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View Full Version : Wow, looks good, but leaking water...


MowingisMaddness
08-29-2008, 12:00 AM
Thanks in advance for the feedback. I need help fixing this water feature...

The facts:

1) Lower pool holds water to top of liner when water feature is off

2) Upper pool holds water to 3/4" below flagstone spillway stone when feature is off

3) Plumbing is not leaking

4) Face of wall is like a veneer with liner behind it, then a structural wall

5) Lower pool liner is a single piece going all the way up and over retaining wall stones that the flagstone spillway are sitting on

6) Losing about 1 gallon of water per minute. No signs of where water is going. Retaining wall is 8 feet tall, with 1" clean rock, so lots of holding capacity for water...

MowingisMaddness
08-29-2008, 12:04 AM
more pictures for you problem solvers

XStream Aquatics
08-29-2008, 12:15 AM
Just to start off.

XStream Aquatics
08-29-2008, 12:17 AM
the wall looks really wet. Does your liner going up the wall lay flat or do you have the edges rolled out.

MowingisMaddness
08-29-2008, 12:42 AM
XStream Aquatics, Thank you for the quick response. I am going to start taking apart this water feature apart on Saturday, if I have to...

You are hitting on the two areas I also believe the leak maybe at. I am 90% sure the liners are overlapped correctly.

The liner going up the wall is weaved into the wall, so it lays flat in the center of the feature and rolls up at the edges... I am also 90% sure it is adequately far enough from the edge on the left side and the right side is 100% liner to the corner and down below the natural stones.

The wetness of the wall can vary greatly depending on the wind. I put plastic between the wall and water for a whole day to rule that out. However, there is liner behind that area.

MowingisMaddness
08-29-2008, 12:44 AM
XStream Aquatics,

Could you explain the drip edge? I am not understanding it...

XStream Aquatics
08-29-2008, 12:56 AM
See if this helps.

XStream Aquatics
08-29-2008, 12:59 AM
another thought. When you turn off the pump the water seeps down to 3/4" below spillway, right? But when you turn the pump on it has to rise 3/4" plus alittle more to go over the spillway so check the liner 1-2" above the spillway in the top basin.

MowingisMaddness
08-29-2008, 01:02 AM
Ok, I understand now. But there is liner there to contain the water, even if the water rolls back under the rock. But, I guess it would be better if it didn't roll under...

What program are you using to produce those drawing in so quickly?

XStream Aquatics
08-29-2008, 01:04 AM
just the paint program that comes with every computer. Basic stuff but have sketched with it for years.

MowingisMaddness
08-29-2008, 01:13 AM
another thought. When you turn off the pump the water seeps down to 3/4" below spillway, right? But when you turn the pump on it has to rise 3/4" plus alittle more to go over the spillway so check the liner 1-2" above the spillway in the top basin.

The statement above is true.

I have checked for low liner spots around the majority of top permeter. I should check all of it before proceeding to remove the spillway stones. I did find a low spot that was only about 1 inch above water level when the pumps were running.

XStream Aquatics
08-29-2008, 01:14 AM
Good luck and I'll ponder some more.

XStream Aquatics
08-29-2008, 10:30 PM
We had to cut a drip edge in three formal rocks today so I took some pics for you.

MowingisMaddness
08-30-2008, 02:49 PM
I tore the whole water feature apart and still cant find the leak. Could you call me so I can talk with you more about it?

Tyler7692
08-30-2008, 05:06 PM
How do you know its not leaking under the top cap but above the liner (between the two?) In the one picture, it looks like its coming from dead center under the waterfall as just a small leak, but it just soaks down.

XStream Aquatics
08-30-2008, 05:21 PM
Yeah PM me your number. I've got another thing or two to ask you.

MowingisMaddness
09-02-2008, 09:00 PM
My foreman and I spent 12 hours on Saturday taking apart the top pool. Liner was overlapped correctly with no low edges in liner.

I guess the liner going between the two walls is not retaining the water on the edges or it has a large whole somewhere. I am going to start taking the wall apart on Wednesday. The customer is not happy.

XStream Aquatics
09-02-2008, 10:00 PM
good luck and call me if you need to.

MowingisMaddness
09-03-2008, 09:54 PM
XStream Aquatics,

Took a video of the water feature half way apart. How do you post a video? Its 30 mb. How do I reduce the size? Gary is going to come and help fix this thing on Friday...

Thanks, aj

XStream Aquatics
09-05-2008, 06:30 PM
Aj, I hear you and Gary found the problem. I'm glad I knew someone near by to help you.

gene gls
09-05-2008, 10:10 PM
OK, so what was the problem?

XStream Aquatics
09-05-2008, 11:24 PM
I'll let AJ explain just in case I misunderstood Gary when we talked.

rkab
09-12-2008, 01:50 PM
Hello,

Right off the bat, my first question is, how sure are you that you do not have a puncture of the liner? The rate of water loss makes me think you got one somewhere...

Other than that, it is all about the lips and order of placement like mentioned previously.

Thanks,

XStream Aquatics
09-12-2008, 03:06 PM
where the bulk head went thru the liner got pulled to tight and caused the liner to stretch below the seal leaving a gap.

MowingisMaddness
01-14-2009, 10:58 PM
where the bulk head went thru the liner got pulled to tight and caused the liner to stretch below the seal leaving a gap.

Man I lost my butt trying to find the leak on this water feature. Gary is right. It was leaking around the bulk head, but that was only a small leak.

The big leak was on the upper pool, in the 90 where the concrete retaining wall caps come together. We must have over looked it a dozen times. The liner was all folded up and looked good. One of the folds had been slit, so it would lay down better. When the pumps were turned on the water level would raise over the cut an inch.

It was so easy to miss. The corner and liner looked so good, but when it was completely unfolded that little slit in the wrinkle was slit just one inch too far :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
01-15-2009, 01:16 AM
LOL! Not to laugh but I feel your pain. I had a leak this spring that took hold of me for a month. Our spring was record rain (probably for you as well) that made it impossible to locate the leak. It eneded up being a folded low edge that I overlooked a dozen timesbecause I was certain it wasn't a low edge. Always go back and check your low edges where a fold has been made.

Venturewest
01-15-2009, 11:09 AM
This was a great technical trouble shooting thread. Thanks to everybody that shared on here. Larry, those were awesome diagrams.

I have two questions:
If you have your liner laying basically flat behind your vertical wall, how do you keep water from migrating horizontally well beyond your liner. Obviously gravity is on your side, but it seems like one little ripple in the liner could send the water out 15 feet. I guess the roll in the liner ,that you mentioned Larry, edges stops this? I would like to see a pic of that.

The other thing I am facing is: how do you cover yourself enough to compensate for water features that do have a leak and have be taken apart?

I have had several features that initially lose water. I get totally freaked out because I think, "What if there is a hole under a 2000# rock?" Fortunately it has always been a simple matter of adjusting the liner on the edges of the falls or bog. But on a $20,000 water feature what if you have to tear it apart? Any ideas?

Thanks again for a great thread.

XStream Aquatics
01-15-2009, 11:59 AM
I always use underlayment under the liner and alot under my boulders on top of the liner. We never add a leak factor to the price. Use the right equipment to set the boulders and use plenty of protection under big boulders. I tell my guys "Hey if you do something on accident behind my back let me know when it happens so I can fix it instead of a tear down later." Or if I'm uncertain on something then I usually won't do it, I'll just find another way.
As far as rolling your edges, it's is really tricky on segmental retaining walls due to the staggard blocks. I like to use special weirs for my falls on any type of brick/block work.
The use of a transit on any and every part of your liner definetly keeps you from going back and having to chase down a low spot. Spend the time while building, it's so much easier than tearing apart.

DUSTYCEDAR
01-15-2009, 12:08 PM
Thats was great info thanks for the pics and the way it turned out

dclark2037
01-31-2010, 01:35 PM
My question is : Do I install the liner up the block wall behind the cultured stone that is going to be mortared on the block wall. The waterfall is going over the wall into the pond below. This is a first for me and could use all the help I could get. I have done several ponds and waterfalls but never one going over a wall like this.
Thanks David

175633

tadpole
01-31-2010, 02:04 PM
Is the entire Water Feature above grade as it appears in your diagram? Is the cultured stone being used over the block wall a veneer or small stack stone?

dclark2037
01-31-2010, 10:30 PM
Is the entire Water Feature above grade as it appears in your diagram? Is the cultured stone being used over the block wall a veneer or small stack stone?

Actually that would be the bottom pond with a waterfall and stream above the wall. The bottom pond is 2' deep with the top 8" - 12' above grade. The wall will be veneered with a cultured stone as will the wall that is above grade on the bottom pond.
Thanks David

tadpole
01-31-2010, 11:31 PM
You will most likely find that the easiest and safest way to construct this will be to run the liner under and behind the wall that will support the waterfall. (You can't run the liner behind the veneer because the liner will not support the weight of the veneer and will stretch and possibly tear.) One other possibility is to seal the veneer facing with Clear Koi Cote, Pond Armor or similar pond coating. This will affect the aesthetics as the coating will dry to a glossy finish. I would use the first option as that would be 100% leak-proof.

tadpole
01-31-2010, 11:45 PM
Sorta like this, but not as crudely done.

dclark2037
02-01-2010, 11:02 PM
Thanks for the reply. The only thing is I got to pour a concrete footing for the wall. What I didn't make clear is the wall is part of a 47' long retaining wall with the waterfall and stream bed apilling over the wall into the pond below.

tadpole
02-02-2010, 03:11 PM
You have not indicated the height of the retaining wall. If it is not over 4 feet, the liner can be place to run between the footing and the first race of block. The biggest problem that I foresee is any mortared area being in constant contact with water. In my experience, mortar always degrades over time if it is in constant contact. Sealing may be the best answer after all. Size and setting of the waterfall weir can greatly reduce any water infiltration. (See photos). Any splash can be mitigated by strategic placement of rocks in the pond to direct the splash away from the wall.

dclark2037
02-03-2010, 11:52 PM
Tadpole those are some nice pics of your work. The second pic is kinda what i am looking for. I'm going by tomorrow and take some pics if the rain will hold out long enough and then maybe you can get a better idea of what I am talking about. Thanks again for all the info.
David

1idejim
02-04-2010, 10:37 PM
i'm sorry to post this without an invite but, i do alot of pool leak detection and would be happy to advise anyone on the forum about non envasive leak tips.

i can be reached by PM then i'll be happy to join the thread for discussion.

dclark2037
02-04-2010, 11:28 PM
Tadpole those are some nice pics of your work. The second pic is kinda what i am looking for. I'm going by tomorrow and take some pics if the rain will hold out long enough and then maybe you can get a better idea of what I am talking about. Thanks again for all the info.
David

176419

176420

176421

Here are the pics of the job. The customers want to tear down the waterfall and redo with a new waterfall/stream down and spill over a stacked stone(veneered) retaining wall. Wall should be approximately 3' tall in the front. Then fill in the old concrete pond and build a 15'L x 12'W x 3'D rectangle pond in place of the one here. The biggest question as i stated earlier is how to attach my liner to the concrete block walls that i will have to build to make the new pond. The new pond will be approx 12" inches above grade with a veneer on it also and a cap.
Thanks David

tadpole
02-05-2010, 12:37 PM
The fact that the max. height for the retaining wall will be only 3 feet plus the fact that the remaining perimeter of the pond will be a 1 foot wall, you could use what i call the TUCK method (See diagram). This is definitely leak proof. The problem with this method is the inevitable folds that occur in liner. These folds will affect the alignment of the block, but not so much as will be noticeable especially since you will be applying the stone veneer.

It looks like a good part of your time will be dismantling 'Stone Mountain'.

Those are NOT pictures of any of my projects. I got them off the web to help determine what you were planning.

dclark2037
02-06-2010, 04:28 PM
Thanks Tadpole I am going to try and do it this way.

1idejim
02-06-2010, 05:19 PM
The fact that the max. height for the retaining wall will be only 3 feet plus the fact that the remaining perimeter of the pond will be a 1 foot wall, you could use what i call the TUCK method (See diagram). This is definitely leak proof. The problem with this method is the inevitable folds that occur in liner. These folds will affect the alignment of the block, but not so much as will be noticeable especially since you will be applying the stone veneer.

It looks like a good part of your time will be dismantling 'Stone Mountain'.

Those are NOT pictures of any of my projects. I got them off the web to help determine what you were planning.

the guy that used to do my tile was not very anal with his grout work, which left me with 2 leaks at the skimmers. i started using red guard on all my work even these.

tadpole
02-06-2010, 07:28 PM
Jim, that first picture is one helluva waterfall. Probably had a price tag to match. Did you do the faux stonework?

1idejim
02-06-2010, 11:10 PM
i built the pool and helped on everything, but i didn't do the faux work

1idejim
02-07-2010, 04:25 PM
Jim, that first picture is one helluva waterfall. Probably had a price tag to match. Did you do the faux stonework?
tadpole,

i didn't have control of the waterfalls, if i had the control the falls would have an access door and the pumps would have been installed inside the structure of the falls instead of being in the main pool house.

inside the pool house at this time are (5) 1hp pumps, the filter, salt cell and the controller along with a solar add-on. it's tight as tight can be inside.

the job turned out good, but only after repairing damage other contractors did, in fact i had (2) pools that took over a year to build and both had damage due to others.

tadpole
02-07-2010, 06:43 PM
Don't ya just love working with "Professionals" and "Experts"?

1idejim
02-07-2010, 08:18 PM
Don't ya just love working with "Professionals" and "Experts"?

right on,
we'll backfill it ourselves; is just another way of saying,
hey; the return lines are history