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Backflush canister plumbing

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Gerryd, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Can someone help me to understand the backflush procedure for Nu-clear of Ocean Clears or canisters in general and how to plumb it? I don't need granular detail, just an overall idea.

    Here is how I think it works in general, just let me know where I am wrong:

    Basic procedure involves running water BACKWARDS through the canister or via the drain plug connection if available. This runs water in the reverse direction (if from the outlet) and cleans the cartridge somewhat and dislodges detritus that will go out either the inlet or outlet of the canister based on the placement of the incoming flow. So the media gets rinsed as well as the water in the unit is flushed and any plumbing involved would also get flushed.

    Am I missing anything or other benefits?

    Plumbing would involve ensuring that the inlet and outlet lines from the canister are diverted when this occurs so they go out via a different line(s) and not back to the pump or the tank. So basically a T or gate valve installed in the line where the normal flow can be shut off and diverted out to a drain or bucket or what have you.

    Correct?

    Is this really a benefit worth doing? It is not that hard to simply swap to a spare cartridge more often rather than perform/plumb the backflush.

    I want to guage if it is worth doing. I am kind of tired of plumbing and would like to concentrate on the fish again LOL

    Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.........
     
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think you would have to backflush it after the input for the Nu-Clear. Since the drain plug drainage is positioned after water passes through the cartridge. So to effectively backflush you would have to have a tee prior to the input and drain from that location to force water backwards through the cartridge. Personally I wouldn't find it all to usefull, at least from my maintenance. I swap cartridges weekly anyways so my viewpoint is somewhat skewed.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Jdowns,

    Yes, that makes sense.....

    I don't think I will do it either, but wanted to understand what was involved and the pros/cons of it.

    I think I will clone your regular swap of 533 cartridges, but on a longer duration. I'm thinking every 2-3 weeks. How do you bleach your cartridges?

    BTW, what is in your 547 now and do you rinse/clean/maintain it at all?

    I have just the bio-balls that came with it for now and would be interested in hearing other options....

    Thanks
     
  4. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gerry,

    I'm having trouble thinking of a good reason to bother with the plumbing of this for you. If you're going to be changing the cartridges all the time, I don't see much that this gets you except flushing out the crud from the bottom of the filter. The stuff that might otherwise build up when you change out the cartridge. Pop in the new one and all the sludge on the bottom stirs up and then sticks to the new one. If it's easy enough to reach in and wipe out the cannister then there's probably no point. If you don't have a lot of room to get in there then it might be worth doing. Then again, if you're changing it every week or so then it's probably pointless.

    -
    S
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    S,

    No need to do anything on my behalf.......:)

    As stated in my post I think I understand the plumbing just looking for confirmation is all.

    I want to do my own work...........I just like folks to review my work.

    I was wondering if it would be beneficial at all and worth the work of planning, etc.

    After jdowns response and some further thought, I think regular scheduled swaps of media will give me better results and no plumbing changes.

    I DON'T change it regularly now, only when it starts to clog...4-5 weeks.

    I was thinking a backflush every week or so may be quick and help prolong intervals, but I kind of like a regular swap and then you can always be sure of when the filter was maintained last.

    Thanks.
     
  6. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    I keep two buckets in the garage. One with a Filter Cleaner solution and one with a mild Bleach solution. I rinse the cartidge well first with a hose, then soak overnight in the Filter Cleaner solution. Then rinse again real well. Then soak overnight in the Bleach solution. Then rinse real well. At this point the cartridge is virtually brand new. I let it air dry until its time to replace. When I change the cartridge I wipe down the inside with a rag and add some prime to the inside of the canister. Then refill and let it sit for about ten minutes before starting up the pumps.

    For the 547 I use Zeolite and replace 90% of the media once a month. I was cleaning the Zeolite and replacing. But the material is so cheap that I just replace with new material now. The old material goes into my compost garden. I don't notice any bacteria bloom when replacing the material. The whole substrate cap is now one big biological filter with the ZeoSand. The bio unit is just a good redundancy backup, and water claryfier.

    I cap the Zeolite with Filter Floss and a weighted mesh (would have to take it out and take a picture to explain). I run the 547 backwards and in line. So I need the mesh to stop any material from escaping the output and clogging.

    I really like this setup. Draining and replacing the cartridges or Zeolite is so fast and simple. It can all be done while I'm draining the whole tank for a water change, and still have time to do any trimming, fluffing, cleaning, etc.
     
  7. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    LOL.

    Nope, just trying to figure out a reason why you might want to backflush given your, um, proactive?, cleaning regimen. I've been helping a friend build his house for several years now, I'm more than willing to have people do their own plumbing. :D

    That said, a lot of what you've done looks interesting and having the why behind some of the things people do on this site is pretty enlightening. I fully intend to wholesale swipe lots of ideas on my eventual new tank project.

    -
    S



     
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