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Thread: Where to put the check valve?

  1. #1
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    Where to put the check valve?

    Not sure what I'm doing (as usual)...

    I'm going up over the edge of the pond like here:

    Aqua Art Retro-Drain - Large - Aqua Art Retro-Drain

    The pump is not self priming.
    Priming pot is 3" input, 2" output.
    I plan to put a clean-out-tee in the pipe at the top of the pond wall (highest pipe level) to facilitate filling the pipe with water for priming.

    In the picture at the link above, the check valve is on the pump side--outside the pond.

    I'm not an engineer or good at plumbing either.

    I don't get the check valve outside the pond. To me, it seems like the check valve should be inside the pond so when the pipe is filled, the water won't go back down into the pond.

    Where is the proper place to put the check valve?
    ...enjoy your day!
    5500 gllns, Ultima II 4000, Tarpon 6000, 1 Multi-Cyclone Prefilter, 2 - 5500 gph pumps, 1 Retro BD, 1 skimmer, max depth 4', 5% trickle 24/7 weather permitting

  2. #2
    eds
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    You want the check valve just in front of the pump if the feed pipe is going over the wall so that when you turn the pump off (or even remove it) the water doesn't drain out of the loop over the wall but stays primed.

    Do make sure your check valve doesn't create too much resistance though and is in a place where it's easy to get to if it gets blocked and needs cleaning.

  3. #3
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppy View Post
    Not sure what I'm doing (as usual)...

    I'm going up over the edge of the pond like here:

    Aqua Art Retro-Drain-Large-Aqua Art Retro-Drain

    The pump is not self priming.
    Priming pot is 3" input, 2" output.
    I plan to put a clean-out-tee in the pipe at the top of the pond wall (highest pipe level) to facilitate filling the pipe with water for priming.

    In the picture at the link above, the check valve is on the pump side--outside the pond.

    I'm not an engineer or good at plumbing either.

    I don't get the check valve outside the pond. To me, it seems like the check valve should be inside the pond so when the pipe is filled, the water won't go back down into the pond.

    Where is the proper place to put the check valve?
    Are you confusing a 'check valve' with a 'foot valve'?
    See: Aquatic Eco-Systems Tech Talk 12

    The problem with non self priming pumps is you want to keep as much water and no air on the inlet side and closes to the pump.

    If you do not have a check valve where shown in the diagram and move it to inside the pond, if the check/foot valve leaks, you will loose all the water close to the pump.

    I guess what I am saying is that it is better to have a little air where the pipe goes over the edge of the pond than lose all the water in the pipe from the pond surface to the pump.

    If you use a check/foot valve that has a strong spring to prevent leaking then the check/foot valve will restrict the inflow of water to the pump.
    :-(

  4. #4
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Did you notice that the pump shown in the diagram is below the surface of the pond water?

  5. #5
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    Thank you eds and ricshaw.

    So, now I have one opinion for right in front of the pump and one for the foot of the pipe.

    I did see the pump is below water surface in that link and that's the way my pump is now and the pipe goes over the wall and the check valve is right before the bottom where the pipe turns.

    But then I saw that diagram in the link I posted and wondered if I'm doing it all wrong. I'm having problems priming since I took the pipe out of the water to do something and put it back--now I'm having problems.

    I don't remember if I purchased the right kind of check valve the first time and maybe I got something that rusted or maybe it's actually a spring check valve instead of a swing check valve or maybe there's something stuck in it.

    Everything was working okay before I pulled it up.

    I just ordered a clear swing check valve for the revamp. This way at least I can wipe off the algae and see what's going on inside it.

    I'm revamping because I have a 2" Tetra retro bottom drain and just ordered the large aqua art retro bottom drain.

    That's because my priming pot inlet is 3" so I thought it might be better to have a 3" retro bottom drain too.

    I keep flip-flopping between going through the liner near the top and going over the edge. I'm afraid I'll screw up going through the liner and liner is expensive.

    ricshaw, that article about supersaturation was scary! I never noticed the tech talk articles at Aquatic Eco-systems and I've ordered from them a few times. Now I'm going over there to read some of those articles. Thanks!

  6. #6
    eds
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    If you have the option then go through the liner. It will make life so much easier, the pipe will be harder to see under the surface and - most importantly - you won't need a check valve as there won't be any chance of the pipe draining of water when you turn the pump off. Every valve or fitting increases the resistance on the pump and reduces the flow a little bit.

    While it might be a bit worrying to do you really won't regret it. Does anyone live near you who could come and help who's done this sort of thing before?

  7. #7
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eds View Post
    If you have the option then go through the liner. It will make life so much easier, the pipe will be harder to see under the surface and - most importantly - you won't need a check valve as there won't be any chance of the pipe draining of water when you turn the pump off. Every valve or fitting increases the resistance on the pump and reduces the flow a little bit.

    While it might be a bit worrying to do you really won't regret it. Does anyone live near you who could come and help who's done this sort of thing before?
    I totally agree with "eds". It is not the turning the pump off that worries me. It is the power outage when you are gone that is my concern.

  8. #8
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    No koi clubs close. I even checked the MAKC meetings and they're all over 3 hours from me. This is AS country and I've yet to find an actual koi pond installer or even another person with a koi pond. There HAS to be other people close with REAL koi ponds. There HAS to be. But where they are, I don't know.

    There's one more place to check that I think does ponds, landscaping and water and sewer. Hopefully those combined skills will let them pierce the liner without ruining it or causing a constant leak.

    I have a good piece of heavy bucket liner (from an aerial bucket truck) that should make a sturdy support for the 3" bulk head fitting I bought a couple years ago--gathering dust in the garage.

  9. #9
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppy View Post
    I have a good piece of heavy bucket liner (from an aerial bucket truck) that should make a sturdy support for the 3" bulk head fitting I bought a couple years ago--gathering dust in the garage.

    I think the trick is to cut the hole a little small and use plenty of silicon sealer.

    Use sand to back fill and support the 3" pipe from the bulk head fitting.

  10. #10
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    richshaw, that's why I post every little question on this forum. I never thought about power outages and losing prime!

    I know it's best to be under water with the whole works and I do want to go through the liner but I don't want to do it myself. I'd like to have a professional do it.

    I'm waiting to hear back from a landscaper whose secretary assured me they do koi ponds as well as water gardens. Probably won't hear anything until after the holiday. However, my first question will be: What is the difference between a water garden and a koi pond? Then I'll know if he knows what he's doing. [crossing fingers here]

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