5 Questions You Need to Ask to Choose the Right Water Fountain Pump | Estate Fountains

5 Questions You Need to Ask to Choose the Right Water Fountain Pump

April 1, 2015

There is no denying the beauty and elegance a fountain brings to a landscape.  However, when it comes to the technicalities of choosing and installing the right water fountain pump, many find themselves in unfamiliar territory.  With so many fountain pumps to choose from, how do you know you are choosing the right one?  

When determining what fountain pump you will need, there are 5 questions to ask:

1. How large is the fountain you want to run (Total Height & Bowl Diameter) and how high do you want your fountain to spray?

There are 3 main factors that determine fountain pump output: the water volume, the height of the water spray and the water pressure needed to accomplish that height.  By finding a pump that will work in its peak efficiency curve while simultaneously meeting the fountain’s operating criteria will help to extend the life of the fountain pump.

2. How far will the water drop from its maximum spray height to the pool below?

Any spray or spillage is a byproduct of the distance the waterfalls to return to the pool.  The longer the distance, the more likely water will spray or spill over the side.  At first glance, a surround may seem large enough to contain spillage, but in reality, it still might not be an adequate size.  You must consider the fountain’s Splash Factor, which, luckily, is easy to calculate.

To determine the Splash Factor, measure the distance which water will fall to return to the pool.  Compare this to the distance from the water to the edge of the fountain surround.  The distance to the pool surround should be greater than the height of the drop to the pool.  

You can also minimize spray is by angling spitters toward the pool.  This will cause falling water to hit the pool at an angle rather than vertically, reducing splashing. So select a water fountain pump according to water spray size.

3. Will your fountain contain multiple spitters, tiers or bowls?

Some fountains require additional water lines to feed water to features.  If a fountain has multiple water features, it may require additional pumps. 

4. Do you want to include multiple spray nozzles or a spray ring?

Spray rings are a fantastic way to draw attention to your fountain. You can accent your fountain by adding a custom copper spray ring that uses adjustable brass spray nozzles.  If you are considering a spray ring, it’s important to note that large spray rings may require multiple water inlets and pumps to properly modulate the pressure in the ring.  

5. How will your pump be powered?

There are 3 ways a pump can be connected: 

  • With plugging directly into a nearby external GFI outlet or timer.
  • By a traditional 120v power cord run up through the bottom of the fountain slab and coupled to the pump with an underwater disconnect waterproof power cord coupler. 
  • Use hard-wiring into an underwater junction box.

 Only the first two options allow you to remove the pump without first having to drain the water out of the fountain.  

It’s also possible to connect your pump to a breaker.  This gives you the ability to connect an on/off switch or even a timer for your fountain.  In order to do this, we typically consult an electrician at the fountain installation.   

Once these 5 questions have been answered, you will be another step closer to choosing the perfect pump for your fountain.  

If you have detailed questions about choosing the perfect pump for your fountain, feel free to contact us.  We carry a selection of commonly used fountain pumps, or, if you’ve determined you will need a specific kind of pump, we can also source other pumps.  Just contact us.