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Thread: HELP PLEAAASE!!! Pump is not sucking water up from bottom drain.

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    cilo911's Avatar
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    HELP PLEAAASE!!! Pump is not sucking water up from bottom drain.

    OK...I bought from Juliana the following

    3500 pump.
    2000 Gallon Bead filter
    2" primer.
    4" Bottom Drain.

    the bottom drain pipe 4 inches and that goes for about 2 feet then starts to curve at a 45 degree angle up. That then goes into a 2 inch pvc right into the filter. (about 1 foot high then 45 degree into the filter another 6" of piping). With the primer closed everything in place and the pond (2500 gallons) more then half way filled....I put water into the primer and turn on the filter...

    Here is the problem. The water is not flowing into the primer/pump..I have kept the pump on for about 30 seconds and turned it off becuase I got scared cuz it was said not to let it run dry. Do I keep the pump on longer to get the suction? The pond is more then half way filled...Is it angled to to high so it won't suck the water in?

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks
    Pond rebuild in progress....

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    Pond rebuild in progress....

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    At rest, with the pump off, the water level in the filter will only be as high as the water level in the pond. How high is the outlet on the filter, and where is the intake in the filter? How high is the pump set? Is it above or below the water level of the pond? Anything else feeding the pump, like a skimmer?
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    Now I see said the blind man....why did you set the pump so high? You need a lot more water in the pond before trying the pump. It's barely over the bottom drain. I don't think you're going to be happy with that setup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey S View Post
    Now I see said the blind man....why did you set the pump so high? You need a lot more water in the pond before trying the pump. It's barely over the bottom drain. I don't think you're going to be happy with that setup.
    I would agree, since your are early in this I would stop and rethink it. One major issue that I see is that the 4" to 2" connection is going to have a really good chance of getting clogged and stopping/severely restricting your flow to the pump. You could also drop the pump back down closer to the ground then have a longer pipe to the filter. Better yet I am pretty sure you can bury that filter almost to its neck, that would get both pieces MUCH closer to the water level.
    If I had only known about Koiphen BEFORE I rebuilt my pond the second time......

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    This pump is designed for flooded-suction, which means that it should be located outside of the pond, and below the surface of the pond, with no pipes going "up and over" the surface of the pond. It is designed for gravity flow. You'll need to do two things to make this work: 1) The pump needs to be located below the surface level of the pond (outside of the pond, of course) and 2) The pond needs to be full so that it can be below the surface level, so water will gravity-flow to the pump.

    If you cannot, or are not willing to do the above, then a check valve needs to be installed on the bottom drain line, below the surface level of the pond. This will prevent water from flowing back to the pond (through the bottom drain) when you fill the primer pot with water. The entire pipe and priming pot must contain water when you start the pump. If you don't have a check valve in place, then there is nothing to keep the water from draining down the bottom drain pipe, back to the pond.

    The proper way to set-up this pump is in the top paragraph of this post.

    Aside from this... Where's your skimmer?

    Also, the gap between your bottom drain dome and the floor of the pond, should be 1/2". The gap looks way too large in your picture.
    Last edited by mrpig; 08-29-2008 at 01:36 PM.
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    Papafish is spot-on with the call on your 4" to 2" bottom drain pipe transition. It's probably going to be problematic for you. It would be great to see you add a settling tank, and bring the 4" bottom drain pipe to the tank. You can then transition to 2" after the tank. If this is going to be a koi pond, then I highly recommend you do this, as it will remove 90% of solids (crap), before it ever makes the journey to your bead filter.
    -Mike-

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    It takes a pump a great deal more energy to pull than to push water.
    For testing purposes you might want to
    Dig a trench from that 4 inch pipe to the pump.
    Install a 4" shut off valve.
    Install a 4" clean out to take care of things getting stuck before the reduction to a 2" pipe.
    Use a reduction fitting instead of a bushing, less turbulence, and better water flow.
    Install the water pump at or below the water line for your pond.
    That should be enough to get the water flowing.

    Long Range changes.
    Move the pump and filter farther away from the pond and install a filter pit.
    Install a prefilter for the bead filter.
    I use a couple of big green vortexes, others use 55 gallon barrels, others use those 275 gallon boxes on a pallet, use something.
    Upgrade to a larger bead filter, or use a smaller pump. Driving water to hard though the bead, makes it worthless.
    Consider using that bead on a skimmer, and getting a new pump for that, then using that pump with a larger bead filter.

    Also how many gallons is that pond? I hate to guess from pictures, but if it is under 2K, that pump may just be a little pig for the pond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpig View Post
    This pump is designed for flooded-suction, which means that it should be located outside of the pond, and below the surface of the pond, with no pipes going "up and over" the surface of the pond. It is designed for gravity flow. You'll need to do two things to make this work: 1) The pump needs to be located below the surface level of the pond (outside of the pond, of course) and 2) The pond needs to be full so that it can be below the surface level, so water will gravity-flow to the pump.
    I'm not sure that this is entirely accurate. The priming pot will allow for a pipe to go over the wall of the pond, as long as the pump is at or below the level of the pond. Come to think of it, you could go higher than the pond level if the priming pot is big enough. Yours isn't. The pot prevents water from draining back into the BD because the inlet and outlet are staggered. Given the small size of your pot, you could run the pipe up and over if the pump is level with or below the pond. No way is it going to work when it's half empty.

    To eliminate the pump location problem and the BD pipe reduction I have to agree that it's time (better now than later) to put in a pit with a vortex before the pump. It makes sense for several reasons.

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    That's the same thing I fixed in NY some weeks ago.
    That pump set up like that will never work.

    You do have another option and that is get a larger self priming pump (check how high it will self prime) and I'd still put in the check valve.

    Good luck
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    All points stated above are valid issues. One other thing of note is that Ultima 2000 is no where close to "enough" filtration and a single unit should never constitute the entire filtration on a pond. You're at a stage right now where the settling chamber could be installed with very little difficulty. Then, have the pump pick the water up from there and send it to the Ultima filter. You could then add a moving bed filter for bio filtration to gravity feed a waterfall or TPR return or both. If you simply keep what you have now, you'll be regretting it FOREVER!

    As mentioned before, I don't see a skimmer nor do I see a UV light unit!?!?

    Mike

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    OK..everyone..thanks for the feedback. I have taken everything stated and modified what I needed to do. The pond is now working as it should be..once again, this forum has saved me a lot of trouble and learned me a thing or 5.

    Greatly appreciated!
    Pond rebuild in progress....

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    the pond is now working as in original design? if that's the case, you will have more problems down the road.

    Steve

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    ya got alot of good knowledge folks replying to ya thread. would take there advice. i am guessing majorty if not all of them, have been there done that. and learned the hard way err rather the painful way of loosing fish..

    making assumptions. pond is way under min 3000 gallons that is suggested for a koi pond. and is not suggested to place koi in it. and that the pond would be much better suited for goldfish.

    i don't like idea of drain to leaf basket to pump to bead filter then back to pond. ya asking for troubles. more so when there is no check valve, a good chance power will go out and air get trapped in the pipes. causing either the pump to loose its prime or cause pump to pump much less water or not pump anything at all. your water clarity will most likely surffer due to fish poo will becoming fish puree soup causing bead filter to get over whelmed and start channeling much faster than what it should. along with causing more small particals to go straight through the setup. because bead filter is only filter. and going to get nailed by waste. your bio filteration abilty is going to be less. and if you end up doing any sort of good cleaning to remove waste. ya have a good chance of nocking your pond back into new pond syndrome. leading to ammonia and nitrite spikes.

    if this is just a watergarden IE just plants to be placed in it. there really wouldn't be a big deal. but if goldfish do get put into it. then some sort of reworking of the plumbing and additional filteration is highly advised if not almost required.
    Pond and Construction Forum 101 good place for any first timers to the forum. for finding resources and general info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marky Mark View Post
    I'm not sure that this is entirely accurate. The priming pot will allow for a pipe to go over the wall of the pond, as long as the pump is at or below the level of the pond. .
    This is incorrect. Any time you go "up and over" without incorporating a check valve, you risk losing prime. As soon as you shut the pump off to clean the priming pot, air will enter the pipe and the water will fall back to the pond, unless there is a check valve below the surface level of the pond.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marky Mark View Post
    Come to think of it, you could go higher than the pond level if the priming pot is big enough. Yours isn't. .
    This is also incorrect. The priming pot may not drain, but the pipe that connects the pot to the pond - will. Nothing will keep water above the surface of the pond (in this case) except for a check valve just below the surface of the pond. If the priming pot is full and there is air in the BD line, then most of the time it will not pick up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marky Mark View Post
    The pot prevents water from draining back into the BD because the inlet and outlet are staggered. .
    This will prevent the water inside the pot from draining, but will not stop the water in the BD line from escaping, which will render your attempt to prime- unsuccessful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marky Mark View Post
    Given the small size of your pot, you could run the pipe up and over if the pump is level with or below the pond. No way is it going to work when it's half empty..
    The size of the pot has very little to do with this situation. Actually, this set-up would be even worse, because as soon as you pop the lid off the priming pot to clean it, all of the water between the high spot of the bottom drain line & the priming pot, will come gushing out the priming pot... with no practical way of re-filling it. Hence, If there is no water in the bottom drain pipe between the pond and the priming pot- it is unlikely that it will pick-up. It's just not worth the risk. With the pond in question, there is no reason that this pump cannot be set-up as flooded-suction. Anything else will be a compromise of doing it correctly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marky Mark View Post
    To eliminate the pump location problem and the BD pipe reduction I have to agree that it's time (better now than later) to put in a pit with a vortex before the pump. It makes sense for several reasons.
    Yippee-skippy, Marky-Mark. We agree on something.
    Last edited by mrpig; 08-31-2008 at 12:08 AM.
    -Mike-

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    Quote Originally Posted by cilo911 View Post
    OK..everyone..thanks for the feedback. I have taken everything stated and modified what I needed to do. The pond is now working as it should be..once again, this forum has saved me a lot of trouble and learned me a thing or 5.

    Greatly appreciated!
    There is a guy in my area who went away for the weekend... power surge... tripped GFCI... lost prime because of no check valve... babysitter turned the pump back on... no water circulation... 21 koi he had for over 12 years, belly-up.

    I hope you didn't compromise. Excrement occurs.
    -Mike-

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