What type of pond pump? ( Submersible
or External )
Pond pumps are available in submersible
and external models. In both, the mechanism is simply a set of
whirling blades that pressurize the pond water and force it into
motion. Submersible pond pumps are easier to use than external
pond pumps. They sit directly on the water and are inexpensive,
unlike external pumps that you must place outside the pond.
Submersible pumps are easy to install and run without priming.
They can be used to power all but the largest water features.
The most important consideration when choosing which
pond pump to buy is its size. Equipment
manufacturers rate electrical power in amps or watts. However,
the critical measure of a pump is the number of gallons of water
it will pump per hour to a specific height, called the head. To
determine the size pond pump you will need, first calculate the
volume of water in the pond. Multiply the length x width x
average depth x 7.5 and that gives you the volume in gallons. As
a rule, choose a pond pump that can move half the total volume
of water in an hour. For example, if your pond holds 500 gallons
of water, buy a pump that delivers at least 250 gallons per hour
(gph). If your pond will include a waterfall or stream, it will
need a more powerful pump. Pumps have to work harder to move
water up a slope or to the head of a stream. ( If you are
installing a filter as well, you may need to install a separate
pump for it. ) Figuring how much more power you'll need is
somewhat more complicated. In general, the pond pump should be
able to turn over the total volume of water in an hour. To learn
more about measuring gph, read (Making the right choice). When
in doubt, buy a more powerful pump. You can restrict the flow
with a valve (either self-contained or by installing a ball
valve in line (tubing or pvc pipe). When shopping for a pond
pump for a stream or waterfall, make sure its head capacity, or
lift, is well above the height you've planned for you falls.
Pumps have varying lengths of cord;
check to make sure the cord is long enough to go through the
pond and plug in well away from the water. The longer the cord
the better, especially since some codes specify that the
electrical outlet for a water feature has to be at least 6 feet
away from water. Avoid extension cords if possible. If you have
to use one, make sure it's made for outdoor use and is plugged
into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), a device that
shuts off an outlet immediately if there is an overload.
Centrifugal: These pumps sit outside
the pond. They must be hidden and are somewhat difficult to
plumb. Also, most don’t come with power cords and need to be
hard wired directly to the power source.
Submersible: Made for the
do-it-yourselfer. It is very easy to hook them up to your
waterfall or fountain plumbing. Submersible pumps are also easy
to conceal. They sit inside the pond (under the water surface)
usually at the bottom of the pond.
When choosing a pump there are a few things
to consider. If you are using the pump to operate a biological
filter, the pump you select should have the capacity to
circulate the pond’s water volume as recommended. The filter is
not the only factor involved in selecting a pump. Different
volumes of water will have quite a varying effect aesthetically
and as far as sound is concerned. Using a larger volume pump on
a waterfall can give you a white water show. The beautiful sound
the flowing water provides can drown out local traffic or other
undesirable noises. Be sure the pump you purchase is rated for
twenty-four hour a day usage.
Just the word plumbing strikes fear into
the hearts of most do-it-yourselfers, however, plumbing your
pond need not be difficult at all. Choosing the plumbing
material you use is an important decision.
Corrugated Flex Pipe: This product
is superior in every way to all of its competition. It is
designed specifically for ponds and is everything you could ask
of a plumbing pipe and more. The pipe is corrugated on the
outside and smooth bore on the inside. As you twist and shape
it, it never kinks. Furthermore, it is UV protected and dark in
color making it easy to conceal. It is very simple to install.
PVC Pipe: PVC pipe has one advantage
over corrugated flex pipe. It’s about half the price, but the
advantages stop there. You are limited by 45 degree and 90
degree angles. The pipe is very rigid which makes installation
more difficult. PVC can be very challenging to hide and is not
Clear Flex Tube: Similar only in
name to the flex pipe. While the clear flex tube is easy to bend
and shape it is not corrugated so, like garden hose, it kinks.
It is not UV protected. This means the sun’s rays will not break
it down and destroy it causing leaks.