Plumbing Help - Add UV Sterilizer

ctopherl

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I know next to nothing about plumbing DIY but this may be a good beginner project.

I have a red sea reefer 250 with v3 sump (4 chambers in 2x2 formation). My back left changer has a return pump with a "soft plumbed" tube up to what I think is the stock reefer plumbing (my LFS set my tank up for me). There is a clamp on the bottom and top of the tube.

The UV I want to get is the Aqua UV 15W with ideal flow rate at 233gph which is too low to plumb inline with my return pump. I am thinking of using a separate little pump in the third chamber to feed the sterilizer and have the out connect to a T in my existing return pump line.

What all do I need to buy to connect the T in my existing return pump line? I assume the in/out on the sterilizer itself is self explanatory because it comes with the necessary pieces.

Here is my current return pipe soft->stock pipe connection where I think I should add the T. Is this a viable plan? If it would help, I can take it apart sometime soon and post a picture of the individual pieces.

returnPipe.jpg
 
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TexanCanuck

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I would caution you against installing a second pump and trying to connect the discharge from the UV unit into the discharge of the main pump in the "T" fitting ... the flow form the two pumps will not add neatly like you hope.

Instead, whichever pump is providing the higher discharge pressure at the inlet of the "T" fitting will create a back pressure which will reduce the flow rate from the smaller pump.

While it will still create additional flow, it will be hard to predict how much will go through the UV unit.

Instead, I would recommend installing the second pump in one of the earlier chambers (perhaps right after the mechanical filtration), directing it through the UV, and then discharging it into the same chamber in which your return pump is located.

This will avoid creating any back pressure on the UV feed pump, and allow (close to) rated flow rates from the pump. This will also save you from having to modify your return piping.

Make sense?
 

dmy535

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I have the same tank, and installed same UV. I use do the sicce 1.5 pump in the first chamber (where tank drains into sump). The pump goes into uv, and the uv outlet dumps water into the return pump chamber. Nothing fancy
 
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ctopherl

ctopherl

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I would caution you against installing a second pump and trying to connect the discharge from the UV unit into the discharge of the main pump in the "T" fitting ... the flow form the two pumps will not add neatly like you hope.

Instead, whichever pump is providing the higher discharge pressure at the inlet of the "T" fitting will create a back pressure which will reduce the flow rate from the smaller pump.

While it will still create additional flow, it will be hard to predict how much will go through the UV unit.

Instead, I would recommend installing the second pump in one of the earlier chambers (perhaps right after the mechanical filtration), directing it through the UV, and then discharging it into the same chamber in which your return pump is located.

This will avoid creating any back pressure on the UV feed pump, and allow (close to) rated flow rates from the pump. This will also save you from having to modify your return piping.

Make sense?
Yes that makes lots of sense and makes for an easier install, thanks! I was trying to avoid noise but I could probably have the out line go under water so there’s no splashing.
 
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ctopherl

ctopherl

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I have the same tank, and installed same UV. I use do the sicce 1.5 pump in the first chamber (where tank drains into sump). The pump goes into uv, and the uv outlet dumps water into the return pump chamber. Nothing fancy
So you bypass all of your filtration? Or is your logic that only a small percentage of the water is hitting the UV and bypassing everything?

And do you mean to say that the pump is in the first chamber in the tiny spot next to the filter cup and sock?

Could you possibly post a picture at some point?
 
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dmy535

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So you bypass all of your filtration? Or is your logic that only a small percentage of the water is hitting the UV and bypassing everything?

And do you mean to say that the pump is in the first chamber in the tiny spot next to the filter cup and sock?

Could you possibly post a picture at some point?
I have the sicce pump that feeds the uv in the first chamber. Where the water from display enters sump. It’s the chamber just before filter socks. That pump takes the water into uv. The outlet of the uv poore into the filter sock
 

AJsReef

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I’m not entirely sure with smaller Reefer tanks but I know in larger tanks the drain line is severely flow limited. Would suggest as others have stated to plumb it taking water out of the sump and returning to the sump. It’s not “optimal” but you will see results.

What are you using the UV for specifically?
 
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ctopherl

ctopherl

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I have the sicce pump that feeds the uv in the first chamber. Where the water from display enters sump. It’s the chamber just before filter socks. That pump takes the water into uv. The outlet of the uv poore into the filter sock
Got it I misunderstood, thank you!
 
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ctopherl

ctopherl

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I’m not entirely sure with smaller Reefer tanks but I know in larger tanks the drain line is severely flow limited. Would suggest as others have stated to plumb it taking water out of the sump and returning to the sump. It’s not “optimal” but you will see results.

What are you using the UV for specifically?
I specifically want to use it for parasites/pathogens-I think my tank has uronema. I know it’s not 100% guaranteed but I’m willing to try it combined with a few other strategies. My tank is currently fallow.

And your suggestion makes sense. I’m guessing the best results possible will be seen from taking from one section of the sump and depositing to a farther down section of the sump.

To really increase my chances of success I could just temporarily put it on the side of my DT and directly take water out of DT and put back in-does that increase effectiveness? I could do that for a month or so and then plumb it below by the sump.
 

AJsReef

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Taking from and returning to the display is actually the optimal set up for pathogens, probably best to run it that way until you're in the clear.

It depends on flow through sump for where you can place it. If your feed pump exceeds display flow you could run into chamber balance issues. I have my manifold (feed) and return pump in the return chamber. I orientated the pumps so that the manifold is "upstream" and return "downstream" with the UV returning flow directly into the return pump. Most definitely not perfect, but it has help me battle Dinos and now keeps my water/glass very clear :)
 
Zoanthids

dmy535

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Taking from and returning to the display is actually the optimal set up for pathogens, probably best to run it that way until you're in the clear.

It depends on flow through sump for where you can place it. If your feed pump exceeds display flow you could run into chamber balance issues. I have my manifold (feed) and return pump in the return chamber. I orientated the pumps so that the manifold is "upstream" and return "downstream" with the UV returning flow directly into the return pump. Most definitely not perfect, but it has help me battle Dinos and now keeps my water/glass very clear :)
Amen to water and glass being clear!
 

dmy535

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No rush, I will probably pick the UV up early next week and then venture to Home Depot. But I am curious how you fit it in the 250 cabinet so a picture would help if you don’t mind!
7AAB0F1D-10CA-4D85-9AF4-4E9518423287.jpeg

I have it attached to the “ceiling” of the cabinet using a pvc clamp holder. This is temporary until the UV clamp holders from BRS come back in stock! But by mounting it to the ceiling, it gives me lots of room and it’s out of the way
 
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ctopherl

ctopherl

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Ideally, your input/output should be above the body of the skimmer. In configuration above technically your highest spot is the body which can allow air build up reducing effective contact area for the water.
I was wondering this as well. What about if it is sideways? Maybe sideways with a slight tilt upwards? Debating how to temporarily secure this next to my DT without putting holes in the wall as I will move down to sump eventually.
 
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ctopherl

ctopherl

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7AAB0F1D-10CA-4D85-9AF4-4E9518423287.jpeg

I have it attached to the “ceiling” of the cabinet using a pvc clamp holder. This is temporary until the UV clamp holders from BRS come back in stock! But by mounting it to the ceiling, it gives me lots of room and it’s out of the way
Thanks this is helpful! I noticed the UV has 3/4” fittings which is annoying. I wanted to put a Neptune flow meter in there but looks like they have 1/2” or 1”. How did you connect your pump tubing to the UV? Is it 3/4” the whole way?
 

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