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Thread: 3" Pipe "Flow" rating?

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    3" Pipe "Flow" rating?

    The engineering Question today is:

    What is the max flow rate one could expect through a 3" pipe from a bottom drain? (When the 3" pipe is used for the intake of a pump)

    My engineering book states that a 3" pipe max flow rate is 9,000 gph or 150 gpm
    (No PSI is mentioned - so we will base the response on what our typical pond pump will "pull through" a 3 inch pipe...

    Is this true? Or does someone else have a more precise engineered response..
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    Bill

    I don't have a more precise answer from an engineering standpoint, but can tell you the the Evolution Series EBB10500 has 3" fittings for intake and discharge and will pump 10500gph at 4' of head. They are also very energy efficient. Here's my question though - why would you want to suction pull water through a bottom drain? Is this for a "retrofit of an existing pond where there's no other way to hook up or not enough room for a proper settlement chamber?

    Mike

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    I don't have the answer either, but...

    ...there's going to be a huge difference in the amount that can be sucked through a 3" pipe, vs how much will gravity-flow through. If the system will ever be converted to gravity flow, I wouldn't expect much more than about 3500 gph to flow through a 3" pipe. This figure is also heavily effected/changed by friction head, so that should be factored-in as well. I have very long 3" pipes on my gravity-flow system, and I don't think I could get more than about 2500 without serious draw-down.
    -Mike-

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    How will the 10500 do pulling from the skimmer(4" piping till it hits the pump) and then back to 4" piping to the waterfall? Pump will be below pond level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by majederr View Post
    How will the 10500 do pulling from the skimmer(4" piping till it hits the pump) and then back to 4" piping to the waterfall? Pump will be below pond level.
    It would do very well. I've read your thread about your new pond and think it may be a good fit. Are you considering this JUST for the skimmer line? How big a skimmer are we talking about here? I would think you could pull from a skimmer AND vortex or mechanical filtration unit and balance the flow quite nicely. 4" pipe would actually be an even better fit for this pump. Also, this is a self priming pump, so below water level or above it would not impede the TDH if it's installed within 2' above water level, so no problem there. Check with Birdman for pricing on the pump. He sells the Evolution Series units.

    Mike

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    The point of the 3" pipe flow rate question is to determine how much flow could go through when supplying a manifold...

    I.e. 2 bottom drains that have 3 inch pipes. Both could be tied together above ground into a larger pipe or manifold.. Then multiple pumps draw from the manifold...

    So if we can determine how much can flow through each 3 inch bottom drain pipe, we would know how much can flow from the manifold..
    Bill Putnam
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    Quote Originally Posted by wputnam View Post
    The point of the 3" pipe flow rate question is to determine how much flow could go through when supplying a manifold...

    I.e. 2 bottom drains that have 3 inch pipes. Both could be tied together above ground into a larger pipe or manifold.. Then multiple pumps draw from the manifold...

    So if we can determine how much can flow through each 3 inch bottom drain pipe, we would know how much can flow from the manifold..
    Bill

    I'm rather confused here! No surprise! Why do you want to use a manifold if you're planning on multiple pumps? Why not just tie each circuit to separate pumps?

    Anyway, if an Evolution 10500 utilizing 3" openings in/out from a single line can supply 10500gph at 4' head, that should give you a starting point. However, as I'm sure you know, even if you fed TWO 3" lines in to one 4" line, the 4" would restrict the flow to a degree. I'm still confused about the reasoning for a manifold to multiple pump idea!?

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
    It would do very well. I've read your thread about your new pond and think it may be a good fit. Are you considering this JUST for the skimmer line? How big a skimmer are we talking about here? I would think you could pull from a skimmer AND vortex or mechanical filtration unit and balance the flow quite nicely. 4" pipe would actually be an even better fit for this pump. Also, this is a self priming pump, so below water level or above it would not impede the TDH if it's installed within 2' above water level, so no problem there. Check with Birdman for pricing on the pump. He sells the Evolution Series units.

    Mike

    This pump will work the skimmer circuit only. At start up it will flow to just the plant filter /water fall, but we will add a bakki to the circuit above the waterfall once we are up and running. My BD's will flow thru 4" to settlement to fluid bed to sac 15 system via 3" and use 2 SP 8500 pumps. Steve is one who designed this system and where the pump will come from. Was just curious about the 3" verses 4" question, but I guess thats for a different type circuit than the ones we have planned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by majederr View Post
    This pump will work the skimmer circuit only. At start up it will flow to just the plant filter /water fall, but we will add a bakki to the circuit above the waterfall once we are up and running. My BD's will flow thru 4" to settlement to fluid bed to sac 15 system via 3" and use 2 SP 8500 pumps. Steve is one who designed this system and where the pump will come from. Was just curious about the 3" verses 4" question, but I guess thats for a different type circuit than the ones we have planned.
    Okay, how big is the skimmer? Can it handle that much flow? Of course flow depends on the Total Dynamic head of the plumbing(friction loss) and elevation pumped to.

    Which Steve are you referring to - from SacKoi or Birdman?

    Mike

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    Full size savio. Although i know them both well, birdman designed our system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by majederr View Post
    Full size savio. Although i know them both well, birdman designed our system.
    I suggest talking with Steve about the ESSB10500 for that application. Again, depending on Total Dynamic Head, it might be a great fit as the large Savio can handle flows up to I believe 8500gph. This way, when you install the showers on that circuit, it'll kick butt. See what Steve has to say.

    BTW, any decision on what to do about the plumbing and covering the walls during the winter?

    Mike

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    I know we are going with a 10500 for that circuit. Steve says he can pull it through the Savio, so I am going with what he suggests. He says we'll need it for the Bakki. I don't want to Jinx it, but plumbing should be done this weekend. Found a plumber!! Hoping to get all the underground, to and from, Bd's, etc run. Then our contractor can come back, pitch and backfill so he can dig our greenhouse footers and put up the walls. The we have to wait till spring to fire it up but at least I have the winter to get everything else I need in and ready!!! Then Steve will be coming to PA!! He is quite the traveling man!!!

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    okay, I think this has gotten off the question Bill was asking. Sorry Bill. I don't have an answer for you but I am looking to hear what others have to say.

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    Looks like we are on two different thread topics..

    Any case, I am proposing using two 3" bottom drain lines to go into one large manifold... Then from the manifold, connect up three pumps.

    I need one pump to handle about 5400 gph (Don't worry about which pumps for the job.. Already have this picked out)
    The two other pumps can draw some 7000 gph each IF I can get enough water through the two 3" bottom drains into the manifold...

    SOO.. If a 3" pipe can handle 9,000 each totaling 18,000 gallons into the manifold and my pumps totally are drawing 18,400... I may be a bit tight unless someone else has specs on 3 inch pipe flows..

    If needed I could tie in another 3 inch source that another pump is already dedicated to, but it doesn't need all the water in that line.. This 3rd pipe may just add enough..

    This is a re-tro-fit job..
    Bill Putnam
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    Quote Originally Posted by wputnam View Post
    Looks like we are on two different thread topics..

    Any case, I am proposing using two 3" bottom drain lines to go into one large manifold... Then from the manifold, connect up three pumps.

    I need one pump to handle about 5400 gph (Don't worry about which pumps for the job.. Already have this picked out)
    The two other pumps can draw some 7000 gph each IF I can get enough water through the two 3" bottom drains into the manifold...

    SOO.. If a 3" pipe can handle 9,000 each totaling 18,000 gallons into the manifold and my pumps totally are drawing 18,400... I may be a bit tight unless someone else has specs on 3 inch pipe flows..

    If needed I could tie in another 3 inch source that another pump is already dedicated to, but it doesn't need all the water in that line.. This 3rd pipe may just add enough..

    This is a re-tro-fit job..
    Bill

    your pumps total 19,400 (7,000 X2 plus 5400) so that creates even more of a consideration.

    Okay, I'm trying to picture this. Three lines tied into ONE via a manifold and then to three separate pumps, right? I think the serious limiting factor will be the manifold itself and it's pipe diameter. Can you go to 6" on the manifold? If so, you may be okay there. Another concern would be the bottom drain domes. What brand of bottom drains exist? I have actually seen a few domes collapse due to too much suction simply from opening a standpoint with flow to a settling chamber. The water was under so much force, the domes collapsed onto the drain intake. Someone had to dive in to PRY the domes off as the weight of the water in the pond almost completely shut off the water flow to the settling tank. A prybar had to be used just to lift the dome off.

    Mike

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    That is a very good point I hadn't been thinking about!

    I am trying to envision the manifold that you would use, but nothing seems like it would work well. You may have to make something special for this. If you know how to plastic weld a trapazoid like box with the two 3" inlets on one side and the three outlets on the smaller side to keep all of the water flowing "semi-smoothly"


    Is there not a way to add some mid-level suctions on this pond? That would reduce the flow through the bottom drains substantially, and still enable you to filter the water better.

    Just an idea,
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    The answer to your question is how much water do you want to put through the line. The volume of water that can be put through a pipe depends on the head. This head is both static and dynamic head. With a large enough pump, you can probably multiply the standard flows that we are use to seeing by several times. The amount of water being drawn through the pipes in your case would have to be calculated by looking at head losses and pump charts and working backwards. With some head loss, the pumps will not pump the rated flows, and you will find the balance between flow and head loss. This link shows head losses for pvc pipe up to 5" http://www.plumbingsupply.com/flowchart.html
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    Thanks for the charts and input...
    As for the manifold...

    6 inch is what I hand in mind, yet the fittings seem to be spendy...
    Bill Putnam
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    Quote Originally Posted by wputnam View Post
    Thanks for the charts and input...
    As for the manifold...

    6 inch is what I hand in mind, yet the fittings seem to be spendy...
    That was my thought as well. They're darn spendy!!

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    Very interesting post. I find this thread helpful and applicable in my situation. Bill were you thinking of the manifold you suggested for my filter upgrade?
    Bob

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