The Reef Tank banner

Oh No, Overflow!

2242 Views 18 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  thefatman
While I was out of town (the tanks seems to know when I leave) I had a bit of an overflow problem. My wife woke up at 5 in the morning and heard the sound of dry pumps running. What I suspect is that the power went off for a few seconds and when it came back on the Durso overflow pipe would not siphon water down in to the sump. The sump pump put all the water back into the tank along with all the fresh water auto top-off the kept replenishing the sump until both pumps ran dry. No water went down the pipe jusy over the sides of the tank. This happened once before and I racked my brain trying to figure why the Durso pipe would not drain the water. Finally i realized the small hole on the top of the pipe was clogged with salt and this prevented any siphon action to happen. As soon as I poked the hole with a paper clip thing started flowing again. I am soooo glad I told my wife of this just "in case" it happened when I was out of town. Well. it did and she remembered about clearing the hole and things started working again. Should I drill this hole larger to prevent such clogs? I'm going to be very worried the next time we both go out of town. Anyone else ever have this problem? Thanks!:confused:
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Well that sucks big time! I may re-think using a durso setup on my next setup. Good luck keeping it working.
man, that does suck!

the drawback to changign the size of the hole, is that it wil laffect the way the durso sounds, which is the point of the hole to begin with.

i would say to make cleanign that hole a part of your weekly maintenance. and perhaps next time you both go out of town, remove the endcap on the durso, to ensure the hold doesnt get plugged. it's goign to make it noisy, but hey you wont be there, so who cares :)
you could also drill a hole large enough to take a 1/4" fitting with a barb on one end. Attach a piece of plastic hose to the barb and run that high enough to eliminate the possibility of salt creep.
wouldn't it still get salt creep at the opening of the hold though?

i'm interested because i'll be setting up my durso here shortly, and i had never even thought about the possibility of a plugged hole preventing draining
Well that sucks big time!
man, that does suck!
Actually, it would appear that the problem is that it "didn't suck"... ;)

Sorry to hear about your problem though... wish I could help but instead of a Durso in my overflow I just use an inline ball valve to back up the flow a bit so it doesn't gurgle.
thefatman said:
wouldn't it still get salt creep at the opening of the hold though?
Because of the flow of air into the standpipe, the hole on the inside should stay clear. The plastic line on the outside,going to a higher point, should also prevent salt creep from being able to accumulate at the opening and clogging it. Just as a safety measure, once a week or so squirt a couple of CC's of RO/DI water down the line with a small syringue and that will definately keep it clear.
Remember to make it impossible to overflow the sump, and impossible to overflow the tank. That is the key.

For those of you who think that cannot be done, all you have to do is get a sump big enough to contain all possible drainage from your main tank, yet only keep enough water in it to keep pumps wet so there is not enough water in the sump to overflow the tank.

I've never had salt creep on my Durso.... Also, I noticed a few things in the setup of the standpipe....

If the overflow PVC was submerged in water, it would hold back the overflow capacity....

To overcome that, I took a few lengths of pvc and connectors and drilled holes in them.... this let air escape and didn't cause a pressure barrier....

The sound was annoying with all the splashing at the bottom so I covered the "holled" overflow pipe with a pre-filter fiber tube.....

It works amazingly.....

I'll have to take some pics.... but you definately need to reliece the pressure in the overflow tubing....
Dont mean to sound stupid here. But I have always herd that the only stupid ? is not to ask in the first place. So here is my ? What is a Durso overflow pipe? Could someone possably take a picture of it for me? I am DIYing My own Overflow boxes and Sump and am researching all that I can to learn about them.
Here is the guy that started it all and his website. You will find his plans on how to make this simple device and some of the modifications some others have made. I have made several of these stan pipes and I have one in my tank and I have a great affinity for this design as for the definite sound dampening qualities it rocks. I modified the the cap with a range of holes from small to large and made the hole on the pipe where the cap goes on at the largest hole. This way I can adjust the air flow by twisting the cap. I made the hole a little larger than what the website recommends by drilling holes starting at 1/16th bit up to a 7/64th bit and I am using the 7/64th hole with out any problems or noise and I have not had problems with salt creep.

Sorry for the long post and here is the link:


#$#%#$# You beat me. :) I guess that is what I get for posting an article.

hehehe sorry earl. dont worry, happens to me all the time. i think that was probably the shortest post i've ever written!!
Well Jay at least you aren't putting bandwidth sucking pictures on this thread like buzz hog. ;)

Step into the new age of technology called "braodband"...... :D

It's like the "internet" they even have it on computers now.... :funny:
Thanks for all the tips! I never even though of removing the entire cap while I was away. It's always those simple ones that elude me. And to any one there thinking of using this durso standpipe setup, don't let my post scare you. I do reccomend it. I no longer have to hear my wife asking "why is the tank so noisy?". Thanks eveyone!
my current tank has an external overflow, so i ended up using a stockman pipe instead of a durso, it works well, but i'm looking forward to using an actual durso on the new tank.

i'm hoping that sound will be the same or lower with a true durso.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.