UV Sterilizer How To Plumb?

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shadow1013

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I’m thinking of getting a UV sterilizer for my next build and I’m not sure the one I’m looking at will fit inside the stand with the sump so I was thinking of mounting it behind the tank.

Has anyone else mounted it like this? I’d love to see how you did your plumbing for it.
 
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T-J

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I've seen a number of people mount it behind or on the side of the stand. Plumbed no different than inside the tank, just drill holes through the stand to the sump. Or, you could do it as a closed loop. Not my pic, but one I found online:
1626149737926.png
 

Ocelaris

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I have a Pentair 40w as well, and it is giant! But I'm glad I shelled out for it, I can really tell when I change the bulb out yearly that it's cleaning up. Mine is jammed behind my sump and it's a pain. All I can say is make sure that it's reachable. Mine is almost 3 years old, and I haven't had to change the orings yet, but it's a hassle mounted on the ground. Absolutely get ball valves in front of the uv and if you have room vertically is a good idea. Just plan on spending a pretty penny on fittings as it's like 2" coming out of the uv or something crazy. It's big so the water slows down going across the bulb. But those brs 3" hangers are pricey! But you may be able to use a standard pvc hanger as well depending on your mounting.

One final piece of advice, have either a separate circuit for the uv back to the tank or do like I do and dump the filtered water into the pump chamber. If you dump the sterilized water back into the main sump with the skimmer/refugium etc... you're not getting most of the tank water through the uv, most is probably recycled in the sump limiting its effectiveness.
 
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JumboShrimp

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@Ocelaris is correct— the way I have mine, one part of the sump to another— is not optimal. Of course I run it 24/7, and so over the course of a year it’s probably doing the job I got it for. Algae control. But if you are attacking a parasite problem, sump-to-tank is a stronger option. Still, I have messy fish, feed 8-10 times a day, and have a clear tank. Best wishes!

425E5E37-167C-4B09-B47E-B65BB74C3699.jpeg
 

Ocelaris

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If you can just redirect the output of the uv to the pump chamber, you effectively get the same benefit, as it's going straight up to the tank.
 

JumboShrimp

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(Yeah; that’s what I do— pull from a separate end, shoot back to the section with the return pump. Great minds think alike! Lol.)

Actually from two different ‘tubs,’ if you happen to be familiar with the Seamless Sump system by Custom Aquariums.

88A21719-EC58-40FD-A32A-8EFD43AAAE8C.jpeg
 

hoytoyed

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I've seen a number of people mount it behind or on the side of the stand. Plumbed no different than inside the tank, just drill holes through the stand to the sump. Or, you could do it as a closed loop. Not my pic, but one I found online:
1626149737926.png
My pentair 40 watt will be here tomorrow and my original plan was to duplicate the pic above, but I think I’m going to put the pump in the sump and plumb it out the back to the inlet of the sterilizer and then back in over the back of the tank. I have a cut out in my top for a light bracket I’m no longer using so I won’t have to cut my top.
My question is that in the pic above, the flow meter and the gate valve are after the sterilizer just before it returns to the tank. I think that picture was posted on the BRS site so I assume as long as the flow is restricted SOMEWHERE in the loop, either before or after the sterilizer, the flow will be whatever you set it to be with the gate valve?
 
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hoytoyed

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It’s installed and plumbed but I’ve not leak tested it yet. I’ll wait until tomorrow when I have more natural light to see any possible leaks. I ended up putting the pump in the return chamber of the sump and running vinyl hose out of the back of the caninet to the inlet on the sterilizer. The outlet is hard plumbed to the back of the tank ( though it’s swung out of the way for now while the cement and primer offgas). Space wise or worked better for me to put my valve before the inlet and the flow meter immediately after the outlet. Hopefully everything stays dry tomorrow and I can get it doing it’s job.
 

hoytoyed

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Depending on where you live and your house temperature, be prepared for a possible significant rise in tank temperature (due to the power of the bulb). But I do think you will like the unit. ;Smuggrin
That’s a little scary. My temp already jumps from 78 to 80 during the course of the day due to my lights. I keep the house on 76 but it’s hot and humid in the Tar Heel State.
 

JumboShrimp

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Monitor things... you "might" (if it becomes a problem) run your lights until you kick off to bed, then have the UV come on (on a simple outlet timer) from then, until the morning. The good news is, on that size tank you did not skimp on the UV (Pentair 40, right?), so you can probably get full benefits running it 1/2 a day anyway. ;Happy (I'd just cut the bulb, not the water flow-- the bulb's sleeve will probably stay cleaner, longer, with flow.)
 

hoytoyed

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Monitor things... you "might" (if it becomes a problem) run your lights until you kick off to bed, then have the UV come on (on a simple outlet timer) from then, until the morning. The good news is, on that size tank you did not skimp on the UV (Pentair 40, right?), so you can probably get full benefits running it 1/2 a day anyway. ;Happy (I'd just cut the bulb, not the water flow-- the bulb's sleeve will probably stay cleaner, longer, with flow.)
I can program a schedule through the apex if need be. For as little the extra cost of going with the 40 over the 25 watt, it made sense; I’m sure I’ll upgrade to a larger tank in the future. Space feels pretty limited in a 73 gallon DT. The 40 is a monster though. I knew it would be large and was still shocked when I took it out of the box.
 

Grill

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If you haven't made your purchase yet look into Lifegard the inlets and outlets are adjustable making install convenient. Video of Lifegard UV. I installed mine in front of the sump. Here is a R2R thread talking about various UV sterilizers. uv-sterilizers-which-unit-to-choose. One of the best decisions I made for my tank. Good luck.

UV.jpg
 

Privateye

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One thing to note when comparing brands is the UV transmittance they assume. UVT and UV dose do not follow a linear trend, so when comparing Pentair and Lifegard UVs (which assume 90% UVT) to something like Aqua UV (which assumes 100% UVT) their output will have to be amplified (not sure how much) to compare apples to apples with Aqua UV.

Pentair does not size their UVs based on tank volume like Lifegard and most other manufacturers. They size based on the volume, flow rate, and target organism. BRS provides the tank size recommendations. I figure that's probably based on their own testing, which I generally trust.
 
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