A garden pump is one of the most important equipment for those with water gardens. In fact, experts consider this the heart of every garden pond as it is the one responsible for keeping the ecosystem in the garden as healthy as possible. Given its utmost importance, it can quite take a large part of your electric bill which is why one must always settle with the energy efficient garden pumps available today.
In order to make a great garden pump purchase, there are several things that one would have to consider. Remember that your goal is to ensure adequate water movement for circulation and aeration which altogether corresponds to a healthy garden environment.
A garden pump helps distribute nutrients in the water to the aquatic animals and plants in the garden. In addition, this prevents algae formation and mosquito breeding due to its continuous flow. As a result, oxygen is evenly distributed throughout the garden.
Before buying a new pump, you have to be certain about your garden pond volume and whether you will be putting most plants, aquatic animals, or both. It is really quite easy to determine which garden pump will suit your needs best for as long you know the basics.
To make things easier for you, here are the basic things you should know when searching for that perfect garden pump:
Garden Pump Types
Just like any ordinary water pump, garden pump also comes in a variety of types and styles. Each one has its own forte with specific advantages and application. This is the very same reason why experts always suggest evaluating one’s garden pump needs way before going to any store or even buying online.
These are the ones that are meant to be totally submerged in water. If possible, this is to be placed at the deepest part of the pond. Despite this requirement, this is one of the highly favored garden pumps because of its ease of installation.
In addition, these work quietly. If you want to maintain a natural environment for your garden without water hoses that can easily be seen, then this should work well for you and your garden. However, be careful in choosing submersible pumps that use oil for the increased risk of water pollution due to oil leakage.
Submersible pumps are great for small garden ponds as they are more economical. They usually range from 50 to 5,000 gallons per hour. In addition, these can also be used for draining garden ponds.
These are famous because of its reliability, affordability, and practicality given that they are energy efficient. These are ones most preferred because of its capacity to move high volumes of water without consuming a huge bulk of energy. In fact, this outperforms submersible pumps as far as energy efficiency is concerned. However, these are not as quiet performers as the submersible pumps and a bit more tedious to install.
External pumps work best for large garden ponds like those that need about 1,000 gallons and above. They are highly durable, easy to repair, and requires less routine maintenance. They should be installed at the driest area near the garden pond.
With this garden pump, the electrical charge creates a magnetic field which causes the magnet to rotate and therefore pump water continuously. The great thing about this type of garden pump is that it does not need any kind of lubrication and does not contain oil, therefore, making it perfectly safe for garden ponds with fishes and other aquatic animals and living things. However, this cannot generate high head heights as is required in fountains.
Magnetic drive garden water pumps are generally efficient and cost effective but are more suitable in cleaner environments with little to no debris since it can get stuck at the magnet. Another great thing about this type of garden pump is that it requires little maintenance.
This is the type of garden pump that comes in an enclosed motor which is also powered by electricity. This type is able to achieve significant head heights making it perfect for fountains and waterfalls.
Should you choose this type, make sure to go for the newer ones that offer alternative lubrication instead of the traditional risky oil. Generally, direct drive garden pumps are expensive to operate though it is the ideal one for gardens that needs a significant head height.
This is another important factor that could help you decide which type of garden water pump you are going to choose. Remember that the larger the fish population in your garden pond is, the greater the air requirement.
Having the correct size measurement is critical because this corresponds to proper water circulation. Basically, you have fewer things to worry about if the garden pump that you have bought already comes with a built-in fountain head. If it does not, you will have to manually calculate how much the pump can handle.
Rule of thumb here is that a good garden water pump should be able to pump out half your pond’s volume every hour. So if you have a 1,000-gallon garden pond, you need a garden water pump with at least a 500-gallon per hour capacity. Make sure that the design of your pond is final before buying a water pump so you know exactly which specifications the water pump must have.
Most modern garden water pumps today come with a wide array of additional features that makes the garden pumps even more worth buying. However, they can bring in more confusion. Know these features well so you can choose better on which feature you want in your would-be garden pump.
- In-Line Pumps – These draw water through an inlet which is connected to the hose making it possible to pull water even from a remote location. This is a common feature among external pumps.
- Solid Pumps – These draw water through a large opening, thus no need to worry about debris being sucked in and out. For that, this is the choice for ponds without prefilters but is not suitable for garden ponds with aquatic animals.
- Utility Pumps – These draw water through openings that screens or filters debris. Pump socks are recommended for this type to reduce the amount of cleaning. However, the risk in using such is that it can easily result to a dry pump situation.
- Axial Pumps – These are special utility pumps that are designed for high-flow but low-pressured garden pond environment.
- Heavy-Duty Pumps – These are typically constructed of stainless steel and of course, are more expensive. But if it is durability and energy efficiency you need, this would be your best bet.
- Solar Pumps – If you live in a place with a great amount of sunshine and you want to save on energy, then by all means, look for solar pumps. However, flow rate is noted to be minimal in solar pumps compared to typical electric voltage.
How to Properly Select a Garden Pump
Basically, there are five steps on how to properly select a garden pump which we will tackle one by one below to help you on your quest for the most suitable garden pump.
Determining the desired flow rate
Experts say that after knowing the basic information about the different types and sizes of garden pumps, this is the first thing you should determine to get going – the desired flow rate. As we have indicated above, the minimum flow rate should be at least half the pond volume. If you still find this confusing, you can check out the pond volume calculator in the internet today.
In addition, one must also put into consideration several factors like your filter and ultraviolet sterilizer. If your filter or UV sterilizer has a maximum flow which is less than your calculated required flow, you may need a ball valve. Ball valves can be installed all over the garden pond which shall get appropriate amount of water flowing to the filter.
Calculating head pressure
Next step will be determining the head pressure in order to get the right pump size. Now this is of high importance for garden ponds with waterfalls or fountains. Going into details of how to properly understand the head of the system, there are three things you have to know:
- Static Head – The vertical distance the water rises above the pond surface.
- Friction Head – The resistance from pipe and fittings when the water flows through.
- Pressure Head – The additional pressure required.
Choosing the type of garden water pump
As we have already discussed the different types above, it is time to choose one. The two most common choices today are the submersible and external garden water pumps. Advantages and disadvantages of each type are stated above.
Another thing to consider when choosing a garden pump type is the warranty. Experts say that a good pump will generally last two to four times longer than the given warranty period.
Learning about the operation expenses
For this, there are various pump operation cost calculators all over the internet today which you can use to at least have a good idea on the operation expenses of the garden pump choices you are eyeing.
Research on the flow charts
Most garden pumps today have flow charts, which are readily available for everyone with access to the internet. This can let you compare various models and determine which one would really suit you best.