Pond Pump selection can be a very complex exercise when trying to buy a new pond pump for your garden pond. Although there are countless pumps on the market, not all pond pumps are designed for use within a garden pond, as the requirements for the pond pump to work in a dirty environment, together with the need to run them constantly, requires very specific combination of design and construction techniques.
What will the pond pump be used for ?
The first step in selecting pond pumps is to be clear as to what the pumps main function should be. It could be to supply water to a pond filter or to produce a fountain or to feed a waterfall or stream. Each of these uses requires slightly different strengths from a pond pump and although most pond pumps could be used for theses situations, not all pumps are the best solution for each function.
What are the main types of pond pumps ?
Pond pumps are split into 3 main groups.
The first group are Pond Filter Pumps. This type of pond pump is often called a solid handling pond pump and is used to circulate water through a pond filter to maintain good water quality and clarity. As removing debris and particle from the pond is essential to maintaining good water clarity, this type of pond pump should NOT have a foam pre-filter which would trap particles, but should ideally have inlet holes of at least 6mm in diameter which will allow the pump to pass the debris to the pond filter. Another major consideration for a pond pump being used to run a pond filter is its running costs. Usually a pond pump which runs a pond filtration system will circulate the pond volume through the filter at least once every 2 hours and needs to run 24 hours a day for at least the spring, summer and autumn. Because of the large number of running hours involved, the power consumption of a pond pump (which is described as watts) will have a direct impact on the electricity cost of a pond.
Have a look at our Filter Pump Selection Advice page for more specific details about selecting the correct size and type of Pond Filter Pump.
The second group are Pond Fountain Pumps. This type of pond pump is mainly intended to produce a fountain within a pond, although many have attachments to allow them to perform more that one function. Traditionally a fountain pond pump would have included a foam pre-filter, which was intended to prevent particles passing into the pump and causing the pond pump or fountain to block. These pond pump pre-filters required regular cleaning and have therefore been replaced by many manufacturers, with a casing with small holes in. The use of a casing, does reduce the frequency of cleaning and prevents the fountain heads from blocking, but still prevents larger particles passing through the pond pump, making them unsuitable for feeding a pond filter.
Although in most situations it is better to use the correct pond pump for each function, in smaller ponds having multiple pumps can be impractical. Many larger pond fountain pumps come with fittings which will allow you to run a fountain and attach a hose to run a filter or waterfall. These pond pumps offer a compromise and although not the perfect technical solution, can be very practical in some situation.
Have a look at our Fountain Pump Selection Advice page for more specific details about selecting the correct size and type of Pond Fountain Pump.
The third group are Stream and Waterfall Pond Pumps. This type of pond pump can be either a Pond Filter Pumps or a Pond Fountain Pumps, depending on the size of the stream or waterfall and degree of cleaning which is required. Ideally the correct pond pump to use would be a pond filter pump, as they produce the highest flow rates and require the least amount of cleaning. However in small pond situations, the side connection of a larger pond fountain pump could be used to feed a small stream or waterfall.
The last group are Pond Ornament Pumps. This type of pond pump can be either a pond filter pump or a pond fountain pump, depending on the size of Ornament involved. In most situations, fountain style pumps will offer great value and provide the small pipe connections that most small pond ornaments use. The fine grid cages used in fountain pump designs help to ensure that the ornament doesn't become blocked, whilst still ensuring good cleaning frequencies. On large Ornaments with pipe connections of larger than 15mm, the higher flowrates and reduced cleaning requirements of pond filter pumps can be a great advantage.
Pond Filter Pumps - Pond Fountain Pumps - Stream and Waterfall Pumps - Pond Ornament Pumps