piping between upper and lower ponds


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Hello all. I currently have an upper and lower pond set up using to premade ponds. I would like to expand to larger ponds and build them myself using liners. This is a question I haven't seen addressed anywhere.
I know it is usually anathema to cut holes in liners, but I was thinking of putting fitting like you use in swimming pool outlets to put a discharge fitting about 2' below the surface of my lower and upper ponds. I feel this would make it very easy to bury the connecting hose and would actually allow me to fit piping (tees and such) directly to the fittings to save space. I have had above ground pools with these fittings all of my life and have never seen the rubber gaskets fail, (although I have seen the cork ones dry rot). I am trying to not use a skimmer to fill the upper pond due to height issues in that area, so I thought having the water enter from the inside wall of the upper would work. If this is a good idea, does it matter where I bring it in on top? I thought if I went low, it would help circulate the water and reduce the height I would have to pump the water, equaling more flow, ( although I have no idea what the head pressure of the water is versus pumping it through a pipe that height.
I am planning on the upper pond being roughly 5' x 8' x 36-40"" deep and the lower being 7' x 10' x 24"-30" deep.
I hope this makes sense to everyone.

On a completely unrelated note, I have been using submersible pond pumps purchased from hardware stores (3-4000gph). I find every year when I remove the pumps for the winter they tend to rust and seize before the next spring. Any suggestions as to how to winterize these type pumps? I tried to keep one submerged in a bucket of water but that didn't work either.

Sorry for the long post, but you be seeing more of me I'm sure :)
Thanks and have a great day!
 
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MoonShadows

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I'm rather new to all this, but we have some wonderfully friendly and knowledgeable folks on this forum who will jump in and give you advice from their experiences. Good to have you with us!
 

DrCase

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I don't have a problem cutting a hole in a liner.
Look up Tpr,s & Ktr,s
 
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I know it is usually anathema to cut holes in liners
FOR plumbing through a liner Google pipe boot. There is a good tutorial on kiophen Web site. As mentioned by @DrCase the pipe boot tech is commonly used with TPRs and GPRs .

For entry level I don't have enough knowledge but there are other members who will chime in
WELCOME TO THE FORUM
 
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I like the pipe boot because it's no waiting for parts. It is tricky though. Bulk head fitting is what's normally used. Pretty cheap these days. When I started they were very expensive. I still like the pipe boot for 3-4" pipe.

Holes in EPDM liner are pretty safe. Other materials can be more difficult.

I can tell you the location of the outflow pipe into the pond does not affect head or flow. The head is measured from surfaces. In your case the difference between the surface (water level) of the upper and lower ponds. Where the pump is located or the depth of a subsurface out flow doesn't matter. In the case of a waterfall the head is from pond surface to pipe outflow or upper pool surface if pipe outflow is submerged. Pipe size and fittings also affect flow which is sometimes translated into head.

Normally 2 pool ponds are connected by a stream. Easier and you get the stream benefit which can be substantial. You could post a diagram. Not saying you shouldn't connect the two by pipe, just it can be a little tricky and worth some research.

I didn't understand the concept of filling a pond with a skimmer. I think of skimmers as taking water out of a pond. Also didn't understand the height issue.
 

addy1

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On a completely unrelated note, I have been using submersible pond pumps purchased from hardware stores (3-4000gph). I find every year when I remove the pumps for the winter they tend to rust and seize before the next spring. Any suggestions as to how to winterize these type pumps? I tried to keep one submerged in a bucket of water but that didn't work either.
I have a clean water pump from harbor freight, I use it to send the water up to the deck ponds for the stream, over 100 feet of head pressure.

When I pull it for the winter (external) I take a can of wd 40 silicone spray and spray into the pump until it drips out the other end. Been doing this to the one pump for 5 years now ow it would rust solid.


Welcome to our group!
 
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Just to note; if you have submersible pumps, it's best to leave them submerged, below any ice level. I've done this with mine and I'm on year 6.
 
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I guess I should have mentioned the height difference from the upper to lower is approx. 4.5'. I had intended to use the skimmer to fill the upper pond, and then a cascade of waterfalls and stream to the lower pond (about 15' in length), using a pump to return to the skimmer. I originally intended to hard pipe a 2" pipe from the wall of the lower pond pump box ( to hide the piping), then bury it all the way to the side of the upper pond. A friend gave me his old skimmer so I thought I would use that to introduce the water to the upper pond with a small (5"-6") waterfall.
I'm going to have to think about the skimmer as an intake. I see how they work on my above ground pool, but not clear how to apply that to a pond. Should I use that as the suction for my pump and double it as a filter? Should I then isolate my pump box from the pond and just use the skimmer as an intake? It seems like that could starve the pump if the skimmer fills with leaves. I am wary of limiting the suction side to 2" piping, although that seems to be the norm for most filters...

I will try to get a drawing posted for my plan shortly, but it keeps changing as I read more info here :).

If anyone has any simple diagrams for setups using upper and lower ponds, I would be grateful if they could post them.

I looked up pipe boots on Google and all I see are the type of boot used on roofing to prevent leaks for air vent pipes. Is that the type you mean? Those seem designed to keep water from entering opposite of the direction I am trying to pump. unless you intend them to be installed on the outside of the liner. They also appear to be designed to keep out water with zero pressure behind it... Most of those appear to need screws to hold the flashing down, which would seem counter-productive. Since swimming pool return fittings are designed to use with liners and have pipe threads on both sides (outer on suction side, inner on discharge side), they seemed perfect to me, something like this:
http://www.intheswim.com/p/complete-return-fitting

On another topic, I have found a used 1/2 hp pool pump that I am sure would move more water than the 3/4hp submersible I currently have, but I don't understand how you use that type of pump in a pond situation. Doesn't the intake of the pump need to be below water level to prevent suction loss? Would I need to bury that type pump in a box next to the pond? If not, how would you prime that pump?

I realize I'm all over the place here, but going from prefab ponds that never worked well to trying to build a new set, I am trying to not make the same mistakes I see in the current setup.

Have a great day and thanks for the helpful info so far!
 
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Skimmer
A drawing will help. I'm still not clear on how you might use the skimmer. I can describe the traditional way a skimmer is used, it's exactly the same as with a swimming pool. Pond->Skimmer->Pump->Back to pond via waterfall, upper pond or whatever. The skimmer is between the pond and the pump intake. It sounds like you're thinking of putting the skimmer between the pump out flow and the pond which I don't know what use that would have.

Yes, a clogged skimmer can starve a pump and long term can trash the pump. Same issue with swimming pools.. There are ways around the. Pumps with auto shutoff to protect the pump. Many pumps have this but different methods, some better than others. Mostly these are heat based. You can have a second intake but this has limited protection because most of the intake still has to come from the skimmer in order for the skimmer to work well. So the pump would still starve a bit.

My fav solution is to build a skimmer basket so large that enough water can still make it's way through the mass of leaves so the pump still runs. And I also use very small pumps compare to what most skimmer manufacturers spec.

Pipe boot

Here's Greg's instructions. Works great on larger pipe sizes, 3-4". OK on smaller but it gets more difficult to do imo. I use curved scissors if you have some, but regular work too.
s-l500.jpg
 
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On another topic, I have found a used 1/2 hp pool pump that I am sure would move more water than the 3/4hp submersible I currently have, but I don't understand how you use that type of pump in a pond situation. Doesn't the intake of the pump need to be below water level to prevent suction loss? Would I need to bury that type pump in a box next to the pond? If not, how would you prime that pump?
There are self priming pumps which can be higher. There are "pump priming pots" which can be purchased or made DIY.

But yes, regular external pumps are mounted so they're basically at the water line so they stay flooded. Normally there is a strainer basket housing on the front of the pump, or one is put just in front of the pump. The housing lid is higher so the pump is mounted a bit below the water line but no so low that water flows out of the strainer when its lid is removed.

Yes, the pump is often below ground in a box, but only if needed. Pools are often a bit high and the pump can be at ground level. Pumps below ground level have to be protected from rain and other flooding.

Not sure why you'd think a 1/2 HP would move more water than a 3/4 HP. Older pumps can use a lot of electric, cost more to run than buying new. I'd check how much that found pump uses. An option is to use an older pumps for short periods, like a waterfall, or to make a waterfall more massive.

I realize I'm all over the place here, but going from prefab ponds that never worked well to trying to build a new set, I am trying to not make the same mistakes I see in the current setup.

At this stage being all over the place is right where you should be imo. There's a lot of stuff. But keep in the back of your mind that many parts of a pond are not actually needed. It can be as complex and costly or as simple and inexpensive as a person wants. Most of the things people say you must have are just their opinion and often based on the experience of only one pond, or maybe a couple. Good info, but maybe not good advice for your desires.
 
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Pipe size should always be determined by pump size, distance and fittings imo. Not a super hard calculation to do. Worth the effort.
 

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