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Thread: DIY # 3 Piping

  1. #1
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    DIY # 3 Piping

    Like everything we do in life there are right ways to run your piping, and wrong ways. So following is the way I do all my piping. This by far is not the only way, but these examples will work with out any flow problems.

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    Bottom Drain Piping

    Here is a typical bottom drain installation. The key here is to always run the pipe from the BD level or better yet slightly up hill to where ever it's going. You can not go up then back down as this will trap air. It's also best to use 45s over 90s if possible.
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    Skimmer Piping

    Skimmer piping is a little different. Most of us run the skimmer to some kind of mechanical/fines filtration, in many cases, Sand/Gravel filters hid behind the water fall. And many of us in colder climates want to shut down out waterfalls for the winter as to not chill the water.

    So if we shut down the waterfall filter, we need some way to drain the line for freeze prevention. This is one way I do it, complete shut down. i will show a bypass later.

    Your pump will be the low point for draining all skimmer circuit lines. So the piping from the skimmer has to run down hill to the pump, and the piping to the waterfall filter has to run up hill to the filter so it can be drained out the pump low point.

    When winterizing, lower the pond level below the mouth of the skimmer. Then simply pull the pump and bring it inside for winter storage. Now you can drain both lines into your filter pit. Here's another reason I recommend a gravel floor vs concrete in your filter pit, for drainage. As long as you keep your pond water level below the mouth of the skimmer the lines will stay drained and not freeze.
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    Skimmer Filter Valves

    Every pump need to have isolation valves right at the pump. This is for blocking in the pump to clean the strainer or other servicing. Now in many cases the outlet of the pump will service multiple items, such as two sand/gravel filters as shown here.

    Each item off the discharge of the pump needs a valve for flow control. It's pretty easy to think you can use these valves for isolating your pump also. But believe me, doing that is a pain in the but.

    In a typical installation where the pump discharge is going multiple routes, each flow will be fine tuned with it's flow control valve. Some times this takes allot of adjusting to get it right. You don't want to have to go through this every time you clean your pump strainer.

    Just add an extra ball valve right on the pump discharge. This valve will be used for isolation only. This way you don't have to re-adjust your flow control valves every time you service your pump.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks, Steve. These diagrams are really helpful.

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    Self Priming Pump Installation

    Self Priming Pumps are designed to be installed above pond water level, and to be able to self prime and suck the water up hill. What we need to do is install a swing check valve in the suction line going to the pump to hold prime. Always use a full flow swing check. Never use a spring check valve. The spring check has a spring in to to force the flapper shut, while a swing check the flapper opens with flow and shuts with water pressure. Also make sure the swing check has a hole and flapper the same size of the pipe. Some cheap swing checks might fit 3" pipe but will only have 2" flappers.

    It's best to install the swing check as close to the source as possible, right off the bottom drain or right off the skimmer.

    For the pump to self prime the priming pot needs to be full of water. We can fill it with a garden hose, but with out a swing check it will just drain back into the pond. With a swing check installed, as we fill the priming pot, air will bleed out and the entire line will fill with water, making priming instant as soon as we start the pump.
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    Retro Drains

    When installing a Retro Drain many people can't go through the liner, or just don't want to. So the piping will have to go up over the edge of the pond, then back down into the filter pit. This will not work. The high point loop will trap air and the pump will never prime.

    So to fix this, all we need to do is install a high point bleed with a valve. If you installed your Retro Drain correctly you also put a Swing Check valve right out of it.

    Normally to prime your pump you would fill the priming pot with a hose, but in this case we have to fill our high point air bleed. Start by opening the valve going into your pump, and close the valve going out of the pump. Now with your hose fill the high point bleed. Water will go back wards to the BD and air will bleed out. Water will also do down to the pump and the air will bleed out. Once you have this line completely full and all the air out, close the bleed valve, open the pump discharge valve and start the pump.
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    Winter Waterfall Bypass

    Rushing water from a waterfall in the Winter will act as a chiller and super cool the water, plus if it gets cold enough, the waterfall can freeze, possible making ice dams and diverting the water over the side and draining your pond.

    The entire skimmer circuit can be drained and shut down as I outlined before, or we can install a winter waterfall bypass to keep the skimmer circulating. This design will bypass the filters so they will have to be drained.

    Right off the pump discharge install a Tee each side having a valve. One side of this Tee will go to the waterfall filters for summer use, the other side will go to your underwater winter bypass.

    To bypass the filters shut down and block in your pump. With the bypass valve closed, open the filter valve, loosen the pump discharge line or remove the priming pot lid and allow the filter water to drain out into your filter pit. (remember the gravel floor). If you installed the line going to your waterfall filters correctly going up hill, then all the water from the filters will drain out.

    Once this line is completely drained, close the filter valve, replace the priming pot lid and/or tighten the pump union, open the bypass valve and start the pump. Your back in operation.

    Now if you want to keep the filters in service, but bypass the waterfall you can do this easily also. Just add temp. piping to the outlet of the filters that will bypass the waterfall and go into the pond under water.

    Here's another trick. Pipe your winter bypass line so it shoots up at the pond surface. (2nd drawing) this will keep a hole in the ice. You want the water to just break the surface enough to keep a hole in the ice but not so much as to look like a fountain.
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    thanks for all info . ben

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    great info, and helpful diagrams...

    Thank you Birdman

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    Thanks Birdman.

    Would the Retro Drain configuration (when the piping will have to go up over the edge of the pond, then back down) work when the Retro Drain is connected to a gravity fed 55 gallon barrel and the water pump is placed half way up in the barrel (under the pond’s water level)? Thanks.



    Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
    When installing a Retro Drain many people can't go through the liner, or just don't want to. So the piping will have to go up over the edge of the pond, then back down into the filter pit. This will not work. The high point loop will trap air and the pump will never prime.

    So to fix this, all we need to do is install a high point bleed with a valve. If you installed your Retro Drain correctly you also put a Swing Check valve right out of it.

    Normally to prime your pump you would fill the priming pot with a hose, but in this case we have to fill our high point air bleed. Start by opening the valve going into your pump, and close the valve going out of the pump. Now with your hose fill the high point bleed. Water will go back wards to the BD and air will bleed out. Water will also do down to the pump and the air will bleed out. Once you have this line completely full and all the air out, close the bleed valve, open the pump discharge valve and start the pump.

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    No. All pond water has air in it and eventually an air bubble would collect at the highest location and form a blockage. It will work for a short time but not continuously.

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    Nice to see it all diagrammed out. Very cool

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    these should be made into stickys.... a lot of good info here for a new comer to the site....

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    awesome stuff.
    thanks
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    What if the BD lines must run downhill before going up? Any problem with running the lines down 2-3 ft. then up to the filter pit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve sande View Post
    What if the BD lines must run downhill before going up? Any problem with running the lines down 2-3 ft. then up to the filter pit?
    I see no problem with water flow, but over the years sediment is possible going to settle out in the low spot and over time might plug the line. I would really try to run the line level if I could.

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    This needs to be made into a sticky

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    All drain lines should have some type of accessable cleanout on them. I now place cleanouts on all my drain lines.
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    Bill

    Hi Bill,

    I want to follow the plumbing shown in this picture using the ALTERNATE FEED PIPE ROUTE. I asked if that would work (see my post on page 2) and Kent said “it will collect air bubbles at the high point”. This seems to work (based on water level vs. pump location). What do you think? I am presently following the ALTERNATE FEED PIPE ROUTE from the BD directly to the pump (for the last 2 months without any issue) and I want to inset a S/C between the BD and the pump (like the one shown in this picture).

    Thanks,



    Quote Originally Posted by z_zk_z View Post
    Would the Retro Drain configuration (when the piping will have to go up over the edge of the pond, then back down) work when the Retro Drain is connected to a gravity fed 55 gallon barrel and the water pump is placed half way up in the barrel (under the pond’s water level)? Thanks.
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