Water Pumps For Ponds – What You Need To Know

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Written By Mark Washburn

Mark has 20 years of experience as a professional pond management consultant.

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To maintain ponds in a pristine condition, one of the most important things that pond owners need to do is choose the right water pump for their ponds. However, there are so many types of water pumps for ponds that it is easy to get confused and end up buying the wrong one. Choosing the wrong water pump can turn out to be an expensive mistake which, in the worst case, would require you to buy a new water pump and carry out more work on your pond.

This article explains the different types of water pumps that can be used with your ponds. You’ll also find important information that will guide you in selecting the best possible water pump to suit your pond. By the time you have finished reading this, you would be well placed to make an informed decision about the kind of water pump you should buy.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the types of water pumps that you could use. These are:

1. Submersible Water Pumps

Submersible pumps can be installed directly in the deepest part of the pond, in a pond vault or in a skimmer box. These water pumps don’t create a ruckus while running and are very easy to install. Submersible pumps are available from 50 to 50,000 GPH and are usually the preferred choice for small ponds.

If the submersible pump uses oil, there is a chance of this oil leaking into the pond causing harm to any aquatic life that might be present in the pond. So if you have a pond with some fish of other life forms in it, you might want to use a submersible pump that doesn’t use oil.

2. External Water Pumps

External water pumps are the preferred choice for larger ponds (above 1000 gallons) because of their affordability, reliability and energy efficiency. While external water pumps are quite reliable, they do make some noise which can be quite distracting unless the motor is housed in a sound proof room.

3. Magnetic Drive Water Pumps

Magnetic Drive pumps require the least amount of maintenance and are very energy efficient in their operation. They do not require any sort of lubrication for their functioning. However, if your pond has a water fountain, this pump might not be the ideal choice as it cannot generate high head heights which are required for fountains.

4. Direct Drive Water Pumps

Direct drive water pumps are more expensive to operate but tend to work well with ponds that have a fountain or a waterfall. However, if these pumps break down it would require a professional to fix them as they can be quite difficult to repair.

Any of these types of water pumps for ponds could have some useful features that you might want to look out for. Your pond might be set up in such a way that it needs the pump to have particular features. These features include:

1. Solar Powered Pumps

If you live in a place which has a lot of sunlight through the year, solar powered water pumps for ponds could help you save a significant amount of electricity costs.

2. In-Line Pumps

All external pumps are in-line pumps which allow the pumps to draw water from a remote location using a hose to feed its inlet.

3. Utility Pumps

If the water entering into the water pump is likely to contain unwanted debris, utility pumps can be used to filter those out.

4. Heavy Duty Pumps

Heavy duty water pumps are generally made of stainless steel and have a longer useful life and better energy efficiency than other pumps. The downside is that these pumps are quite expensive.

If there is a particular feature that you pond requires the water pump to have, you should be aware of it and create a shortlist of pumps which have that feature. This will help you in narrowing down your options and simplifying your decision.

While buying water pumps for ponds, there are several factors that you should look at to increase your odds of making the best decision. These factors include:

1. Pond Size

The pond size dictates the size of the water pump that should be used. At minimum, the water pump should be capable of circulating the entire volume of the pond once every two hours. For example, if you have a pond containing 1000 gallons of water, the pump should be able to process 1000 gallons in two hours. The minimum capacity for a water pump for this pond would be 500 GPH.

A larger pump would be required if the pond contains a waterfall or a fountain. The size of the pump would then depend on volume of the pond as well as the height of the waterfall or fountain.

2. Price of the Water Pump

The price of the water pump is important but don’t let it be the driving factor in your decision. Only when all other things in two pumps are equal should you let price dictate your choice.

3. Operating Cost of the Pump

Water pumps for ponds operate almost continuously requiring a significant operating cost. You should factor in the energy efficiency of different water pumps and estimate the operating costs before buying a water pump.

4. Manufacturer’s Warranty

The greater the warranty period offered by the manufacturer is, the better are the chances of a headache free operation of the water pump. However, do a quick check to see whether the manufacturer has a history of honoring the warranties before you make a decision.

5. Customer Reviews

Finally, spend some time to read what other buyers have to say about the water pumps that you have shortlisted. A lot of these reviews can be found online and some dealers might even put you in touch with former customers so that you can learn from their experience.

A checklist created with the above mentioned features and factors should help you narrow down the options to a much smaller set of water pumps for ponds. Comparing a smaller number of options would be much simpler and will help you make an informed decision while choosing the most appropriate water pump for your needs.

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