Main return seal leaking on Reefer 350

davidcalgary29

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
958
Reaction score
923
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Peace River, Alberta
I bought a used 350 last week: it passed the initial leak test, and I've just finished filling it up with fresh salt water, substrate, and aquascape. This morning, however, I noticed a leak had sprung at the base of the main return. I've resigned myself to emptying out the tank (fortunately, it does not have any inhabitants except two snails), but what should my next steps be at this point? I notice that the previous owner had sealed the site with an ugly black silicone. Remove and redo? Replace the o-ring? Any other suggestions?
 

Clarkjw2002

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
13
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Gaithersburg
I've had a 450 ever since they came out and mine has been doing the same thing for a two yrs now. It just drips into the sump so not a big deal for me--other than a little salt creep.

Pretty sure it is the seal on the main return pipe that you screw in on the overflow side. I spent an afternoon figuring it out as I wanted to make sure it was not leaking from a seam or something. When I break down in a year or two I plan to replace (this will become my QT tank). I looked a while back so pretty sure they sell.
 
OP
davidcalgary29

davidcalgary29

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
958
Reaction score
923
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Peace River, Alberta
It's reduced to an intermittent drip, and probably because the return chamber is draining out. I'm pretty sure that the o-ring has gone, so I've ordered a replacement. Instead of draining the whole tank, I'm just going to drain the return chamber, unscrew and clean the returns (which I should have done in the first place), do my replacements, and add some additional silicon. I've got a powerhead going with no livestock (aside from the snails), so I'll see how this goes.
 

Clarkjw2002

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
13
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Gaithersburg
That's how I'd attack it. The cleaning and silicone didn't work for me. I've noticed, though, that you have to be careful screwing the pipes in as it is very easy for them to thread in crooked.

My drip has basically stopped due to the salt creep.
 
OP
davidcalgary29

davidcalgary29

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
958
Reaction score
923
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Peace River, Alberta
My drip has basically stopped due to the salt creep.
I swear it's the new sealant. Question of the Day, 2022: "What do YOU prefer to stop plumbing leaks: silicone or salt creep?"

I unscrewed the pipes: NONE of them had o-rings on them. I'm beginning to think that this is a third- or fourth-hand tank, as it didn't come with the original stand.

This is probably a fifty cent fix, but someone decided to spackle the main return downpipe with silicone instead of getting a cheap original part. WHY???
 

Do you house a "Reef Safe" Angelfish in your reef tank?

  • YES and it's going good

    Votes: 90 41.5%
  • YES but it's not working out

    Votes: 6 2.8%
  • NO I have tried it in the past and it didn't work out

    Votes: 20 9.2%
  • NO I haven't tried yet

    Votes: 95 43.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 6 2.8%
Waterbox Aquariums: The Finest Aquariums
Top