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Repairing Your Pond

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 14 Aug 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Leaks Alternative Causes Pvc Butyl Epdm

There are few things guaranteed to make the pond-keeper feel sick quite so quickly as the sight of the water level suddenly starting to drop for no good reason. Any one of a number of other causes may be to blame but the automatic fear is a leaky liner – and the necessity of making a repair, which is never a job to be undertaken lightly. Fortunately, however, in many cases fixing a holed liner can often end up being far less difficult than you might think, particularly since modern glues, patches and repair kits are much improved over earlier versions.

Having eliminated losses from leaking pipes, natural evaporation, splashing fountains and waterfalls and other possible causes of the diminishing water level – and facing the inevitability of a repair – the first thing to do is to find the leak. While this is not always a straightforward job, the good news is that it is often not necessary to be thinking in terms of finding emergency quarters for your precious fish and then draining the whole pond. The simplest and certainly least traumatic way of tracking down the hole is to do nothing and let the water settle to its own level – which will, of course, be just below the leak – making the area which needs to be to be painstakingly examined for punctures much smaller.

Fixing the Leak

For the two most common types of garden pond construction – those using either flexible or pre-formed liners – repair kits are readily available. Repairing PVC, butyl or EPDM flexible liners generally involves either applying a length of flexible, high-adhesive tape to the split or hole, or using specialised glues to fix a watertight patch. Locating the hole is usually fairly easy given the smooth appearance of the liner material, but it can be complicated by the creases which occurred when it was first laid; a split under a fold can take some finding! Leaks from pre-formed pools fortunately seem to be quite rare. However, accidents can happen and resin-based repair kits are available from a variety of manufacturers to make good the damage in the case of a fibreglass pond, while polyester or polyethylene versions are available for those made of HDPE and other plastics. These kits contain all the materials needed to make the necessary repairs quickly and easily.

Unfortunately holes in ponds made from the less commonly used materials such as concrete and resin coated block-work are less easily found and appropriate quick repair kits are not to be had. Often the only practical solution with either type of material is to remove the pond-life to alternative accommodation, drain the pond and then recoat with sealant or resin to make the structure watertight again. Alternatively, if this is shaping up to be too big or costly a job, a new flexible liner can be fitted, over a suitable protective layer of sand, newspaper or purpose made underlay.

As with so many aspects of pond keeping, a little bit of prevention at the outset is better than being faced with having to fix a problem later and many of the common causes of leaks can be avoided if the pond is installed properly in the first place. If the liner is fitted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, in a properly excavated hole, free of stones and roots and protected by a sufficiently deep layer of cushioning material, there should be no reason why it should not last way beyond the lifespan of its guarantee. However, it is easy to be wise after the event and all of this is scant consolation if your pride-and-joy pond has, for whatever reason, sprung a leak. While this is never good news, there are ways to fix it and – with luck – without too much disturbance and upheaval into the bargain.

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Hi looking for some1 can fix the pond concrete has cracks on it
Tanya - 14-Aug-20 @ 7:38 PM
Hi all. Looking for help, suggestions or ideas. I have been given a preformed fiberglass pond 210 cm x 130 cm x 70 cm. So far so good. Dug out and prepared ground, slotted in said pond, then the dreaded thing happened, loads of leaks. My question is:- is it possible to Insert a pond liner without too much problem, or is there a sealing paint available to coat the entire I side of the pond. Any help gratefully received. Tia.
Davy - 23-Jul-20 @ 2:56 PM
Please help. My pond is dropping water and I cannot for the life of me find where. I thought it was the bottom of the pond but the level seemed to stop dropping. I bought marine grade sealant but that was a messy job, it didn't seem to stick to the liner and I got more on me than the pònd.Is there a paint I could coat the liner with or a tape.It's only a small wildlife pond. No fish.I don't want to have to empty it again as I have to do it by hand.Could I just put a new liner in the water over the existing?
Sam - 17-Jun-20 @ 8:24 PM
regarding my share yesterday, can anyone give any advice??
Larry - 15-Apr-20 @ 7:45 AM
Hi, I have a Fibreglass pond that is in three parts. The 1st part is the main part and is thelargest; it was first formed from concrete then Fibreglassed with the other two parts making this all, one pond. The 2nd part was a small cast iron bath tub that connected to the first part with a submerged pump,and PVC pipe (pump pushes water from the main pond up through a PVC pipe and through a large rock (that was placed after the Fibreglassing was completed) the rock has a hole drilled through it; the rock was cemented into place in the bath. thus the water is pumped from the lower pond up into the Uper pond and then it flows down a stream back to the main pond all of the Fibreglass work was completed together at the same time. I believe my leak is below the rock (at the plug hole) So, I believe I need to Fibreglass around and onto the rockand back to the Fibreglass upper pond (The bath tub). When the Fibreglassing was done, I believe the resin was coulered brown, and the surface is quite rough (as in slightly sandy); Now the questions if I may How far do I need to rub the Fibregassed tub surface back to get a good seal & Do I need to seal the cement (and that part of the rock that will be under water) that holds the rock in place with any product prior to covering that with Fibreglass prevent it from seperating in the future?I hope you can assist
Larry - 14-Apr-20 @ 10:10 AM
Hi. I have inherited two fish ponds which are raised to about 4 feet and cladded with wood. Both are made from a rigid fibre glass and are rectangular. The are joined together to form an "L" shape. One of them is fine and has healthy fish in the and the waterfall pours from the othe pond which is the issue. The other pond has a leak. I have let it fall to its natural level which is about an inch fro. The bottom. I have had a look for any cracks or holes or where the source of the leak is and cant see any? There are also two purpose made holes to the other pond which are i guess for so.e sort of pumping in out??? This is also where the leak/water level stops right at the bottom of the holes. Hope that makes sense...i am a pond newb so any help will be gratefully received
Wanna C - 7-Apr-20 @ 4:04 PM
We've just moved and have inherited a rectangular brick pond approx 6x4 in very poor condition. Apart from massive moss overgrow, there is loads of water weed, water lilies and we suspect a few fish. How do we take it from its current state into something smaller , aesthetically more pleasing but able to support local amphibian life......on a limited budget!!
Pondnewbie - 2-Apr-20 @ 7:51 PM
I inherited a large pond in my garden which contains a large number of fishes. Whilst doing a lot of jobs in the house I have found that the level of water has decreased in the pond due to the number of bullrushes along the side of the water. I am trying to remove the bullrushes with glyphosate and containing the bullrushes that have grown up through the rubber liner inside the pond. Can you help me with the type of pond repair kit to fix the holes?
Jim - 25-Jul-18 @ 3:20 PM
LEAK - My Butyl linner has become the victim of numerous perfectly round holes and therefore leaks. There are no scratches around the holes which are a few millimetres diameter and seem to be some small or medium (can I post a photo) Any suggestions?
DorsetPoolMan - 1-May-18 @ 6:22 PM
AllotmentPond - Your Question:
Hi. you say "while polyester or polyethylene versions are available for those made of HDPE and other plastics. These kits contain all the materials needed to make the necessary repairs quickly and easily". However, after some Googling, I can't seem to find anything that is specifically suitable for a hard plastic pond that I have inherited on my allotment (plenty of products come up, but nothing seems to mention HDPE).The pond recently gained 4 small holes (5mm x 5mm) due to an accident with a garden fork. :(Can you either recommend some suppliers and/or products, or suggest the Google search terms that I should use (I am based in UK) so I can find these products myself? Thanks!

Our Response:
A search for "underwater sealant" will bring up something suitable, you don't need to include the HDPE part.
PondExpert - 21-Jun-17 @ 2:45 PM
Kab - Your Question:
I have inherited a brick built fish pond in my front garden, complete with fish. It is about 20ft long x 9ft at the widest point (it is a triangle) and about 2ft tall. The pond liner has come away from the bricks at the top (on one side) and is slipping into the water. Is there a product that I can use to stick the liner back onto the bricks without disturbing the bricks. I do not know what the liner is made of. The pond is about ten years old.

Our Response:
There are various adhesives available but we can't mention specific brand names here. A trip to a garden centre/aquatics specialist will probably be the most useful thing to do.
PondExpert - 21-Jun-17 @ 10:50 AM
Hi ... you say "while polyester or polyethylene versions are available for those made of HDPE and other plastics. These kits contain all the materials needed to make the necessary repairs quickly and easily".However, after some Googling, I can't seem to find anything that is specifically suitable for a hard plastic pond that I have inherited on my allotment (plenty of products come up, but nothing seems to mention HDPE). The pond recently gained 4 small holes (5mm x 5mm) due to an accident with a garden fork ... :( Can you either recommend some suppliers and/or products, or suggest the Google search terms that I should use (I am based in UK) so I can find these products myself?Thanks!
AllotmentPond - 19-Jun-17 @ 10:00 PM
I have inherited a brick built fish pond in my front garden, complete with fish.It is about 20ft long x 9ft at the widest point (it is a triangle) and about 2ft tall.The pond liner has come away from the bricks at the top (on one side) and is slipping into the water.Is there a product that I can use to stick the liner back onto the bricks without disturbing the bricks.I do not know what the liner is made of.The pond is about ten years old.
Kab - 19-Jun-17 @ 11:52 AM
I have small very slow leak in pool liner near top but can't locate precisely rather than dismantle the rock surroundingis there any floating material, weed, ultra fine polyethylene balls, or the like which might be drawn in and clog the hole? perhaps human hair, works in bathroom sinks and tubs. Yours Doug A
doug - 22-May-17 @ 5:01 AM
@Gregg - as you will see above: "resin-based repair kits are available from a variety of manufacturers to make good the damage in the case of a fibreglass pond, while polyester or polyethylene versions are available for those made of HDPE and other plastics. These kits contain all the materials needed to make the necessary repairs quickly and easily." Let us know how you get on.
PondExpert - 16-Jun-14 @ 11:36 AM
I have a pond from Lowes (Hard plastic) and it has a leak, how can I repair the leak, any ideas would be appreciated Thanks Gregg
gregg - 13-Jun-14 @ 2:07 PM
@Ayla - as above, you'll really need to drain the pond competely. You could just fill the holes with concrete and then apply a suitable waterproof coat. However if you want something that will last a glass fibre laminate might be your answer. Fill the holes then apply a couple of layers of matting with a resin and gel coat. You're effectively creating another pond on top of the old one - any ground movement that mighthave caused cracks before, should now not affect your hard (glass fibre laminate) pond.
fixit fred - 4-Jun-14 @ 12:30 PM
My 20 year old concrete pond has several holes, one about 6" across. It was originally built with concrete and pebles.Roots are the probable cause of the holes. A rep-air ten years ago was done with a new coat of thin set. How can I repair the holes and reseal the pond. Thank you for your help.
Ayla - 3-Jun-14 @ 8:11 PM
need advise on how to repair a fibreglass rock pond. it is leaking, must be cracked, but I cannot see the crack please advise how i can repair it myself? what materials and where can I purchase them? Johannesburg based .... thanks
dee - 24-May-14 @ 10:05 AM
We have a fiberglass pond that has leaked. can you tell me where I get the repair kits from?
tam - 24-May-14 @ 7:55 AM
would you please advise as to the best material to use to repair cracks in my old concrete pond. thanks
al - 1-May-14 @ 1:19 PM
hi ihavealarge pond that has a leak is there anyway of sealing the leak without removing the fish as 1 is approx 2ft
harley - 4-Apr-14 @ 12:15 PM
Awesome information you have shared in this post about repair pond and also great tips.Thanks for sharing it.
Brian McCallister - 5-Aug-13 @ 6:46 AM
What was your answer to question from "fisherman" 28-May-12 @ 3:07 please?
berly - 15-Jul-13 @ 9:27 AM
Hi, after scouring the net for advice the tips on this page are most helpful as we have unearthed an original pond in our garden. It has been filled in with building waste and gravel and made into a sort of 'feature' by previous owners. We really want a pond in our garden so on discovering this we are very excited, we are currently still digging out all the waste material but the pond has been originally made of concrete/resin etc. Once cleaned out etc what would you recommend the next step? Re-sealing the pond as it is with a resin/sealant or would you for extra security also line it with pond liner? Thank you for any help and advice! :)
Pondnovice - 14-Jun-13 @ 11:36 AM
Hi, I have been living away from home for five years and returned to discover that the temporary tenant has managed to puncture the butyl pond liner in a number of places (looks suspiciously like rake holes) and water level has dropped by about half.I am in process of emptying and draining pond to check for further punctures and wondering where I can access repair tape or glue.I live in Ayrshire, Scotland. Thank you.Patricia
Patricia - 15-Jul-12 @ 3:00 PM
Hi, Please can you help, I have a small leak in my pond which I have located.I have aquired the repair kit needed but I am unsure what to do with the perhaps 15 small fish (type unknown as the pond was inherited) which are in the pond. It will take me about three days to drain clean repair and refill, how do I look after the fish please? Ric
Rickety - 31-May-12 @ 8:04 AM
I have a two piece water fall from a top pond to a main The top piece ia moulded fiberglass,the lower end is stone and rock,the pond is loosing ater when the fall is in use only,we can nt seea leak but the ground is wet below the stone concrete.can you please recomend a product that we can seal the area with that is fish safe and easy to applyBest wishes phillip 01792 462141
fisherman - 28-May-12 @ 3:07 PM
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