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  1. #1

    Drum failure consequences.

    I posted something about this in the Pond DIY Tips section in the DIY Smart Pond thread along with my system "failsafe" measures, but it might be worth mentioning one possible issue here - drum failure can have severe consequences.

    My drum did not have any kind of (edit: automatic) emergency bypass so I built one operated by a float controlled valve which detects very low level on the clean side following a drum failure.
    If the drum drive fails or loses power the fine screens can block very quickly (especially during the peak of the feeding season when filter load is at its highest).
    In my case, from disconnecting the drive power to the drum to the filter pump shutting down (auto shut off) was 40 minutes during a test in July.
    If the spray system fails you will get longer, because the drum will still rotate (depending on control system) and this could give you several hours.

    I mention this because I know from experience that some koi keepers with drums have made sure they have back up pumps or run two pumps in case one fails but for some reason had not considered what drum failure could do if they weren't on scene.

    If everyone is aware of this or has a drum with an (edit: automatic) emergency bypass built in then the worst I have done is stated the obvious


    Last edited by Ukzero; 25-11-2020 at 05:32 PM.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

  2. #2
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    All of the non-budget drums have bypass systems- mine has 4 x 4” bungs that you pop out.

    Also the controller and probes on the more expensive drums have low water level sensors that shut off the pumps if clean side levels fall too low, or is the screen cleaning frequency becomes too fast.

    On my setup I have an alert thingy with SIM card plugged into the drum control panel, so I get a text message any time the drum turns off all it’s pumps. This wouldn’t distinguish from a power cut, except that all my Nest cameras would also notify me if it was

    What it does mean though is that you would need someone who knows how to pop the bungs and reset the drum controller if it happened while you were away for any length of time. I took photos of what would be needed so I could send instructions to my daughter if that ever happened. Trying to explain to her what to press would otherwise be impossible over the phone. My OH has had lessons from me

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  4. #3
    When I first planned and installed my current system I built in multiple back ups, but hadn't specifically designed a back up to cope with drum failure.
    I wanted to see how long it would take before the pump was cut off should the drum fail as part of my information gathering before working on a solution.
    It was while doing this "time to pump shut off test" that I discovered my drum's built in low level pump cut off float switch wasn't working - because it stays in the fully up position until a fault develops causing the water level to drop, crud had built up on the plastic shaft and the float didn't drop. The float probably hadn't moved since the pond was filled.
    If working properly the pump would have been switched off even sooner and the drum wouldn't have turned either. So kind of worse.
    I now give it an occasional wiggle

    Drum rinse frequency is controlled by adjusting the height of a pair of level sensing probes and I think you can program in level trigger or timed trigger and max/min frequencies (been a while since I read the instructions).

    Anyway, more importantly, there is a removeable panel in the end of the drum to allow bypass - but my point (which I didn't make very well, sorry) is that intervention would be required to get the bypass to operate.
    If such intervention isn't forthcoming and you don't realise, that's when things can take a turn for the worse - and it's probably going to be in the Summer when you're abroad on holiday
    That's why my bypass is now automatic.

    Like you (Feline) I have an alert module with its own SIM card that sends me a "Pump Off" message if the pump shuts down and I can see the pump controller's LED display, water temperature and drum status by remote access CCTV.
    I didn't originally mention these in my list of backup/failsafe measures because they alert me to the problem, but again, need intervention to fix it.
    Does your alert module have it's own battery in case of a power cut? Mine doesn't, but is connected to my 240Ah battery back up system (the reason I went to all this trouble is here https://www.koiforum.uk/pond-diy-tip...tml#post359436)
    My son lives 15 minutes away but I don't think he would like the idea of me suggesting he stays at home whenever we go away
    Last edited by Ukzero; 25-11-2020 at 03:42 PM.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

  5. #4
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    The alert thing sends its text message when power is lost, and then again when power comes back on. It must have some kind of battery in it I suppose. If I text #01# to it then it replies with a status report too. e.g.
    B14F6EB8-6E92-49CB-ABA8-E6BF5CA7957B.jpeg

    Drums are close to being an ‘operator-less’ system, but koi are live creatures and require a human being to be watching over the system, or at the least to be able to respond to a text alert.
    One of the dangers of having an automated setup is that they can make you complacent about checking things. By all means have in place contingency plans for any component in a setup failing, but trying to replace yourself altogether is probably not really a good idea.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    By all means have in place contingency plans for any component in a setup failing, but trying to replace yourself altogether is probably not really a good idea.
    Damn - this was my next project!



    And I agree, which is why I have built in emergency failsafes and backups for when I am not about rather than an automated system to replace the chore/aka joy of routine maintenance and testing

    Anyway. Enough. If this topic has helped on person I will be pleased.

    Sorry - can't find a way to delete the thumbnail below.
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    Last edited by Ukzero; 25-11-2020 at 05:34 PM.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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