Helpful information on pond pumps and waterfall pumps?
------> Here is some very helpful information on pond pumps and
waterfall pumps. <----------
We carry a large selection of Pond Pumps and Waterfall Pumps. Whether you need a pond pump for your waterfall, stream, fish pond, water garden or koi pond we have you covered. Submersible pumps and external pumps from the top manufacturers.
Mag-Drive Pumps are energy efficient, usually have longer warranties and the best selling pond pumps. The Pondmaster Mag-Drive or Pond-Mag is one of the most popular and has the most history of being a solid workhorse. There are also other great pumps that deserve mention from Laguna, Fish-Mate, Alpine and Tetra that all sell well and worth taking a look at.
Direct Drive Pond Pumps are stronger pumps usually referred to as a Waterfall Pump and best used for taller waterfalls and higher head lift situations. Direct Drive pumps usually take a little more energy since they are more powerful and since they have more parts that can wear down usually have a shorter warranty. Calpump, Savio, Little Giant and Atlantic Water Gardens have some of the most popular direct drive pumps.
Hybrid Pumps are the new guys in town. Pondmaster / Proline has put these pumps on the market and they are quickly gaining ground. They are touted as a mag-drive pump / direct drive pump. You get the energy efficiency and durability of a mag drive pump and the power of a direct drive. There are many sizes to choose from from 1600 GPH to 6600 GPH.
Inline Pumps are capable of being placed outside of the pond water however they must be located below the water level. This means that the pump is placed outside of the water but below the surface of the pond so that the water floods the pump without any assistance or help from the pump itself. These pumps do not pull water only push.
External Pumps or Centrifugal Pumps - These are placed outside of the pond and usually located a short distance from the pond. Like the inline pumps mentioned above External Pond Pumps need to be flooded with water. There is a difference with these however; you have pumps called Self Priming Pond Pumps and you have Non Self Priming Pond Pumps. Self Priming Pumps like the Performance pro Artesian Pumps can be located above the water level and you should also purchase a check valve to help the pump prime. The Non self priming pumps like the Performance Pro Cascade Pumps should be located below water level like the inline pumps so that the water will flood the pump by gravity without assistance. You can also purchase the Cascade Pumps or Non self priming pumps and use a Priming pot or Strainer Basket and a check valve and this will be ok. Its very important to note that external pumps do not pull water, they push. So keep your pump as close to the pond level as possible and let it push the water.
Finally we will go over a few bits of important information about pond and waterfall pumps. Pipe / tubing size is very important. Do not purchase tubing based on the discharge of the pump; rather choose the size based on the flow rate. 1/2" ID (inside diameter) up to 300 GPH (gallons per hour), 3/4" ID up to 700 GPH, 1" ID up to 1200 GPH, 1-1/4" ID up to 2200 GPH, 1-1/2" up to 3500 GPH, 2" up to 5000 GPH and 3" up to 9000 GPH. Head lift or Shut off is the maximum height that a pump can push the water up to when no more will come out. Example: if a pump states 22ft shut off that means that through a vertical or total dynamic head (we will explain below) of 22ft you will have no water coming out. If you have to life water up 5ft its best not to purchase a pump with a 5ft max head as nothing will come out for you. Also when looking at the specs that the manufacturer's provide consider these estimates and not exact.
Total Head Height is figured by calculating your total vertical distance and your horizontal distance plus fittings. We will try to keep this simple. You will take your horizontal length and count 1.5 per 10ft of distance so 20ft would be 3.0. You would then add that number to your total vertical height. Then you will want to keep your elbows, couplers, etc to a minimum. Each one you add will increase your total dynamic head. This is why flexible pvc is so popular over the rigid pvc as you can avoid couplers and elbows in most cases.
Ball valves and turning down the flow of the pump - We are big advocates of purchasing the next size up in pumps as you can always turn a pump down but not up. Most pumps do not include a flow control. This is ok. You will use a ball valve to control the flow. This will not harm the pump and in most cases with most of the direct drive pumps it will actually prolong the life as most people have just 5ft of total head height and a lot of these pumps work more efficiently at 10ft of height or greater. Think of the ball valve like you are creating more head height. Obviously if your pump can go 25ft of height and you crank down the valve by 20% its just like adding a few feet of head height.