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  • Results 1 to 3 of 3

    Thread: Adding a settlement chamber

    1. #1
      tstack22 is offline Junior Member
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      Feb 2019

      Adding a settlement chamber

      I need to upgrade the filtration on my ~3500 gallon concrete pond.

      The current set up is a 2" bottom drain to a Savio skimmer, with a about a 1.5' rise from the drain to the skimmer entry point. A submersible goes to an Ultima II filter, and the return is split just before the waterfall with a 1" line going to a Laguna Pressure Flow bio/mech/uv filter, which returns just in front of the skimmer.

      I'd like to add a settlement chamber followed by an external pump (and get rid of submersible pump) but I'm unsure how to go about it

      My main concern is that bottom drain is too small and gets clogged easily. I worry that it may not have enough flow to feed the settlement chamber and external pump.

      My current thinking is to just add a 4" outlet to the skimmer, opposite the bottom drain line, and have that fee the settlement chamber. But because of the bottom drain size, I worry the majority of the flow will just be from the skimmer. Can I extend the bottom drain across the skimmer to the new 4" outlet, and maybe put a T in with a valve to control the flow from the skimmer box?

      Is a retrofit bottom drain my best option? My pond is concrete, so I think the outlet from the retrofit drain would have to over the side of the pond, above the water line. I can possibly get the settlement chamber to be 1' below the water level, depending on where I place it. Is it possible for it to feed the settlement chamber by syphon, or will I need a pump just for the retrofit drain?

      Thanks for any tips or ideas you can offer.

    2. #2
      Grumpy's Avatar
      Grumpy is offline Senior Member
      is Retired with SO much yet to
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      Apr 2016
      Central Oregon Coast
      I am going to make a stab at this, but without more info or a sketch my thoughts may not match what you have...

      I am not sure which Savio skimmer you have, but in some models the bottom drain inlet is on the face of the skimmer. Possibly you could route the 2" drain pipe thru the skimmer and out the back, and still have room to install a 2" bulkhead fitting in the back wall of the skimmer above that of the drain line. If this is possible, now you have two 2" lines to take directly into a external pump. You will want valves on both lines to adjust flow into a manifold that feeds the pump. The pump will discharge to the bead filter. It isn't ideal, because all the solids must be handled by the bead filter, but will allow you a stronger suction of the bottom drain.

      If you have a settlement chamber after the two 2" valves and before the pump, the pump will draw out of the settlement chamber, faster than the two 2" lines will provide. Gravity flow will not be enough thru the 2" pipes without significant draw down of the chamber and you will lack good control of where the flow is coming from.

      Two 3" pipes would work better into the settlement chamber, but not if you go over the edge of the pond for the bottom drain, as it will give you fits keeping it primed. If you could modify the skimmer to allow a 3" line for skimming and a 3" bottom drain pipe, that would allow a settlement chamber a good chance of keeping the pump happy. Actual settlement of solids in the chamber would still be dependent its volume being large enough to allow the solids to settle. A "rule of thumb" is the settlement chamber needs to be at least 10% volume of the pond. In this last case, you would have gravity flow controlled by knife valves from the retro bottom 3" drain and the existing skimmer.

    3. #3
      tstack22 is offline Junior Member
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      Feb 2019
      Thanks a lot. I attempted to do a diagram but my MS Paint skills are seriously lacking and my drawing skills somehow even worse.

      I'm pretty sure it's the 16" skimmer; it's fairly large at least. The bottom drain comes in on the side of the skimmer, so there'd be room on the back or opposite side I think to add a 3" or 4" line or two.

      For now, I'm thinking I might just add an external pump and see if that helps, then go back and try adding a settlement chamber later. Save myself a lot of digging, for the time being at least.

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