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What Does Maximum Flow Mean On A Pond Pump Box?

This is a good question because maximum flow has misled thousands of people into buying a completely inappropriate waterfall or pond pump. In a real pond situation where a waterfall is wanted then maximum flow is NOT the volume the pump will deliver to the waterfall.

Maximum water flow for any submersible pump (in fact any kind of centrifugal rotating pump) occurs when no pipe  (or anything else) is attached to the pump . Of course in a pond there is almost always a need to attach a pipe to deliver water to a water fall maybe or at least a pond filter sitting above the ground. It is a basic physical characteristic of a submersible pump made for ponds that if the pump must lift water above the pond surface then the actual flow will drop and the flow will continue to reduce as the height to which water is pumped increases. A point will thus be reached where water flow stops all together (this is called maximum head ... see more).

The size of electric motor and its design in terms of efficiency determine the maximum flow for any pump. In other words the more energy or power driving that pump then the more water mass or volume that pump can move. Since this power (motor size) is fixed or constant in pond pumps then the energy available is also fixed. This is why as pumping height is increased then the mass of water lifted to that height must be reduced to balance the energy supplied.

Why Is Maximum Flow Useful?

If the term maximum flow for a pond or waterfall pump has any practical use then it is  simply as a means to try to compare pumps in general. 3 pumps within the same model series e.g. Hozelock Cascade pumps with maximum flows 1000, 2000 and 3000 then you immediately know that the power to deliver these different amounts of water must be greater so the larger pumps in general can be expected to pump larger volumes at similar practical heights because the energy or pump power is higher. What you don't know is how much each pump will deliver in any practical situation and to make matters more complicated not all pumps having the same maximum flow behave in a similar way. See this article on comparing pond pumps .

What Do The Pump Products Model Names Normally Mean?

Maximum flow is a useful way of naming pump models within the same pump series or range. For example the Hozelock Titan range has pump models within the product series as follows ...

  • Titan model 2000

  • Titan model 3000

  • Titan model 5500

  • Titan pump 8000

  • Titan pump 12000

  • Titan filter pump 15000

The Hozelock Titan range of pumps are used mainly to supply pond filters or waterfalls rather than fountains or basic water features. The numbers in the product range shown above refer to actual approximate water flow rates with no pipe attached ... in other words approximate maximum flow. At 1 metre head the flows are shown below and you can see where there is room for mistakes by not understanding the meaning of pump flow terms...

  • Titan filter pump 2000 flow at 1 metre = 1000 lph

  • Titan filter pump  3000 flow at 1 metre = 2200 lph

  • Titan filter pump 5500 flow at 1 metre = 4500 lph

  • Titan 8000 flow at 1 metre =  6800 lph

  • Titan 12000 flow at 1 metre = 9000 lph

  • Titan 15000 flow at 1 metre = 11000 lph

To convert lph to gallons per hour or gph divide litres per hour by 4.54


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