Skimmer overflowing

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Tim S, 25 Feb 2010.

  1. Tim S

    Tim S

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    Hi all,

    I've been putting up with a problem for some time now but it's just too much. I set my skimmer (Reef Ocopus DWN 200 or something) so that the bubble level is about 50mm below the cup rim. Any foam then gets pushed up over the rim. This tends to skim lightly as the scimate is almost black. The problem arrises when i top up or switch main pump off for a short while. When the skimmer returns to working volume it overflows like a boiling pot of milk on the stove. My skimmer is external and I only have space for a 2l bottle to collect skimmate. But regardless of this I cannot have my skimmer ejecting 10 litres of water every time something changes. I'v come to realise that when I change the filter wool with new it will also go beserk, so I open the valve on the outlet to drop the water level until it settle. Is this something one must just live with and manage or is there a remedy.

    "tired of mopping floors"
     
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  3. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Tim this is normal. What happens is the skimmer needs to "catch up" so it will skim like crazy!!! I would suggest keep removing the skimmate or lower your pipe or increase the height of your skimmer and see if you skim more dry.
     
  4. Garethmur

    Garethmur

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    I had a problem with my skimmer jus overflowing all the time, it was making bubbles, but pushing way too high and basically filling the cup with water. I have been fiddling with my lil Jebo, and have found that, to my surprise, the height of the thing makes a huge difference, i lifted the skimmer out the water (yes its internal - in the sump) and jus like that, works like a charm... well i think it will work, got no fish yet, so no crap to remover... :whistling:
     
  5. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Sorry for going a bit off topic. See if you can save up for a better skimmer Gareth, those little jebo's are only good for target practicing or filled with sand and used as a door stopper :p
     
  6. Garethmur

    Garethmur

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    lol...i know... been told already... planning on building one later... the lil jebo will have to do for now... like i said, seems to be working ok for now..
     
  7. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    It will, you got no fish :lol:
     
  8. Garethmur

    Garethmur

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    ja... ja... :whistling:
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Eish - really sorry to hear this Tim. How about thinking of modding your skimmer cup? Add a downpipe/outlet to the skimmer cup, and connect this with a pipe either directly to your drain, or to a huge drum. Then your skimmer won't overflow anymore. And the chances of your drump overflowing - is a LOT LOT less, than your skimmercup overflowing.
     
  10. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    This is probably the biggest drawback and risk with any skimmer - and yes, they all do this to some extent. The safest option (IMHO) is to mount the skimmer inside the sump - then, if/when it does overflow, it will just dump the skimmate back into the system - not good, but MUCH better than emptying the sump, flooding the lounge or wherever, and having the auto topoff turn the tank into a fresh-water display...

    If you could ligt the skimmer so that the bottom of the skimmer is higher than the top of the sump, one can obviously leave it external, and just build an "overflow tank" with a down-pipe leading back to the sump, with the skimmer standing inside this tank.

    Hennie
     
  11. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hennie - funny that you mention that - I actually have my skimmer sitting on top of a drum, that is inside a huge "plastic bucket" - exactly for that purpose. For "in case" the skimmer still overflows. But, I don't have my "bucket" connected to my sump. I manually return the water to the sump.
     
  12. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hi Tim, Something must be wrong somewhere, this sounds a bit excessive and it shouldn't be at the stage where it irritates you.

    May I ask why are you switching off your main pump?

    Can you also explain how you are topping up as I can't see how this should affect the skimmer at all.

    Also, first give your filter floss a good rinse in RO water, or even tap water will be fine if you shake it out afterwards, this will stop the skimmer from going berserk every time you add the floss to your tank. ;)
     
  13. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    Hi chaps,
    Thanks for the advice. I think the emergency overflow from the cup back to the sump is the answer. The drain from the cup is off the bottom of the cup so the bad stuff will go down there first. The excess will build up in the cup and return to sump via this overflow at a higher level. Great idea.
    As far as the reasons for this happening my vies are this: I turn the main pump off to replace the filterwool in the overflow box. Cannot do it with a waterfall of water falling on your hands and the dirty filterwool. I used to top up (manually) by running RO water into the tank, but this increases the volume of water then going over the overflow and in turn increasing the flow through the skimmer. I have since changed to topping up directly into the sump so that the overflow rate does not change. My RO unit with auto topup unit installation is in progress but I have run out of the 6mm pipe that comes with it so need to find some in CT to finish. So the overflowwing of the skimmer seems to be somewhat self induced, unfortunately you only realise it after a few mini floods. So we learn.....

    Thanks chaps,

    Tim
     
  14. dogstar

    dogstar

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    I am assuming, you skimmer is plumb directly to your overflow?

    I think the problem is as follows:

    When you switch the main pump off, your display tank will empty out to the height of your overflow. The skimmer will then run on what ever water is currently in there only, as it will not be getting any more water from the DT.

    When you switch it back on, you pushing a lot of water into the DT, which is then going to flush into the skimmer. The skimmer is going to kind of overflow until the system is back in balance.

    Only thing you can do is leave the skimmer outlet valve open when you restart your system. Or, have a ball valve on your return, which you can use to slow down the flow to the DT.

    My 2 cents.
     
  15. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    You probably have a point, but the flow into the skimmer when the system is turned on is no greater than when it was turned off, the only diffirence is the gradual increase to that maximum flow and therefore theoritically should not bubble over. I have learned the hard way (many cursing mopping up sessions) that this is a very sensitive arrangement and I need to install a "safety device" in the case of a surge in the skimmer rate.
    Thanks for your comments Dogstar.
     
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