Remote Sump/Engine Room: Pros & Cons


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Hi Guys

So ive decided to take the big leap from fresh water to saltwater just as im about to renovate my home. After watching hours of Youtube videos and reading up on many threads on this forum i think im just about ready to start planning my 550lt build.

My first question is around remote sumps/engine rooms. From what I've researched, chillers and pumps can get noisy. So i would assume the obvious benefits of remote sumps/engine rooms are as follows:

PROS
  1. Less noise
  2. Opportunity to use larger dry return pump and upgrade to a larger system in the far future.
  3. More space to work, better access etc.
  4. Space to add new toys
  5. Easier water changes
CONS
  1. Need gravity to be on your side
  2. Any adjustments made in your remote sump would mean you would have to walk to the DT to view the results, unless you have wifi controlled devices.
  3. Extended plumbing (10m in my case)
  4. Need a more powerful return pump
So before i begin renovating my home and laying concrete encased pipes under my floors to the outside of my house,

  1. Is it worth while considering or am i just trying to over complicate things?
  2. In terms of gravity assisting, are there any particular slopes or angles that one should account for apart from the obvious?
 
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Other than a "larger" return pump, i really dint see any cons, and even that is not too much of a con.
There arent many changes you will be making in sump that will have a fast impact on your tank and plumbing is not that expensive if you choose to keep it simple.
Had a remote sump in seperate room and what a pleasure everything was!!
The only pointer to bear in mind is to be sure that sump is slightly elevated, as when it gets around to siphoning it, having gravity assist will be something you appreciate.
If you have the space, GO for it.
 
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If the 'other room' was on the other side if the wall, I would agree, but 10m is a fair distance away.
Depending on what you want to do with the sump, and what equipment you are planning, for that size tank it may pay you to buy a decent DC return pump which does not make a noise, and fit the equipment under the tank, including the chiller, although I don't think a decent chiller makes a huge noise. (The more experienced reefers can confirm if this or true or not).
I have seen a lovely system where the RO unit and storage tank as well as the salt mixing facility and tank is in another room, and piped to the sump.

The return pump has a waste nozzle with ball valve so when you want to do a water change, you close everything off and open the waste valve and pump the water out from the sump. The salt is mixed in the other room, and when you want to replace the salt water you activate the pump which discharges into the sump. The RO unit has a similar facility. If the Top up tank is in the other room, it will give you about thirty litres extra sum capacity.
You can still place your ups and battery backup in the other room, I just think you have more control of everything if it is under the tank.

If you may go bigger, go for the other room.
At the end of the day the decision is yours on which way to go. Good luck with the renovations and the build.
 

RiaanP

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A fish room is really nice. Especially if you can plan it with all you need. Do not forget a complete on its own quarantine holding system while at it.

Do not put the sump on the floor, rather lift it a bit on its own stand.

Access is soooo much easier. Only problem is when you need to switch the return pump off and you are on the wrong side. Does not matter if the switch is at the display or at the sump. Either way there will be an instance you have to walk around to throw that switch.

Ensure your sump is big enough so that when you do a water change you can drain all the water and refill the sump. Advantage is no more spilling in the house.
Seal the floor properly. Have all electrical points high above the sump so that you can wash out the floor with a hosepipe if needed.
 
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If you are going that route, why not put a two way switch like in the passage way of your house, that way you can switch it on or off in either room.
 
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Thanks guys for your comments and thoughts. A neat compact remote setup is the following youtube video. Let me know what you think of this setup (skip to 5:45).


For now im actually thinking of rather setting out the DT in a position where i can actually place the remote sump through the wall on the other side similar to the video thus avoiding underfloor piping.
 
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