on comments here, it evolved into a Bean Animal without an emergency pipe.

I'm bowing out - good luck to the OP.
 

b.clark

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I have a set on my 75 with sump like the OP’s set up. I have a trickle going down the emergency drain or secondary drain. Almost impossible to stop a trickle from going down this secondary drain. I have a grye as well and every time it pulses a little more water goes in. I also have a top on my overflow chamber so snails or crabs can’t crawl in there. I have a strainer on my main return as well.
 

KrisReef

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All life is governed by an active trickle of nonsence and humilitation and the constant drips made into the drainpipe that echos louder than Niagra.

Where Are You Waiting GIF by This GIF Is Haunted
 

Dburr1014

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If the pipe is getting wet, it's not an emergency drain, it's a secondary. That's all I'm saying. Call it semantics, call it what you want.

As far as I know, you're supposed to tune with the gate valve and match the flow of the return pump with the siphon - and it's a complete pain to tune and what the OP originally pointed out.

If you are running flow into the Emergency pipe of a Herbie to make up for an improperly tuned siphon, you no longer have an emergency pipe. The trickle into a secondary pipe for 'auto-tuning' was a feature of the Bean Animal, not the Herbie and as I pointed out, this is increasingly difficult with DC pumps.

1708978558486.png
This is impossible with DC or AC pumps, Herbies just don't run like that. There has to be a slight trickle going down the Emergency Drain. It's still an emergency drain just at the fact that if it does go in full siphon, it's an emergency.
 

saltcats

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@BOYERZ - when i am at the sump, the drain line is perfectly quiet. no popping, gurgling, lines shaking, etc. it is smooth and quiet.

ever since making the adjustment last night to allow for that slight trickle....things seem to have stabilized and are quieter. we'll see how this goes from here on out.

thanks for all the help
Think you've traded yours for mine - it's been making a loud gurgle ever since this morning! :face-with-tears-of-joy:
 

blazn

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This is impossible with DC or AC pumps, Herbies just don't run like that. There has to be a slight trickle going down the Emergency Drain. It's still an emergency drain just at the fact that if it does go in full siphon, it's an emergency.
I don't understand why you indicate that there must "be a slight trickle going down the Emergency Drain". I run a pair of Herbie's in my overflows and gate valves allow me to easily tune the flow to where I have a full siphon on both main drainpipes but zero water going down either of the emergency drainpipes. After a water change, I may have to slightly tweak a gate valve, but that's to be expected. I love the Herbie design...full siphon, zero sound and emergency preparedness!
 

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