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Re: The System 1 Diatom Filter

Merrill Cohen, former owner of Aquarium Products, has posted info about
the System 1.  Since a number of folks have asked about it, I am
probing further here on the board.  My apologies to the artful.

I would like to thank you, Mr. Cohen.  I have gotten more information
from you in one short email than I have gotten from AP in two weeks. 
But then, I sometimes am an impatient man.  :-\

> When we purchased this filter from the inventor, we changed the motor
> to a
> thermally protected one;

Does the the thermal cutout protect against fire/electrical hazard or
against motor damage from overheating?  I ask because it could do the
former without doing the latter.

> and you can run it longer.  But, you are
> really not
> doing the proper thing.  The diatomaceous earth becomes clogged and
> your
> flow slows down.

My issue with the continuous run time isn't whether it continuously
cleans for more than 4 hours but whether you have to turn it off after
4 hours.

> There is a unit that is availble from the company that can be used
> with
> filter floss.  It fits where the cartridge does and the filter can
> run
> continually.

That's not quite what the Helpful Hints in the instructions say -- but
I'm glad to hear it.  Except it would, apparently, void the warranty.

> But, that is not the purpose of the filter -- it was
> meant to
> "polish" your water.  It does, with the DE, filter out "green water"!
>  It
> has many uses -- as explained in the brochure that comes with the
> filter;
> and it can run for a long, long time if not clogged with dirt.

Indeed it can clean -- and Neil has remarked that it cleans much
quicker than the Vortex.

Is it the clogged condition that causes the motor to operate beyond it
design limits?

>  When 
> it is
> clogged, it is no longer doing the job that it is supposed to do.
> If the motor is making the noise, you can try a little light oil on
> the
> shaft. "WD-40" helps even though the motor has sealed bearings.

I don't think it's the motor itself but the belt assembly.
I find that WD-40 dries out rather quickly; so wouldn't 10-20wt
non-detergent motor oil work be a good choice on the belt assembly?

>  This
> is
> quite unusual, but Aquarium Products does not manufacture the motor. 
> But,
> you can cut down on noise by putting a dab of "Vaseline" on the drive
> belt.
> That may be the source of you noise.

I didn't spend a lot of time trying to track down the noise cuplrit --
e.g. I didn't do any disassembly -- but I did determine that most of
the noise comes from the belt assembly.  If you lightly place your
finger tip against one of the belt wheels (but not so much that you
noticeably slow down the motor), the noise substantially reduces.

Neil, if you are reading, the downspout on the Sys 1 now has its
opening angled at 45 degrees.  Is that not the case on your 12-year-old
model?  The angle isn't a problem on an 18" tall tank.  On a small
tank, the 45 degree angle might still put a strong flow on the
substrate.  A small screen/grill -- like from a filter intake -- might
break up the flow enough to prevent divits.

Scott H.

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