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Thread: DIY Bottom drain?

  1. #1
    Simi Koi's Avatar
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    DIY Bottom drain?

    how hard is it to make a DIY bottom drain? I mean I picture a 3" bulkhead along the bottom and an upside down plastic plate or platter from Walmart with a PVC frame under it to hold it at just the right height. little bit of epoxy glue and you're done....why wouldn't this work? Cost would be like $20 for the bulkhead and parts less then $5. Thats 1/2 the price of the tetra 3" bottom drain.
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    If I decide to build an indoor pond, i'm considering doing a DIY bottom drain out of a shower drain. This thing is far from my last pond, so I don't see much reason to throw a bunch of money into it.
    :beerorder
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    mstrseed is offline
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    Shower drain are great in q-tanks, some members even have put domes on them. If you want to do it in a pond go for it, I have not seen any rules against it.
    But it is not to easy to repair if it fails, got to take out the pond, I for one am not willing to do that. I'll go with tried and true.

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    Valarc is offline
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    The "pond" in this case will basically be build the same way as a lot of q-tanks... indoors above ground wood frame with a liner. The only reason this would be playing the role of pond and not q-tank is that my homeowner's association is filled with a bunch of jerks who like to tell people what they can do in their own back yards.
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    Oh, it'll work, but lets add up the real cost...
    First we'll assume you're doing 4" and we'll compare the cost to Gene's bottom drain w/dome ($70).
    you'll need an extra 4" 90 degree elbow to point it up, cost $5
    you'll need a 4" bulkhead, and these are not cheap, $45 at fancykoioutlet.com, or you could save a few bucks and get a flanged tank connector from allied for $36.
    You'll need a tube of silicone for the tank connector ($3 at Walmart)
    Okay, now you're doing the framework for the lid, you'll need a length of 3/4" PVC ($1) and four 3-way connectors (0.25 each for $1)
    We'll assume you already have the glue and primer.
    You'll need some epoxy as you stated to glue the framework to the bowl, another $3 (at Walmart)
    And you'll need the bowl/plate $1 (at the dollar store)
    and of course you're going to get a can of Fusion spray paint ($3) so the neon pink bowl you got at the dollar store doesn't look out of place.

    So, let's add that up....
    $5
    $36
    $3
    $1
    $1
    $3
    $3
    ---
    $52
    $4 (+8% CA tax)
    ---
    $56

    Now we are going to consider the shipping fee for Gene's bottom drain to be roughly equivalent to how much you would spend in gas driving around locally to pick up those parts, since gas prices are sky high.

    So, you saved a grand total of $13, was it worth you're time?
    Koiphen member since 05-13-2004
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    actually I was going to do a 3" BD. I only have a 2000 gallon pond and I was going to have two 3" bottom drains. a 3" bulkhead is only $20 from azponds. heck I might even DIY one of those as well and save even more.

    But I see your point. to put all this together will take time and since I have never done a DIY bottom drain there is a chance it will leak or or have some problem I haven't thought of. Is it worth saving $50 here?

    then again its a neat project and I love projects
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    Surfhead, Ive seen toilet flanges used. Those usually will hook to 3" plumbing and clamp similarly to the purpose made bottom drains.

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    Don't mind me, I was just playing devil's advocate, DIY is cool. If you're doing liner pond and do pipe boot or toilet flange (be sure to use stainless steel bolts), you can save more money.
    I have done quite a bit of DIY, haven't saved a lot of money though, usually end up with a Camry for a Kia price type of thing though, sort of a free upgrade when I don't include my time.
    Koiphen member since 05-13-2004
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    Personally, I love DIY. But I would not use DIY in an area where it could not be tweeked or improved on. A Bottom drain is forever. Once its installed and the pond is full, you can't change it. when you look at the total cost of the pond, a factory drain is a teeny tiny little percentage of the overall cost. It is the ONE area where I would not consider DIY.

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    I did DIY in my big pond. Looking back, I wish I had not. Qtank/small pond I would but not on the big one.
    Another DIY I regret is a skimmer. Never again!

    Kathy in SC
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    A bottom drain with an air dome buried at the bottom of a pond is NOT the place for someone to prove their DIY skills.

    Save that bravado for the filter pit where you can easily repair or replace later.
    MCA
    Too much sanity may be madness and maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be.



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    Off the shelf is better but I'm helping a friend a with a koi pond on an extremely tight budget. We actually be finished with less than $500 in parts, like I said, really tight. Not bad for a pond that will include a DIY microstrainer and DIY Shower filter. Anyways this is what I'm doing on the drain. They have limited funds, I am helping out with some work and diy tasks.

    4" Toilet flange to seal to liner, some silicone sealeant used. (I have a similar drain on my settlement tank).

    Under that a 4" to 4" sweep that has a 2" connection off of that. I forget what these are called, but they are at Lowes and HD around here at least.

    With the 2" shoot off, put a 2" to 3/4"(or 1/2") reducer. Using dremel shave down the edge so you can slide the 3/4 or 1/2" pipe through from both sides. Fill in area with epoxy or something similar so trash will not collect here.

    Using a 9" diffuser manifold from AES, this will be the diffuser and drain cap, to connect to pipe.

    Drain cap can not support much weight, but it works with about $12 or so in parts + cost of diffuser. Off the shelf products are build better if you have the funds.

    Ryan S.

    rough diagram i drew up:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    don't for get to fill up the 2" part after you put in the column for the dome. othewise it will fill up with debris that will decay....

    You can also do this with all 4" pipe openings and just pour the bottom section full of concrete around the 1" column....
    MCA
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    Im slowly learning to not try to do everything myself. I did bite the bullet and bought a standard bottom drain from Koi Village. I then modified it following Garrett's DIY Spindrifter clone mod. I have one more to do.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke-gr
    Im slowly learning to not try to do everything myself.
    I'm to LAZY to do everything myself! There are only so many hours in the day!

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    yeah, I hear what you guys are saying. so far this project has been 100% DIY. the tank, the filters, everything but the pump and valves. I figure why not the bottom drain. But is it really worth saving $50. Probably not, it would be fun to try cause I love doing stuff like this, but man what a pain if it didn't work out. And I hate to admit it, but historically most my DIY projects don't turn out right the first try and I end up redoing them to fix my mistakes. probably not worth it for the bottom drain. If I mess up with the microscreen, I can just pop in a new one...not so easy with the bottom drain. Lotta weight and a lotta pressure, if I didn't seal it well enough and it leaked....ugh. yeah the more I think about it, the less it sounds like a good idea.

    I am going to be building some smaller 500 gallon tanks to use for breeding in the Spring. maybe I will try my luck with a DIY bottom drain on one of those.
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    Smart decision! The beauty of most DIY projects is that you can constantly make changes and improve upon them. Unless it is a bottom drain, in which case you have to just live with it.

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