Repairing a leaky water feature—Part two, putting it back together

The liner in the fountain had gotten old and needed changing so we took the whole thing apart and put in a new one. I started telling about the job of repairing a leaky waterfall in a previous post which showed the process of taking the water feature apart.  The main thing about putting it back together is to be careful.

We started by laying out the larger part of the liner in the bottom pool, fitting it just right, and smoothing out as many of the wrinkles as possible. When working with the liner we remove out shoes and work in socks to keep from poking any holes in it.

Take off your shoes when working with waterfall liner

Take off your shoes when working with waterfall liner

We fitted the liner and smoothed it out. One of the more difficult parts of this project was getting the liner to fit just right in the riverbed going under the bridge. The original project had been installed before the bridge was put in place.

Pool liner installation for a waterfall feature

Pool liner installation for a waterfall feature

Next, on the other side of the bridge, we needed to re-set and level the concrete blocks that formed the upper pool that is essential for the water feature to sound good. The blocks must be perfectly level and above the level of the stone that the water falls over. I call this the “fall stone.”

When dealing with water, level is important

When dealing with water, level is important

We pay particular attention to getting the liner from the bottom pool under the bridge and formed just right to the “river bed that flows into the bottom pool. The upper piece of liner will have to be placed over this so that there will be no leaks around the edges. Everything is built with the principle that “water goes downhill” in mind.

Taking care to prevent leaks.

Taking care to prevent leaks.

The liner is laid over the form for the upper pool and carefully tucked under the bridge. I allowed a lot of extra liner for this to be sure that there won’t be a possibility for a leak.

Laying out the liner for the top pool of the water feature

Laying out the liner for the top pool of the water feature

When we took the upper pool apart, I was particularly careful with the fall rock. I had built this with care for the original project and I didn’t want to do it over again. I like it as it is. We set it on the liner to get the placement just right. The water will fall over this rock and down into another small pool.

This is the rock that the water will flow over

This is the rock that the water will flow over

We tilt the fall rock assembly up and pack mortar under it. If this step is not done well, the water will go under instead of over and things will not be as they should be. Getting the cement under this rock and getting the rock leveled just exactly as it should be are very important. The funny thing is that the rock must be set correctly and you can’t try it out until the cement dries.

Cement keeps the water from flowing under the rock

Cement keeps the water from flowing under the rock

We use a trowel to pack the mortar around the entire fall rock assembly so that the water will only have one place to go when it leaves the upper pond.

cement keeps water from flowing around the rock

cement keeps water from flowing around the rock

Now we can finish off the decorative rock work for the pond. We use mortar to fasten the first rocks on top of the liner. Later rocks will be laid in without mortar. Note the small “torpedo level” sitting on the rock where the pump will be placed. It’s hard to get a rock completely level and you kind of have to average it out.

Border rocks set in concrete for the water feature

Border rocks set in concrete for the water feature

We build a secondary dam below the fall rock so that the water will fall into a pool and enhance the sound of the project.

A secondary dam to enhance the sound of the water feature

A secondary dam to enhance the sound of the water feature

We continue cementing rocks on the perimeter of the upper pond for a natural looking appearance.

adding rocks for appearance

adding rocks for appearance

The pump is exactly what it looks like. I think I got it from Lowe’s. It was a nice, red, functional hand pump. I took the working parts out of it and converted the hook up assembly so that I could fasten a hose from the pump to it.

The project calls for a bit of creative plumbing.

The project calls for a bit of creative plumbing.

Here is a picture that shows the tubing going from the pump in the lower pool to the non functional hand pump where the water comes out.

Not the hookup of the tubing from the submerged pump in the lower pool

Not the hookup of the tubing from the submerged pump in the lower pool

Looking down on the upper pool you will see that the bottom of the pool, where the water falls, has been covered with small river rocks. The water from the pump will go from there over the fall rock and into the smaller pool below. From there the water will flow gently down under the bridge and into the larger pool on the other side.

Finishing the upper pools of the water feature

Finishing the upper pools of the water feature

We give the cement a day or two to cure and then add water and turn it on. Everything works well. Yay.

all is well

all is well

 

And a Word from Our Sponsor:

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

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