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    Thread: Gravity Fed Skimmer Not Pulling Enough

    1. #1
      Indie6 is offline Junior Member
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      May 2022
      San Francisco Bay Area

      Gravity Fed Skimmer Not Pulling Enough

      I recently installed a Aquaforte Ultra Sieve II XL for my 9200 gallon pond as a pre-filter.

      I have my skimmer and 2 BD's going to the sieve.

      Sieve level is 1cm higher than water level, but I'm not getting a decent pull on the skimmer.

      When I close the valves to both BD's, the pump sucks air because there's not enough flow from the skimmer.

      Note - I'm using an Aquascape 8" skimmer, and utilizing both 2" outlets (which are close to the surface of the water) and tying them into a 3" collector before the sieve.

      Should I bypass the sieve and have the skimmer T and valve into the pump suction line?
      - I see this as added cleaning of the pumps basket strainer and added load to the pressure filter because it bypasses the sieve.

      Should I put the submersible pump back into the skimmer and pump directly to the sieve?
      - This equates to more $$ for energy and added cleaning in the skimmer due to added mat before the pump

      Should I install a 3" outlet lower on the skimmer so that there is more head pushing to the sieve - where the elevation of the 3" outlet would be the same as the 3" inlet on the sieve?

      Apologies if this question has been asked and answered somewhere else. I searched and didn't find anything specifically related to this.

      Thanks in advance for your insight.

    2. #2
      icu2's Avatar
      icu2 is offline Administrator ~ WWKC President
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      Feb 2007
      Poulsbo, WA
      Is this one of the Ultrasieve's that has 3 inputs?

      The max head would be the full travel of the skimmer weir door and the sieve door. If the 3" skimmer outlet (or 2 - 2") is flowing
      as much as it can, the skimmer weir door would be fully open and the outlets should still be below the door level when fully open.
      The most the sieve can flow is when the weir is dropped as low as it can go so as much water is able to flow over it. On mine the
      sieve door is lower than the skimmer weir when it's fully dropped, so my limiting flow is the skimmer weir door and the size of the
      pipe used between the skimmer and the sieve. My skimmer outlet is out the bottom of the skimmer body and is 4".

      Running the skimmer directly to the pump might be the easiest fix. Is there filtration (basket, mat, etc.) in
      the skimmer box itself that could collect debris and easier to dump than the priming pot?
      Pump feeding the sieve with another pump after it wouldn't work well imo.
      Any chance the skimmer outlet could be enlarged to 4"?

    3. #3
      Indie6 is offline Junior Member
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      May 2022
      San Francisco Bay Area
      That's a great idea - thanks.

      I'll install a 4" outlet below the bottom of the skimmer weir and pipe that to the sieve and see if that does the trick.

      It is the sieve with the three 4" inlets.

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