Newbie to a water feature and it's issues


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Hello, I just purchased a home that has a built in water feature that didn't work as hasn't for some years. So, I started doing some digging (literally) in the area where the pump should've been...Couldn't find a pump...???...So, kept poking around and found the tube that the pump outlet would've connected too and it has a piece of hose on it. Then I found what looked to be a power cord that was just cut off. I know where the switch to the feature is but with no pump I found this very odd. So, it looks like the pump cord was ran in a conduit from the pond area of the feature to this switch which was fed by the load side of a GFI. So they cut the wire since the switch was still "hot".

So, after figuring that out I started digging the pond area (where the pump would go) out to find the bottom of the liner...and what I found was really odd...there was only a liner "shelf" and nothing else. It seems like this pond area would just accept the water coming from the feature and then run it to the pump and it would recirculate...but...why isn't there a liner?? I dug pretty far down and it was just sand down below like this was built to just "perk" any standing water after the feature was turned off.

Does this seem right? I have pictures.
 

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addy1

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Welcome to the forum!

Sorry missed your post. That looks like a pond less water feature. The pump would be in that hole, it would pump water back up to the top to waterfall stream back into that area. No clue why there would not be a liner and a deep hole for the pump. With that stream I don't know if it would be a perk area only.

What is at the top? A deep pond, shallow , does it waterfall into the stream to head down and go back up?
 
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Thanks for the reply! I am going to dig along the sides this weekend to see if there was possibly a liner and the bottom was cut out or something...maybe to eliminate stagnant ponding since the pump was removed...maybe?
 

addy1

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maybe to eliminate stagnant ponding since the pump was removed...maybe?
That could very well have been done, so no water collected. They may have also put a lot of sand in to take care of the water.

Post some pictures of the top part, so we can visualize what all is involved.
 
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addy1

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Is the round thing a pond? or does the water just run down behind it?
 

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Wonder if it could be like the one I saw on hometalk . A big hole and a hose down there and they said the pump was in the waterfall part . I guess similar to a sump pump and hose , At least that's what it looked like to me . Sucked the water out and up to the pump and then out a hose under a rock and flowed back into the pond . made no sense to me . I could not figure out how it would keep from sucking plants and critters out of the pond area .
 
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So, the top of this water feature has a waterfall type deal. The pump pushes water from the "pond" area back to a set of 4 valves that each control the amount of water feeding each of 4 tubes that are situated within various locations at the feature head rockwork. The water then just trickles down the fall area and then meanders down the stream section into the "pond" area where the pump is...then it recirculates back to the fall again. I haven't actually seen this happen yet in action, but this is how it "should" work.

I will be diggin out more of the pond area this weekend to see if there is, or was, a liner that may have had the bottom cut out or something. I have the new pump and will have to feed the wire back to the GFI...but I see this being problematic since when the new pump goes out (someday) I'll have to go thru this entire wire pulling process again....Unless there is a submersible pump that has a quick disconnect type waterproof plug at the pump body itself. This way I could just replace the pump body itself and not have to mess with the power cord.
 

brokensword

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So, the top of this water feature has a waterfall type deal. The pump pushes water from the "pond" area back to a set of 4 valves that each control the amount of water feeding each of 4 tubes that are situated within various locations at the feature head rockwork. The water then just trickles down the fall area and then meanders down the stream section into the "pond" area where the pump is...then it recirculates back to the fall again. I haven't actually seen this happen yet in action, but this is how it "should" work.

I will be diggin out more of the pond area this weekend to see if there is, or was, a liner that may have had the bottom cut out or something. I have the new pump and will have to feed the wire back to the GFI...but I see this being problematic since when the new pump goes out (someday) I'll have to go thru this entire wire pulling process again....Unless there is a submersible pump that has a quick disconnect type waterproof plug at the pump body itself. This way I could just replace the pump body itself and not have to mess with the power cord.
I'd install a permanent electric socket near your pump so you don't have to do this when the pump dies. You could run an outdoor extension cord but make sure you don't cut through it (while gardening, etc) or dig a trench, lay the wire in conduit (UG) and bob's yer uncle--you're golden! Always use a GFCI outlet when outdoors and a weather-proof box.

Even if you don't find a liner, I'd plan on probably putting a new one in, if you want this to run for any length of time. And while you're digging to check, consider just digging a whole new/better basin that'll give you more reservoir capacity. You're digging anyway, might as well make this part work too. JMHO
 
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So there is a liner all around but there is no bottom to it...hmm.

Since this is just a water feature, essentially a water fall at the head, then meandering stream down to the bottom where the "pond" area is where the pump goes...and it will not run very often, I think I'll leave it as is, replace the pump, and just put gravel on top of the sand and then rocks on top of the gravel up to the top. Then fill with water and run the pump while filling until water gets back to the pond area.

I realize most of the water will seep out overnight but that's fine for now.
 

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Ok, scratch that...the water drains/perks too fast to even keep a pump running for 15 mins so imna hafta install a liner on the bottom.
 
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20220120_145722.jpg

Here is the bottom (or lack thereof) of the pond basin. I installed a liner and used black flex tape to adhere it to the basin.
 

brokensword

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View attachment 146480
Here is the bottom (or lack thereof) of the pond basin. I installed a liner and used black flex tape to adhere it to the basin.
to clarify; you installed the liner in the WHOLE hole, right? Not just the hole cut in the preform? If the latter, the tape won't waterproof much for long. Hopefully, you did the former. You should be in business now! Nice clean job, from what I'm seeing.


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Well....considering I am a newbie I did only put the liner just over the edges of the hole section. It'll do for now ND is certainly better than it was.
 

brokensword

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Well....considering I am a newbie I did only put the liner just over the edges of the hole section. It'll do for now ND is certainly better than it was.
put the liner all the way to the top and you'll solve all your water loss problems. Just covering the 'hole', and esp with tape, will give you frustration as you'll be refilling all the time not to mention, probably kill your pump when it goes dry.


And, you won't be a newbie for long!!

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addy1

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Well....considering I am a newbie I did only put the liner just over the edges of the hole section. It'll do for now ND is certainly better than it was.
I would redo, put that liner all the way up to the edge of the preform ie the top edge. It probably will not hold water with the taping, well unless you are extremely lucky.

Welcome to the forum!
 
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WOW ... um ..... yikes.... Preformed plastic like all plastics leach oils meaning good luck getting much to stick for very long. All your v hard work .. like as mentioned cut your losses and start over. You'll be putting bandaids on that set up for years and always pulling it appart. one thing you maybe able to get away with is to cut out he preformed . dig out the bottom and make the exact same preformed fit inside the same opening but that two has a very good chance of being a nightmare and failing. after much hard work. You did a very nice job with the mortar and obviously took great pride in your work. My best suggestion to you would be to install a liner inside the entire preform all one piece across the bottom and up the sides. Bring it up over the top and secure it to the top with tap cons. these are concrete screws where you'll need a masons drill bit to drill the concrete. DO NOT cover the entire top only what you need to to secure the liner. Then place a new layer of rock inside the pond coming up over the sides and up to the now top and then run all the rock across the top covering it all and you have both rock and mortar on the edge and toward the center spanning liner. in the picture new ro is new rock
The red line is new liner that has a layer of mortar and rock over the liner . up over the top and tap cons into the mortar joints
Notes_220121_223301.jpg
 
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View attachment 146480
Here is the bottom (or lack thereof) of the pond basin. I installed a liner and used black flex tape to adhere it to the basin.
I like your design and how you put your rocks together. Without beating a dead horse to death the standard method is to always bring your liner out either under the rocks or into them otherwise you will get a ton of leakage and water loss. Also something you might not be a familiar with is “ floating liner syndrome” . That’s when water gets under your liner and it starts to float up. Not a lot of fun to deal with :(
 

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