Possible leak and looking for suggestions


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Our family about 3 years ago took down a pool and decided to build a pond after a lot of discussion we built a pond a little bigger then we originally planned about 6,000 gallons. We did some research and setup a skimmer filter and a waterfall filter. 2 years ago we added a UV light and a shed to hold the light and pump. Late last year before we closes it for the year the waterfall pump that is external would slow down.we were not sure why. This year as we are opening it the same problem seems to be happening. At first we thought we had a clog in the bottom drain possibly. Now we are seeing a small leak near our bulkhead to our bottom drain. We believe now we are getting air into the system that is causing the pump to slow. I will attach a few pics and I am looking for any advice. We are thinking of taking some water out and taking apart the bulkhead. Also we are looking to possible add a pre-filter of some sort and possible a sand or bead filter.
20160327_160804.jpg 20160327_160814.jpg 20160327_160844.jpg 20160327_160900.jpg 20160327_160947.jpg
 
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Meyer Jordan

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Not entirely sure of what I am looking at in the photos, but if the first photo is of your Bottom Drain then it is an entirely too small pipe diameter. Although they can be found with a pipe diameter of 1.5" - 2", drain diameters of at least 3" are typically used with direct drive external pumps such as yours. Your pump is not able to draw sufficient water through this small pipe resulting in considerably lower GPH. A pond with a capacity of 6,000 gallons should have at least one, possible two, 4" bottom drains, if one chooses to use bottom drains.
 
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That's ok I knew it would be tricky without knowing the whole setup. That is the bulkhead where it is leaking with a shut valve for when we take the check valve out during the winter time. On the other side in the water is a 2 inch flex hose that goes down to a Aqua Art Retro-Drain.The pump was designed to work with the drain and piping. We had plenty of flow on our waterfall till just last year. We can see the pond is losing water till just about where the bulkhead level is which is normally just below the surface. We also have a laguna submersible pump on a laguna skimmer filter that pumps back to the waterfall as well. As I said we are thinking of adding in a pre-filter since all we have is a basket on the pump. That water gets pumped through the UV light then up to the laguna waterfall filter.
 

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