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  • Results 1 to 19 of 19

    Thread: Winter and RDF's

    1. #1
      icu2's Avatar
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      Winter and RDF's

      With more and more RDF's being installed I'm wondering if anyone has experienced any changes based on
      the freezing weather of winter. The different extents of "freezing" can be huge so maybe adding at what temp
      you did or didn't have changes would be helpful too.

      I ask because I had never had a problem in winter until a couple days ago. Mine is outside and un-insulated but under a wood
      deck and within inches of my house... so somewhat protected. The outdoor temps during the period (about 4 days) have
      been as low as 19* overnight and highs around 40* during the day. The other night about 3am I heard the filter laboring
      so went out and the RDF clean side was almost empty and the bypass valves were open. This was the first issue I've had
      since converting my Blue Eco RDF to be motorized and on a timer. The timer had been working set to operate every 25 min.
      for 14 seconds.
      I really never could identify positively why it failed since I operated it manually and it cleaned normally... but I wonder since
      it is on a timer and is set a lot longer than it ever worked when it wasn't motorized, if the time was too long and ice was forming
      on the exposed part of the screen during the "off" cycle. I shortened the cycle time to 10 minutes and it operated normally
      the rest of the night.
      The temps have continued to be below freezing for much of the day but I've been able to increase the "off" time to be 15 minutes
      and "on" for 20 seconds. This seems to be enough to move the exposed part of the screen below water level to keep it from
      freezing. I've not pressed the length of the cycle time beyond 15 min.

      Of course if the cleaning cycle was on a float system like most others it shouldn't have been a problem, but I wonder if anyone
      with one in an exposed location and freezing temps sees a change in the cycle times and if so have you been able to confirm why?

      Thanks,
      --Steve
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      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    2. #2
      avorancher is offline Senior Member
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      I won't be experiencing a winter problem in my location, but I'm wondering if a heat-lamp or even just a regular spot lamp shining on the stainless lid would be sufficient to keep the inside warm enough to prevent the drum that is above water from freezing. Maybe just an insulating cover for the lid if the water temps are well above freezing.

    3. #3
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      could it be that the supply line was frozen? It happened to me last winter. I have a Profidrum. We had a few days of temperature in the teens and the water in the booster pump was frozen, so when the cleaning cycle kicked in, the pump couldn't run.

      In your case, it could be that the water in the solenoid was frozen so it couldn't open when needed.

      after that incident, I covered the filter pit with tarp and kept a heater set to 55 underneath. Problem solved.

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by avorancher View Post
      I won't be experiencing a winter problem in my location, but I'm wondering if a heat-lamp or even just a regular spot lamp shining on the stainless lid would be sufficient to keep the inside warm enough to prevent the drum that is above water from freezing. Maybe just an insulating cover for the lid if the water temps are well above freezing.
      I was hoping to avoid more electrical usage since my furnace is working overtime ... but I like the
      insulating cover/blanket idea. I might up the cycle time back to what it was and give one of those a
      try and see if I'm able to maintain the longer cycles.
      --Steve
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    5. #5
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      in my case, the water was warm enough to keep the drum working and spray bar working. it was the lines outside of the box that got frozen between long cycle. You can try to insulate those or try some

      https://www.walmart.com/ip/Easy-Heat...iABEgLWWPD_BwE

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by friscoponder View Post
      could it be that the supply line was frozen? It happened to me last winter. I have a Profidrum. We had a few days of temperature in the teens and the water in the booster pump was frozen, so when the cleaning cycle kicked in, the pump couldn't run.

      In your case, it could be that the water in the solenoid was frozen so it couldn't open when needed.

      after that incident, I covered the filter pit with tarp and kept a heater set to 55 underneath. Problem solved.
      The line and booster pump wasn't frozen since I operated the cleaning cycle manually and it worked fine. The electric solenoid
      seemed to activate and operate normally too but I guess it could have frozen a couple of times and caused the RDF to empty. The
      pump, line, and solenoid are all out in the open and exposed to the air but I was thinking that the RDF screen has such a thin layer
      of water on the screen that it wouldn't take long for it to freeze. I think once it got back in the water it melted but the spray bar
      wouldn't be able to clean a portion of the frozen screen and it might have been enough to make the cycle time too long.

      The area under the deck is open so a heater would be running constantly and I don't think I could effect the temp much, but
      good tips for those with a filter pit.
      --Steve
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    7. #7
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      why are you using a timer for cleaning why not use a float switch to activate the cleaning cycle. my rdf only cleans when needed and have not had any issues



      kwick
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      you cant fix stupid no matter how hard you try.

    8. #8
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kwickcut View Post
      why are you using a timer for cleaning why not use a float switch to activate the cleaning cycle. my rdf only cleans when needed and have not had any issues



      kwick
      Simplicity.

      I just asked if those with level controls on their RDF's noticed if theirs cycled more often when it gets cold if they're
      exposed to the weather.
      --Steve
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      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    9. #9
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      I do not get the cold you got, but my time between cycles grows massivly during cold periods. Last year we had a week where I actually attached frost blankets to the pergola over the pond and around the RDF. It cut down on the chill and the wind across the surface. I was pushing 70+ minutes between cycles and after a week it was near giving the "E" message for exceeding 99 minutes. Obviously still not as cold as you have there.

      While others have talked blankets, what about foam board? Cut large sheets to make a box or similar around it to retain some heat.



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    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by jimfish98 View Post
      While others have talked blankets, what about foam board? Cut large sheets to make a box or similar around it to retain some heat.
      With the motor on the outside it adds just one more thing on the shell of the RDF to get in the way of a solid cover. I was
      hoping some sort of blanket would get a better, although looser, covering.
      Who knows... maybe it's not even weather related. As can be seen in my weather widget the temps are dropping fast and it's
      only 8pm. I'll bump the cycle time up and see if I can get it to fail again.
      --Steve
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    11. #11
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      Changed to 25 minutes and almost 2 hour later it's still working normally.
      I'm going to throw a cover over it and see if it lasts overnight since it looks like it'll probably
      get down below 20* again.
      --Steve
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    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      Simplicity.

      I just asked if those with level controls on their RDF's noticed if theirs cycled more often when it gets cold if they're
      exposed to the weather.
      mine cycles less during the winter maybe once every 90 to 120 minutes same flow as summer..
      Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. - Benjamin Franklin.

      you cant fix stupid no matter how hard you try.

    13. #13
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kwickcut View Post
      mine cycles less during the winter maybe once every 90 to 120 minutes same flow as summer..
      That's great. More specifically I was asking to see of those that are somewhat exposed to the weather if anyone sees their screen
      freeze or have any issues with the longer "off" cycles and sub freezing temps. But it doesn't sound like you do.
      I'd imagine the potential for freezing grows the longer the cycle times. Mine is still flowing at summer time volume too and I increased
      the time back to 25 min and covered it last night and it ran normally, so maybe it just needed a little insulation.
      --Steve
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    14. #14
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      Wow. I' m surprised you run it during the winter but perhaps you don't get sustained sub freezing temps where you are. I'm planning on switching to an rdf once I find someone to do the job. Where I live I think I'd have to drain it completely in the winter.

    15. #15
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
      Wow. I' m surprised you run it during the winter but perhaps you don't get sustained sub freezing temps where you are. I'm planning on switching to an rdf once I find someone to do the job. Where I live I think I'd have to drain it completely in the winter.
      I was looking at the USDA Hardiness map and it shows my zone as 8b (15*-20*) so I don't think that's anywhere near as
      cold as you get. It's not unusual for the low range of temps to last a week or so, but normally during the day it'll get to
      or a little bit above freezing. I think you're probably right about you needing to drain it during the winter if it wasn't somewhere
      inside and heated.
      --Steve
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    16. #16
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      I would say for filter pit try and find a concrete blanket one that is small as they are sicker and they are meant to keep concrete from freezing.If you are using the electric heat trace on your pipes they must be insulated to retain the heat from the heat tape or heat race as it is also known otherwise it will not warm the pipe also plastic is not a good conductor of heat so I recommend foil tape as we do when we do plastic or fiberglass pipe in a pharmaceutical plant all pipes must be insulated. I am overwintering my fish in a 300 gallon stock tank in a non insulated shed when the temperatures have gotten down to 14 and 15 it has still been 31 in the shed with the water being in the 40s using a deicer. If under the deck could be enclosed to trap heat that would probably be a very good thing something to think about during the summer also to drain the water away we have corrugated plastic underneath the deck boards running at an angle into a gutter so under the deck space nice and dry this would also help to act as an insulator seems how it sealed off

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    17. #17
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wmurky View Post
      I would say for filter pit try and find a concrete blanket one that is small as they are sicker and they are meant to keep concrete from freezing.If you are using the electric heat trace on your pipes they must be insulated to retain the heat from the heat tape or heat race as it is also known otherwise it will not warm the pipe also plastic is not a good conductor of heat so I recommend foil tape as we do when we do plastic or fiberglass pipe in a pharmaceutical plant all pipes must be insulated. I am overwintering my fish in a 300 gallon stock tank in a non insulated shed when the temperatures have gotten down to 14 and 15 it has still been 31 in the shed with the water being in the 40s using a deicer. If under the deck could be enclosed to trap heat that would probably be a very good thing something to think about during the summer also to drain the water away we have corrugated plastic underneath the deck boards running at an angle into a gutter so under the deck space nice and dry this would also help to act as an insulator seems how it sealed off
      The heat tape and insulation is interesting but I don't think either would effect the thin layer of water that's on the drum screen, which is what
      I was wondering about in this thread. It can be exposed to the cold with no protection except the RDF shell for 30 min or more which I think
      gives it the possibility of freezing.
      My temps for now have risen to be above freezing but a simple thick household blanket seemed to prevent any problems for the remainder of
      the time that we were below freezing overnight. I'll be repeating that method with the next cold spell and see if I have any other issues.

      Thanks everyone for the suggestions!
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

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      avorancher is offline Senior Member
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      As long as your pond water is above freezing, then it seems reasonable to keep that heat from escaping by insulating the lid like you've done with your blanket. You may have to get a thick blanket (or two) that covers everything above the water level in the RDF.

    19. #19
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      Maybe next year you can work on enclosing it, this morning my outside temp is 13f my shed temp with no insulation is 30f that's quite a difference, just food for thought, good luck, I'd like to hear more as winter progresses
      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      The heat tape and insulation is interesting but I don't think either would effect the thin layer of water that's on the drum screen, which is what
      I was wondering about in this thread. It can be exposed to the cold with no protection except the RDF shell for 30 min or more which I think
      gives it the possibility of freezing.
      My temps for now have risen to be above freezing but a simple thick household blanket seemed to prevent any problems for the remainder of
      the time that we were below freezing overnight. I'll be repeating that method with the next cold spell and see if I have any other issues.

      Thanks everyone for the suggestions!
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