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  1. #1

    Draco Drum filter - at my wits end.

    Yet again my Draco Solum 16 drum has decided to stop working. All led lights are on, neither the float nor the green manual wag button are triggering a wash cycle. So neither the wash nor the motor are doing a thing. The counter on the minutes between wash cycles doesnít change when I do the float or the manual button.

    Iíve got to a point where I think Iím actually going to give up the pond. Iíve had ponds since I was wee lad so over 35years and Iíve never felt so despondent about pond keeping. This pond has been perpetually green and Iím exhausted from having to keep fixing the drum.

    Personally from my Solum 16 experience I feel that drums are the worst aspect Iíve ever had with keeping a pond. They cannot be trusted, to a point that this particular one has broken me and ruined the enjoyment of pond keeping.

    I have an in-ground filter bay with a Draco bio chamber and I canít fit a sieve in because that wonít work because of the way they function is pump at back end of bio chamber. I also canít get a vortex in there because itís too tight. Last resort I can think of is a box of brushes. hugely labour intensive and a potential bacteria time bomb.

    Sorry for the rant, but I genuinely canít remember when I felt so low and depressed - all because of the damn pond.



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  3. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    sorry to hear you're having technical troubles with your drum mate.
    it can be really frustrating when you can't seem to catch a break in this hobby...

    I don't think any drums are faultless, i've had a few issues with mine and the UV knackering the drum seal.
    plus a strange leak from the drum motor enclosure that started and stopped on it's own

    I think it's hard dealing with issues this time of year, as i no one wants to fiddle around outside when its cold and miserable...

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  5. #3
    Itís bad enough when itís dry and sunny but every time I go out it starts raining again. Literally 5 times already today.

    Itís so odd because when I press the wash button the two blue LEDs light up so signifying itís initiating a wash cycle. Problem is itís not stay dry for long enough for me to do a proper diagnosis of the voltages. Iím getting 12.0V coming out of l the AC/DC transformer so I know we are good at that point. Next test is to see if the float switch is triggering the blue LEDs, then check the link cable from the control box to the drum mounted electrical connection box to see if thereís any Voltage at that point.

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  7. #4
    Update - the float switch is triggering the blue LEDs.

    Iíve actually now noticed the blue LEDs have a continuous soft glow to them - obvious even in daylight. The glow bright when triggered.

    Iíve put a 12v supply to the water solenoid and it works.

    Iíve put a 12v supply to the motor and it doesnít - on closer inspection I can see that the cable entry has been poorly siliconeíd and it looks wet. Therefore working on the assumption that the water ingress has caused a short that has knackered the motor and also damaged the circuit board in the control box which explains why neither function of the wash cycle works.

    Both the motor AND the wash solenoid were replaced last august (and the transformer board) because they were all faulty. 7month old motor, not impressed.

    Iím really fed up and wish Iíd never bought the damn thing.

    Iíve had to remove the bypass plates and pop brushes in to stop dirt flowing into the bio.

  8. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion samp09's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear your issues Dave, is it covered by warranty? It seems like all drums are so hit and miss, I have a second hand filtreau easy drum that was about 5 years old when I got it and I have had it for 3 years running faultlessly it just needed a new float switch when I got it. Some things can be a continuous headache whilst the exact same thing is brilliant for everyone else. I thought Draco drums were meant to be excellent.

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  10. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    Sorry to hear your issues Dave, is it covered by warranty? It seems like all drums are so hit and miss, I have a second hand filtreau easy drum that was about 5 years old when I got it and I have had it for 3 years running faultlessly it just needed a new float switch when I got it. Some things can be a continuous headache whilst the exact same thing is brilliant for everyone else. I thought Draco drums were meant to be excellent.
    Regarding your last sentence - Iíve spoken to a few dealers lately when Iíve talked about frustrations with my drum - all of them have asked Ďis it a Draco?í. The fact thatís the first thing they ask and that they no longer stock them has kind of put the nail in the coffin for me. I just canít justify spending £3k plus for a replacement. Which means Iím either going to have to go back to brushes and regular cleaning or just close the whole thing down.

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  12. #7
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    If I were you I would be ringing Tony at Draco and see what he says about it.
    John

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  14. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai g mac's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that it's getting you so down This hobby can certainly have a big emotional affect on our well being, sometimes good but not always. Hope you can get it sorted Dave.
    7500 litres
    Filtreau combi with uv.
    Some koi

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  16. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion samp09's Avatar
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    As John said definitely Ring Draco and see if they will help you. I know its incredibly frustrating but hopefully you get a good solution with this rather than having to close the pond down.

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  18. #10
    Tony has previously been brilliant. The issue is that Iíve had so many problems that have resulted in nothing running that Iíve just lost faith.

    Based purely on my own experience I canít believe so many people love their drums. I get that in an ideal world where they run perfectly then they are a great way of reducing maintenance. BUT back in the day I used to spend at most 10mins a week maintaining my filters. Now I have say a month where I do nothing, then have to spend at least half a day trying to resolve an issue, that often ends up with me buying a replacement part at my cost and then still have to fit it. Another few months down the line and itís another big job.

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  20. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloDave View Post
    Tony has previously been brilliant. The issue is that Iíve had so many problems that have resulted in nothing running that Iíve just lost faith.

    Based purely on my own experience I canít believe so many people love their drums. I get that in an ideal world where they run perfectly then they are a great way of reducing maintenance. BUT back in the day I used to spend at most 10mins a week maintaining my filters. Now I have say a month where I do nothing, then have to spend at least half a day trying to resolve an issue, that often ends up with me buying a replacement part at my cost and then still have to fit it. Another few months down the line and itís another big job.
    Must be soul destroying. I love my burtons drum but itís new and hasnít seen much use in anger yet.

    Have you got any friends or relatives (or perhaps yourself, donít mean to sound presumptuous) with basic electric knowledge? It sounds like thereís issue with control. Iíve often looked at my burton drum and thought to myself ďIf the brain ever gets trouble, Iíll just hard wire it allĒ I presume the Dracoís (which I donít know at all sorry) like mine have a small PCB controlling everything? In essence, the float switch is the only important component for triggering rotation and spray (you could even add a second as a safety if you hard wire it all) and none of it requires a PCB to operate. Hard wiring might cut out all of your issues if you can live without whatever functionality the PCB gives you.

    I wouldnít think it would take more than an hour for a competent electrician to hard wire the components and cut out the circuitry.

    Either way, really hope you get a solution pal Draco Drum filter - at my wits end.


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  22. #12
    Should add, you would have to move to a purely timer based set up if you do hard wire stuff.


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  24. #13
    Iím not too bad with electrics (I have a 54year old Land Rover).

    I was wondering about hard wiring from the PSU and having the float as a trigger that goes to a timer then onto the solenoid and motor. I think the challenge then is to have the correct timer component to allow it to run for a predetermined time. The risk is that if something goes wrong there will be no cut out feature.

    To give it an extra flush without the manual over-ride button wouldnít bother me as I can just dip the floatÖ.

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  26. #14
    I ran a draco for 2 years, and suffered three breakdowns. Controller, motor, and connector on the side. I like Tony and his support was excellent, but it did not cut it for me.
    I replaced it with a Queni drum. This has now run for 6 years without a hitch. Touch wood.. Drums are great when they work. It's quite a hostile environment, and requires good build quality.
    Dracos main issue was water getting where it should not.

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  28. #15
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    My Draco is in the garage so kept dry I have heard of water ingress problems can the elecs not be sealed.
    One thing I dont like is the drive motor getting soaked, so I have a piece of pond liner draped over it and it does keep it dry.
    John

  29. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloDave View Post
    Iím not too bad with electrics (I have a 54year old Land Rover).

    I was wondering about hard wiring from the PSU and having the float as a trigger that goes to a timer then onto the solenoid and motor. I think the challenge then is to have the correct timer component to allow it to run for a predetermined time. The risk is that if something goes wrong there will be no cut out feature.

    To give it an extra flush without the manual over-ride button wouldnít bother me as I can just dip the floatÖ.
    An old landrover trumps a degree in electrical engineering in my opinion; proper electrics that!

    You could also add a cut out in the form of another float switch, timed relay, double timed relay (min cycle, max cycle). If you trawl the interwebs there is an array of clever little gizmos that could be added in.

    You could also potentially just junk the float switch and wire the revolution motor and spray motor through a simple mechanical or electronic timer (you could even use a 3 pin plug electronic timer) to come on for a set number of minutes a set number of times a day if you wanted to.

    No problem ever existed that couldnít be solved with sufficient stubbornness, gumption, some gaffer tape and heat shrink tubing Draco Drum filter - at my wits end.


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  30. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloDave View Post
    Yet again my Draco Solum 16 drum has decided to stop working. All led lights are on, neither the float nor the green manual wag button are triggering a wash cycle. So neither the wash nor the motor are doing a thing. The counter on the minutes between wash cycles doesnít change when I do the float or the manual button.

    Iíve got to a point where I think Iím actually going to give up the pond. Iíve had ponds since I was wee lad so over 35years and Iíve never felt so despondent about pond keeping. This pond has been perpetually green and Iím exhausted from having to keep fixing the drum.

    Personally from my Solum 16 experience I feel that drums are the worst aspect Iíve ever had with keeping a pond. They cannot be trusted, to a point that this particular one has broken me and ruined the enjoyment of pond keeping.

    I have an in-ground filter bay with a Draco bio chamber and I canít fit a sieve in because that wonít work because of the way they function is pump at back end of bio chamber. I also canít get a vortex in there because itís too tight. Last resort I can think of is a box of brushes. hugely labour intensive and a potential bacteria time bomb.

    Sorry for the rant, but I genuinely canít remember when I felt so low and depressed - all because of the damn pond.
    Sorry to hear the problems youíve been having. One of the reasons I decided against getting a drum in the end!

    What sort of bio chamber do you have? If you were to go down the sieve route, could the bio chamber be raised to gravity return to the pond? I think sieves are great, very efficient and little to go wrong.


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  32. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by BrucePondsteen View Post
    Sorry to hear the problems youíve been having. One of the reasons I decided against getting a drum in the end!

    What sort of bio chamber do you have? If you were to go down the sieve route, could the bio chamber be raised to gravity return to the pond? I think sieves are great, very efficient and little to go wrong.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    A sieve is definitely the cheapest and probably most reliable option.

    I have a Draco MIDI Bio chamber which I think is a good bit of kit. It has two 4Ē inlets at mid height and then two 2Ē outlets at the bottom end; itís designed to maximise water to media exposure time as it has to flow downwards against the bubbles/rising media. Therefore Iím not sure itís a simple task of just turning the filter around and running in reverse, I can of course put periscope type risers out of the 4Ē reversed inlet so that the pipe sits at the same level as the top of the chamber to ensure itís as full as possible rather than levelling at the original 4Ē height.

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  34. #19

    Draco Drum filter - at my wits end.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloDave View Post
    A sieve is definitely the cheapest and probably most reliable option.

    I have a Draco MIDI Bio chamber which I think is a good bit of kit. It has two 4Ē inlets at mid height and then two 2Ē outlets at the bottom end; itís designed to maximise water to media exposure time as it has to flow downwards against the bubbles/rising media. Therefore Iím not sure itís a simple task of just turning the filter around and running in reverse, I can of course put periscope type risers out of the 4Ē reversed inlet so that the pipe sits at the same level as the top of the chamber to ensure itís as full as possible rather than levelling at the original 4Ē height.
    Might be worth thinking about mate, the cost of a sieve and reconfiguring pipe work/filters would be less than buying a new drum, unless you could get a good second hand deal. Depends on space in your filter house to change set up.

    Iíve got a 40 watt submersible amalgam in my sieve, keeps 4500 gallons clear. Previously had a 55w evo UV that wasnít up to the task. I clean the sieve once a week, takes a few mins.


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    Last edited by BrucePondsteen; 03-04-2024 at 09:10 AM.

  35. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by BrucePondsteen View Post
    Might be worth thinking about mate, the cost of a sieve and reconfiguring pipe work/filters would be less than buying a new drum, unless you could get a good second hand deal. Depends on space in your filter house to change set up.

    Iíve got a 40 watt submersible amalgam in my sieve, keeps 4500 gallons clear. Previously had a 55w evo UV that wasnít up to the task. I clean the sieve once a week, takes a few mins.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Interesting comment on the 55w evo - thatís what I have and it certainly isnít cutting the mustard!

    What sieve and amalgam are you using?

    Also what flow rate for 4500gals? We are off on a 2week holiday and Iíll be leaving the MiL in charge so hoping if I slowed the flow rate down then a big sieve could last that long??

 

 
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