Installing shut off valve to existing pond

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by Justin T, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Justin T

    Justin T

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    Hi all,

    I have a raised pond which is gravity fed, unfortunately who ever constructed it didn't install a shut off valve on the inlet pipe. The pond is full of water and stocked with fish. Is there anyway I could install a shut off valve without emptying the pond and all it's contents?


    Thanks in advance

    Justin
     
    Justin T, Mar 18, 2017
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  2. Justin T

    Mucky_Waters

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    Probably, but without any pictures or description of your plumbing there is no way to give you advice on how to do it.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 18, 2017
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  3. Justin T

    Justin T

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    Hi Mucky,

    First picture is the inlet to the filter gravity fed from bottom drain.

    Second one is outlet/return pump fed. IMG_0075.JPG IMG_0076.JPG
     
    Justin T, Mar 18, 2017
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  4. Justin T

    Mucky_Waters

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    From what I can see there your system could use a few gate valves and universal connectors. Sooner or later you are going to have to replace or service that pump and UV light and as far as I can see in you current configuration that will require draining your pond.
    Who designed the plumbing for this pond?
     
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 18, 2017
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  5. Justin T

    Justin T

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    I can only assume it was the previous owner. Apparently the pond system was installed around 12 months ago. I've given the plumbing a good clean and some fresh sealant in places. Is my only option to completely drain it down and reconfigure the plumbing?
     
    Justin T, Mar 18, 2017
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  6. Justin T

    Mucky_Waters

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    I'm going to say yes, unless you have threaded fitting on the inside of the pond on inlet and outlet fittings, in which case you would be able to buy and install some threaded caps to isolate the rest of the plumbing, but it is highly unlikely you have threaded fitting inside the pond.
    How big is your pond, can you post some pictures showing the whole set up?

    The other question is what is this fresh sealant you are talking about and where exactly did you apply it?
     
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 18, 2017
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  7. Justin T

    carolinaguy

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    Okay, so you want to shut down the system long enough to install valves but you need the water flow to stop first. If you can, block the outflow in the pond with a piece of rubber liner or a shower mat. Make sure you weight the mat with something like a concrete block, although the pond water pressure should be enough to seal the outflow. Cut your lines and install two valves, one on either side of the pump. Use union ball valves that are sold at either lowes or Home Depot, not just straight ball valves. Do not use gate valves. I have had to replace them every time because they leak or something jams the blade. They always fail. With union ball valves, you can remove the pump for maintenance by shutting both valves, unscrewing the unions, and isolating the pump. To help turn the ball valves on and off, make a valve wrench out of a piece of larger pipe with two notches that fit over the valve blades. Run a handle through the other end of the valve wrench by drilling a hole through and inserting a smaller pipe for leverage. The only problem with ball valves is they can stick and the blades break off sometimes. Koi farms use this tool all the time.
     
    carolinaguy, Mar 19, 2017
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  8. Justin T

    Mucky_Waters

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    I"ve had quite a few ball valves fail, but never had a gate valve fail yet. Gate valves should never be used to shut off a pressurized water line. So yes, if used improperly gate valves are prone to leaking.
    Because you have a rubber Fernco connector fitting Carolinaguy's suggestion to block the outflow of the pond with a piece of rubber mat "might" work to stop the water from flowing out of the pond depending on if you can get a nice tight seal or not, but keep in mind you'll still have to drain the filter systems and you won't know if you have a tight seal with that method until after you cut the pipe, which is a hell of a time to find out it won't seal properly. If the water continues to leak from the pond or filter and you can't get your pipes dry you'll have trouble gluing any valve so you'll probably want to use another Fernco connector in there. Also, in looking at your pictures it is clear you have limited space to work with between where the bottom drain line comes out of the ground and where it meets the filter. If you use Carolinaguy's method you'll want to make darn sure everything is gona fit before you start cutting pipes.
    No, I still suggest the safest way to go about all this would be to get a kiddy pool of the appropriate size, pump your pond water into that pool and transfer and get your fish settled in there and rebuild your pond plumbing properly in a relaxed and leisurely manner with all the valves and universal fittings that should have been installed in the first place,
    [​IMG]
     
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 19, 2017
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