Find Your Ideal Koi Pond Pump Size, Solutions To 3 Problems, And More

Learn What Most People Are Trying To Find Out About Koi Pond Pumps
Koi pond pump

You need the answers to a few questions to find your ideal koi pond pump size. It’s also good to know how to solve koi pond pump problems.

Find the answers in the post below-

Too Many Pump Problems

“Nope, this is it, we’re finally going to fix this once and for all,” Matt growls angrily.

Christina balls her hands up in frustration. “You’re right! The pump’s making that high-pitched whining noise again and it isn’t working at all. This is worse than when we were having liner problems. We had to find a pond liner guide!”

She looks over to see Matt on his phone. “You calling someone?” she asks. Matt shakes his head. “I’m doing some research on koi pond pump problems to see what I can learn first. We might just have the incorrect koi pond pump size.”

Christina gets out her phone so she can help. After searching for a while, here is what they find:

Koi Pond Pump Sizing

In finding the correct koi pond pump size, first, determine what flow rate you need. Then, find the type of pump you need. Next, calculate how much head pressure is needed. Finally, put all of those together and look for a pump that fits.

You’ll be looking for the answers to these questions:

  • Approximately how much head pressure is there?
  • What is the desired flow rate?
  • Which pump delivers the desired flow rate at the current head pressure?
  • Will that pump operate at it’s best?

Finding The Flow Rate

Flow rate is how fast the water is running. You want about half of the water in a koi pond to circulate every hour. You can find the flow rate for waterfalls by multiplying waterfall width by gallons per hour:

  • Light: 50 gallons x width
  • Average: 100 gallons x width
  • Strong: 200 gallons x width
Closeup of a waterfall diving into a koi pond

Types Of Koi Pond Pumps

There are 4 different types of koi pond pumps you can choose from.

Direct drive pumps are all about power. They do cost more and wear out more quickly, but they can still provide a good flow rate even with a high amount of head pressure. Head pressure is the resistance pumps have to overcome to push water up the pipe and out into the waterfall.

Magnetic pump drives don’t use a lot of energy and they should last for a long time. But, they aren’t very powerful.

Asynchronous pumps are like magnetic pumps but more efficient and with better flow rates. They do need more maintenance to make sure they don’t break down.

External centrifugal pumps cost more but they work really well. They give more power with better efficiency and they have a long life span.

You can also find some of these types as solids handling pumps, which have great advantages:

Calculating Head Pressure

Head pressure is the resistance a koi pond pump needs to overcome to push water out of the waterfall. A typical pond pump has a maximum head pressure of anywhere from 20 to 60 feet.

To calculate head pressure for a koi pond pump:

  1. Find the static head measurement
  2. Find the estimated flow rate for that measurement
  3. Use that number and a friction loss chart to calculate the friction head
  4. Add that to the static head number

You can use this more detailed explanation and friction loss chart >>

3 Main Pond Pump Problems And Their Solutions

Koi pond pumps usually run into problems when they’re incorrectly sized, clogged, or they’re running without water going through them.

If your pond pump is newer and it’s making a whining noise or not running at all, it may not be the right size. There are 2 possible solutions depending on what exactly is wrong:

  1. If your pump doesn’t have enough head pressure you can install a ball valve and toe it back 25% to increase the pressure on the pump
  2. If your pump has too much pressure then you can replace it with a more powerful pump.

You’ll know your pond pump’s clogging if the water flow slows down or it’s making a high-pitched noise. You can fix a clogged pond pump by taking it apart and cleaning it. It may be best to leave it to a professional who is used to doing this.

If your pump is running but no water is coming out, take action before it burns out. It could be that your skimmers are too full. A leak or, less likely, evaporation, may be lowering the water level too. Then you may want to know how to fix a pond leak.

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“Well, at least we can find the correct koi pond pump size and fix some problems on our own if we want to,” Matt points out. Christina nods, saying “I wonder if anything else on this website can be just as helpful.”