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FAQs about Chiller Pump Selection

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chillers... Sizing, pumping       5/10/13
<please suppress my email if it is to be published - thank you>
<Ah yes; we always do; unless the person expressly requests it be made public>
Thanks for the forum as I get many of answers from past Q&A.
Chillers has been talked about often. It has been mentioned if your flow rate is less than the recommend it may damage the chiller as ice may form because water is flowing through it too slow.
<? Have never heard, seen such a thing...>
And  there are efficiency issues with slower rate.
<Yes; to degrees (pun intended)>
If your flow rate exceeds recommendation it may damage the chiller as it overworks the chiller.
<Again, no... will just run continuously. Not problematical>
 But if you had to choose one, it is better to have it over the recommended flow?
<Mmm, yes; to again, a degree... Ideally one wants to have "just enough" chiller (rated wise), and maybe a skosh for extra hot days, circumstances...>
Can you go into a little more details on the reasons not to over/under flow?
<There really is no reason, other than cost for having too large a unit (practically), space for it...>
I have a 55g with Eheim 2217 and am thinking of a 1/4hp chiller with obviously a lot more flow.
<Oh... no... a decent quality 1/4 HP will be more than enough... Look to the JBJ et al. better products/lines>
Is it going to be a problem? How do I minimize the issues with this kind of set up
<Will not be a problem, though you may find you'll want to run another pump, not use the Eheim canister to drive the water through the chiller. I would. Bob Fenner>
Re: chillers     5/10/13

Any specific reason on not using Eheim 2217 to drive the flow?
<The increased drag... magnetic drive pumps aren't engineered/designed for such. B>
Michael Shen

Re Deltec MCE600/Now Chiller Selection 7/11/12
Dear James,
Teco TR20's flow rate is 500L/h, I am having a return pump of 1200L/h, would it be recommended to use this chiller?
<Does Teco state what the head loss is through this chiller and is that the minimum or maximum flow rate?
To answer your question, yes it would work but you would have to throttle the pump down to get somewhere around 500 L/h out of the chiller return.>
Thank you.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Best Wishes,
Re Deltec MCE600/Now Chiller Selection 7/13/12

Dear James,
This is the link for the chiller:
They didn't state head loss. That is the minimum flow.
Would that mean I can use this with an Eheim 1250 on a 2ft tank?
<Rico, you can't be serious, are you reading?  You state the minimum flow on the Teco is 500gph and then you ask if you can use the Eheim 1250 on this which puts out 317gph.  If your plan is to make Slurpees, I guess it would work.  The coils will freeze.
More reading, less writing.>
Thank you.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Best Wishes,
Re Deltec MCE600/Now Chiller Selection 7/13/12
My apologies, I incorrectly interpreted gph instead of l/hr.  Yes, it will work with the Teco Chiller.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Deltec MCE600/Now Chiller Selection/Now Pumps 7/17/12

Dear James,
Great Link.
<Glad you found it useful.>
May I ask if there's a limit in reducing flow of Eheim Universal Pumps?
<Other than a complete shut off, no.>
Thank you.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Best Wishes,

New System Design Help (Chillers/Pumps) -- 05/07/11
Hello WWM Crew!
<<Greetings Matt!>>
First of all I would like to thank you all for the work you guys put in to providing us with so many answers to our questions.
<<We are pleased to assist>>
The reason I am contacting you is because I am in the design phase for a new system.
<<Exciting times>>
I cannot seem to find any info regarding how much potential head loss a chiller can cause.
<<I've used a chiller for years and find a good rule-of-thumb is to figure 1 foot of head loss for each ell fitting going in/out of the chiller'¦and then 'double it.' Another good 'rule' is to slightly 'oversize' your pump, and install a gate-valve on the output side to adjust flow as/if needed>><Good rules. B>
I am currently running a 50gal reef tank and will soon be looking to upgrade it to a 75gal. I am looking to purchase a JBJ Arctica 1/10hp chiller that will be used on my 50 and transferred over to the 75 when I get all the components to get the 75 up and running.
<<Several factors can influence the size of the chiller necessary for one's system (e.g. - lighting type, room placement, ambient room temperature), but unless you are going to have very little heat transfer from your lighting, and the room is kept quite cool, and you are going to provide ancillary cooling methods (fans blowing across surface of tank/sump), I am skeptical that a 1/10th HP chiller will get the job done on this size system. If a chiller is indeed needed, in 'my' opinion a 1/5 HP chiller is a wiser choice here>>
The set up I am planning on running is the 75gal tank with a 29 or 30 sump/fuge. Because of the fuge I do not want to have too much water going through it to allow it to do its job. I plan on running a similar set up to what I have now, with low flow through the sump and circulation pumps in the tank.
I am looking at trying an external pump on my new system. The pump I am looking to get is the BlueLine 20HD, after using a head loss calculator I can get 354 gallons per hour with 3/4"pvc or 374gph with 1"pvc which is right where I want to be flow wise.
<<If using 1-inch drains, I do hope you are planning on more than one>>
I just do not know how much more of a loss that the chiller will cause.
<<I would figure another 4-foot of head loss as a minimum>>
My other consideration for a pump is a submersible pump, the Rio 2500.
<<If these are your only options, I would go with the Blueline'¦but I do feel a much better option than either of these would be a choice from Eheim's line of pumps. The Eheim 1260 might fit well here. These are very efficient (economical to operate), quiet, and reliable pumps>>
On the new system I am going to be using Metal Halide Lighting, the fixture I am planning to use is 716w 48" fixture with 2 250w Halide bulbs and 4 56w T-5 actinics.
<<If you are expecting heat to be an issue (likely, I think), then you very likely will need something bigger than a 1/10th HP chiller>>
I am still not entirely sure which pump I am going to use because I am currently using a Rio 1100 submersible pump, but I know taking out any extra heat causing element will help to regulate tank temp.
<<I find the Eheim pumps contribute very little to this>>
I recently changed skimmers that has an external pump, and provided there will not be noise issues with an external pump would like to try and go this route for my sump return pump as well.
<<Your choice'¦but the Eheim will be the 'quietest' option>>
The reason I have chosen the Blueline pump is cost, warranty, energy consumption, and it will give me the desired flow rate.
I know this is a lengthy e-mail, but I do appreciate your time and hope that I have given enough information for you to answer my question.
<<I hope I have>>
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

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