Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I have a three grow-bed system with a 180 gallon main tank and a 90gallon sump.  

The system has been working reliably for about 18months.  Recently two of the siphons stopping working.  The grow beds fill up, then the water just dribbles over the top of the siphon draining slowly (without lowering the water level).  In other words water drains out at the same rate it is added - the grow bed does not empty.

I have found that I can "jiggle" the 4" pipe covering the siphon pipe itself (what the water flows out of) and easily start the siphon manually, but it does not start by itself.

Any ideas on what would cause a siphone that was formerly working to stop working with nothing else changing in the system?  

Thanks

Bill

Views: 247

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Bill

I'm no expert but what I found with my syphons was I'm guessing once a month or so I find my piping and/or prefilter ( on my pump) had a build up of gunk and I flushed out my lines and removed my prefilter( a sponge material within the inlet of my pump. Over time the gunk would clog things up and slow my flow to the point where my syphons wouldn't start.When I built my setup I oversized my pump and put ball valves in place to restrict the flow so for me to clean my system piping, I just need to pull out my prefilter and open my ball valves and let her rip and watch the gunk flow and then I shut them down to their previous position.   The other thing that I've had is roots growing into my syphons thus restricting the flow. When I built my syphon, I will admit that I didn't totally understand the principles behind the Affnan style syphon so I built a syphon with a syphon tube and it has treated me well. One of the people you should talk to and I would say is an expert on syphons is Jim Fisk. He builds syphons and sells them with great success. Good luck...

                                                                             Jack 

Thanks Jack.  I suspect the "gunk buildup" is the issue, or the main part of it.  I did a cursory cleaning yesterday, but will be doing a more thorough effort next and hoping that helps.

Bill

Jack Dunbar said:

Hi Bill

I'm no expert but what I found with my syphons was I'm guessing once a month or so I find my piping and/or prefilter ( on my pump) had a build up of gunk and I flushed out my lines and removed my prefilter( a sponge material within the inlet of my pump. Over time the gunk would clog things up and slow my flow to the point where my syphons wouldn't start.When I built my setup I oversized my pump and put ball valves in place to restrict the flow so for me to clean my system piping, I just need to pull out my prefilter and open my ball valves and let her rip and watch the gunk flow and then I shut them down to their previous position.   The other thing that I've had is roots growing into my syphons thus restricting the flow. When I built my syphon, I will admit that I didn't totally understand the principles behind the Affnan style syphon so I built a syphon with a syphon tube and it has treated me well. One of the people you should talk to and I would say is an expert on syphons is Jim Fisk. He builds syphons and sells them with great success. Good luck...

                                                                             Jack 

sound like the pump and or fill lines are clogged, thus slowing the rate of flow too much.

let us know how the cleaning works..

I would agree with Rob. Also check your pump for that stupid filter sponge thing and remove it if you haven't already. Clogs with solids too quickly and slows your flow.

Thanks for the suggestions.  Problem fixed.

Low waterflow was the problem.  It was more an issue of clogged pump than clogged pipes.  Organic matter in the pump had gradulually clogged the pump, slowing it down and increasing the amount of organic matter settling in the sump tank instead of flowing into the grow beds.  

It looks like I need to agitate the water more often to keep the organic solids from accumulating, and clean the pump once a month to keep everything flowing smoothly.



Alex Veidel said:

I would agree with Rob. Also check your pump for that stupid filter sponge thing and remove it if you haven't already. Clogs with solids too quickly and slows your flow.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service