Valves and Fittings
fittings, also called push-in or compression, just push together.
They are used with most kinds of flexible pipe and need a
stainless steel or plastic clamp to keep them secure. They're
inexpensive and simple to install.
Pipes, valves and fittings are the workhorses of your pond
and are readily available at most hardware stores. The right
pipes, valves and fittings can dramatically improve the
efficiency of your pump.
Pipes deliver water where you want it and they protect
underground electric lines from deterioration or cuts from
a wayward spade or other tool. Although copper might seem
like the best choice for carrying water, plastic is better
in a pond. Unlike copper and other metals, plastic isn't
toxic to plants and fish. It is easy to cut, simple to assemble
and won't corrode. If your plan calls for nonflexible pipe,
look for rigid PVC. For other applications use flexible
corrugated plastic pipe. It bends around corners and other
obstacles without using additional fittings. However, it
will not make sharp 90-degree angles without an elbow. In
most ponds, 1/2 inch to 1-1/4 inch pipe and fittings will
be sufficient. If your project requires moving large amounts
of water, use 1-1/2 to 2 inch pipe.
Fittings are the joints of the water supply system.
They connect the parts, pumps, pipes and filters. If you
want your pump to run both a waterfall and a fountain you
can put a fitting on it to pump just the fountain, just
the waterfall or both at the same time. Other fittings allow
you to make the liner watertight where piping passes through
it. There are three types of fittings.
Solvent Fittings, also called slip fittings, require a solvent
to join them together. They are more complicated to use
than other fittings. Use them with rigid PVC pipe. All surfaces
need to be clean and dry before applying solvent to the
Threaded Fittings, those that screw into place are easy
to install even when wet. Use them primarily with rigid
pipes. Make threaded fittings waterproof by winding pipe-wrap
tape around the threads before assembling.
Commonly used fittings:
Reducers: Allows you to change from one size pipe to another.
Larger pipe moves more water faster because it creates less
back pressure and less friction.
Adapters: Used to join two different types of pipe or two
different fittings, such as a solvent and a threaded fitting.
T-piece: Joins three pieces of pipe. Often used in a pump
line to move water to both a waterfall and a fountain.
Couplers: Used to join two pieces of pipe of the same size
into one longer piece.
Elbow: Changes the direction of a pipe and the water flow.
Available in 90 and 45 degree turns. To reduce friction, use
two 45 degree elbows instead of one 90 degree elbow.
Bulkhead: Attaches to the side of a water feature. Allows
pipe to pass through the liner or wall without leakage. Not
available as a barbed fitting.
control and divert the flow of water. You can use a valve
to shut off the water supply or to adjust the rate of water
flow, split a water source to two or even three separate lines
and outlets or use it to open up a line to drain the pond.
Commonly used valves:
Ball valve: Best used to turn water flow off and on quickly.
Not as useful for fine-tuning the water flow.
Gate valves: Use to restrict or increase flow. Minor adjustments
are easy to make. Can be used as an on-off valve but is slower
to operate than a ball valve.
one-way valve: Keeps water flowing in just one direction,
ideal where you need to prevent backflow. Useful when power
fails or is shut off to the water pump.
Two-way valves: Allows you to do several things with the same
valve; shut off the water, control the flow to a fountain
head or open up a line to drain the pond.
Float valve: Turns water off and on depending on the water
level in the water feature. Reduces the chore of adding water
during hot weather.
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O. Box 79
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