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  • Pond parts, including pipe, valves and similar plumbing....

    Dear All,

    Is it possible that this boards members would now choose to answer more thoughts/questions than those heretofore considered by our breatheren koi keepers?

    Namely, where does one look to find those specific type of plumbing parts we each require in our pond construction and maintenance...and, which specific sources offer the best price, service and value for the money (whether in US Dollars or British Sterling, etc..)...

    Perhaps this subject is too sensitive for this board to keep as a thread as many of its adherents are known retailers and they may not want to have their plumbing parts and accessories prices compared to other retailer's or internet web site or Koi-Bito advertiser's.

    However, wouldn't it be interesting to learn which sources in our tight knit world offer the better priced true union ball valve or the best prices on pipe, bottom drains, skimmers, as well as, all those other various items we each need for the operation of our ponds.

    For example, who has the best price for pumps and which UV do you use, and why did you buy it, and where did you find the best service and price?

    If any find this too sensitive a question, I'll accept that the subject matter is like asking a Japanese breeder the price of his 'for sale' fish...and, I won't again ask.

    However, wouldn't you like to know the answer to the above?

    If you would like to contribute, please do. If you don't think the question appropriate select another topic.

    However, I await your encouraged reply and your tendered contribution to our 'knowledge'...

    All the best,

    Lee
    Grand Cayman
  • #2

    Hi Lee,
    I was surprised at the amount of money we spent on PVC fittings alone when we built our litlle pond but I can say this is simply part of the system that you should not take short cuts and I think you know that. What I am saying is if it is marginal that you should have one more bottom drain. go ahead and go for it now - it will save you money.
    I'll not recommend specific brands of equipment, (although we did just replace a Sequence pump after about 8 years use and I think that was pretty good ) but we buy from dealers who support our koi club. We may pay a little more for a particular item, but we feel it is worth it. The PVC parts we usually get at a local plumbing supply or Lowes.
    If you are using gravity fed systems, use 4inch pipe with adequate bottom drains to supply your multiple filter bays. Knive gate valves are much easier to operate and since you are in a warmer climate you are lucky in that you don't have to worry about the pipes freezing. Knive gates will fail so if you use them make sure you can switch them out. If we ever build another pond we may even use a ball valve before a knive gate so that it can easily be changed. And do yourselve a favor and put in purge lines at the lowest level.
    Let us know how it goes. I hope you will post pictures of your progress
    Happy New Year
    Ruth

    Comment

    • #3

      Howdy Lee,

      As you can guess, the vast majority of the pipes and fittings come from Home Depot or Lowes. My Spindrifters and TPRs came from Trevor at East Ridding Koi. My Savio skimmer came from Webbsonline as did the two Sequence Primer pumps.

      Toni, Dexter and I wish you two a safe and prosperous New Year!!!


      MCA
      Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

      Comment

      • #4

        I too bought many of the specialized items (read: stuff I couldn't get at the local hardware wharehouse) for my Q-pond from dealers in the area. That and I lumped in some items with other orders.

        For instance; I bought food from Champion Nishikigoi and also picked up a couple of check valves and unions. I bought a pump, chemicals, etc., from AES and picked up a gate valve. I bought the drain assembly from Fancy Koi Outlet. Bought brushes and a fish from Cherry Hill Koi. Bought bulkhead fittings from Sacramento Koi. A local plumbing supply place provided 2" flex PVC and Jandy valves too.

        Comment

        • #5

          I've been ripped off so many times it no longer hurts, but in many cases I didn't realise it until much later.

          Thankfully the Internet and boards like this puts an end to a lot of that. These days you can get information and prices at the tap of a keyboard.

          On top of the price paid there is also the reliability of equipment to consider. Amongst the various pieces of equipment I feel happy to recommend are:-

          Sequence 750 pumps. I have two that have been in operation for 4 years, being used and abused and are still going strong.

          Hi Blow air pumps (the original type) I have a model 20 over 12 years old in almost continuous use in that time, plus 2 model 40's continuously running for 5 years.

          and a FEBI Turbo Cleaner (protein skimmer) running about 3 years.

          Some of the best buys I've made.

          rgds BERN
          South East Koi Club

          Comment

          • #6

            Bern and Michael,

            You answered - as I had anticipared that you and others would reply.

            Yes, I believe most all of us on this board know what we want to buy and what we want to incorporate into our ponds...the answer we don't know, however, is what specific brand and where is the best price to be found for that item?

            This is the mystery I am seeking to unfold.

            If someone buys from the source that supports their club, I certainly would accept that as a valid reason. However, those who blindly purchase all their parts from that type of source don't provide us with the answer to 'why' and 'at what price" is that loyalty repaid.

            Thus, since many of us view our pond works with more independent thought and reason, I would like to 'learn' and 'share' with others on this board, exactly where is the best value to be found and who 'out there' is not dealing fairly (as their prices are inordinately higher than some other source).

            This information is as valued as what brand of pump you purchased and why?

            I believe, to be quality koi keepers knowing from whom we (collectivly) buy our bottom drain from is equally important as to whom you purchased your fish from...which recently was awarded a GC.

            Thus, your reply is of enormous value -

            Who did you purchase your pond parts from and which specific brands you choose and why? And, was the price you paid worthy of the value 'you' received?

            As always, all the best -

            Lee
            Grand Cayman

            Comment

            • #7

              Most recent purchases were a Febi G65 from KoiCentral and a OASE Aquamax 2100 pump from PondUSA. Both purchases were good experiences. Prices were competitive and service was outstanding. I had ordered a Febi from another dealer (in England) and he charged my credit card and told me it was still on backorder a month later. KoiCentral had the goods and promptly shipped them. I thought I had a problem with the AquaMax and PondUSA immediately handled it, no questions asked and no problems. Especially when dealing with someone "across the pond", it was nice to have received professional service as you simply don't know who to trust and don't have the same recourse as you would in your own country. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
              Jeff R.

              Comment

              • #8

                Lee,

                When I purchase PVC pipe and fittings from Lowes or Home Depot, I don really care about brand. I am there for schedule 40 pipe and fittings in PVC at the lowest price. PVC pipe and fittings are standardized so there is little reason to worry about brand.

                Then there are the specialized plumbing parts such as the Spindrifters and TPRs. For the Spindrifters I got them from Trevor at a better price than the $250 you commonly see at US retailers. And Trevor was the only place I could find purpose-built TPRs.

                The Savio and Sequence Primers came from Webbs on line. As I remember the skimmer was around $275 and each of the 1/3HP pumps was just under $400 with shipping.

                Again, most of my pond purchases are based on research first on brand/model to see which is the best choice for technical reasons. The next criteria is price. Support is rarely a driver as I do my own pond construction and maintenance.

                Please remember that prices change frequently. So if you are looking for something specific, do an extensive internet search. You may find a bargain!
                Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

                Comment

                • #9

                  Hi Lee,

                  You've accurately guessed that Club contacts have played a part in my purchases. Both the recent (if you can call 4 to 5 years recent) purchases of Sequence pumps and Hi Blows were made from the Koi Water Barn a dealership in the SouthEast of England that was started by a former member of my Koi Club. The dealership is now run by the guys son who honours the 'olde' relationship. KWB also runs a mail order outlet called Express Koi Sales which offers a lot of equipment at competative prices which I often use. However the purchase of those pumps and two heaters was made directly with the MD who rounded-down the prices to a price that couldn't be beaten.

                  The FEBI was bought from a dealer called Ace of Koi. A member of my club negotiated a deal by buying on behalf of three of us.

                  rgds Bern
                  South East Koi Club

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    pvc and home depot lowes

                    As a note on buying schedule 40 from home depot and lowes... many times we grab what we need in a hurry from theese stores without looking closely at the items. Most of the fittilng I have seen at these mega stores are labled as dwv - dry or wet vent! not truly designed for use in a presure system. The biggest physical difference is in the area for glueing. This area where the pipe and fitting will join is significantly smaller givving much less area for the weld styl pvc glue to be effective. It can work but extra care must be taken to ensure a good seal. This is especially important when joining to flex pvc or tigerline as this pipe tends to try to creep when you set it down and wait fo rthe glue to finish. Granted you will pay more for fittings that are for presure use with the longer glue surface but to avoid the potential headaches later on it is worth it. Aloso of note it is hard to find the long sweep fittings at these store. As we know the long sweeps give less restriction to flow than do tight sweep fittings. As long as optimum for our use keeps coming up we may as well get the best fittings for the best flow to make use of our pumps highest output. As for 2" flex the price is worth it and for now so is 3" flex it is pricey and would love to find a better source for this as it is about $4 a foot here US dollar in fifty foot rolls. Many of the plumbing supply houses have a lot of fittings in stock as do irrigation supply houses. I picked up 3 3" ball valves and 2 3" check valves monday and paid $185. they were slip fit glue schedule 40 and yes they had the long glue surface I look for. Hope all is well on this new years day, MIke
                    " I'd rather a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy "

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      Beware of PVC Fittings

                      I rarely disagree with MCA but this time I felt compelled to post.

                      Not all PVC fittings are created equal, despite the standards! The most consideration we should give them is in their flow resistance (as the standards take care of their pressure resistance).

                      The easiest way for you to take my meaning is to compare a 90° Elbow from Colonial or Spears to one from Charlotte (in the US). The Colonial and Spears fittings have a smooth round INSIDE shape while the Charlotte inside shape is almost square. The latter will create more back/head pressure and be much more susceptible to water hammer (which happen with high water velocity in systems all too often built with pipes that are way to small for the flow). Head pressure will significantly reduce the water flow (in complex system this is NOT negligeable), high flow velocities that cause hammer, may (and will over time) cause pipe ruptures at the glue point.

                      Some PVC manufacturers are more agressive than others at upgrading their molds for PVC fittings. Even the best have flaws in certain size fittings. One should always evaluate a fitting for flow individually and make a purchase decision based on what they see.

                      Basic rules of thumb:

                      1) always evaluate the flow capacity of all fittings you purchase;
                      2) match the fitting grade to the application:
                      a) DWV (Drain, Waste and Vent) fittings are OK for gravity feed
                      (unless there is a Flex pipe joint, in which case, the joint glue
                      length is too short, switch to Schedule 40);
                      b) always use Schedule 40 PVC at a minimum on the pressure side
                      of the system (I have seen systems built with Schedule 20);
                      c) consider Schedule 80 is locations of stress, such as from the
                      pump output port before it is expanded to the proper pipe size
                      for the flow (when in doubt, use a Schedule 80 fitting).
                      3) when using flex, always (when possible) use "long" fittings, and
                      fast welding glue, and HOLD the fittings together for at least 10sec,
                      when glueing, or they will slip apart to an unknown degree that may
                      compromise the integrity of the system in the future.

                      I hope this helps.

                      Arthur
                      Arthur

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        Arthur,

                        Help? Yes, indeed -your reply was most valued.

                        It is through advice like that given above we are provided information not otherwise available from any other resource.

                        For example, until MCA's wonderful wife, Toni...sat me down and explained the difference in bottom drains that I had my first lesson on the value of bottom drains.

                        Now, above I learned that there is a difference in pvc pipe and that flex pipe is now available in 3'.

                        Thus, to each of us who have ponds (and, who reading this thread doesn't?) - for certain everyone's contribution to this thread will bring quality, required and vital information important to the keeping of our valued Koi.

                        In the final analysis every contribution has value and is vitally important to someone - and, is as important as which 'new' filter has come to the marketplace, which breeder is offering the next GC, or whether natural additives are in fact, natural.

                        I eagerly hope that those more experienced 'koi' pond 'builders' will jump onto this thread and add their valued experience to our common knowledge.

                        I am convinced that each who are following this thread have some thing of vital importance to share-if only, they will...

                        And, let's hope that they will-

                        Therefore, regardless of how mundane "you" may feel your input may be, it is welcomed information to someone reading it...and, learning from your good advice and experience...

                        Again, all the best

                        Lee
                        Grand Cayman

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          I was not specific enough

                          Lee and all,

                          Sorry I did not specify that I am ALWAYS purchasing white schedule 40 pressure PVC pipe. I never use the low pressure drain/waste/vent stuff for the pond. In fact, I don't think I have ever used it for anything.

                          In Lowes those 2 types of pipes and fittings are usually near each other in the plumbing section but not mixed up. The diameters of those two different types of pipes and fittings do not match up with each other. So you have to go out of your way to mixed them.

                          When glueing up the pipe and fittings, I always use purple primer and heavy duty PVC glue. You can also use the blue PVC glue. Between purple primer and blue glue, you should be able to visually check if a joint has been glued. Finding an unglued joint after the pond is up and running is no fun!

                          Again, even for my 4" lines from the Spindrifters, I always use PVC schedule 40 pressure pipe. Typically that pipe is bold white while the low pressure pipes are green, black, or off-white.

                          Also consider oversizing your pipe. For example, even if your pump has 1.5" ports, use a 1,5"- 2" adapter and then 2" pipe everywhere. The cost difference is minimal and the backpressure reduction can be significant. Going from 1/5" to 2" usually is not too much of a problem. Going from2" to 3" can be a pain.

                          Lee, Toni said "Hi". She is a good teacher indeed. And she has the patience to put up with me!!! :lol:


                          MCA
                          Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

                          Comment

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