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Munch7707

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1

Monday, August 29th 2016, 11:57am

Float Valve or Fixed for Pond Pumping

Hello everyone,

I will be pumping irrigation water out of a pond. The supply line is 2". I was going to just have a fixed line going into the pond with a foot valve to keep water in the pump. A buddy recommended that I do a float valve so I never have to worry about water level and because I would put it 10 or so feet out in the pond it will take in cleaner water near the top instead of near the bottom of my fixed line. The water level in the pond does not fluctuate very much during the summer (pumping months) as it's fed by a canal. It does drop during the winter when the canal is shutoff but only drops about 6 inches or so.

Two questions:
  1. Is this the best route or stick with the fixed line?
  2. If the float idea is a good one then how would I keep water to the pump? Same foot valve as fixed line and what options are out there to make it look more natural instead of obnoxious pipes and something floating 10 feet out in pond?
Thanks for any input/help/ideas.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,135

Location: Metro NYC

2

Monday, August 29th 2016, 1:11pm

a floating intake is a great idea for several reasons, including the already-mentioned area of clearer water near the surface of many ponds

better off to not bother with a foot valve in the pond, if you can manage with a check valve at the pump inlet

if you use a long filter screen attached to a wood plank float, all that's really visible is the plank

Munch7707

Unregistered

3

Tuesday, August 30th 2016, 8:38am

a floating intake is a great idea for several reasons, including the already-mentioned area of clearer water near the surface of many ponds

better off to not bother with a foot valve in the pond, if you can manage with a check valve at the pump inlet

if you use a long filter screen attached to a wood plank float, all that's really visible is the plank
I thought about a check valve but then figured the water between the check valve and the pond would drain back into the pond. Then there would be a 5-8 foot section of pipe that would not have any water in it. Wouldn't this be bad for the pump? The pump would start up because it had water in it but then quickly pump that out and have an air bubble in a sense.

I've got my system pretty much designed and figured out, I'm just struggling with the part from the pump to the pond. Are there any good sites/products for pond side of the setup?

Thanks for the reply.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,135

Location: Metro NYC

4

Tuesday, August 30th 2016, 11:43am

Depending on your location, you might very well want to have the water able to drain back through the suction line, as it can help preparing for winter. As long as the pipe and check valve and connections are good, the water won't be draining back into the pond, as that would create a vacuum. Much better to rely on a check valve at the pump inlet than a foot valve in the pond, if it comes down to them requiring service, and the repairman not being eager for a swim.

SunCoLawns

Advanced Member

Posts: 111

Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA

5

Wednesday, August 31st 2016, 7:03am

I service a number of systems that have both check valves before the pump and foot valves. They all have long runs before the pumps and sit several feet above the intake. Really not practical to not have a foot valve. The check valves make them difficult to prime and difficult to drain for winter. In one case, whoever installed it installed a check valve on a vertical stretch of PVC and buried it in 6" of sand. With no practical way to get the water out and really no way to tell that the intake line was still full of water, the thing froze and was replaced sans check valve the following spring. Works much better.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,135

Location: Metro NYC

6

Wednesday, August 31st 2016, 11:55am

I service a number of systems that have both check valves before the pump and foot valves. They all have long runs before the pumps and sit several feet above the intake. Really not practical to not have a foot valve. The check valves make them difficult to prime and difficult to drain for winter. In one case, whoever installed it installed a check valve on a vertical stretch of PVC and buried it in 6" of sand. With no practical way to get the water out and really no way to tell that the intake line was still full of water, the thing froze and was replaced sans check valve the following spring. Works much better.
I'd love to hear an explanation of how a foot valve presents no problem when draining a suction line.

Any check valve, be it foot valve or inlet-mounted check valve, will interrupt drainage through the suction line. That's what they're for. In the event of a higher suction lift, you do want a foot valve, or a check valve lower in the line, close to the water level, so that the height of water has a check valve to sit on, which in turn takes a load off the pump.

Since I use jet pumps almost exclusively (good self-limiting output pressure for sprinklers) I can fit them with an 1-1/4 inch brass check valve at the inlet, and forget abut any foot valves. These are all installs with a lift of about five feet, so there's no lifting strain on the pump. The smaller check valve sizes can also be had in a version with taps on either side of the check, for use as "control center" valves for indoor well water supplies, and it is that tap that makes suction line drainage an easy thing to manage, so long as there's no foot valve preventing drainage. My priority is to not have to venture into a very mucky pond in order to deal with suction line issues.

For larger size suction connections on a pump, the brass check valve may cost way more than a foot valve. And of course, if you are in a warmer climate, you may not have any freezing worries with the suction line, so no foot valve worries.

SunCoLawns

Advanced Member

Posts: 111

Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA

7

Wednesday, August 31st 2016, 2:29pm

Unscrew the foot valve - problem solved. You may be using them in different applications than I encounter. Most of mine are in recreational lakes and are tied to a dock. One of them has a union coupling on the beach and it is removed and the entire line is taken out of the lake.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,135

Location: Metro NYC

8

Wednesday, August 31st 2016, 3:45pm

Definitely a different application. I get small shallow ponds and lakes that are struggling against their eventual demise by becoming filled with leaves that won't break down quickly enough. We employ oversized screen assemblies attached to a plank, floating some distance from the edge of the body of water, so that clear water can be brought in from close to the surface, away from the leaf litter 'sludge' that is barely a foot from the surface.

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