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  1. #221
    Iíll send you a picture of the way I have mine set up here in torrential rainy Thailand.......... no issues here


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  3. #222
    Senior Member Rank = Kyusai hippo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickK-UK View Post
    The new controller box just arrived:

    Attachment 35735

    It looks like it has a new override to ensure that washes are triggered after 45mins or 99 mins rather than only waiting for the water level to trigger.

    The rest of the switchgear looks identical, so I think based on experience this will need a cover against the elements.
    You`ve just answered a question for me , there , Nick . I thought the wash over-ride switch was to stop the wash triggering for the allotted time - so you can fiddle with the float switch , or whatever .

    But instead , it triggers the wash after the time has elapsed ?? That makes sense .
    I dont think its mentioned in the instructions - so thanks and good luck with your new controller .

    So far mine seems to have worked well , without issues - although ideally , I`d have had it set slightly lower , as I`m on the lower limit for the sensor . Only had it since November , so we`ll see how it fares when the weather warms up
    Colin

    2500 Gallon Fibreglass Pond
    Draco Solum 16 , 400l Bio Chamber

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  5. #223
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Hassai NickK-UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippo View Post
    You`ve just answered a question for me , there , Nick . I thought the wash over-ride switch was to stop the wash triggering for the allotted time - so you can fiddle with the float switch , or whatever .

    But instead , it triggers the wash after the time has elapsed ?? That makes sense .
    I dont think its mentioned in the instructions - so thanks and good luck with your new controller .

    So far mine seems to have worked well , without issues - although ideally , I`d have had it set slightly lower , as I`m on the lower limit for the sensor . Only had it since November , so we`ll see how it fares when the weather warms up
    A blocked drum is bad news - the water (assuming no overflow bypass exists in the drum design - in the Draco that's not) will simply overflow the waste chute. This pond being pump fed means it will empty the pond without a level sensor protecting it. Remarkably easy todo (I've done that about 3 times before I installed the float switch).

    For this reason it doesn't make sense to stop the drum cleaning - the emergency stop latches and stops (and yes I've had an almost empty pond due to forgetting to unlatch the e-stop). Only thing I wish is that when the drum is e-stopped the controller makes a loud "beep" every 30-60 seconds.

    Having a timed override is useful for a number of reasons:

    * stops waste from sitting in the drum if your drum isn't regularly needing a clean (winter, understocked etc).
    * stops drum waste from drying onto the drum in summer or when drums are not triggering regularly (winter)
    * reduces the drum-filter yo-yo of water level (all drums cause this currently) except when the drum will clear.
    * it can help the drum prevent from freezing - water drawn through the water pipes, nozzles and over the screen helps keep it defrosted.

    For me, sub-zero temps and drums are an interesting problem. If the drum is indoors then typically it will not have issues (the water temps through the lidded drum/bio keep it unfrozen. Outside though - the water piping, drum nozzles, the drum mesh above water and the bio input size mesh are all issues with serious repercussions. Any of these areas will end up with water blockages and overflow scenarios with pump-fed or dry pump if gravity-fed.

    I think part of the controller water ingress issues is twofold:
    a) The main seal was a problem in the first one - the plastic bolts that hold the front on, if they don't work properly then you have a soggy controller. The top seal is behind clear plastic which sits in direct sunlight all year around so any UV sensitivity is going to cause a problem.
    b) I have my controllers outside and on a wood board mounted at a 30deg off vertical angle. So heavy rain pours across the controller and for the manual wash switch sits in the switch. The IP65/8 standard has the standard where a water jet of a known pressure is fired at a defined angle (about 30deg IIRC) to simulate wind-vectored rain. So this should not be a problem.

    Personally I still think the switch gear on the front of the box is a weak spot - I would prefer that they're touch/proximity switches set behind the plastic so there is no break in the plastic facia and the water proofing isn't reliant on rubber seals.
    The e-stop is always an interesting one - they need to be accessible, and they need to simply break and freeze the current operation - in the case of the Draco controller it breaks the live mains wire to the power supply. Pushing the e-stop, the new controller takes a few seconds to power down (ie the display lights disappear) compared to the old one. I've not checked to see if the 12V drum motor continues to operate based on residual charge (I assume it doesn't have capacitors in the power path - the solenoid either). However I can see that the additional reserve power helps the controller not be affected by brown/dropouts of power - in the event of a power failure, the solenoid, wash pump and drum I assume would simply stop as normal leaving the filter in the correct state.

    Don't get me wrong - I like the drum (bypass is a godsend!), I like the controller and the simplicity of 'it just works'. The performance is also first rate.

    The only addition I would love is a waterproof buffered I/O port - so that it can be easily connected to external systems to signal it's state. Extra cost, minimal users but would be extremely useful.
    1700 litres on 50 watts
    Planned 11,777 litres on 58 watts. 1300l anoxic, 4" airlifts, Solum 16, bio.

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  7. #224
    Hi all,

    My question is specifically about the Solum 16 and standard Bio so hopefully it's okay to post here.

    I installed these two items on my pond during 2020, I'm pump fed unfortunately with no easy way to make it gravity fed without substantial overhauling.

    Ever since I've installed the Solum 16 and Bio, I've had to tinker with the set up as I've had continual issues but I think from my own doing rather than the equipment not behaving.

    My tinkering is never ending trying to get it right and so I'm now looking at what is fundamentally wrong. And I have a thought.

    Before I share that thought, the problems I'm having is 1) I'm either gaining water, or losing water (depending what tinkering I've done), 2) my filter is forever cleaning, every few minutes in the summer. It only went to hourly during the winter when I disconnected the skimmer. 3) my water clarity still wasn't ideal during last summer. Went perfect over the winter (probably little sunshine, covered, no skimmer running, no feeding etc).

    Onto my thought.....

    I have two pumps in my pond.....

    An Aqua Eco 12000 running my Oase Aquaskim 40 - the skimmer sits pond surface height (obviously), then hoses down to pump that sits on pond floor (5.5ft deep) and then hoses to the filter house and into the Solum 16.

    I have a second pump, an Aqua Forte DM 22000 Vario that is running on its' lowest / slowest setting and is sat on the pond floor, hoses straight to my Solum 16 via a Evolution UV.

    I'm starting to think I've got too much flow! If the Aqua Eco is running at 12000 lph losing some flow to hose length and rising 6ft from pond floor to Draco, and my Aqua Forte DM 22000 running on it's lowest flow which is 9500 but then will also lose some flow rate to hose length and rising 6ft, I'm guessing I may still have too much for a pump configured Solum 16 to handle, rated at 12000 lph. I'm assuming that even calculating head loss of 12000 lph and 9500 lph, I'd still be over the 12000 rating?

    And this could be possibly causing half of my problems.

    Any thoughts? I may have answered my own question but before I find a lesser flow pump to go on the skimmer, and the aggro of rehosing it all, just thought I'd ask.

  8. #225
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear of your problems.

    Weirdly enough, in the last few days In another thread on here, I said it should be called the Solum 10 not 16. As I believe 10k is the real operational limit for the drum.

    It sounds like too much flow could be the Issue, although I'm only experienced in using it in a gravity set up. So am not aware of any possible quirks in a pump fed set up.

    I suffer fines and also the overly frequent cleaning in Summer too. It's so annoying, especially as I spent a long time trying to work out which drum to get and still got it wrong.

    My concern though is if I reduce my flow, my bottom drain won't work effectively any more, particularly as it has to share flow with the skimmer.

    What others have suggested is apparently you can swap the mesh on the drum to a larger micron size. Which should help increase flow through the mesh, but apparently doesn't materially affect the amount of crap it removes from the water.





    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  10. #226
    Agreed that the 16 struggles to handle 16k flow rate. Over the last 5 months I have heated my pond at 17.9C dropped down to 15.5C for the last month or so and have been feeding 3 times a day. What I also did was to turn the pump down to 10k litres an hour, change my air pump over from 100 to 60lph and keep the shower going (albeit I have super insulated my pond and filters). The drum has been so much happier. Pond is crsystal clear and parameters are spot on.

    That said I had to turn the water off indoors for a couple of hours and forgot about the drum. Damn thing emptied about 300 gallons of water when it stopped working. Really need to sort out some sort of overflow so that if the drum stops then as the water in dirty side goes up it flows and keeps the system going. I’ve even thought about putting a timer on the drum so it turns off for a minute every couple
    of hours - this way it would reset it and keep the darn thing going. I think there are so many flaws with the design of the Draco that if improved it would be a cracking unit.

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  12. #227
    Thanks @Twhitenosugar and @DiabloDave for your replies.

    For me, the Draco has been a big improvement over my original set up which was all based around a pressuried filter. But has the Draco been the amazing wow experience I was hoping for, I'm not so sure but looking at my water quality today and what it was before, it's fairly close.

    I'm always going to be on the back foot being pump fed. It's not ideal but to get a gravity solution in, I'd have to change almost everything about my pond, I'd never get the filter level with the pond level as my pond is 5.5ft deep but all in the ground. I wish I had gone to the Solum 25 but then I've had to shoe horn the 16 into my small filter area so getting the 25 in would have been a real struggle. Having spent all the money on the 16 only last summer, not going to be spending lots more to change now either.

    I think I'll have to reduce the flow. The Aqua Forte vario that just sits on the bottom of the pond is runing at 9500 on its lowest setting so I only have another 2500 before I hit the 12k limit on a pump fed Solum 16. I was going to simply reduce the pump running my skimmer but I've read that if that isn't pulling enough, then it won't work. And the skimmer makes such a difference to my water clarity. So I think I may have to have a change around.

    I'll put my Aqua Fore Vario 22000 on the skimmer and run that at 9500 and then get a smaller pump and just put that at the bottom of the pond. I could just have the one pump in the pond and just run the skimmer but just doesn't feel right only taking water from the top of the pond and nothing from the bottom.

  13. #228
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    Another solution is you get a pump fed sieve second hand to put on your skimmer line.

    They are fairly small and don't cost too much. That way you can keep a higher turnover on your pond, it won't overload the drum and the sieve is not exactly high maintenance - it'd only need a quick flush through every now and again to keep it clean.

    Yeah I wish I got the 25 too.

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

  14. #229
    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloDave View Post
    That said I had to turn the water off indoors for a couple of hours and forgot about the drum. Damn thing emptied about 300 gallons of water when it stopped working. Really need to sort out some sort of overflow so that if the drum stops then as the water in dirty side goes up it flows and keeps the system going. I’ve even thought about putting a timer on the drum so it turns off for a minute every couple
    of hours - this way it would reset it and keep the darn thing going. I think there are so many flaws with the design of the Draco that if improved it would be a cracking unit.
    I installed one of the overflow solutions into my system last year, shortly after installing the drum and switching the drum off but not the pump. Fortunately I was doing stuff at the pond so noticed the water going down but I thought, had that filter gone off, or jammed, or whatever and I wasn't here, the pond would have emptied for the depth of the pump.

    Thus, I got one of those ball bearing float switches, cabled into my pump and now if the water drops by a foot or so, it all shuts down. Complete peace of mind.

  15. #230
    Quote Originally Posted by Twhitenosugar View Post
    Another solution is you get a pump fed sieve second hand to put on your skimmer line.

    They are fairly small and don't cost too much. That way you can keep a higher turnover on your pond, it won't overload the drum and the sieve is not exactly high maintenance - it'd only need a quick flush through every now and again to keep it clean.

    Yeah I wish I got the 25 too.

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    Good idea and one I hadn't thought off. Probably because I have absolutely zero space left in my filter house and to enlarge it anymore isn't possible as it's all within my patio area outside my bifold doors so will be a bit of an eye sore if I encroach into the space anymore.

    Since my (further) tinkering at the weekend, water clarity has been good and water levels have stayed, just not sure how. But getting some sustained sunshine will be the tester as that will cause the drum to work harder. I'd like to get away from a summer of drum cleaning cycle every 5-10 mins.

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  17. #231
    Quote Originally Posted by mcwatson1974 View Post
    I installed one of the overflow solutions into my system last year, shortly after installing the drum and switching the drum off but not the pump. Fortunately I was doing stuff at the pond so noticed the water going down but I thought, had that filter gone off, or jammed, or whatever and I wasn't here, the pond would have emptied for the depth of the pump.

    Thus, I got one of those ball bearing float switches, cabled into my pump and now if the water drops by a foot or so, it all shuts down. Complete peace of mind.
    Have you got a link to the float you used and any photos of it installed? I like the sound of your solution!

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  19. #232
    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloDave View Post
    Have you got a link to the float you used and any photos of it installed? I like the sound of your solution!
    Giving you photos of my actual install is a little difficult as the float is literally just floating in the pond, the wiring is all encased in a water proof box. But, I can give you all the details and if I can do it, it's fairly certain you will be able too as I'm pants at anything practical.

    Firstly, the float switch I purchased is this. I hesitated on the colour initially but struggled to find anything less glaring and after a while, the colour fades anyway. The 3m cable also ticked my box as it was long enough to run it back to the filter house area.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I also bought one of these so the wiring joins could be kept safe.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    That's all you need in terms of items to purchase, it's then how to wire it. There are a zillion videos on float switches but all are either in Indian, overly complicated, or a slightly different situation. I highly recommend this one as it talks it through step by step, wire by wire and exactly what you need to do.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl6olB0ib3s

    I installed it, and tested it, works perfectly. Some people do install their float switches in their filtering system when gravity fed as if your pond level goes down, so does the level in your filter. But I'm pump fed and I also wanted the absolute peace of mind that its triggered if the pond is going down, don't care what the filter is doing. Hope this helps.

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  21. #233
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Hassai NickK-UK's Avatar
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    Drum 'yo-yo' is something that's present on most drums. I'll explain what happens with a pump fed in drum yo-yo. The drum gets dirty, the pump continues to push water raising the drum water level, meanwhile the water drains (to a point) out of the filter into the pond. The drum flushes and the water then passes the clean drum and the water out then surges and the pond level returns. The effect on the pond level is that it goes down then up then down then up.. however if you have an auto Topup system then it will keep triggering.. then the pond overflows a trickle at a time into the waste pipe.

    It sounds like the drum needs a bit of a pressure wash - trigger a clean and give it a spray but not with the stone lance but the normal washer head so it doesn't damage the mesh.

    However as summer gets into swing I notived the drum kicks in more frequently due to algae.
    1700 litres on 50 watts
    Planned 11,777 litres on 58 watts. 1300l anoxic, 4" airlifts, Solum 16, bio.

 

 
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