Building a DIY 55 gallon barrel filter...need input.

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Hello all. This is a quick question.

I have a 55 gallon food grade barrel ready to go. I plan to use 2" PVC pipe for the inlet and outlet of the barrel.

I don't know what the name of the item I need is but it is the part that seals around the pipe as it enters the barrel.

It's two pcs. I think, made of plastic with rubber washer on either side. It allows me to seal the hole that the pipe goes through.

Could someone tell me what this item is so I can find a couple to buy? It has to work with 2" PVC pipe. Thanks!!
 
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koiguy1969

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the part your thinking of is a bulkhead! shower drains and uniseals work well also. you can get them at any Lowes, Home Depot, etc ...
 
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Very cool. Thanks guys. I actually was looking at bulheads at a koi pond shop but they were threaded on the inside so I didn't think that was what I needed. Doesn't the PVC pipe run right through the bulkhead?
 
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Very cool. Thanks guys. I actually was looking at bulheads at a koi pond shop but they were threaded on the inside so I didn't think that was what I needed. Doesn't the PVC pipe run right through the bulkhead?
They make threaded ends that go to glue fitting ends. I find the screw type is easier to use if you ever need repairs. You can put fittings on each side of the bulk head, usually both sides are threaded. All way bio filters have threaded bulkheads
 
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Okay cool. I found some at Home Depot but a koi pond warehouse near me has them even cheaper. Thanks!
/edit: I just discovered uni-seals. This is the way to go from what I can see. Gonna try and find a local store that sells them.


I have another question if someone doesn't mind.

I pretty much figured out everything I will need to do this but I'm not sure what i should use to connect the 1.5" pump outlet to the 2" PVC pipe that will run as the feed to my 55 gallon barrel filter. I spent quite a bit of time at Home depot but didn't see anything that made sense for this. Can someone tell me what I should use? The pump is a Danner 2000gph magnetic drive pump, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009YYURQ/ref=pe_385040_30332190_TE_M3T1_ST1_dp_1
The outlet on top is the kind that you clamp a flex hose to. But I need it to connect to a 2" PVC pipe.
 
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Okay I think i figured it all out on my own. Gonna stick with bulkheads and PVC pipe. Gonna use 1.5" flex from pump to a 1.5" barb/1.5" male then a 1.5" female to 1.5" pvc coupler. then insert the 1.5" PVC pipe into it and run it back to filter.
Then I will run a 2" PVC back to pond.

whooo now I can go to bed.
 

addy1

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congrats! I was going to suggest getting the reducer go from 2 inch to 1.5 inch with a reducing coupler
 
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I'm not sure how you plan on the water flowing back to the pond but I learn that if you use pipe for the outlet, you will need that pipe to be about twice as big as the inlet pipe or the water can overflow. Or have more than one outlet pipe :).
 
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I used 1.5" pipe from pump to filter and 2" pipe from filter back to pond. I also have a 1" pipe branching off the 1.5" intake pipe that feeds my fountain. It has a ball valve installed so I can shut that line off when needed. Once my pond was clean I opened it up and the water fall looks great now.

It took about three days for the new filter to totally clean up my pond and my expectations were exceeded by far.

This was the best update I've done to date for my pond. It's just unreal how well this filter works and how crazy easy it is to clean the filter when needed.
 
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I was going to suggest going bigger than 2" outlet... but if it's working, than great!!
 

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There's a specific brand of bulkhead made for curved surfaces so it won't leak. Don't remember the name anymore. But they have a website. You need to buy this brand. Anyone remember? Begins with M or V?
 
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There's a specific brand of bulkhead made for curved surfaces so it won't leak. Don't remember the name anymore. But they have a website. You need to buy this brand. Anyone remember? Begins with M or V?
Uniseals will work on a curved surface

 

koiguy1969

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any uniseal, bulkhead, or shower drain will work on a barrel.... just need a heatgun or even a hairdryer that tends to run hot. heat the barrel before assembly so the area can be flattened.
bulkheads are cheaper if you go to the electrical section instead of plumbing at LOWES, HOME DEPOT, etc...
 
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This thread is pretty old now but I didn't want to start a new one. So this filter system has been working amazingly well since I built it back in 2012. It moved with me to our new house back in 2016 and is just great. I used to have to clean it out every 6-8 months but now it goes easily a year plus and never shows signs of needing to be cleaned (I just clean it anyway about every 1.5 years) and my water is always crystal clear.

So I built a smaller pond to house my babies about a year ago or so. I've been struggling with filtering the pond all this time. Been using a store bought canister filter with foam and lava rocks but it needs to be cleaned every week and even then the pond is always looking like crap, cant see the bottom and recently the pond started stinking.

I finally decided to build another 55 gallon filter system. Last time I spent well over $400 to do the first one because I had no idea what I was doing and bought things I didn't need, screwed up things I did, etc etc...

This time I knew exactly what was needed and kept the entire thing down to $200 (includes: two 55 food grade drums, all the different sized rocks, pipes, valves etc...)

Built it on Sunday, had it running in the system on Monday night and by Tuesday morning the pond is crystal clear and the smell is gone completely.

This time I used Uni-Seals instead of bulk-heads and WOW do these work so much easier. They do indeed curve to the barrel and seal perfectly without the use of a sealant. Fantastic!

IMO the only filter system to use is one of these DIY units. They filter unbelievably well and cost less than any of the really great retail units and I'd bet the DIY units perform better too.

I found getting the 2" PVC pipe through the Uni-seal almost impossible even lubbed up so I used my jig-saw to shave some plastic off the edge....pipe went right in after that.
IMG_0051r.jpg


I tried to keep it simple this time so went with the bare minimum of piping.
Also i could not find any food grade barrels with lids for cheap so I picked up two and just cut the tops off. I cut it in a way that it can work as a lid.

IMG_0052r.jpg



IMG_0053r.jpg


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I like the barrel idea. I am working on an upgraded DIY using a flat-sided trash can on wheels (using bulkhead fittings, the flat sides help with a good seal - I'll switch to Uni-Seals next time for sure) but I had pin-hole leaks around the axle area by the wheels. Full tube of silicone sealant applied inside around the leak area, 72 hours for cure, still tiny leaks. Now two full tubes of another type of clear sealant poured over entire leaking area - but incredibly slow cure rate; still soft to the touch. EVENTUALLY I'll get it up and running. In the mean time the 16 year old filter keeps chugging away...
 
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