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applestar
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Re: Airlift pump design -ideas-

- Yesterday, I tried out the new pond air pump. It has an air outlet that accepts 5/8” ID tubing ... 5/8” ID, hey isn’t that the size of a thinner garden hose? ... I had to check it out and roamed the garden and rummaged in the shed for old lawnmower victims waiting for their 2nd life. (Yep, had some.) And assembled this manifold to supply air with the 3/16 inch ID aquarium airlines in two directions.
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— but my first “wannabe burper/geyser” model still wouldn’t work, even after I blocked the 2nd supply airline so it was the only one being supplied. ...maybe I’m restricting the airflow too much by stepping down to 3/16 inch airlines?...

— I took the big one apart and decided the failure is DEFINITELY due to incomplete understanding of the “burper/geyser” airlift pump design — and the failure is in air-tight compression of the outer 1-1/2 inch pipe airgap with the inner 1 inch pipe.
— I’m also thinking I might have drilled too many holes in the inner pipe because I was thinking I will test the compression-fit turbo Airlift with the same pipe.
— and due to incomplete understanding of the design, I had made the inner pipe too long so that proper air siphoning/surge/burping effect was probably not being created
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— that was as far as I got — I switched up and worked on moving the purple dinosaur sandbox/bog, which involved weeding, shaping and leveling the ground, and laying blocks under the liner along the far side of the pond edge to support the bog.
— I also cut and assembled the under gravel pond filter supply pipe so once the airlift pump is working I can put them all together and working (...although I still need to drill holes in the dinosaur’s face and fit the outlet/drain pipe, so I really can’t be filling the bog with gravel and water just yet...)



In the evening/overnight, I decided to review the basic design concepts for the three models of airlift pumps I am attempting to build/understand simultaneously. :roll:

- I do think I have been confusing myself due to impatiently trying to build all three models at the same time instead of concentrating on each design

- After extensive study, I woke up with several ideas, and despite only getting 4-1/2 hrs sleep, got to work. :D


— this morning, I cut a shorter inner 1 inch tube with less holes for the “Burper/Geyser” and, after testing the fit of the previous model connections in a bucket of water and locating a compression failure leak, found a way to fit and screw down a bulkhead with a rubber gasket with a threaded fitting.
— But now there is a problem with the air tube inlet needing to be a tighter fit. In any case, I want to change the design to accept 5/8” ID garden hose air delivery from the new pond air pump, so I set this one aside for the day.

- Instead, I used the replaced 1” stand pipe with excessively drilled tiny aerator holes and tested out the compression-fitted Tee idea for the “Turbo Airlift” design.

— As you might be able to see, I designed this one to receive the air supply directly from the pond air pump via the (thinner darker green) garden hose, and attached yesterday’s manifold at the top to hopefully collect sufficient air to recycle for the turtle spitter (The turtle spitter airlift pump will be getting an extensive re-model to try out some ideas I had overnight, but I didn’t get the chance today)

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— the difference was immediately apparent, and very satisfying

— HOWEVER, when I gleefully and impatiently tried it out, it oozed and squirted water from the distribution slits at first, BUT, then stopped working. It was just jetting AIR from the slits. (I had to leave at this point. It was temporary, so I cross-tied the pump to keep it from falling over)
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— while running errands (actually driving DD’s to class and Apple store for MacBook repair, and waiting for them), I analyzed the possible problems
>> I was too impatient to attach a well-thought out water supply inlet at the base — the thing might just have gotten clogged
>> I was thinking maybe the 2nd open 3/16 inch airline was losing too much air, and that was why the turtle spitter was not doing anything at all, so I tried blocking it by turning the checkvalve around. But I’m wondering if this made air pressure from the top too strong, causing the “Turbo Airlift” to fail (you HAVE to allow the excess air to escape and separate from the water), and without the water pressure to block it, the air is exiting through the water outlet to the gravel distribution pipe.
>> I didn’t get the chance to try unblocking the 2nd line— I will have to try that first thing tomorrow
>> I might add an elbow to the outlet so the outlet/bog distribution supply isn’t sticking out like that — I think it will look neater
>> I did get a few more plumbing supplies to build a small collection chamber atop the stand pipe so the air can bubble up to the top of the chamber, while the water can exit via the bog filter supply line with hopefully a bit of gravity behind it.
>> I also found the fitting I need to connect threaded pipes to garden hose-ends so I can hopefully assemble a better water inlet intake screen to exclude debris without blocking the water flow too much.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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applestar
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Re: Airlift pump design -ideas-

So, that was around 12:30pm. Just now, around 7:30pm, I looked out of the window for one more look before it got dark and the pond water level seemed distinctly lower. I grabbed my binoculars and looked to see if the bulkhead fitting connecting the tubing to the bottom drain of the purple dinosaur sandbox is holding — is that wet dirt I see? ...hmm not really...

Then I realized — the gravel filter distribution pipe is squirting here and there, and there are water ripples under the pipe like there is water movement. Image
If you look, the water in the “bog-to-be” was at 2nd-3rd cut on the distribution pipe, and now it’s at 8th-9th, and the red brick is completely submerged. Ha! Image

Image

...now I am worried that the pond is going to be REALLY low by morning... but it IS supposed to rain all day tomorrow.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
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Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Airlift pump design -ideas-

It’s been raining all day today. I woke up early and came up with this sketch for a water intake, then went downstairs and rummaged around
Image
... and assembled this out of a mayo jar, a couple of fittings and a hydro basket.
... While sketching, I was trying to decide if I want to use the grid-covered filter tray MINUS the filter pad —and fill with gravel instead— for the other side of the intake tee. My problem was envisioning WHERE to place it in the limited pond floor space. I originally considered standing it on its edge, but then remembered that there are steps cut into the pond in front of where the bog/filter is going, so I think the filter tray could be placed flat on the first step above the pump.

But it was raining too hard and we had tickets to go see the 11am showing of Avengers:Endgame today, so I didn’t have enough time to pull up the pump to mess around. I tried tinkering with the air bleed and collector, but it was impossible when I tried simple fixes with elbows and varying length of the 1/2 inch. It just made the pump shoot up more, and more :roll:
Image

... I will have to finish designing the holding “tank” — I’m thinking of suddenly increasing to a short 3 inch pipe — I think I have all the pieces I need, but I had another idea last night that may require another trip to the hardware store.
... Despite the failed attempts this morning, all that leftover “lift” did give me an idea — why bother to recycle the air for the turtle spitter airlift pump — I think I might just send the excess spurts to the turtle spitter.
... IF the modifications I’m thinking about for this pump greatly improves its lift and flow performance, there might just be enough reserve lift/flow energy to use this pump as the primary waterfall pump, and still use the secondary outflow for the bog/gravel filter (SQWIB did say all the bog/gravel filter needs is a trickle) and — who knows? — still have enough leftover for the turtle spitter....

>> I unplugged the pump for the day — bog had not filled up overnight, the rain will add more, and I will end up needing to empty it for the next part of its modification. I had hoped that the water might drain back to the pond, but the nature of airlift may prevent siphoning effect.
>> In addition to the trickle pipe somewhere in the dinosaur’s face, maybe I should be thinking about a bell siphon or other overfill triggered drain mechanism?
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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