Pondless waterfall vault

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by muddywater, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    Jim, have you ever done a pondless waterfall and used a vault?
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  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961


    I will toss in 2 cents. I would not use a 5 gallon plastic bucket in this application no matter how much I agree with you that the pond kits sumps look like over priced plastic.

    I also know what some plastic molds cost and it is very high.

    Jim did not say it quite like this but the cost of the materials are often irrelivant provided you are pricing the job correctly. Customers can see a 5 gallon pickle bucket and they will doubt your professionalism.

    I would agree with you that on a small job, 4" concrete block on compacted soil is a decent foundation for something with less the 20 PSI.
  3. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    I think you might have missed a few posts in this thread. I am going to use a carson jumbo valve box. I am sure you are familiar with them. 300lb load rating and fairly inexpensive. And i stll get grief from these guys.
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  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I admit to not reading every single one of these but you did start off asking about a 5 gallon bucket.

    I have installed a few jumbo valve boxes and last I heard they are not water tight. You will have to field engineer that and then hope various stresses do not cause it to leak.

    I think I would rather have a pre-engineered sump designed for a pump and volume needed to for the feature to work. Maybe I do not have enough experiance in ponds to know the differance.

    I would hate to turn off the system and create a pond where none should exisit. Or have the pump entrain air because the sump was too small to fully flood the feature without draining the sump.

    I am just chicken that way. If I saw some drawings and some hydraulic caluculations then perhaps I would change my mind.
  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358


    why yes i have, i usually don't make a habit of replying to threads that i have no experience in. i don't feel that i owe it to anyone to post my bonifides but here are a few.

    i am a journeyman cement finisher with over 30 yrs of experience in the trades. i have worked on jobs in commercial, residential and highway construction. for a period of time in the late 70's early 80's i was flown to work daily by a large construction co. as a working foreman on major bridge and water treatment reconstruction. i have worked for Granite, Neilson and Nickles, R.G. Fisher, M & K, Swinnerton & Walburg, PKS and others in my time.

    in the early 80's we built a few shopping complexes from the underground up.

    i have experience in concrete, shotcrete and gunite, dirt moving, structural reinforcement, water works, sewage treatment, swimming pools and ponds, leak detection and locating as well as electrical and plumbing. i am also a certified diver amongst other things.

    i have very few pics of my work as of until recently as i have had partners that took the photos while i just did the work. here are a couple that i have posted before though.


    in answer to your request for my reasoning for a slab vs concrete blocks. very simple, a slab with reinforcment is by far stronger than concrete blocks. even 4 sack concrete will break at 2500# and the rebar prevents vertical shear, the blocks are individual and float, which creates an issue with frost heave or seismic movement.

    valve boxes are for protecting valves and are not vaults. these are vaults http://www.pondliner.com/category/Waterfall_Pump_Vaults

    these are valve boxes


    i just checked back on this thread before i posted and found this post http://www.lawnsite.com/showpost.php?p=4451953&postcount=83

    son, the only grief that you are getting is self imposed. you may have something to prove to yourself but i learned this riding bulls, it's all fun and games till it costs you an eye and nobody cares but your mother. have a great day :)
  6. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    I have used vaults on larger jobs so i know the difference bt a vb and a vault. Correct me if i am wrong but the purpose of a vault is to allow the wAter to pool around your pump. The last one i did, i used a liner in the hole, and put a vault at the bottom and then backfilled with rock around the vault. The vault serves 3 purposes, creating an area for water to collect so the pump can run uninhibited, a place to mount autofill, and a structure for the fountain to sit on. It seems to me a valve box would serve exactly the same purpose with small slits to let the water in.

    As far as the concrete goes we will just have to disagree. No doubt concrete is stronger but the load of 200lbs spread over 16-20 sq ft is minimal and i dont see an advantage to pouring. If it was a larger fourain, i would agree whole heartedly.
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  7. turner_landscaping

    turner_landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    Wow gone a few day days and the thread blows up.. there's is no reason to pour concrete in the bottom of the basin a way over kill. If you are really worried about settling add some crush 411 in the basin bottom and compact bout 2-4 inches worth. I hardly ever use perform basins I custom build all of mine using liner cinder block and heavy abs grating. I build these water features every day I've just got done building a 1250 pound bubbling rock feature. I have bubbling features that have been in for years and haven't settle. I've have a 2500 pound bubbling granite boulder going in a few weeks. If you search my threads there is a pic of a 1 ton bubbling rock that I've posted on here and has never settled as well. Pm me if want.
  8. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    Cool I new some of you guys out there made your own basins and vaults. I tried to find the bubbler in past threads, but all I saw were waterfalls(nice work btw).
  9. turner_landscaping

    turner_landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    I may have posted them on some other threads. Shoot me a email and I'll send you pics if you like
  10. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    I have always liked your use of the ABS grating in lieu of the matrix blocks on pondless features and it evidently also works quite well for you in load-bearing applications. In my area, however, because of the sub-soil being predominantly very sandy clay, everything eventually settles unless some form of base is laid to provide a sturdy foundation and evenly distribute the weight of the structure being built. I have seen houses, walls, sidewalks, patios, swimming pools and even ponds that have settled over time.
    I admit that this influenced my recommendations for a concrete base in this thread, but I have become, over the years, conditioned to be cautious.

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