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Thread: new pond leak

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    new pond leak

    I recently finished (so I thought!) my pond and since starting to fill it, its become obvious there is a leak. The pond is a block built, concrete based bottom drained fibreglass pond, with 3 inlets and the fibreglass was laid over insulation boards.
    I seem to be loosing about a cm a day and had only filled it about 2/3 full. I put 10000 litres in and worked out I would have about 14000 when full. I have just unsuccessfully tried the milk test, I tried pouring a small amount in the 3 corners and it just seems to cloud up and spread around the pond although possibly going to the bottom drain but also staying in a cloud in one area.The pond has nothing in fish wise and nothing running. I have checked around the pond and can't see any obvious signs of leaking on the outside. Extremely frustrating as its a brand new pond which has been fibreglassed. The bottom drain had everything double sealed with CT1 as I didn't want to end up having a leak there however it looks like it may be there somewhere. Any ideas of ways to find the leak? If I wait for it all to drain I would be waiting all winter at this rate and still be none the wiser

    edit: just to add the only place I didn't put a bead of ct1 around was the fibreglass overlapping the drain as I figured this should be secure. Same on the inlets although the water is currently only over one inlet and there was no sign of the milk pulling towards this when I poured some right by it first in the hope thats what it would be.


    Last edited by samp09; 03-12-2019 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Kyusai Scamp's Avatar
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    Hi, I understand it will take a long time for the pond to empty if the leak is near the bottom drain. However if you cannot see any wet patches, no pipes are leaking/filters not running, and no obvious failure, then allowing it to drain to the point it stops is the most realistic way of locating where it is...

    If you have a feeling its the bottom drain you could pump out to a few cm above the drain and see if it drains further..that would speed the process?

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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
    Hi, I understand it will take a long time for the pond to empty if the leak is near the bottom drain. However if you cannot see any wet patches, no pipes are leaking/filters not running, and no obvious failure, then allowing it to drain to the point it stops is the most realistic way of locating where it is...

    If you have a feeling its the bottom drain you could pump out to a few cm above the drain and see if it drains further..that would speed the process?
    that's what I would do a hell of a lot quicker, no fish in so no problem. drop it to about 6 inch of water above bottom drain. use a broom handle as a ruler. leave a few hours. if level the same put another foot of water. and so on. until you come to the leak. then you at least know the level of leak. nice one scamp . your right mate. a hell of a lot quicker. I did this myself. mine was on the window sealent

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys, I think the leak has stopped, leaving it overnight to be sure but I moved the tape measure at about 10:30am to just touch the surface of the water and as of the last time I checked half an hour or so ago, it was still just touching the water. It has stopped pretty much exactly half way down the inlet hole which is a inch or 2 lower than the beginning of the window frame so rules out the window. if it has stopped its either around the inlet or its that high up in the pond anyway. fingers crossed its in the same place tomorrow then I'll don my fishing waders and go in looking for it, although may lower the water a couple inches to under the inlet to counteract the level difference of me in the water

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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys, I think the leak has stopped, leaving it overnight to be sure but I moved the tape measure at about 10:30am to just touch the surface of the water and as of the last time I checked half an hour or so ago, it was still just touching the water. It has stopped pretty much exactly half way down the inlet hole which is a inch or 2 lower than the beginning of the window frame so rules out the window. if it has stopped its either around the inlet or its that high up in the pond anyway. fingers crossed its in the same place tomorrow then I'll don my fishing waders and go in looking for it, although may lower the water a couple inches to under the inlet to counteract the level difference of me in the water
    Nice one mate. Sounds good. Sounds like the inlet. When you say inlet. Is that to the filters. Fingers crossed for you. That it stays at that level.

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    its the return from the skimmer line. Unfortunately it has dropped although not quite as far as it has been I don't think so maybe its close to the leak and slowing down due to lack of pressure. Or maybe I'm just going mad!

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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    its the return from the skimmer line. Unfortunately it has dropped although not quite as far as it has been I don't think so maybe its close to the leak and slowing down due to lack of pressure. Or maybe I'm just going mad!
    If it is the inlet dam or a pinhole. I use this.
    But need a very light sand paper for bonding. Drys under water as well. Can be applied under water

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    Thank you just need to find the bloody thing! incredible frustraiting as I started digging the pond by hand in April and now its all good to go other than the bloody leak!

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    Isn't there any damp on the pond walls?

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  18. #10
    Get in the pond with waders on and gently press on the fibreglass, you might be able to see any pinholes bubbling. Thatís how I started to find mine. I wasnít sure what to look for at first but then I found gazillions of the sodding things. I ended up sanding down the whole pond and redoing a new coat of glass and topcoat. (Long story)
    Be warned though, you could still have some pinholes above where your water level stops dropping also.
    I found the water appeared to leak down behind the fibreglass, hit the slab then start to rise up into the blockwork and you donít need too many holes to lose quite a bit of water.
    Reseal the entry point for your return pipe as well as thatís a common leak point.


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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sephuk View Post
    Isn't there any damp on the pond walls?

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    Not noticeable although the block work hardly has had a chance to air out and dry since it got wet when the rain started. no difference on the outside that I can see anyway.

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  22. #12
    Please say you tested the bottom drain for leaks ?

    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    Not noticeable although the block work hardly has had a chance to air out and dry since it got wet when the rain started. no difference on the outside that I can see anyway.

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcarpchaser View Post
    Get in the pond with waders on and gently press on the fibreglass, you might be able to see any pinholes bubbling. That’s how I started to find mine. I wasn’t sure what to look for at first but then I found gazillions of the sodding things. I ended up sanding down the whole pond and redoing a new coat of glass and topcoat. (Long story)
    Be warned though, you could still have some pinholes above where your water level stops dropping also.
    I found the water appeared to leak down behind the fibreglass, hit the slab then start to rise up into the blockwork and you don’t need too many holes to lose quite a bit of water.
    Reseal the entry point for your return pipe as well as that’s a common leak point.


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    Thanks for the advice, I have studded waders although they are minimal so will be cautious before I make the bottom like a sieve

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sephuk View Post
    Please say you tested the bottom drain for leaks ?

    I tested it full of water overnight before fitting and whilst there was rain etc after it was fibreglassed it held fine although I wasn't measuring it, but it only got deeper when it rained.

    I also put a bead of CT1 on the inside of every seal in the bottom drain and on the inside and outside of the pipe joining to it to be sure so would be surprised if that was the weak link, other than the fibreglass overlap which I thought would be fine, but will seal that if it gets down to that. the only thing in regards to that I could think of would be the air pipe part however again this was all thoroughly solvent welded and water held in it before it filled up and was cleared with the air going through it so I would have thought it would have seeped out if that was the case.
    I'm pretty confident the leaking has slowed down the last 2 days which makes me think its close to the point, and its also near the bottom of the inlet so hoping it stops once below and that answers the question..

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    how much return did you have coming into the pond and how did they glass them mate?

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    I have 3 returns however only the lowest was below the fill level before I noticed the leak. I believe they fibreglassed over the returns then cut them out and sanded them down once the fibreglass had set. The day they done it, it was around 7 degrees which is obviously a cold temperature for the fibreglass to go off.

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  32. #17
    i left a foot of return on mine and they did 4 layers around the pipe then cut it off with about a cm showing then they flow coated, i still put a good bit of sealant around the edge just incase! When my skimmer had a leak i wasnt loosing anywhere near a cm a day and there was quite a bit of water on the wall, enough that if i wiped it id have a good cpl drips on my finger, cant work out where your water is going!

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sephuk View Post
    i left a foot of return on mine and they did 4 layers around the pipe then cut it off with about a cm showing then they flow coated, i still put a good bit of sealant around the edge just incase! When my skimmer had a leak i wasnt loosing anywhere near a cm a day and there was quite a bit of water on the wall, enough that if i wiped it id have a good cpl drips on my finger, cant work out where your water is going!
    Me neither, no signs of it anywhere which is why I worry itís the drain but I feel like I put so much ct1 over all the seals etc other than the actual fibreglass overlap I just donít know how it could fail.i literally layered everything up and double layered the pipe joins etc to be 100% on the inside and outside which makes me thing it could only be the air line part if that is the case and itís the bottom drain somewhere.

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  36. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by sephuk View Post
    Please say you tested the bottom drain for leaks ?
    Seph, how do you test the bottom drains leaking. Do it before they are concreted in im asuming... was thinking about this the other day and have spoke to fred about it but canít really remember howís the way to test? As the pipe work that goes to filter is higher then the bottom drain so asuming one end has to be capped off... but then the cap off could leak??? Thanks


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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charco123 View Post
    Seph, how do you test the bottom drains leaking. Do it before they are concreted in im asuming... was thinking about this the other day and have spoke to fred about it but canít really remember howís the way to test? As the pipe work that goes to filter is higher then the bottom drain so asuming one end has to be capped off... but then the cap off could leak??? Thanks


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    You buy a couple of these mate. Put in one end. Or both your choice. Obviously drain end. Fill with water. And if water drops you have a leak.
    You can also by the caps to test with air.
    You need two for that. Here is a cap picture.
    Fred

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