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I think there is a leak in my water garden, but how do I know? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Q: I think there is a leak in my water garden, but how do I know?

Q: I think there is a leak in my water garden, but how do I know?

Abby – Pueblo, CO

A: What a conundrum! Determining whether you have a leak in your liner—and then finding and fixing it—can be a daunting task. But with a little detective work and these step-by-step instructions, your pond will be holding water again in no time.

A Leak or the Heat?

Let’s determine if you have a leaky pond in the first place. How much water are you losing per day? And what’s the temperature outside? On hot days, it’s common to lose up to an inch of volume from your water garden—but if it’s more than that, you may have a leak.

Finding the Leak

Common places for leaks to spring include around the pond’s perimeter, the area around your waterfall and pump, and your liner. When looking for the leak’s source, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Search for a Wet Spot: First, look for wet areas around the perimeter of your pond. Is water pooling somewhere? Are the weeds thicker or the grass lusher in one area than another? Check the low-lying areas where the liner may not be properly supported. If nothing looks amiss, head over to your waterfall pump.

Step 2 – Leak Check: The easiest way to determine whether the leak is in your liner or in your waterfall box is to turn off the waterfall pump (but keep your aeration going so the water stays aerated) and leave it alone for a few hours. When you come back:

  1. Is the water level the same? If so, your liner is not the culprit so you’ll need to check for problems with your waterfall box.
  2. Has the water level dropped? If so, you have a leaky liner. Jump to step 4.

Step 3 – Waterfall Worries: If your waterfall or waterfall box is the source of your leak, follow these steps to determine where the water could be escaping:

  1. Connections: First check the connections from the pump to the box. Are they loose and dripping, or are they tight?
  2. Cracks in the Box: Next, take a look at the waterfall box itself. Are there any cracks? Is the liner properly attached?
  3. Stream Leaks: Finally, inspect the rocks and liner around the waterfall and stream, making adjustments are needed. Try using some Waterfall Foam to stop water from flowing behind the rocks.

Step 4 – Your Leaky Liner: Finding a hole in a liner isn’t easy. But with a little perseverance, you can locate it and repair it. Here’s how:

  1. Track the Leak: Use Pond Logic® Pond Shade to visually track the leak. Simply add a few drops on the side and watch it as it finds its way to the leak. This will take some time, a few attempts—and patience.
  2. Let It Be: If you have trouble finding it with Pond Shade, let the water slowly go down. (Depending how low it goes, you may need to temporarily relocate your fish.) The water level should stabilize, which will allow you to visually inspect the first few inches of liner above the water surface for the hole.
  3. Repair the Leak: Once you find the hole, patch it up with self adhesive Liner Patch or use some Gold Label Pond Sealer.

Good luck with your search!

Pond Talk: Have you ever had a leak in your pond? How did you find out where it was coming from?

Control Water Flow - Atlantic® Waterfall Foam

Finding a Leak in Your Water Garden – Water Garden & Feature Q & A

Finding a leak in your Water Garden

Water Gardens & Features Q & A

Q: I think my pond may have a leak. How do I find it? – Donny of Georgia

A: To find a leak in your pond or water feature, you’ll need to do some sleuthing. Your fish and waterfall/stream will splash some water out of the pond, and some of it will evaporate (especially during the long, warm days of summer), but if you have an average pond and you’re losing more than 3 inches per week, try these techniques to troubleshoot the cause of the leak:

1. Turn off the pump and wait: By shutting off your pump, you’ll be able to narrow down the location of the leak. If the water level in the pond continues to drop, you’ve got a leak or liner breech in the main basin of your pond. If the water level stays the same, you’ve got some more investigating to do.

2. Inspect your plumbing: A leak in the plumbing means you’ll need to carefully examine all the check valve assemblies and fittings, replacing them if necessary. Look at your skimmer and/or filtration system and make sure they’re clean and sound. You won’t be able to check buried pipe, of course, but look around the pond for abnormal wet patches.

3. Check your liner: Your pond’s leak could be caused by a liner breech, either in the waterfall/stream or along the pond’s edge. Has a rock, plant or excess algae growth shifted the liner, causing the water to flow over it? Has the liner settled along the streambed or pond edge after a heavy rain? Do you see wet spots in the mulch or gravel alongside the pond? These clues may lead you to the cause of the leak.

4. Let it flow: If the leak is in the pond basin itself, all you can do is leave the pump off and let the water run out until it stops, being mindful of your plants and fish, of course. Low water levels may force you to net your fish and relocate pond inhabitants. As the water drains, check the sides of the pond for holes or gashes. Look for low edges that allow water to escape and make sure the liner is still in place.

5. Fix it: When you find the leak, we suggest to scrub and remove any debris before patching to help ensure a clean seal. A hole in the pond liner can be easily fixed with and 6″ EPDM Liner Patch Kit or a Universal Liner Patch Kit if you liner is something other than EPDM. Follow the included instructions or contact us and we can help you. If you don’t want to drain your pond to repair the leak you can always use the Underwater Pond Sealer. It works instantly to repair leaks in rubber liners, vinyl liners, concrete, stone, wood, glass and ceramic.

Pond leaks happen, so be sure to regularly inspect and maintain your decorative pond or water feature. Hopefully, you’ll be able to catch the leak before it turns into a flood!

POND TALK: Do you have any tips for finding an underwater leak?

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