Hello from Nashville, TN! Today we’re going to talk about leak detection in your water feature. Slight fluctuations in your garden pond or water feature are normal – evaporation and splashing can cause your waterfall or pond to lose up to 2 – 3 inches a day. Large drops in water level, however, can mean a leak. Luckily, leak detection is simply a series of trouble shooting steps that we’re going to walk you through to help fix your leak!
First, fill your pond up to a normal level – making sure not to overfill – and then simply turn off your pump. Wait 12 – 24 hours and check the water level. If the water drops drastically, you now know you have a leak in your pond. Let the pond continue to lose water until it stops. This level is where your leak will be located. You can concentrate your search around the perimeter of the pond by removing any rocks at the level of your leak. Check the pond liner for a puncture or hole. Once found, you can patch the leak with a liner patch kit. Then, once the leak has been sealed, you can replace your rocks and enjoy your water feature!
What if the water level stays the same after the waiting period? This means your problem might lie in the waterfall. As dirt around the stream or waterfall settles, it can create low spots that may cause water to escape over the liner’s edge. Look for wet mulch or muddy areas around the perimeter of your stream or waterfall. If you find the low spot, lift up the liner and fill the area with soil to raise the edge and contain the water.
A “splash leak” – one that’s caused by water splashing out of the water feature, can be easily remedied by moving rocks in the area to redirect the water back into your feature.
Another factor to consider is obstructions in your stream and waterfall. Rocks or even excessive plant or algae growth can restrict and divert water flow. Proper care of your plants, however, can act as preventative maintenance here.
Finally, if none of these solutions work, it’s time to check the pipe, plumbing fittings, and pump connections. You should also check your skimmer to make sure it’s sealed correctly. If the water level falls below the level of the skimmer, take a look at it first before disassembly. Move a few rocks around the front and slide your hand behind the liner – do you feel wet soil? If so, the faceplate might be the problem and the source of your leak. Remove the faceplate, clean the old silicone off the liner, and refer to your skimmer instruction manual for the proper way to seal the faceplate to the skimmer.
Of course, at JVI Secret Gardens, we offer a 1-year leak detection warranty on any new water feature we build. We want your new investment to be worry-free and understand that settling soil and weather conditions can affect your waterfall at first. We also offer leak detection services to existing water features in and around Nashville, TN – just give us a call or drop us a line if your pond starts to fall!