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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to build an auto top off system using a float switch and powerhead. I'm also thinking of maybe using a 37gal rubbermaid trash can for the reservoir. Does the water level in the reservoir have to be lower or equal to the amount of water in the sump?:help:
 

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As long as you don't bend the pipe from the powerhead too far into the sump (or put it below the water surface) you'll be fine. It is possible to siphon water through a powerhead so make sure when the pump turns off, gravity pulls the water back into the resevoir and not into the sump. One easy way to make that more likely is not to fill your resevoir all the way up, but it's not required.
 

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I had a problem with my ATO system draining the reservoir into the sump; the siphon created when the pump started continued after it stopped. (My reservoir HAS to be at a level higher than the sump).

I resolved my problem by putting a couple of small holes in the flexible hose attached to the powerhead; these holes were above the typical water level in the reservoir. They don't really leak water when the pump is running but guess they let enough air in to break the siphon once the pump shuts off.
 

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Monkey Man
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If your reservoir is lower than your sump and the tube feeding the sump is not submerged below the water surface, you can't create a syphon... This is how mine is setup...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm trying to avoid having the water in the reservoir empty into the sump when the pump is not on. I also want to be able to keep at least 25 gallons in reservoir so as to not have to refill it too often. I don't plan on submerging the flex hose in the sump but I want to have the water level in the reservoir higher than the sump's.
 

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Monkey Man
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You will have a syphon situation... You will need to have it gravity fed and use a float valve in your sump to maintain level... You will just be depending on a float valve not to over fill your sump.
 

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Falisu, like I said, I had the same problem, and was able to resolve it by punching a couple of small air holes in the flex hose in the reservoir. The holes are small enough that they don't really leak water when the pump is operating, but they let enough air in to break the siphon when the back pressure from the pump goes away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Parsonaj you seem to have a pretty good point there. I think I'll try your approach. How big a hole did you punch into the hose? pin-sized or what? Hey chicagoman, I don't have a float valve but I have a float switch. I'm trying to avoid the gravity fed ATO.
Thanks to all of you for your help and if you have any more tips to share please let me know.
 

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I tried just punching an ice-pick size hole in the vinyl hose first, but that didn't work since the hose seems to sort of "self-seal" if the hole's too small. I then just took a pen knife and made slightly larger than a pin hole in it. The trick is that some air has to be able to get into the hose, but if you make it too big obviously that won't be good since you will have a sprinkler system in your reservoir.... :)

Jack
 

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Monkey Man
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falisu, if you want to come by and see my setup your welcome to... Pretty fool proof, working perfect from the start!
 
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