Find Your Ideal Koi Pond Pump Size For Your Water Feature In Maryland

The Right Koi Pond Pump For Your Water Feature In Your Baltimore Home

Have you ever struggled with the question of which pond pump is right for your water feature? Or wondered how to determine the correct pump size for your particular application?

This blog post will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect pond pump for your needs. As an added bonus, we promise you will gain some valuable insights into the fascinating world of pond water garden pumps too.

By the end of this post, you should have a better idea about which pond pump is best for your water feature.

Our Pump Type Recommendation For Backyard Ponds In Maryland

We recommend a solids-handling pump as it keeps your pond cleaner and clearer. It also lowers the amount of maintenance your pond needs.

As for a pond pump brand, we like to stick with Aquascape pumps as they work amazingly well!

Figuring Out Your Pond Pump

Pond pump by pond

Determine Your Application

The journey to finding the right pump begins with understanding your specific application.

Are you aiming to create a mesmerizing waterfall, operate a quaint fountain, circulate water, or power a playful spitter? Each of these applications necessitates a different pump size and capacity.

For instance, a smaller pump would suffice for fountains or spitters. Conversely, calculating the ideal pump size for waterfalls is a bit more precise.

UV clarifiers or pressure filters also have recommended pump sizes, which you can usually find in your product manual or on the product page.

Remember to factor in the influence of head pressure, but more on that later!

Koi Pond Pump Sizing

Proper water circulation and a filtration system hinge on having a pump capable of circulating the water through the filter at least once every two hours.

To select the right size pond water pump, consider the water volume in your pond water garden. The calculation is:

Pond length x pond width x pond average depth x 7.5 = volume in gallons

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 its best?

If your pond is home to fish, it’s advisable to double the pump’s capacity to ensure water cleanliness.

Though the size of your pond is a factor, your waterfall, stream, or fountain’s size usually determines the best pump for your specific feature.

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

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 >>

Head Heights

The head height illustrates the vertical distance the pump elevates the water above the surface of the pond.

The maximum head, on the other hand, pinpoints the highest point the pond fountain pump can lift the water from the pond’s surface.

When you’re measuring the horizontal or diagonal flow, remember to add one foot to the maximum head for every 10 feet of distance.

Lift Heights

As for the lift, calculate the distance from the pump’s location in the fountain to the top of the fountain where the water emerges.

Select a pump that can lift higher than this measurement. For instance, if the distance is 24 inches, you’ll require a fountain pump with a minimum lift capability of 36 inches.

Powering The Pump

When selecting a pond pump, ensure that the cord length meets your needs. The location of the nearest power outlet and the distance between the outlet and the water feature are important considerations.

Selecting The Proper Pond Water Pump Tubing

Choosing the correct tubing size is crucial as it directly affects your pond pump’s maximum lift capability and the amount of water circulated.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult with a professional to select the appropriate tubing size for your pump.

Water Circulation

Keeping your pond healthy and vibrant demands a keen understanding of water circulation.

An essential rule of thumb is to ensure that the water circulates at least once every hour.

Let’s say you have a 500-gallon pond; you’ll want to choose a pump that operates at 500 GPH at the discharge height. This advice particularly rings true if your pond boasts a skimmer or waterfall feature.

Do you have a pressurized filter in your pond? In that case, the water should be turned approximately once every two hours.

So for a pond holding 1,000 gallons of water, you’ll require a pond pump with a minimum rating of 500 GPH.

Types Of Koi Pond Pumps

Premier Ponds member putting a submerged pond pump in a koi pond in Maryland

Pond water pumps come in two main types: submersible and non-submersible. Each type offers specific advantages depending on your application. Pumps have different costs based on their type as well.

Submersible Pond Pumps

Submersible pumps, as the name suggests, are designed to be fully submerged underwater, usually at the deepest part of your pond.

These pumps can be placed directly into the pond or installed in a skimmer box or pond vault. They come in a range of sizes, with capacities from 50 to 5,000 gallons per hour (GPH), depending on the model.

One of the key advantages of submersible pumps is their ease of installation. Since they’re submerged, they operate quietly, which can be a significant benefit if your pond is located near living or sleeping areas.

Submersible pumps are often more cost-effective and are an excellent solution for smaller ponds (up to 1,000 gallons of water). Additionally, their underwater location allows them to help with pond drainage if needed.

If your pond is home to fish or other aquatic life, it’s important to consider a submersible pump that doesn’t use oil. Oil-cooled pumps carry the risk of the pump seal breaking and oil coolant leaking into the water, which could be harmful to the ecosystem.

Non-submersible (External) Pond Pumps

Non-submersible pond pumps, also known as external pumps, are installed in a dry location outside your pond.

These pumps are known for their reliability and energy efficiency, making them an excellent choice for larger ponds exceeding 1,000 gallons in capacity.

One of the significant advantages of external pumps is their ease of maintenance. Unlike submersible pumps, which require you to get wet for maintenance or repair, external pumps can be serviced without needing to reach into the pond.

They also tend to have a longer lifespan than submersible pumps and can save you money on energy costs in the long run.

However, compared to submersible pumps, non-submersible models may be slightly louder due to their above-ground operation. Their installation may also be more complex as they require plumbing from the pond to the pump.

Specific Types Of Pond Pumps

  • Mag-Drive Pumps: Ideal for small to medium applications, these pumps operate using a magnetic impeller and are known for their longevity.
  • Asynchronous and Hybrid Pumps: Designed for medium to larger applications, these pumps offer higher flow rates at lower head pressures, perfect for a wide range of features.
  • Direct Drive Pumps: These pumps are designed for features with high head pressures and flow rates. They’re robust and powerful, capable of handling demanding water features.

3 Main Pond Pump Problems And Their Solutions

Algae covered pond pump

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.

Keep Your Pump Running With Premier Pond’s Maintenance Service

Having the right pump can transform your water feature from ordinary to extraordinary. It ensures optimal water circulation, maintains cleanliness, and adds aesthetic appeal to your pond.

Premier Ponds can help you keep your pump and water feature in prime condition, so you can enjoy your pond more and worry about it less.

Fill out our contact form today or give us a call. Let’s create something beautiful together!