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How do I Choose the Best Water Garden Pump?

Terrie Brockmann
Terrie Brockmann

Many gardeners enhance their landscaping with water features, and one of the problems of water gardens is that mosquitoes breed in still water. A water garden pump may resolve this problem by creating moving water where the mosquitoes usually cannot breed. To choose the best water garden pump, you need to consider some factors, such as the size of the body of water, the power source, and pump types. Larger ponds and ponds with waterfalls or other water features generally need pumps with larger flow rate capacities. A gardener may also need to consider the pond's aesthetics when choosing the right water pump.

One of the first factors that you need to consider is whether to have a submersible or external pump. Each of these pump types have advantages and disadvantages, especially for pond aesthetics. Submersible pumps tend to be less expensive to purchase, are hidden from view, and are quieter because the water creates sound insulation. External pumps typically last longer than submersible pumps, but they are louder and visible. Many gardens use clever camouflage to hide the pumps and sometimes are able to muffle some of the sound.

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Woman with a flower

Although submersible pumps have many advantages, owners should watch for malfunction. When a submersible pump malfunctions, it is possible for it to release gases or oils that may be harmful to pond life, such as fish and frogs. Some manufacturers offer pumps designed to reduce the chance of leaking harmful substances. One of the methods to prevent leakage is to seal the pump motor in a substance, such as epoxy.

Other options to consider when buying a water garden pump include the pump function and the pump housing material. Pump housings are usually made of plastic, but some companies offer other materials, such as fiberglass or stainless steel. Often the housing material will affect the amount of the warranty that the company is willing to offer. Pump functions include circulating the water, supplying a fountainhead, or similar functions. Each of these applications will affect the amount of the flow-rate pump capacity needed.

One of the major considerations for choosing the proper pump is the pump capacity. Normally, companies measure pump flow rate as gallons per hour, although other manufacturers may use other measurements, such as liters per minute. Experts suggest the proper flow rate should turn the water at least once per hour; therefore, if the pond holds 250 gallons (about 946 liters), it needs to have a flow rate of 250 gallons per hour (about 946 liters per hour). Waterfalls, fountainheads, and other water features usually need stronger flow rate to work properly. To choose the proper water garden pump, read the manufacturer's literature.

To research which water garden pump may be the best choice for your garden pond, you may use various sources, such as books, pond professionals, and online sources. Generally, a person can find articles and support groups for water garden enthusiasts. Other good online resources are the various charts to determine required flow rates. Charts may help a buyer to determine friction loss, pump size needed for waterfall height and weir, or other important information. The waterfall weir is the surface that the water stream flows over, and the roughness or smoothness of the weir is a factor that helps determine pump size.

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