Pond clear out and pump installation advice

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I need some advice regarding concrete pond maintenance, clean out, and filtration, and I am moving forward half blind on this.

I purchased a property in Fort Lauderdale earlier this year, and the property has a pond. Pond is concrete and it has concrete boulders of varying heights around it, with a wood bridge that crosses the middle. The previous owner had the property for 8+ years, during that entire time the pond pump was not operational, and the goldfish somehow survived, I guess living on the mosquitoes and toad tadpoles in the pond?

Two months ago I had a bit of a crisis when the giant strangler fig tree that hangs over the pond started to drop figs into the pond at an alarming rate. I started a thread here asking for help.


Eventually I had the tree trimmed back, and the figs stopped dropping a month later. So now I am beginning to plan out what I need to do to get to a healthier pond.

Here are some pictures of the pond, from my measurements I estimate the pond to be about 1500 gallons.

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The pump has been broken for years.

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However, I spent a bit of time tracing the pipes and here is what I found out. There is an intake pipe that is 1.5" PVC that is below the bridge, and at the end of this 1.5" pipe it enlarges to 3" terminating with something that looks like a sprinkler screened intake near the center of the pond close to the bottom.

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On the outlet side of the pump it's 1.5" pipe then transitioned to 1", crosses at the bottom of the bridge and disappeared. I disconnected the pump and glued a 1.5"X3/4" coupling to it, into it a female hose connection, then connected my garden hose to that, and found water coming out of the top of a concrete mount on the other side.

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So I contacted a pond service company to help me get this pond in shape. This is what they recommend.

(1) They will drain the pond and clean out all the settled debris and muck at the bottom.

(2) Since the outlet of the pond is at the top of the concrete mount, and water flows down from it, they will need to clear all the vines that grew to cover the concrete over the years.

(3) They will install a new pump and hook up the existing pipe to it. They are recommending a Sequence 4000 series external pump which costs about $1100.

(4) They are also recommending a pond filter and a UV light for the pump as phase 2.

Does this seem a reasonable approach?

My questions are:

(a) Is the existing screened intake thing at the bottom the pond adequate? So far my research on the inlet has me thinking may be I need a retrofit drain, and all the stuff that settles to the bottom of the lake (seed pods, leaves, figs and berries) will clog up the filter in no time.

(b) Is it necessary to remove all the vines and plants that grew over the concrete mount? I kind if like the look right now, or will it "soil" the water running over it and contaminate the water like the pond service said?

(c) If the goldfish in the pond has never been fed, it must be feeding on stuff in the pond. Once I drained the pond and refill water, do I need to start feeding the fish?
 
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If the current pump runs all it might need is a lid and maybe a basket for the filter basket, if it is a pool pump replace it as they run lots of power to operate. Post some pics of the pump decal so we can give more advise.

I would leave some of the vines if they do not direct water out of the pond.
It would be good to upgrade the 1" pipe to increase the flow from the pump or upgrade all the lines to 2".
The pond would do good with some sort of filtration system. I like a bog filter, search the forum for more information on it.
If you have a good working bog then you would not need a uv light to kill the algae.
Goldfish seam to survive well even with eating algae. If you clean the pond right out it might be a good thing to feed them lightly.
 
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$1100 for a pump seems excessive for a pump. My pond is also 1500 gallons and my pump is a submersible type and cost $165 on Amazon. It's a Tetra debris handling pump that is 3600 GPS and is listed as being good for ponds up to 3,000 gallons. I use schedule 40 flex PVC as the outlet pipe. This type of flex is compatible with normal PVC pipe but it is bendable. No inlet pipe is neccessary since the pump is submerged in the pond. You will need some type of filtration, whether it be a commercial bought one or something you make yourself. Building a bog filter would be best, but I don't know how handy you are. Research bog filters here. Barrel or stock tank filters can be made too.

I wouldn't drain and clean the pond. I use a pool net to scoop out the muck on the bottom. The bag type, not the flat screen. When I do this, I go real slow as to not stir things up too much. I look through the muck to make sure I didn't scoop out anything good, like snails, fish, etc.

As far as the vines, I agree with member Ronfire and would leave as much as possible.

If you are even just a slight bit handy, you can do all this yourself and save a bunch of money.
 

addy1

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I would leave the vines, figure out, once water is running, if they direct water the wrong way, then adjust them. Maybe trim a bit, I tend to let things grow and be happy!
 
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If the current pump runs all it might need is a lid and maybe a basket for the filter basket, if it is a pool pump replace it as they run lots of power to operate. Post some pics of the pump decal so we can give more advise.

I would leave some of the vines if they do not direct water out of the pond.
It would be good to upgrade the 1" pipe to increase the flow from the pump or upgrade all the lines to 2".
The pond would do good with some sort of filtration system. I like a bog filter, search the forum for more information on it.
If you have a good working bog then you would not need a uv light to kill the algae.
Goldfish seam to survive well even with eating algae. If you clean the pond right out it might be a good thing to feed them lightly.

Regarding the pump, I am afraid it is a pool pump. I decided to disconnect the pump and take it to a pump store. They tested the motor and said motor is still good, but they do not have the missing lid and basket, but they said Pinch A Penny pool supply store should have it. So I took it to PAP and sure enough they have all the parts I need for $99. They said it's a STA-RITE 1HP pump.

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As far as increasing the outlet pipe size from 1" to 2" this is going to be impossible because it is 2" coming out of the pump but is reduced to 1" before it goes under the fake concrete rock on one side, emerges at the bottom of the pond, under the bridge and back into the concrete mount and travels up on the inside. To increase to 2" I need to break up all these big concrete rocks.

Is this pump going to work for what I need to do or do I need that $1000+ pump?
 
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$1100 for a pump seems excessive for a pump. My pond is also 1500 gallons and my pump is a submersible type and cost $165 on Amazon. It's a Tetra debris handling pump that is 3600 GPS and is listed as being good for ponds up to 3,000 gallons. I use schedule 40 flex PVC as the outlet pipe. This type of flex is compatible with normal PVC pipe but it is bendable. No inlet pipe is neccessary since the pump is submerged in the pond. You will need some type of filtration, whether it be a commercial bought one or something you make yourself. Building a bog filter would be best, but I don't know how handy you are. Research bog filters here. Barrel or stock tank filters can be made too.

I wouldn't drain and clean the pond. I use a pool net to scoop out the muck on the bottom. The bag type, not the flat screen. When I do this, I go real slow as to not stir things up too much. I look through the muck to make sure I didn't scoop out anything good, like snails, fish, etc.

As far as the vines, I agree with member Ronfire and would leave as much as possible.

If you are even just a slight bit handy, you can do all this yourself and save a bunch of money.

I am very handy. However, I have been scooping leaves, branches, muck out of the pond since February. Spent about 2-3 hours per week and it's not getting any better. I have emptied over 20 wheel barrow full of stinky wet leaves since then. There is still about 8" of leaves and muck at the bottom, and the pipes being there under the bridge makes it difficult to scoop.

My original plan is to keep scooping it but when I had the tree trimmed one of the branches thicker than a 4x4 fell into the pond and broke the PVC pipe that's submerged. I don't think there is a way to fix the pipe without draining the water because they PVC pipe comes out from the bottom of the concrete rock.

In addition, I want to redo the bridge at some point (severe wood rot), and I need to shore up some support in the middle of the pond. So while the pond is empty I want to build up a few concrete blocks.
 
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If you can get to the 2" line that goes to the waterfall then you could lay a pipe in the Bottom of the pond. If you can find black pipe (abs) then you would not even see it. 2" will allow much more water flow with a smaller pump.
I would consider a new high efficiency pump. The power savings will more than pay for the pump, pool pumps draw a lot of power and are not the most efficient for a pond.
 
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I am very handy. However, I have been scooping leaves, branches, muck out of the pond since February. Spent about 2-3 hours per week and it's not getting any better. I have emptied over 20 wheel barrow full of stinky wet leaves since then. There is still about 8" of leaves and muck at the bottom, and the pipes being there under the bridge makes it difficult to scoop.

My original plan is to keep scooping it but when I had the tree trimmed one of the branches thicker than a 4x4 fell into the pond and broke the PVC pipe that's submerged. I don't think there is a way to fix the pipe without draining the water because they PVC pipe comes out from the bottom of the concrete rock.

In addition, I want to redo the bridge at some point (severe wood rot), and I need to shore up some support in the middle of the pond. So while the pond is empty I want to build up a few concrete blocks.
Ah, I see!
Normally it isn't suggested, but in your case, it seems a complete drain for cleaning and repairing would be the course to take.

Maybe check Ebay for the parts you need for the pump. You might get lucky.
I have thrown out two pool pumps due to motor failure. Mine were Hayward. I kept them for a while, thinking I might use the parts, but then I cleaned out my shed.
 
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The suggestion by Ronfire is a good one. A newer, pond specific pump would be more efficient. You can put that $99 toward a totally new pump. Another $75 should get you something decent.
I would add that you can use black schedule 40 flex PVC. It's fully compatible with standard schedule 40 rigid PVC fittings, but is bendable. It's not real flexible as the title would suggest, but you can shape it to the degree where you may not need as many angled fittings.
I use Fernco couplings at connections where I want to be able to disconnect the PVC for maintenance or winter removal.
 
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OK thanks.

I already paid for the missing parts for the pump so I think what I need to do is to work with that pump and see how it goes. I know now that pump is not best suited for this application but at least I can hook it up and get the pond water moving. Then do an evaluation to see if I need a new pump, new filter, new UV etc...at a later stage, may be after I redo the bridge.

So right now my plan is to just hire someone to come clear out the pond, they have the equipment to drain the dirty water into a nearby storm drain, and can take all the debris there and haul it away. That gives me a fresh start. I can look at the submerged pipes while the pond is clear, as well as shore up the support for the bridge in the middle. If I do not have a flat/level spot at mid point to place a few 8X16 blocks there for the support, I might have to pour a small pad at the bottom while the pond is dry.

I don't think I will be able to enlarge the 1" pipe though. It's under the big concrete mount, and that mount continues on for another 20' on the other side of the property. There is no access unless I break it up.

Basically the 1" pipe is under concrete on both sides of the pond. They did the concrete real well to obscure the pipes, which makes it close to impossible to service and improve, unless I reroute and make the pipes visible.

So if the consensus is the $1100 pump is not necessary, what is a good quality exterior pump at a good price I should consider? Or is this not known until I have determined other things such as filters, intake mechanism etc...?
 
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The suggestion by Ronfire is a good one. A newer, pond specific pump would be more efficient. You can put that $99 toward a totally new pump. Another $75 should get you something decent.
I would add that you can use black schedule 40 flex PVC. It's fully compatible with standard schedule 40 rigid PVC fittings, but is bendable. It's not real flexible as the title would suggest, but you can shape it to the degree where you may not need as many angled fittings.
I use Fernco couplings at connections where I want to be able to disconnect the PVC for maintenance or winter removal.

Since I am in south Florida we do not need to worry about winter removal. I am going to put in two unions near the inlet and outlet locations to allow easy removal of the pump for service.

I have never worked with Flex PVC pipes. I have done drains and irrigation pipes in PVC but never with with flex pipes. Do you connect them to same size rigid pipes by solvent welding to PVC coupling or do they need special adapters and fittings? Fernco I have used for gravity drains, usually the banded metal reinforced ones, but I thought Ferncos are not rated for pressure applications?
 
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Unions are obviously a better choice than Fernco. Yes the schedule 40 flex PVC can be glued into any standard PVC fitting. It gives a bit of flexibility and may cut down on sharp bends made by adding 45 or 90 degree fittings. Less resistance in the flow of water. Standard ridged PVC is fine and much cheaper. Flex has its place, but not always the choice.
 
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Once I hook up the repaired pump, should I turn it on and have it cycle the dirty debris filled pool water or should I wait till after the pool clear out?
 
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Ok an update. I got all the parts, cleaned up the pump and now I am ready to hook it back up to see what it does. The only things I need some help on are:

(1) The pump was previously half buried in soil. I have to dig it out. I found out the motor was sitting on a plastic stand. Now that I have the pump cleaned up and all the parts ready, I can't figure out how the stand works. If I rest the motor on the stand, it's not level. Is it supposed to sit a different way? Are there supposed to be two stands one for the tank and one for the motor? Or is this tha wrong stand?

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The stand has a number on it "C4-42P" if it means anything. The pump is a Sta-Rite Dyna-Glas or Dyna-Max Series pump.

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In addition, seems someone cut two square holes on the stand. Weird, any idea what purpose that may serve?

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(2) When I disconnected the wiring I forgot to tag how the original wiring was done:eek::eek::eek:. It's a 120V circuit on a 20A breaker. The flex conduit has a black (hot), a white (neutral) and a green (ground) conductors coming in. Can someone help me figure out which conductor goes where:unsure::unsure::unsure:?

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The ground conductor goes to the green screw up top, obviously. The hot and neutral goes to where I labeled "A" or "B" but I don't remember which.

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HELP!
 

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