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How To Save Waterfall Pump Power Costs & Have Pond Filter Pump Back-Up At All Times

Earlier we explained why a fish pond must have a bio filter and the water must be pumped through the filter 24 hours per day to ensure the filter bacteria had enough oxygen to survive and do their cleaning job. Now here's a way to use this information to save money in any fish pond that has a waterfall. In addition it also a good option to make sure your pond always has a viable pond filter.

Most fish ponds have a waterfall and the pump choice is determined by how much water flows over edge of the falls. Water then flows through the biofilter on the way to the waterfalls or some of the flow from the pump is split ... part to the falls and part to the pond filter and straight back into the pond. This pumping arrangement almost always means that you run a pump that is too big (ie uses more power or electricity) than is needed to just run the pond filter system.

This concept is best explained using an example of a real pond.

Example Of Real Pond With Waterfall and Garden Fish Pond Filter

In this pond which has a volume of 1000 litres a Hozelock Cascade 4000 pump is used and runs 24/7 although it is not necessary to run the waterfall 24/7. To close the waterfall down there is a valve in the line that goes to the waterfall (it makes too much noise at night and it is just outside the bedroom window). The flow to the pond bio filter is restricted using another valve to about 500 litres per hour (more than this would overflow the filter). Obviously this a waste of electricity because even though the Cascade 4000 is now only delivering 500 lph (about 110 gallons or gph) it is still consuming 40 watts per hour ... there's not much that can be done because the filter needs oxygen 24/7.

The Solution ... Buy Another Garden Submersible Pond Pump

If the filter only needs 500 litres per hour consider buying a much smaller pump as in this example below where a Hozelock 1000 pump was bought. This pump would be permanently piped up to the filter. The larger waterfall pump does not split its water flow any more. There is no need for 2 valves either to control flows in 2 directions. To run this pump 24/7will cost Pds 15.70 per year and the pump itself you buy for Pds 32.95.

The larger Hozelock Cascade 4000 can now be closed down whenever you want (maybe only run at weekends for 8 hours per day) ... if it runs only 16 hours per week the annual electricity cost is Pds 3.32 per year (compare to the 24/7cost as shown in the table below of Pds 35.04). This means you save 35.04 - 3.32 = 31.72 pounds per year. In other words you can save the cost of the small pump in 1 years only. Every years after that you are saving Pds 31.72 and this is a saving worth having ...maybe it's enough to buy fish food for a year.

AND you always have a spare pump to run the filter 24/7.


Submersible Pump Model Flow at 1metre head in lph Power consumed in Watts by the product
Hozelock Cascade 1000 500 18
Hozelock Cascade 4000 2800 40


The pump options described here, is almost always the best option in a pond waterfall situation and generally it saves on other items like valves and plumbing arrangements..

How To Work Out Running Cost For Any Pump

Most pump manufacturers state the Wattage used by the pump on the box. If not they will certainly provide the amps used on the label attached to the pump body itself. If you do  not see Watts first convert Amps to Watts as follows ...

Amps x Volts = Watts. So if your pump uses .2 Amps and the voltage is 220 volts then the Wattage for the pump is approximately 44 Watts. This also means the pump will consume 44 divided by 1000 units of electricity per hour (1 kWhr = 1 unit)

Here's the formula to work out costs per year

  • Pump runs "H" hours per day

  • Pump power = "W" Watts

  • Cost per unit of power ="C" in pence

  • Cost per year = "Y"

  • Then ... Y=[W/1000 x Hx365 x C/100] in Pounds per year

Obviously if you run the pump for less than 24 hours per day then the total cost will come down but as we've discussed a fish pond must have a bio filter and the water must be pumped through the filter 24 hours per day. Now here's a way to use this information to save money in any fish pond that has a waterfall. In addition it also a good option to make sure your pond always has a suitable pond filter.

Connecting Pumps, Filters and Pipes

Connecting the parts of your pond system together is simple. Just look at the outlet size of your pump and the inlet size of your filter (in mm). You will need hose and clips the same size as these measurements. If the pump and filter show that they fit a range of sizes then you should always choose the biggest size that fits both. The larger the hose the more water it will deliver at the other end! Example. Titan 5500 pump (outlet size 20-40mm) connecting to Bioforce Filter (inlet size 20-40mm) would require a 40mm hose, 40mm clips and any other accessories (like taps or linx) would also be for 40mm. You could use a smaller hose but the final flow rate would be lower.

Bradshaws Delivery and Shipping

Shipping is direct to your door from our warehouse and takes approximately 5-7 working days. For deliveries of items under 30kg a charge is made to cover handling and despatch (For Highlands & Islands despatch please phone for delivery and service details). Next day and 48 hour delivery is available in most areas. For single items weighing 30kg or over a charge is applicable, this applies to all products.


If any item does not meet your expectations you may return it within 30 days. Please return it in its original condition, including packaging & obtain proof of return from the carrier. Please ensure faulty products are clean and not contaminated with pond water or mud from your pond. Please note Bradshaws will cover the cost of return for damaged and faulty products. Please call our customer services team before returning an item on 01904 698803, weekdays 8.30am-5.30pm. Remember to include your returns label from your despatch note in your returned parcel. Please state whether you would like a refund or replacement. Your statutory rights are not affected.


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