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Bubbler/air Pump Confusion


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So I bought the Top Fin Pump Air-4000, 25' of Airline Tubing, and a 36" Flexible Bubble Wand. I was told at the lfs that this was all I needed. Currently I am doing a big WC so I am getting this set up. I told the girl at the lfs that the air pump was going under the tank.

As I am reading the instructions... it says I need a "check valve" if the air pump is placed below water level - to prevent backflow from my tank into the air pump? What the heck is a check valve?

Furthermore....what the heck is a "drip loop"? Does the drip loop need to be lower than the air pump like in the picture?

Worst. Installations Instructions. Ever.

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The check valve prevents water from siphoning back into the pump. You won't need it right away but it will be good in the future in case of power outages.

A drip loop goes below the pump and electrical socket. It prevents water from running into the socket.

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A check valve is a valve that prevents your airline tubing from becoming a siphon and emptying your tank into the electrical socket.

A drip loop is a loop in the wires, cords, or tubes that come out of the tank so that it dips down before coming up to the plugs and sockets. Basically, you don't want the electrical equipment at the bottom of the cords/tubes in case water drips down it. The drip loop should be lower than all electrical equipment, including the air pump.

Hope that clears things up!

ETA: LOL I see that Ashlee got to this already!

Edited by Calluna
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I still would get a check valve asap. They are super cheap, less than 5 bucks for a two-pack. You'll just cut the tubing in half (or wherever) and reconnect it with the check valve in the middle. Make sure the little arrow on it points away from the pump.

That way, in case the power goes out for a short while, water won't siphon back into the pump. This can become a disaster if the power comes back on, because with some bad luck you can get the fish electrocuted.

Drip loop (which you should have for all appliances of your tank/s - lights, filters etc: http://reefaquariumcenter.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/drip-loop.jpg

That way condensation won't slowly run into your power outlet, which would be very dangerous too. :)

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Check valve - picking one up tomorrow *before* installing this. There is so much dead plant matter still after 70% water change that I need to do another vacuuming tomorrow. Friggin hortwort fail.

Drip loop I am not quite grasping. The picture on my "instructions" look funny and different from what you linked me Fang.

[edit] OH wait I think I get it, wow I am a dunce. Is the "drip loop" basically where you want the plug in the outlet to be - well, how to I explain... if water ran down the the wire, if there wasn't an area that's lower then the water would run right into the outlet. I should take a picture of this stupid instructions.

My canister filters are all on the floor, so all the plugs are all running upward. However I have an extention cord that should probably moved up now that I think about it.

Thanks guys, I may post back in here tomorrow in case I have more air pump troubles. :)

Edited by Auryn
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Just as a side note/mention, I'd like to say that I had check valves on both of my airline tubing, and the water still went into the pump and when I plugged it in it spit out a TON of water! :thud

Essentially, either the ones I have are broken or they aren't good for anything. :rolleyes:

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Omg I will FREAK if water goes into the air pump. It will scare me. I turn into a big baby with electrical anything.

Fang - It's ridic! Let me see if I can get a photo :)

[edit] PHOTO!

photo.jpg

So um, it looks like it wants me to pinch it but I was so confused if I needed to buy something special or what the heck lol.

So if I have my air pump on the floor, I won't really *need* a drip loop because the outlet will be above the air pump.

Edited by Auryn
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Ahahahaha! It looks like it's supposed to be an outline of a huge water droplet dripping off the cord or something. They should have made it a different color or something though, it looks like part of the cord itself. Instructions FAIL. :rofl

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I am not disagreeing with anyone, I think you should take everyone's advice. I am just sharing my experiences here. I have had three air pumps running for almost 4 years and I have never installed a check valve. We loose power here in New Brunswick all the time. I have never had a problem. My air pumps rest on the floor so there is no chance of the water ever reaching the plug/socket. Also just wondering, I am not an electrician here, but I didn't know electricity can travel through rubber. If you plug in your pump into a power bar with a trip circuit, and ground plug this would never happen anyway. My :twocents

Might be worth the couple bucks for a check valve though, if you want to be sure :)

Edited by Hawaiian Crush
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Its not traveling through rubber but on the cord. I've never had a problem either, but there is always a first time for everyone.

I didn't clarify my response, sorry. I meant as in electrocuting the fish.

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Ahahahaha! It looks like it's supposed to be an outline of a huge water droplet dripping off the cord or something. They should have made it a different color or something though, it looks like part of the cord itself. Instructions FAIL. :rofl

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH it's a giant drip. Jeez so does *not* look like it. Looks like they want to tie a knot like Fang said.

I am not disagreeing with anyone, I think you should take everyone's advice. I am just sharing my experiences here. I have had three air pumps running for almost 4 years and I have never installed a check valve. We loose power here in New Brunswick all the time. I have never had a problem. My air pumps rest on the floor so there is no chance of the water ever reaching the plug/socket. Also just wondering, I am not an electrician here, but I didn't know electricity can travel through rubber. If you plug in your pump into a power bar with a trip circuit, and ground plug this would never happen anyway. My :twocents

Might be worth the couple bucks for a check valve though, if you want to be sure :)

Yeah just to be safe I am going to pick up a check valve today. With my luck it would happen to me so I am gonna get one. My air pump will be on the floor next to the canister filters anyhow.

Edited by Auryn
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I am not disagreeing with anyone, I think you should take everyone's advice. I am just sharing my experiences here. I have had three air pumps running for almost 4 years and I have never installed a check valve. We loose power here in New Brunswick all the time. I have never had a problem. My air pumps rest on the floor so there is no chance of the water ever reaching the plug/socket. Also just wondering, I am not an electrician here, but I didn't know electricity can travel through rubber. If you plug in your pump into a power bar with a trip circuit, and ground plug this would never happen anyway. My :twocents

Might be worth the couple bucks for a check valve though, if you want to be sure :)

I think the concern would be that water would travel through the tubes and into the pump. From there, it could come into contact with something inside the pump that will have electricity running through it when the power comes back and that the electricity would travel through the water in the tubes back into your tank.

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