DIY Air Lift Pond Vacuum

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself' started by divedaddy03, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. divedaddy03

    divedaddy03

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    York, SC
    Here is a project that I've just started on and hopefully it will help some others too...
    I still need to refine some of it but it's well on it's way to doing all the hard work for me this summer! Whoot.
    Let me know if you have any ideas on how to make this work even better...follow up video to come when it warms up.
    Cheers, Wayne
    York, SC
     
    divedaddy03, Feb 18, 2013
    #1
    Fishylove likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. divedaddy03

    brandonsdad02 They call me Ryan

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
    I would suggest just taking the pipe and instead of having the wye fitting in the middle, just have a 90 elbow so the water has no place to go but out. I haven't tired it out before, but I would think that if you made the pipe like 2" you would get more suction and be able to lift higher. I have a water pond vac that I use that simply is the same design as yours, but I just hook it up to a garden hose and the water provides the suction. it comes thru the side like your air line does, but after the 90 on the inside, it goes thru a small metal pipe that forces the water to shoot up the aluminum pipe that it mounts on. The small pipe is about 3 inches long.
     
    brandonsdad02, Feb 26, 2013
    #2
    divedaddy03 likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. divedaddy03

    divedaddy03

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    York, SC
    Ryan,

    I do think that you are right with the smaller pipe...I'm going to try to modify this one though since I have it and run a few more trial runs. I Initially got the 3" because I thought that it would pick up the larger leaves on the bottom a little better however, I think that the smaller pipe would work just fine. That said, I'm going to mod this one more before I scrap the 3" one. The longer pipe past the tee is simply for the purpose of a handle and to allow the air to escape...I don't anticipate that the water will ever be lifted that high.

    I'm going to try your suggestion and make a nozzle that will be lower volume and higher pressure to help jet it up the vacuum and see where that takes me. I'm also going to try to make a nozzle that would be more like an air stone in a fish tank and also try that (at low pressure)...and see which one wins. I think once I figure out what wins, I will be able to apply to the 2" for better performance!?!?

    Thanks for the ideas! Wayne
     
    divedaddy03, Feb 26, 2013
    #3
  4. divedaddy03

    divedaddy03

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    York, SC
    Can I ask you all a favor?

    If you would like to, please subscribe to my channel I will be posting more soon.
    Also, if you like what you see...please like and comment on the video on youtube.
    This will help my videos to reach more people... :)

    Thanks Ya'll...!!

    Wayne, SC
     
    divedaddy03, Feb 26, 2013
    #4
  5. divedaddy03

    brandonsdad02 They call me Ryan

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
    Mine is a 3/4 inch pvc pipe that has all that stuff on it. It sucks up the big leafs with no problem.
     
    brandonsdad02, Feb 26, 2013
    #5
    divedaddy03 likes this.
  6. divedaddy03

    divedaddy03

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    York, SC
    Hey Ryan, I'm taking this to heart...I've posted on another Koi Forum as well and another person suggested making it smaller too.
    I'm thinking that I will do this as you recommended.

    Also, I just posted another video of a walk around of my house and this one includes taking a look at my Koi Pond.
    Here it is...I'm open to suggestions!!!!

     
    divedaddy03, Mar 15, 2013
    #6
  7. divedaddy03

    brandonsdad02 They call me Ryan

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
    What kind of filter are you planning on using for your pond? I think a skippy type filter would work really good for your set up. I had one for the first 2 years of my pond and it worked great. I put in a bog last year and tore out my skippy this past fall.
     
    brandonsdad02, Mar 20, 2013
    #7
  8. divedaddy03

    divedaddy03

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    York, SC
    Hey Ryan,

    I put up a video (link below) review of my filter setup...I'm open to any modifications and suggestions that you may have.


    Additionally, here is an update on my DIY Airlift Koi Pond Vacuum...I've been able to make some modifications and it's performing really nicely!!!!


    Does that answer your question about the filter?

    Thanks,

    Wayne, SC
     
    divedaddy03, Mar 25, 2013
    #8
  9. divedaddy03

    brandonsdad02 They call me Ryan

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    Indianola Iowa zone 5a-5b
    Yes, that does. I haven't had very good luck with pressureized canister type filters before. I had them with my 75 gallon fish tank and just wasn't impressed. I still think if you make the suction just a bit smaller, you will get more lift. I was going recommend putting the air nozzle inside the pick up tube, but I see you already thought of that. It looks really good. I'd love to see a video of it in action. Mine uses water instead of air for the suction source. Another think you might try, if you want to use water instead of air, get a cheap pump and throw that in the pond when wanting to clean it, and just replace the air line with the hose coming off the pump and you can use the pond water to clean the pond. You could either run the waste hose thru a laudry basket with quilt batting or other filter material or just have it dump in your yard. Either way, I think you are on the right track with this. Great job!!
     
    brandonsdad02, Mar 26, 2013
    #9
  10. divedaddy03

    divedaddy03

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    York, SC
    Hey Ryan,

    I hear what you're saying about a presurize canister filter.
    I do have one in my 45 gallon fish tank myself but its allot different than the one that's on my fish pond and I actually really like the performance on it (the one connected to my fish tank).
    I thought about making one that uses water and I may make one sometime but I was trying to figure out how to make something that didn't use MORE water than we already use (as we live in the south and have water usage restrictions each summer).
    I like the idea you have about using another pump for the cleaning as well...and I've thought of that too.
    I'm actually thinking I may make a DIY Pond Skimmer and use the pump in the skimmer to vacuum the pond with...(similar to a pool)

    Just a thought, thanks for the ideas!

    Wayne
    http://www.youtube.com/user/AWorld4Change/videos
     
    divedaddy03, Mar 28, 2013
    #10
  11. divedaddy03

    divedaddy03

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    York, SC
    Hey ya'll!

    I was able to get some video of the DIY Air Lift Pond Vacuum in action this weekend.

    I build a DIY Universal Camera Mount this weekend (See Video Below) and now will be able to produce much higher quality video as a result.

    Here is the Air Lift Pond Vacuum in action (See Video Below).

    All the best,

    Wayne, SC

    [video][/video]

    [video][/video]
     
    divedaddy03, Apr 8, 2013
    #11
  12. divedaddy03

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Thanks for the video, shows a lot.

    I've been skeptical of using air lift to power a vac. I like the volume of water air lift can move and am considering it for my next pond. But for a vac, I've been skeptical.

    However I'm start to see some real pluses. Biggest is in silt removal mode there's no need for any leaf trap. That's like have the issue with water pump type vacs. Plus the leaf trap and pump can be a bit heavy and awkward and have to be inside the pond. Electric is far from water is a plus. Air compressors are very handy tools so it would be a multi-use tool.

    I still think two separate vacs are better for big stuff vs silt, but no denying replacing the exit hose with a mesh bag for for vacuuming big stuff is clever and does work. When I vacuumed good size ponds with the Muck Mop I was using a bag that held 1/2 to 1 bushel of leaves and string algae so having the bag on the side I'm not too sure about. But maybe that's nothing, and besides, this was just a prototype. More tweaks to come I'm sure.

    I think what worry's me is power. No question air lift has power enough to vacuum. I can see clearly in the video how it is vacuuming silt off the bottom and that's exactly how well a water pump vac would work. I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    My worry is the 1/4HP water pumps I was using had a lot of power. That doesn't mean it vacuumed better. It means the power overcame a less than perfect vac design. I could use swimming pool hose no problem because I had power enough to push small children thru the hose. A leak here and there, no problem. Hopefully none of these will end up being a big deal. Will be interesting how ever it goes.

    FYI, because you have a raised pond I'd assume your vacuum could create a siphon. If you laid the end of the outflow drain pipe on the ground you might be able to turn off the air and keep vacuuming. I don't actually think that would work for the drain pipe, but could when/if you try swimming pool hose. That would be another plus that air can do that a water pump couldn't or at least wouldn't be easy. It would be an interesting test. But using the board thing you have would also be a good test to simulate a pond that wasn't raised.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 9, 2013
    #12
  13. divedaddy03

    HTH Howard

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    782
    Location:
    Oklahoma Panhandle USA
    I was thinking I posted this but do not see it so I will try again.

    I played with air lifts some years ago.

    [​IMG]


    Air lifts work best when lifting water very short distances..

    You need the Y to allow the water to go down while the air goes up. If use a 90 degree elbow the air will interfere with the water draining away. If the above unit was tilted a bit like you are doing with the cleaner an air bubble would collect at the elbow and it would slow ot stop pumping. There are shades of grey here but it is far better to expel the air once it has done all the lifting it can.

    Pipe diameter, air flow, and bubble size all have to work together to be max flow.

    This one I have not tested but I do not see where higher pressure air will help much. Water is so much denser then air it is like tossing cotton balls at a brick.

    Once the air leaves the outlet it wants to go straight up. I expect that much of your air is collecting along the top of your pip instead of helping to lift the water. A T shaped wand with the pipe perpendicur to the pond surface might work better.

    Not sure on this one but it seems that a lot of small bubbles will lift more water then the same volume of larger ones.

    You might have better luck with a circle of small holes drilled in the outside of the lift pipe near the bottom. If you have a 2" lift pipe use two 2 to 3 inch adapters and a short bit of 3" pipe to form a pressure chamber around the circle of holes. File off the ridges on the adapters so they slide up the 2" pipe. Put a two 2 inch couplers inside the pressure chamber so you can replace the pipe section with the holes in it. Get you hands on a numbered drill bit set and start with quite small holes.. The drawback is that it will move the air injection maybe 4 inches up the pipe. maybe that could be reduced with a bit of bodging.

    I may have enough parts on hand to mock this up and take some pictures if you like.
     
    HTH, Apr 10, 2013
    #13
  14. divedaddy03

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Did you ever do any analysis on cost to move water using air vs water pump? I've never found any info on that. I assume air is cheaper.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 10, 2013
    #14
  15. divedaddy03

    HTH Howard

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    782
    Location:
    Oklahoma Panhandle USA
    I did not see where air was cheaper but then I doubt I got close to perfecting it. You have energy loss at the compressor from friction and heating of the compressed air. To get more head you have to go deeper into the water, you need to generate enough air pressure with the compressor to overcome the water pressure, you can't do that with a regenerative blower which is a cost efficient air mover but is low pressure. The more you compress the air the air the greater the heat loss due to compression.

    My work mostly stalled because I needed to locate a cheap oil-less air compressor. I was on to the idea of fine bubbles but could not make them with the regenerative blower.. The idea is that you produce enough fine bubbles that the water column is lighter then water and is forced up by the water around it. At the time the foam fractioner guys were using a hollow basswood block to generate a massive amount of fine bubbles and it takes pressure to force the air through the wood.

    I am interested in the air lift but I am more interested in building large foam fractioners then an air lift water pump. .
     
    HTH, Apr 10, 2013
    #15
  16. divedaddy03

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I saw an air lift pond, I think on Koiphen, which was moving an impressive amount of water. And of course a bunch on Youtube. If the pond is designed for air lift I think it's more useful. I'm still interested in the energy cost vs water pump.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 10, 2013
    #16
  17. divedaddy03

    HTH Howard

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    782
    Location:
    Oklahoma Panhandle USA
    Did anyone in the videos do a cost calculation?

    I am more intrigued with the idea that on could run it with nothing more then a fish guard on the input and never worry about the input plugging. It would make leaving home for a few days that much easier.

    To get enough pipe under water for shallower ponds one could dig a post hole and bury a PVC pipe large enough to hold the pump.

    Regarding the compressor. If one is after efficiency you do not want the compressor turning off as restarting take quite a bit of current. One should size the compressor and lift(s) so the compressor can produce just the amount of needed air at the desired pressure.

    In contrast to the fine bubble idea I found this about suction dredges. I do not know which idea is better suited.

    With some luck we might be able to scale this down using a shorter smaller diameter pipe. Perhaps a cluster of 1 or 2 inch pipes.

    This has the advantage over find bubbles in that we only need enough air pressure to get the air to the depth where it is released. One can run the compressor without a regulator. Will need a solenoid and related circuitry to time the air bursts.

    A full sized unit or two might be a cool way to pump water for a water fall that only flows on demand.

    Fun stuff.
     
    HTH, Apr 10, 2013
    #17
  18. divedaddy03

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    No, I've never seen a cost analysis on air lift. I have read many people considering air to be a cheaper way to move water like with a bubbler but no actual analysis for even that.

    Good point on air not having the clogging issue water pumps have.

    I'd never heard the idea of bursts. Interesting. Might be pretty easy to rig a circuit that cycled air to several stand pipes so the air could be contiguous, 2 seconds in pipe A, 2 seconds pipe B, 2 seconds pipe C and back to pipe A.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 10, 2013
    #18
  19. divedaddy03

    HTH Howard

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    782
    Location:
    Oklahoma Panhandle USA
    Yes

    My thinking that a micro controller is the only way to go at least during the experimentation stage as it is the most flexible . They are so cheap it is pointless to start with 555 timers or such.

    They may even be a kit in this.
     
    HTH, Apr 10, 2013
    #19
  20. divedaddy03

    Waterbug

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I hope you can do this and share. Would be very interesting.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 11, 2013
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.