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  • Results 1 to 14 of 14

    Thread: HDPE liners and perforations - anyone with experience?

    1. #1
      onebluemcm is offline Senior Member
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      HDPE liners and perforations - anyone with experience?

      *** EDIT *** - I am specifically referring to BTL Liners which in fact have a LPDE-HDPE-LDPE layered construction (some have 5 layers, with 2 HDPE scrim layers). The HDPE is a "scrim" in the center for strength, and LPDE is the surface, which I believe is an entirely different ball of wax for welding, as in easier.is

      In my searching I found a build thread several years old that was done with an HDPE liner, but there weren't many photos of the liner as I recall.

      I reached out to BTL liners via their webpage, and got a call from Nick. What a great phone call. Gave me all sorts of information, nothing he couldn't answer, and now I'm even more interested in this type of liner.

      It's not hard to weld. Basically melting plastic and making it stick to itself. Sounds like the bond is as good or better than the native material, perhaps because of the increased thickness after welding. At this point, I'm not afraid of doing some welding of it to make it work.

      I'm wondering if anyone else has used it and how you did your perforations - bottom drains, returns, skimmer etc? Nothing really sticks to this stuff, so my concern is the perforations. Nick mentioned the boot or "top hat" type connection they use. I'm having a hard time figuring out how that would work for say 1.5" returns that have to go through the wall.

      Anyway, looking for folks with experience with this type of liner. Thanks!
      Last edited by onebluemcm; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:56 PM.

    2. #2
      OCkoiFan's Avatar
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      Maybe you’re the one tell us the results
      I’d just play safe
      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...-liner-options
      M.Nguyen


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      onebluemcm is offline Senior Member
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      Perhaps. If I do, I will definitely be taking photos and showing how it goes.

      I think the main area of concern is the lack of elasticity compared to EPDM. My soil is clay down deep, undisturbed for eons, so I'm not real worried about further compaction once we excavate. Walls will most likely be concrete block. They say that its quite a bit lighter than EPDM for the same thickness, but with the scrim layer, you may not need the same thickness as you would in EPDM either.

      They also said that although it's difficult to fold, that is what most people do. Beyond that, you could actually weld your folds down, to completely eliminate the pockets that are formed, that is an interesting idea.

      If you skip to 0:57 in this video, you can see what happens when it's heated for the welding. That is a 1600W heat gun with a flat focusing tip, widely available. That does not look too scary, especially if a person were to order some extra to practice with.

      https://youtu.be/UQmYpj8Yh6s

      They also can weld with what is called a heated wedge, basically a hot metal wedge that runs between the layers with rollers after the wedge that squeeze it together. More for long straight seems. But if done correctly, though it may take more time, doing it with the focused heat gun can work for an entire project.

      Since my pond will have straight sides and right angles, I'm thinking about this more. But it's a big step, would definitely require some practice especially if I'm going to fabricate my own form fitted drop in liner, and if it went poorly would really, really suck.

      The perforations are my main concern with not much of anything sticking to it. I can't wrap my head around they way in which you would seal them.

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      I used a "drop in" liner for a pond several years ago. Great option for a rectangular pond with sides that go straight down. You should be able to click on link in my sig line to see it.
      Actually the seals at BD and skimmer are easy. While nothing really sticks well you put a sealant on and securely clamp the seam tight. This is often referred to as a "mechanical seal". The flange is clamped so tight and evenly that the sealant doesn't have to stick in the normal sense of the word. Not unlike a gasket on an engine. If you removed all of the head bolts on your car you would realize that the sealant known as your "head gasket" doesn't stick very well either. But it does hold up under heat and hundreds of pounds of pressure.

      edit to add- don't bother to learn how to weld this stuff. Dig your pond, measure carefully and special order it to the exact size. actually, order it 1/2 inch small. as you start to fill it you can slip a slim layer of insulation between liner and earth if it isn't going to stretch to fit the hole perfectly.
      Last edited by mplskoi; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:37 PM.

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      tbullard is online now Senior Member
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      I think normally that type liner is ordered in the shape needed to fill the hole. Primarily a straight sided hole. I don't believe I have ever heard of anyone welding it as a DIY project.

      This page is a good example of the liners use in ponds. http://highdesertkoi.com/drop-in-liners/

      For penetrations you would want to use flanges that are made like bottom drains. Nothing actually sticks to the liner but you use PL roofing caulk to create a "gasket" that seals the flange. The bottom drain and skimmer will have these type flanges and for other penetrations Dreampond makes flanges for other sizes of pipe.

    6. #6
      onebluemcm is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by mplskoi View Post
      I used a "drop in" liner for a pond several years ago. Great option for a rectangular pond with sides that go straight down. You should be able to click on link in my sig line to see it.
      Actually the seals at BD and skimmer are easy. While nothing really sticks well you put a sealant on and securely clamp the seam tight. This is often referred to as a "mechanical seal". The flange is clamped so tight and evenly that the sealant doesn't have to stick in the normal sense of the word. Not unlike a gasket on an engine. If you removed all of the head bolts on your car you would realize that the sealant known as your "head gasket" doesn't stick very well either. But it does hold up under heat and hundreds of pounds of pressure.

      edit to add- don't bother to learn how to weld this stuff. Dig your pond, measure carefully and special order it to the exact size. actually, order it 1/2 inch small. as you start to fill it you can slip a slim layer of insulation between liner and earth if it isn't going to stretch to fit the hole perfectly.
      Thanks for chiming in and pointing out your links. Pretty fascinated with your concrete block build in fact. That was my initial plan, then I got to thinking about liners. So undecided. Your two threads there will give be a good amount of reading. I'll be back with questions later, I'm sure.


      Quote Originally Posted by tbullard View Post
      I think normally that type liner is ordered in the shape needed to fill the hole. Primarily a straight sided hole. I don't believe I have ever heard of anyone welding it as a DIY project.

      This page is a good example of the liners use in ponds. http://highdesertkoi.com/drop-in-liners/

      For penetrations you would want to use flanges that are made like bottom drains. Nothing actually sticks to the liner but you use PL roofing caulk to create a "gasket" that seals the flange. The bottom drain and skimmer will have these type flanges and for other penetrations Dreampond makes flanges for other sizes of pipe.
      Good to know about the penetrations, I was wondering about that. Sure is simple enough - returns, bottom drains and skimmers can all be had with a flange and clamp ring arrangement.

      BTL didn't elude to the fact that they would make it custom. They would offer to send a person out to help make one, pretty expensive though, as you could imagine. The product from them is in the $0.50/sq ft. High Desert, granted it's a premade custom, which I get is where the partly comes from, is listing $3/sq ft. 6 fold increase, ouch.

      The one issue is if I go with a ledge along one side for egress, should someone fall in, that is going to complicate things in a major way with a liner. Not real keen on the folds issue.

      Plenty of food for thought, TY.

    7. #7
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      Only cuctom polyethylene liner pond I remember built was from Aquatecnoble. He posted several times here on its build. Shows putting in drains and welding liner. There are several on uTube also. On Koiphen do an advanced search for user name Aquatecnoble and keyword project.

      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...hlight=Project

      Here is a link with 2 videos but there are others.

      Personally I would not do without the specialized welding tools and experience. If you could find a welder looks like it would make a great pond.
      The real Batman wears polyester! Don't be fooled by the plastic imposter.

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      onebluemcm is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by batman View Post
      Only cuctom polyethylene liner pond I remember built was from Aquatecnoble. He posted several times here on its build. Shows putting in drains and welding liner. There are several on uTube also. On Koiphen do an advanced search for user name Aquatecnoble and keyword project.

      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...hlight=Project

      Here is a link with 2 videos but there are others.

      Personally I would not do without the specialized welding tools and experience. If you could find a welder looks like it would make a great pond.
      Thanks for that link. The guy is a little sparse on details, I couldn't find anywhere what the material was. I'm not sure it's HDPE, maybe, hard to tell.

      The BTL videos sure make welding the HDPE stuff look simple. It really does look hard to mess up. I asked them that question - looks simple, in what ways can it be messed up and result in leaks - waiting on a reply.

      TY!
      Last edited by onebluemcm; 4 Weeks Ago at 01:24 PM.

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      If your planning to fold the liner where it would actually hold water and then just seal the folds it may not be so bad as even if it leaks the water just gets behind the folds.
      The ones that high desert sells are actually custom made drop in liners that don't have any folds as they are cut and seamed together at the corners. I would think this would very difficult to do DIY.

    10. #10
      onebluemcm is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by tbullard View Post
      If your planning to fold the liner where it would actually hold water and then just seal the folds it may not be so bad as even if it leaks the water just gets behind the folds.
      The ones that high desert sells are actually custom made drop in liners that don't have any folds as they are cut and seamed together at the corners. I would think this would very difficult to do DIY.
      Yeah, that is what I was thinking. Buy enough material, make patterns and panels and assemble it here. It does seem complicated but once you see how it goes together, it really isn't that complicated - melt plastic, press together. BTL even says that long seams can be done with a heat gun, they recommend the more complicated heated wedge machine for efficiency, but they do say if done correctly, seaming with a heat gun will accomplish the same thing.

      It's easy for me to blabber about this here, I realize. I'm not totally ready to lay out the dough for liner material, but I may inquire with them about maybe getting some scraps and practicing to see about my confidence level. If that happens, I'll definitely post the results of testing.

    11. #11
      onebluemcm is offline Senior Member
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      I edited the first post.

      Turns out, I was being inaccurate my accident. Technically, this is LPDE welding, since the surface of the BTL liners is LDPE and the layup can have one or more HDPE scrim layers internally for strength. They are different materials, and perhaps that is why it seems easier to field weld the BTL Liners? I'll do more research.

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      I think if you are building a rectangular pond that it would be wise to reconsider a traditional rubber liner. There is a way to fold the corners in a way that the seam is almost invisible. I will try to get some pictures of my neighbors Goldie pond to show good that kind of liner can look in a rectangular pond.

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      Quote Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
      Thanks for that link. The guy is a little sparse on details, I couldn't find anywhere what the material was. I'm not sure it's HDPE, maybe, hard to tell.

      The BTL videos sure make welding the HDPE stuff look simple. It really does look hard to mess up. I asked them that question - looks simple, in what ways can it be messed up and result in leaks - waiting on a reply.

      TY!
      This is the link that has more construction details. They state the material is PEHD or as we know it HDPE. Shows prep, two different welding methods and hooking up bottom drain.

      If you are serious email him. He speaks multiple languages including English. This is the only koi pond that I have seen posted constructed of welded HDPE.


      https://youtu.be/ocEbH1RO1Ps
      Last edited by batman; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:23 PM.
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    14. #14
      onebluemcm is offline Senior Member
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      Thank you sir. I wondered about contact him too, that was a huge project.

      And I will also consider using EPDM, kind of coming full circle in that respect. Trying to see ways of folding the corners but I really do want to minimize the pockets that can be created that are stagnant.

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