About Fountain Pumps

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 feature’s 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.

How to Clean or Replace an Impeller

In this short video, we show you how to clean or replace a fountain impeller.