Pond plumbing

I always say, plumbing makes the pond. Good plumbing maximizes water re circulation and water quality. It also makes maintenance much easier. In short, a poorly plumbed pond will create more work to achieve an inferior result

Plumbing is of course easiest to install while the pond is being constructed. However, we have installed bottom drains after construction by removing some stone and peeling back the liner. We stock a wide array of plumbing parts at our shop which include the following:

Check Valves

These are used to allow flow in one direction only. They automatically block it in the other. This is vital to maintain prime in non priming pumps that are installed above grade. Swing check valves should be installed vertically in order to operate reliably while spring check valves can operate in any orientation [with a small head loss penalty]
  • waterfall-plumbing.jpg
    Waterfall plumbing usually needs to be controlled. Water can shoot out of one outlet, drip out of another without ball valves
  • venturi.jpg
    Venturis add air by using a pump and a physics principle of vacuum. There is a slight penalty in loss of flow
  • midwater-feed.jpg
    These liner connections have a screen to prevent fish from entering. Similar to a bottom drain design, starting at 1.5"

Gate Valves

These valves are typically used for flow in an on or off position. A stainless paddle and 1 piece handle are desired. We usually install these valves to allow pumps to be removed without flooding

Ball Valves

Ball valves are best used for reducing flow rates. They are heavy duty P.V.C. valves that will last a long time. Take care of the union position during installation so equipment can be removed with the valve closed. Some valves on the market are very difficult to turn so test before you buy

Flex Hose

We prefer to use flex hose over rigid pipe. Flex hose can be glued into standard pvc fittings and is far superior to schedule 40 pvc pipe. Easier installation, head losses are reduced and items can be easily moved when utilizing flex hose


There are numerous types of glues and you must use the right type of glue to achieve a durable weld. PVC glue is grey in colour and used for gluing PVC parts together. As always, a primer/cleaner is a good idea. ABS glue is yellow, used to bond ABS parts together - they are typically black. Transition cement is white and colour and used to bond ABS to PVC. Although not up to code in some areas, I have used this a lot over the years and never had an issue

Flex hose glue is also available, it is purple in colour and used to bond hard PVC parts to PVC flex hose. Not all hose is compatible with PVC parts, you can buy 2" ID hose that has different OD's, a thinner wall being to small to glue to PVC fittings

Rubber Couplers

Coming in all sizes and even with step up capability, rubber couplers adapt all types of pipe, flex and hoses allowing you to connect other wise non conforming parts together

Just snap a 5/16 hex bit on your cordless drill and these can be connected and disconnected almost instantly. Forget struggling with insert poly fittings and anti-kink hose - these are poor choices and difficult to work with. For high pressure situations, PVC couplers should be used

Basket Screens

These should be installed in systems with fish. It's amazing how fish will find there way out of a tank and into a pump or filter if some screening is not in place. These screens are oversized. This is key because by increasing the draw area, the suction is reduced. As a result, they do not typically clog unless inundated with a lot of debris


These are utilized to make connections in rigid vats, filter tanks etc. Threading on the inside allows for male adapter connections. These are a necessity for making your own filters

Bottom Drains

What discussion on pond plumbing would omit the mention of a bottom drain? They are the fundamental key to improving your pond system dramatically and reducing the maintenance We have a page dedicated to bottom drains if you want to learn more
3 way ball valve

3 way ball valve

pond screen

Inlet Screen



Tangential Pond Return [TPR]

TPR's introduce water back into the system on an angle and help the whole system function better as particulate is channeled to the bottom drain

We use similar type fitting for jet returns and liner connections for air as well. We have never had one of these fittings leak - the flange clamps down very well
tangental pond return


Pond Plumbing