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  • Results 1 to 13 of 13

    Thread: Clogging bottom drain

    1. #1
      DangerDave is offline Senior Member
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      Clogging bottom drain

      Hello all,

      In the pond that came with the house there was no BD (and it's about 30" deep as well). As part of the filtration build we put in a retro BD with air on top of it. The pipe running from the BD is 2" and I bump up to 3" as it enters the Zakki 16" sieve we have.

      Overhanging our pond is a large oak and pine tree that drop crap all year long. As such the bottom drain gets clogged with twigs a lot and I have to jump in and clean it out. Not a huge issue besides the slip sliding on the algae.

      But I'm curious if running a 3" pipe would help or hurt more. Obviously 3" would let more stuff travel to the sieve, but it also would then allow more blockages along the run (with the various sweep elbows). Those are not easy to clean. So part of me prefers the 2" pipe as the stop point for most crap.

      But what can be done to keep the BD from blocking up at all? I don't mind getting in and cleaning crap I just want to do it without having to touch/move/lift the retro BD to unplug.

      Maybe a skirt of wire mesh?

      Anyone ever try to solve this problem?

    2. #2
      pickerel's Avatar
      pickerel is offline Supporting Member
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      Adding a wire mesh would kind of defeat the purpose of the bottom drain. Have you considered adding a skimmer? That would catch a lot of the stuff before it sinks to the bottom.

    3. #3
      Nguyen365 is offline Senior Member
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      That or hang a net over the pond

    4. #4
      icu2's Avatar
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      3500 gph or so should keep a 3" BD clear.
      I think you're using a Zakki sieve so being direct suction I wouldn't imagine you'd have
      a problem with a mid pipe clog. Usually gravity fed sieves would have more of an issue.
      --Steve
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      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    5. #5
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      With a retro bottom drain with air and only in 30 inches of water are you suckling in a lot of water with air bubbles?

    6. #6
      DangerDave is offline Senior Member
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      I do have a skimmer. It does catch more than the drain but since the pond is about 45' wide a lot sinks and then is moved about by the koi - right into the BD.

    7. #7
      DangerDave is offline Senior Member
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      I can't say that I have that problem. The aerator is on top of the retro BD and doesn't seem to be negatively impacted.

    8. #8
      DangerDave is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      3500 gph or so should keep a 3" BD clear.
      I think you're using a Zakki sieve so being direct suction I wouldn't imagine you'd have
      a problem with a mid pipe clog. Usually gravity fed sieves would have more of an issue.
      Would running 3" PVC flex pipe be better than 2" with elbows? Point being the 3" is so large I'm thinking 3" might make it easier to get from the BD back to the sieve with more straight-ish pipes.

    9. #9
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by DangerDave View Post
      Would running 3" PVC flex pipe be better than 2" with elbows? Point being the 3" is so large I'm thinking 3" might make it easier to get from the BD back to the sieve with more straight-ish pipes.
      Imo, yes... 3" would be better. Larger pipe means less head on the pump and I think it should clog a lot
      less than a 2" pipe, even under direct suction. And less bends are just another positive.
      --Steve
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    10. #10
      DangerDave is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      Imo, yes... 3" would be better. Larger pipe means less head on the pump and I think it should clog a lot
      less than a 2" pipe, even under direct suction. And less bends are just another positive.
      My theory is that the flex pipe will have a more natural bend that stay clear more easily than hard PVC pipe that I have to have a half dozen long sweep fittings in.

    11. #11
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      Hey Dave,

      It has been 11 years since I built my 1st pond, did the second one 8 years ago and did not use flex in its construction.

      I totally agree with Steve and your idea regarding 3" vs 2". I would make one comment, and I'll deffer to Steve for my correctness. I think (wow,smell the sawdust burn) that some flex PVC is smooth inside but some are not but have ridges or grooves from the winding of the pipe material. That roughness could cause a problem especially with pine needles getting stuck and causing a total clog or at least bad restriction.

      The net idea is a pretty good idea. I use a net on my 12'x20'x5' pond in the fall. I have 3 pistachio trees shedding leaves and nuts. Wow can that cause a problem.

      Hope there is some value in my thoughts,
      Carl
      Carl Sowell


    12. #12
      cottagefog is offline Senior Member
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      Dave I have the same issues with my bottom drains. If your only clogging issue is between the bottom and the drain cover lid, then any pipe changing will not stop the clog being created at the domed lid. (in my opinion)

      So I am not talking about any clogging past the lid. (inside the pipes). I also have a huge oak, and a huge pine that drops debris every day. My issue is anything that doesnt float wont go in the skimmer.

      I worked too hard on making my pond aesthetically appealing to cover it up with a sail, or netting. So I have to deal with the clogging.

      My issue is when my drains get clogged my water is 6'5" deep and usually 70 degrees or below water temp. Try diving in that temp!

      And again not to repeat myself, the clogging issue I have is at the dome. I have 2 bottom drains. They are 3" tetra domed bottom drains that get reduced to 2 inch. Sucked by an ESS6800.

      It starts out with oak sticks, then oak leaves, pine needles, algae, etc.

      I thought about using milk crates with a series of v-like cuts along the top rim of the milk crate. Invert it over the drains. That would at least stop the sticks from damming the dome lid, but let all other debris to go through.

      As a side note. When I unclog my drains I use a scuba mask attached to a diving compressor. That way my fat butt can sit on the bottom and I can spend the few minutes it takes underwater to remove the dome and unclog.

      Good luck

    13. #13
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by carlso View Post
      I totally agree with Steve and your idea regarding 3" vs 2". I would make one comment, and I'll deffer to Steve for my correctness. I think (wow,smell the sawdust burn) that some flex PVC is smooth inside but some are not but have ridges or grooves from the winding of the pipe material. That roughness could cause a problem especially with pine needles getting stuck and causing a total clog or at least bad restriction.
      I for some reason totally missed the word "flex" in the question and to be honest I have never used flex and so my comment was, like carlso
      said, only about the positives of 2" to 3". Listen to Carl and others... I have no experience with flex.
      --Steve
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      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

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