Which Pond Pump Do I Need? Waterfall, Filter, Solar or Fountain Pump
Choosing a pond pump can be confusing and this is why we suggest that you
always contact Bradshaws if you're not sure. We can help and do this in a friendly
and efficient way.
Broadly speaking and for the vast majority of garden fish ponds (let's
exclude specialist very large koi ponds for the time being) you will need a
submersible pump even if you have a waterfall, filter or fountain. By
submersible we mean that the pond pump is actually submersed completely in the
water close to (not on) the bottom of the pond.
What Are The Different Kinds Of Submersible Pond Pumps
There are many kinds of water features from patio ponds, self contained
concrete or resin water features (called fountains in the USA), above ground
ponds with or without waterfalls, in ground ponds large and small some of which
have fountains and others waterfalls or in fact both. All fish ponds need a pond
filter and depending on choice you will need either a pressure or filter
pump or just a pond or fountain pump. These are also called solids handling
pumps. Many ponds with larger waterfalls use sump pumps. Some pumps only use
solar power to save money. Let's consider each in turn using product ranges that
Bradshaws supply ...
In the context of this article fountain pumps are those pumps whose principle
job is to shoot water into the air in the middle of a pond. These fountains
allow a lot of oxygen to be absorbed into the sprayed water and this freshens the
pond. In addition to working the fountain jet they also are used (via a valve
arrangement) to run a waterfall or pond bio filter. Fountain pumps often have
sponges in the suction chamber of the pump and the chamber itself is normally
slatted to allow water to flow but prevent oversized solids getting into the
pump. Pumps with sponges need regular cleaning since they get blocked with algae
so sure that you always allow easy access to this kind of pump to make your life
easy. You'll find it useful to tie a stout nylon "rope" or a wire to the pump
handle to be able to lift it into and out of the pond safely.
Bradshaws stock 2 ranges ... the top selling UK made Hozelock Cascade low
power consumption pumps and the lower cost Lotus Maximus range of pond and
fountain pumps. Make a comparison here
There is nothing inherently different between a pond and fountain pump and a
waterfall pump except that generally speaking waterfall pumps need more flow and
thus tend to be more powerful. The Hozelock Cascade from Lotus Maximus range will
serve this function. What is important is to know how to
specify a waterfall pump. By fully
understanding how waterfall pumps work in conjunction with pond filters you can
save lots of money on pump electric power costs
Over the last few years major improvements have been made to submersible pond
pump impellor designs especially. Pumps that used to have sponges to protect the
impellor from damage caused by pond debris can in fact now pump such debris
without breaking the impellor. These pumps were developed alongside another big
improvement to garden fish pond filters. This was the introduction of small
pressurised pond filters like the Hozelock Cyprio Bioforce (this was the first
one) or the FishMate pressure filters. Because these filters operate under
pressure they need pumps that could develop more
"head" or pressure and this prompted better and more efficient impellor
design in order to keep pump running costs down. Oase make excellent pressure or
solids handling filter pumps and have been seen as the pioneer in this field
with their famous Aquamax product range.
Often called high pressure pumps, sump pumps are easily distinguished from
other types of pond pumps by their bottom suction. This is why
they are called sump pumps ... they can be used to completely
empty sumps or chambers and they can also pump small solids safely.
The major drawback is they use lots of electricity to develop
the pressure so only for those special high pressure situations
are these pumps recommended for normal garden fish ponds..
Solar powered pond pumps are generally NOT suitable for fish ponds unless run
in conjunction with a normally powered pump to feed the biofilter. We explained
in another article 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. Since a solar pump only runs during sunny daylight hours (or off a
solar charged battery) they not reliable enough to run pond filters. Solar pumps
find use as fountain pumps. A big advantage here is the simpler types just float
on the water and they don't need any cable attachments.
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 =
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
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
viable 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. Please ask your advisor for details on this and other delivery
options when placing your order. 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