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BobcatReefer

Repairing Acrylic Sump

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My sump has had a pinhole leak for a couple of months, and because I am lazy, and it seemed like a huge thing to fix,  I let it go.  Thursday night, as I fed the tank, my arm brushed up against the towels on the shelf, and they were soaked.  The leak was no longer pinhole, but not gushing either.  Took a couple of towel changes through the night, but was able to make it to 9am opening of Petco to buy a 40 breeder to use as an emergency sump.  (fun side note:  I have a 20 long I probably could have used, but that didn't occur to me until today)

My plan is to clean out the acrylic sump and refugium, do a test to see if I can find the leak, and then apply WeldOn 4 liberally to all seams.  

Is that a good plan long term?  I'm thinking not really, because I did that when I got it, and it failed (3yrs though).

Short of "buy a new sump, dummy", what suggestions might you offer to repair it?

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Sorry, I have no experience with acrylic repair.  My first thought was why not add baffles to the 40 breeder?

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That was my first thought as well (great minds and all that...), but there's just not room for that size sump in my stand.  There's no clearance at all from the top of the sump to the bottom of the stand.  

 

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12 hours ago, BobcatReefer said:

My sump has had a pinhole leak for a couple of months, and because I am lazy, and it seemed like a huge thing to fix,  I let it go.  Thursday night, as I fed the tank, my arm brushed up against the towels on the shelf, and they were soaked.  The leak was no longer pinhole, but not gushing either.  Took a couple of towel changes through the night, but was able to make it to 9am opening of Petco to buy a 40 breeder to use as an emergency sump.  (fun side note:  I have a 20 long I probably could have used, but that didn't occur to me until today)

My plan is to clean out the acrylic sump and refugium, do a test to see if I can find the leak, and then apply WeldOn 4 liberally to all seams.  

Is that a good plan long term?  I'm thinking not really, because I did that when I got it, and it failed (3yrs though).

Short of "buy a new sump, dummy", what suggestions might you offer to repair it?

I know a little. Enough to be dangerous.   Lets find the leak and see if it is just a bad spot or the whole seam is coming apart.

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Roger that.  Going to start cleaning it here in a bit, get it all dry, and then my plan is to lay down a towel, some tissue paper over that since it will show up water immediately, and then fill it back up till I see the leak.

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The reason for not so much of a leak is lack of pressure if you did not fill it up to the normal level.

So it looks like it is one seam and a corner. Have you been able to get all the crud out of the seam?

Does the seam look like its full of bubbles or cracks? (failing)

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It was filled way over normal - w/i an inch of the top, the blue tape marks the top/bottom normal water line.  

The seam where the leaks doesn't look appreciably different than the rest of the joints - none of them look particularly clean and rock solid.

Tank is pretty clean overall.  Might work on it a bit today if my local Ace has Weld-On 4.

Going to test the refugium next, although I doubt that's where it was coming from.  Heck, will probably just re-weld all the seams on that one before testing at all.

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Run the #4 around the inside of all the seams while its clean. I would then run a bead of #16  in the seams where the trouble spots are. Its thicker and will fill in and seal any gaps.

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Just now, Dogfish said:

I would then run a bead of #16  in the seams where the trouble spots are. Its thicker and will fill in and seal any gaps.

Gotcha!  That's the kind of info I'm looking for!  Thanks!

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21 hours ago, Dogfish said:

Run the #4 around the inside of all the seams while its clean. I would then run a bead of #16  in the seams where the trouble spots are. Its thicker and will fill in and seal any gaps.

In addition, you could also reinforce the joints with acrylic rods.  Clear swizzle sticks would be a good diameter I think.

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22 hours ago, Dogfish said:

The acrylic shops carry it. Austin Plastics, Regal plastics

Went to Regal Plastics at lunch yesterday.  They were out of the small WO4 and wanted $45+ for what I drove home and spent $27 on w/ Amazon.  Really want to support local businesses, but it's hard when they don't have their act together, and simply aren't price competitive.

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Man, that WO16 is great stuff!  I wish I'd have known about it when I first got this sump setup and used WO4 to make sure the joints were sealed.  Probably wouldn't have had this issue!
Thanks for the info - should have this back online over the weekend.

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