Why do I need a manifold?
These manifolds can make it possible for you to accurately control the flow of water both to and from your and filter system. By the use of these manifolds you can design a system where you can effectively incorporate multiple pumps, skimmers, bottom drains, jets and waterfalls in the most efficient way possible. All the manifolds except the smallest one (1-3-2”) are made of 3” PVC pipe to prevent any restriction in water flow. All the 2” ball valves used for regulating the flow are of the highest quality.
On the suction side – With a manifold you can draw all the water from multiple bottom drains and skimmers and send it through one pump and filter. This allows you to have complete control of how much water flows from each component. You also have the ability to adjust these flows depending on the time of year.
Some systems will have one pump drawing from the bottom drains and going through the filter with a second pump drawing from a skimmer, bypassing the filter and returning back to the pond. The logic of this system is that the skimmer will collect any large debris floating on the pond in the skimmer basket so there is no need to send it through the filter. The problem with this setup is that the skimmer is designed to also collect any dissolved organic compounds (doc) that are in the pond. These docs tend to collect on the pond surface in the form of bubbles. If you do not send this water through the filter the docs will continue to build up and create more bubbles. For this reason we recommend, if possible, that all water drawn from the pond should go through the filter. The proper manifold will allow you to do this.
These manifolds can greatly reduce any potential problems with bottom drains plugging by occasionally closing all but one valve at a time and thereby flushing each line separately.
On the return side – With a manifold installed you will have complete control of all the water returning to the pond. That means that you will not only be able to direct where you want the water to go but you will be able to control the flow to each return feature. This will allow you to fine tune the flow to multiple waterfalls, jets and any other water feature you might have.
Multiple Pumps – There are some serious short comings with systems designed where you have multiple pumps each operating its own independent function in the pond. By installing a manifold, instead of dividing your water flow between separate systems, you can gain complete control of all the water flow. This provides several real advantages:
1. For instance, if you have one pump drawing from the skimmers and another pump drawing from the bottom drains you are stuck with whatever flow each system is providing. There is no way to change the flow other than replacing a pump. With a manifold you have the option to share the flow between the systems to better match your needs. You may want 60% of both pumps drawing from the bottom drains while 40% is drawing from the skimmers. (See drawing)
2. If you wanted to install a second pump as a “booster” for the waterfall to be used only on special occasions, the proper manifold can provide a real clean installation. By using a manifold with two pump suctions you will have an extra port to connect the booster pump to. You will need to install a check valve between the pump and the manifold. Then you can plumb the outflow of the booster pump directly to the waterfalls. Now, when you turn on the booster pump, it will not only increase the flow to the waterfalls, but it will also increase the flow through the skimmers and bottom drains evenly. This will allow the pond to better handle the overall increase in water flow. When the booster pump is turned off, everything goes back to normal operation without having to turn any valves.