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Plumbing 101

Posted 05/23/2015 at 10:38 AM by Sk8r

1. be very clear when talking pipe or hose whether you are talking about inside diameter or outside diameter. They use both measures.
2. don't sweat leaks in any join that's meant to be underwater.
3. use teflon plumbers tape on any screwon joint. Wrap the tape in the same direction as you screw on.
4. pipe connects to pipe with a slip on or a screw on type connector. Slip-ons are NOT fastened if always underwater. This includes your downflow. If slip-ons are used outside of water, they use purple glue: ask your hardware. If screwons are used, teflon tape is enough.
5. hose connects to hose via hose barbs and hose clamps. Put the hose clamp on before shoving hose onto barb. A hair drier will soften the hose so you can force it on. Hose barbs come in various styles for connecting to other hose, to pipe, etc.
6. Lines which are not under pump pressure are ok to be thin-walled and not fussy with connectors: they won't leak. Opposite is true for lines under pressure.
7. Use white pvc as a general rule. Anything used for drinking water. And remember---while house drain lines can be black plastic (not foodsafe), in your tank, that drain comes right back around to your tank. Keep it all foodsafe pipe.
8. Do not use metal hose clamps in salt water. They're ok outside the tank. They're also ok in freshwater like ro/di. Salt water dissolves most metals very fast. The main deal with steel hose clamps in salt water is not that they'll poison your tank (a lost razor blade is not a huge deal in a large system) but that they'll fail and your join will fail, popping some critical line loose.
9. DO not use copper between your ro/di filter water and your tank.
10. There is no part you need that cannot be cobbled together out of many smaller parts.
11. There are 'reducing' joints, one that will join one size pipe to a lesser or greater.
12. do not have right-angle bends in a line that carries organic (tank) material. Such places accumulate deposits and clogs esp if small. Hoses are actually better than pipe in some places.
13. Pipes and hoses come in a standard set of sizes. However, if your equipment came from a place with metric measure, you may find a series of adapters or a hair dryer is your only hope.
14. Do not let a tube from a submerged pump or skimmer ---touch the water in the tank. If its tank end submerges at any point, and the pump cuts off, it will start to suck water through the pump and into the tank. This is called a siphon problem. You can solve it (in a larger pipe system) by having a small hole for air to get in, at the high point of the arrangement. This is called a siphon break. If you have a siphon accident, you will first think you are losing your mine, because things are acting very strange. Then you will [facepalm] understand siphons.
15. Rubbermaid Brute trashcans are safe, though there is some discussion among people with very sensitive systems. White polystyrene is safe. White pvc is safe. The blue buckets from Oceanic bulk salt are safe.
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