The pump is the heart of most water features. Streams, fountains, waterfalls and filters all work because a hidden pump is circulating the water. Most water features are run with underwater or submersible pumps. External or in-line pumps are generally used for larger scale water features.
Submersible pumps are advantageous for several reasons. They disappear to the bottom of the pond, operate silently, require little maintenance and do not require priming.
Submersible pumps can be divided into 2 categories; general purpose pumps and high volume or lift pumps.

General Purpose Pumps

General purpose or “fountain” pumps are used for small to medium sized fountains and small waterfalls. They also function well as circulation and filtration pumps for small to medium sized ponds.
Most have attachments available that are designed for running small fountains and waterfalls.
Before choosing an all purpose pump it is important to know the volume of water the pump will need to move. The pump should be able to circulate the entire volume of water in the pond every 2 to 3 hours.
There are a number of additional demands that affect the flow rate requirements for the pump. These include, filters, fountains, spouters and waterfalls. The flow rate is measured in gallons per hour (GPH). About 150 to 250 GPH must be added to the pump’s flow rate for each of the options listed above. Always oversize rather than undersize the pump.
Once the GPH rating is known you can begin to compare the various features of the pumps available in the capacity you need. These include, the types of attachments and filters included, power consumption & cost to operate as well as electrical cord length and warranties.

Location of pump:

Install the pump in the deepest part of the pond. The best circulation is achieved when the water moves from one end to the other.

Remember to locate your GFI (ground fault interrupt) electrical source close enough for the cord to reach. Most pumps come with the cords that are about 6-10' in length. You can specially order lengths of 15-20'.
Your pump should rest on a riser (block) to keep it up off of the bottom of the pond. Otherwise it may clog up with silt and other debris. A foam or plastic strainer in front of the pump filters dirt and leaves and helps protect the impeller.

Cleaning of Pump:

Remove the pump from the pond and check the strainer and intake pipe, which are typically removed with a twist. Flush out the intake pipe and the impeller with a strong jet of water, clean foam or filter then reassemble and replace the filter to ensure that it functions properly.

High Volume Pumps

High volume or lift pumps are used when higher volumes of water need to be circulated or lifted above the water’s surface as is the case with waterfalls. These pumps range in capacity from 2500 GPH to 10,000 GPH and more.
When sizing high volume pumps, the same factors that apply to general purpose pumps must be taken into account with the addition of a few more. When dealing with higher volumes of water, the size of the hose or pipe being used makes a significant difference in the overall performance of the pump. Because these pumps are so powerful they push a great deal of water - flow should be as unrestricted as possible.
Be sure to obtain professional advice when choosing a high volume pump.

Pump Accessories

Fountain and waterfall accessories are available with most pond pumps on the market. They are generally easy to attach, often requiring no tools at all. Choose a pump system that has complete packages of attachments for ease of installation.

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