Three Reasons Why You Must Order A Fountain Pump

Three Things About Fountain Pumps

There’s certainly no denial in saying that fountains or waterfalls are a great addition to one’s landscape. They offer the perfect opportunity to beautify one’s garden. Also, the soothing sound makes one feel rejuvenated and relaxed. The perks don’t end here because by installing a fountain in the lake or pond, one can keep the water properly aerated. Thus, the plants and aquatic lives get sufficient nutrients to thrive. But, to allow these fountains to aerate the water efficiently, it requires a fountain pump. Fountain pumps are either placed outside the water or underneath the water depending upon the size of the water body. Without having the ideal pump, fountains can’t offer enormous advantages.

  1. Pumps Are the Unseen Heart of Your Fountain

The fountain pumps circulate, oxygenate and give life to the pond fountain or water feature. Besides, they work as a driving force that moves the water from the bottom to the surface. Without having the ideal sized pump, a fountain can’t aerate the water efficiently. Generally, the pond water releases a foul smell after changes in weather and as a result of stagnant water. But, in the case of the pond pump, the water movement provides a beautiful, natural, and more realistic look to the pond. But it’s important to choose an ideal type of pump so that it works efficiently. Generally, there are two types of pumps available for fountains. This includes the submersible and the external pump, also called an inline pump. The external pump is installed outside the water and draws water to the pump. On the other hand, the submersible pump remains submerged in the water and maintains a constant flow of water. It is vital that you don't let these pumps run dry. One must choose an ideal pump depending upon the size of the pond. For small ponds, a rule of thumb is to circulate the water, if there are fish, once an hour. In other words, if your pond is 1000 gallons, then you need to pump 1000 gallons an hour to circulate the pond’s water once an hour. For large ponds, like a tenth of an acre and above, you can circulate the water less frequently.

  1. It Reduces the Need for Maintenance

It’s well-known that water features like fountains and ponds require maintenance. Without maintaining them periodically, fountains will develop algae and molds on their surface and degrade the entire look of the garden. The will be stagnant and can grow unwanted algae and other plant life that is undesirable. A pump will continuously move the water, keeping it clean.

  1. How to Read a Pump Label

The “head” of a pump is an important term to know. Head means the maximum vertical lift from the surface of the water to its outlet. If the surface of your water is five feet below the water features outlet, then the pump’s head is five feet.

In most pump manufacturer’s specs, you will find maximum HEAD, along with a Pump Curve. For example, the Fountain Tech 650 has a maximum head of 140”. At zero feet it pumps 780 gallons per hour, at 20” of head it is pumping 680, at 60” it is pumping 580. This “curve” in the table below shows how many gallons per hour the pump is pumping at different water lifts.  



Max. Head


20” GPH

40” GPH

60” GPH

80” GPH

100” GPH

120” GPH

140” GPH













Make sure the pump you buy will fit dimensionally into your fountain’s basin. Many fountains have cutout areas in which a pump is placed.

Some other pumps list liters per hour instead of GPH. A gallon is 3.8 liters. A Fountain Tech 300 gallon per hour pump is lifting over 1100 liters per hour.

Most small pumps include watts, not amperage. Think of a pump that uses 100 watts the way you would a 100-watt bulb. But if you must know, here is the formula for calculating amperage use.

Watts ÷ Volts= Amps

Thus, 70 watts pump above divided by 120 volts (standard US outlet) = .58 amps. So the FT-650 is using .58 amps (slightly over ½ amp). 

It is best to use the widest diameter tubing you can. For instance, the Fountain Tech 300 pumps about 240 gallons per hour at three feet when using ¾” tubing, but only 75 gallons per hour at three feet if you use ¼” tubing. Most pumps come with different adapters to fit different sizes of tubing. 

When building a waterfall, the general rule of thumb is to have 100 gallons per hour for every inch of width of the fall. So if your waterfall is 5 inches wide and 3 feet tall, you need to be pumping 500 gallons per hour at 3 feet of head, as a general rule. For taller and more powerful spillways, use more gallons per hour. Conversely, you can tinkle the water over a spillway with a smaller pump, but the entire spillway might not have water running down it. 

Typically, your fountain manufacturer will already have determined the optimally-sized pump for your water feature. But everyone makes mistakes. Too much water creates too much splash and your fountain basin can run low quickly. Not enough water and your display might seem too small and inadequate. 

For waterfalls, the general rule of thumb is to have 100 gallons per hour flow for every inch of width of your spillway. So a 6" spillway, in general, needs a 600 gallon per hour flow. However, smooth surface spillways created out of steel or plastic can often create a nice display with fewer gallons per hour. And remember, all pumps have a "pump curve." Than means that water flow is much higher when it is lifting at low levels than it is at high levels. A

Remember, always use a GFCI when operating a water pump, indoors or out.

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