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Thread: SC/Prefilter Transformation to a Sieve

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    SC/Prefilter Transformation to a Sieve

    Well it was time to make an upgrade!

    I've had an approx. 500 gallon SC and 2 prefilters with Bacti-Twist used as media in them on my 3500 gallon pond for
    about 3 years, and they have worked very well! I don't want to give the impression that I made this change because of them not
    working... nothing could be further from the truth. And actually, after running the sieve for a month or so, I think when using the
    SC/prefilter, I had less "floaties" in the pond... but maintenance wise (which was my goal), it's no contest. Sieve wins.
    But as a budget way to mechanically remove debris, a SC and prefilter works well.

    Onward...
    Here's a "before" pic to know where we started...

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    And the demo begins...

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    Some interesting findings during ripping out the plywood/liner made SC...
    The plywood didn't hold that well... but it was below grade, so not a big surprise. I did think that the ground
    would "support" the walls better...

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    On the other hand, the carpet I used as underlayment was almost like new... and so was the toilet flange I used
    as the drain. Stainless bolts held up well. The rust I think is from some washers I used that must not have be SS.
    But the nuts and bolts looked good.

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    Name:  demo 4 drain.jpg
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    The hose clamps were also surprising to me... they were used on the pipe boot fittings on the interior of the SC.
    I did wiped them off with a paper towel, but these have been underwater for 3 years! Looked almost like new.

    Name:  demo 5 hose clamps.jpg
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    SC now gone. But I wanted to use the drain from the SC to flush the
    waste from the sieve to the sump barrel. So I dug the 3" line up to
    see where I could cut into it...

    Name:  demo 6 SC drain reuse.jpg
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    I got the sieve leveled and lifted so it's about 3/4" above pond level.
    I really wish I was better at this whole plumbing thing... I think I've gotten better, but my BD pipes looks like some
    crazed accident, since I did them long ago. I really wanted to order some 4" flex, but flexpvc.com wanted something
    like $250 w/shipping for 4 ft. of the stuff! So it's going to just have to look like crap for now.

    Name:  demo 7 locating sieve.jpg
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    Name:  demo 8 locating sieve2.jpg
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    Enough for tonight... to be continued.

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    Bob



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    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts

    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
    ― Charles Darwin

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    ― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

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    icu2's Avatar
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    I moved the pump back to behind the sieve, and plumbed in the waste line to the old 3" drain
    from the SC... and started filling the floor with drain rock. The filter pit is quite a ways from the
    driveway, so carrying individual bags of rock is serious exercise!
    I ran a line temporarily to the tpr's so I could get the sieve running.

    Name:  demo 9 BD pump and waste in.jpg
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    I've had it running for about a month now, and like I said earlier, maintenance is a breeze compared to
    cleaning out the SC and prefilters.

    So now I needed to move the UV since it's out in the middle of nowhere without the SC tank...
    I didn't take many pics of the process, so we're going to jump ahead and at this point I've pulled
    the moving beds and cut the UV and bypass out and just turned it around to run along side the sieve.
    I had to flip the UV itself around, since the bulb now was pointing at the back wall, but the whole bypass
    happened to be the perfect length.
    You can see too that I have a tee on the inlet to the sieve on the left side... I was going to run my skimmer
    line into it too, but it seemed like the sieve didn't do all that well pushing leaves down to the waste outlet, and
    they'd get stuck on the screen, and it would cause the water to not flow through the screen, but just
    splash around, so I decided against it for now...
    Also note the handy UV support while I cut the pipe to fit back and around the sieve. When you're a group
    of one, you have to sometimes create a pair of hands however you can.

    Name:  demo 11 UV moved 2.jpg
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    Name:  demo 12 UV plumbed and running.jpg
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    Name:  demo 13 UV plumbed and running behind sieve.jpg
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    Here's looking towards the front wall of the pit... not sure how I managed to get the special effect around the
    pic.

    Name:  demo 13 UV plumbed and running showing tprs.jpg
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    So now we're up to date... I'm going to try and make the pump-to-tpr line look better today, and haul more rock.
    I'm still figuring if and how I'll put the MB back and lift it to gravity feed back to the pond, but right now the shower on
    the lower pond is handling the bio needs of both just fine, since I only have 10 fish in 7500 gallons. But in the winter I separate
    the upper and lower ponds, and it'd leave me with just one s/g filter for the bio on the upper... but several I've talked to said that
    it probably would do fine with just that, so we'll see.

    Right now the pit looks absurdly big.

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    I would like to do this too for ease of maintenance but I would have to take out a 2nd mortgage for 2 sieves with the amount of water I'm moving in my pond..... good job. I have a huge pit and still don't have a lot of room.
    Jerry



    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
    - Thomas A. Edison

    My Pond Build Thread

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    very nicely done... but the 2 straight and one 90˚ ferncos on the discharge side of the pump coming from the sieve would scare me to death.. the one connected on the discharge pipe next to the pump even looks like it is bulged out
    Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. - Benjamin Franklin.

    you cant fix stupid no matter how hard you try.

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    Brian Kaminski's Avatar
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    I have cut a hole in the side of the sieve in the screen side 110mm pipe from skimmer with a knife valve on.
    Adjust the skimmer flow, and the rest to the button drain.

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    Looks great Steve. I'm sure in the long run you will be very happy with the Sieve. I love fernco's and as long as the ones on the discharge side of the pump are tight it wouldn't bother me or make me lose any sleep. We're dealing with low pressure pond pumps anyways.
    Brian



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    Thanks everyone!

    I knew I was going to catch grief for those on the pressure side of the pumps. I deserve it... but I have this inability to plumb anything
    straight. The 90* on that line was just temporary so I could start the sieve... it's all better now, but the fernco's prevail.

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    Looks good Steve. Did you ever think of using a shower for bio instead? You could put it behind the pit like this.

    Name:  icu2 suggestion 1.png
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    Looks like you have a block turned sideways for plumbing access.

    Name:  icu2 suggestion 2.png
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    This may help your gravity return issues.

    Just sayin',
    Bob



    "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything." Mom

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts

    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
    ― Charles Darwin

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
    ― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

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    Actually Steve, your discharge side of the pump flows water to open-ended discharge points, correct? So, that is really not considered a "pressure" line, so the Ferncos should be good to go. I wouldn't be too happy with them personally, but, in a pinch, somethings they're necessary as not everything fits perfectly together all the time, right?

    Now, the only concern I would have is that you mounted your sieve simply on top of a couple layers of block directly on the soil. How long do you think it'll be before the soil shifts, even slightly, and causes an issue with your 2 4" incoming drain lines? It's not really a matter of "if" so much as it is "when". Just some food for thought here.
    Mike

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    Bob, I did consider a shower there, or further back in the woods... but I really need something
    that would work in the cooler months too... I'm just afraid I'd run into weather problems.

    And thanks Mike!
    They are both open ended, i.e., one is to the tpr's, and the other is to a s/g filter... I guess I never
    thought of the fact that they probably don't have that much pressure on them, as compared to a
    bead filter or such.
    The blocks for the sieve are sitting directly on the dirt that the SC was on for several years... so I'd be surprised
    if it settled much more. I'd think with 500 gallons of water on top of it for that length of time, hopefully
    it's settling days are over.

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    Looks good Steve.
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    As Long As There Is Someone That Remembers






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    Steve

    That is looking good. I thought you had been rather quite on the upgrade front. Now I know why. You are going to be much happier with the sieve vs the SC. My DIY sieve is still running ( 3 years now ) with not one problem with the exception of a couple of design miscues, that I will correct if ever doing another one. You and I are from the same mold when it comes to plumbing and I can relate to the "ease of alignment" with Ferncos. However, I can also relate when talking about blowing out a Fernco. I have since learned to hard pipe all fittings on upstream or downstream of a pump. Try it, you'll feel safer.

    Keep up the good work. I'm not sure how you folks in that rainy country find time to work on anything outside.

    Carl
    Carl Sowell


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    Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
    Thanks everyone!

    I knew I was going to catch grief for those on the pressure side of the pumps. I deserve it... but I have this inability to plumb anything
    straight. The 90* on that line was just temporary so I could start the sieve... it's all better now, but the fernco's prevail.

    not grief but rather concern.. i have had a fernco let loose on the discharge side of my pump. my skimmers go into a ultra sieve III then to the pump through the uv then back to the gpr. when i stubbed the pipe into the filter pit i attached a fernco and i came home one day to 3 dry pump running and 2 1/2' lower in the pond. the hose clamps were tight but somehow it slipped off the pipe. from the discharge side of the pump there are 2- 2" sweep 90˚ from lowes going into the uv and then from the fernco back into the pond there are 2- 2" electrical sweeps..total lenght of 2" pipe i would say less then 16'. i would assume the head pressure is very low on this circuit, but none the less it failed.. without tightening or loosening the clamps i tried to slip the fernco back over the pipe and could not.. so i cant say the clamps had loosened up but something went wrong.. i then glued a coupling in place of the fernco and was back up and running 5 hours later when the pond was topped off.. hopefully this will never happen to you.. but i fear it could happen..
    Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. - Benjamin Franklin.

    you cant fix stupid no matter how hard you try.

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    Thanks guys!
    Carl, I've resorted to the fact that the only way I can not use fernco's, is if I break out the torch.

    And thanks Kwick, I understand, and I appreciate all the feedback!
    But the only one I've ever had fail was one I forgot to tighten... but I do understand there's a risk.

    So with a little more work with the sawzall, I cut out the temporary pipe going to the tpr's...

    Name:  demo 14 tpr pump replumb.jpg
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    Name:  demo 15 tpr pump replumb.jpg
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    Then, 5 more bags of rock... just need a few more. And I made a little collar for the sump barrel and chopped down the
    handle going to the knife valve for the old SC... I could probably take that out, since the sieve has one on the back too...
    but it's a good memory of times gone by.

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    And another item for the bone yard behind the garage.

    Name:  demo 17 scrap pile.jpg
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  17. #17
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    i like the second picture nice job with the pipe work..
    Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. - Benjamin Franklin.

    you cant fix stupid no matter how hard you try.

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    Hey Steve

    I agree, your plumbing does look much better! Also, you mentioned that you placed a "retaining collar" around the sump. So, I guess you're not concerned with rain flooding the pit before going over the retainer ring?! If it becomes an issue, I'd recommend to fairly stiff hardware cloth with 1/4" mesh. Holds the rock back and allows the water to enter the sump without filling higher than the sump's top.
    Mike

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    I'll have to check the hardware cloth out, thanks Mike!

    But honestly, no, not really. All rain/snow is caught in the flat asphalt roofing under the deck boards, and runs sideways and to the gutter
    on the back wall... I didn't get it put back on yet, but there's a little 3/4" line that I plumbed from the end of the gutter run, into the
    sump barrel, so 90% of it goes right into the barrel and is pumped to the woods. And if it misses any, or we get a lot, half the filter pit floor is 22"
    deep of drain rock... so if that thing floods, I suspect the ponds will be the least of my worries.

    Thanks again to everyone for looking and all the advise!

  20. #20
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    Did you just cut a 55 gallon barrel in half for your sump? I was thinking of doing the same thing.

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