Atlantic Water Gardens Flexible Basin Installation Manual Includes Models:
Atlantic Flexible Basin Installation Manual - Printable PDF Version
1. Preparing the Surround
Begin by constructing the garden wall surround for the basin as per manufacturer instructions. Atlantic’s flexible basins are designed to work with 12” x 8” x 4” wall stones, minimizing the amount of cuts needed. However, they can be used with any variety of stone.
The opening should be 24” deep (from front to back) and 15 ¾” – 16” tall. The width will vary depending on the size of the basin (48”, 72”, or 96”). The center of the bulkhead outlet will be 10” high and 9” in from the side of the basin (Figure 1). Ensure that a space is left in the wall for bulkhead installation. The hole should be 4” – 6” wide, depending on how you set the bulkhead. Backing plates are provided to bridge gap(s) in the stone around the plumbing, providing structural support to the basin.
When preparing the base under the basin, the ground must be compacted and level. Sand or limestone screenings can be added to raise or level the base. Ensure that there are no sharp objects that could puncture the basin. Underlayment fabric can be installed below the basin for added protection.
2. Installing the Bulkhead
The Flexible Basin is equipped with one or two 1 ½”bulkhead fittings, depending on the basin size. Install the bulkhead fitting(s) before setting the basin. Remove the retaining nut and plastic friction washer, leaving the rubber gasket on the body of the bulkhead fitting(s). The retaining nut is reverse threads. Turn clockwise to loosen.
From the inside of the flexible basin, insert the threaded end of the bulkhead into the pre-punched hole in the flexible basin. This will sandwich the rubber gasket between the flange of the bulkhead and the inside wall of the flexible basin (Figure 2). Slip the 10” round backing plate over the threaded end of the bulkhead on the outside of the flexible basin, followed by the friction washer and the retaining nut. Tighten the retaining nut by hand and then finish off with a half turn from a wrench. Note that the retaining nut is reverse threads. Turn counterclockwise to tighten.
3. Installing the Flexible Basin
Place the flexible basin within the stone surround, being careful not to disturb the level base at the bottom. Starting at the center, use your hands to smooth out the basin, working any excess slack towards the outside edges. Ensure that the basin is tucked tightly into all corners, and place some stones around the top edges of the basin to temporarily hold the basin in place (Figure 3). Begin filling the basin with water.
As you are filling the basin with water, continue smoothing out the wrinkles from basin as you go, making sure to tuck the basin corners tightly into place. During this process, the basin can be filled to the bottom of the bulkhead opening. For best results, temporarily install a 1 ½” plug in the bulkhead in order to fill the basin to within a couple inches of the top of the basin (Figure 4).
4. Securing the Flexible Basin
If the pump is being used inside the basin, the power cord will need to pass through the wall. Pick a spot in the course directly above the top edge of the basin and ensure that there is a 1 ¼” sleeve or notched hole for the plug to pass through easily. This will be needed for pump maintenance and winterization.
To secure the basin, place a solid bead of masonry adhesive along the top course of the basin surround, with a generous dab also placed in the pre-punched glue points in the basin flaps (Figure 5). Then carefully place the next course of stone, ensuring that the flaps are pulled tight and there is no slack in the basin. It is recommended that this course of stone overhang into the basin 1 ½” in order to disguise the top edge of the basin (Figure 6). Allow the adhesive the fully cure (as per manufacturer’s instructions) before proceeding with additional wall construction.
5. Plumbing the Basin
Flexible basins can be plumbed using submersible or external pumps. The number of pumps, their size and their location will be dictated by the water features being installed. See Figure 7 below for a typical submersible pump installation using an Atlantic TidalWave pump.
When plumbing multiple fixtures, run a main feed line along the back of the wall, teeing up to the individual fixtures (Figure 8). If plumbing multiple fixtures, it is best to install a ball valve in each line feeding the fixtures to provide more control over water flow. When running more than three fixtures, the main feed line should be increased to at least 2”. It is recommended to build a drain plug into the manifold for winterization.
6. Winterizing the Basin
In areas where freezing is a concern, the pump(s) must be removed from the basin before freezing and stored in a dry place. Remove the drain plug (if installed) to drain the plumbing for winter. If a drain plug is not installed, drain the water in the basin to below the bulkhead. Using a wet/dry shop-vac, vacuum out the water lines and then insert a 1½”male threaded plug into each bulkhead. This will keep the lines from refilling and freezing over the winter.