About Us
Specials Contact Us
  EXPERT ADVICE, POND AND WATER GARDEN SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT
Orders & Inquires: 678-404-8581 Tech Questions: 954-933-6662

2015 Items

 

Site Map| Weblog | Articles

water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Submersible Pumps
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers External Pumps
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Valves and Unions
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Biological Filters
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Submersible Filters
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers External Pond Filters
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Filter Media
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Alpine
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Aqua Ultraviolet
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Cal Pump
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers EasyPro
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers ElektraPro/Fluidart
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Emperor Aquatics
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Hozelock - Vorton
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Laguna
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Little Giant
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Matala
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Oase
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Pondmaster
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Savio
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Tetra Pond
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Zapp Pure UV's
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Replacement Bulbs
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Aquarian
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Aquascape
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Blackwater Foods
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Blue Ridge
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Chengro
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Crystal Clear
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers EasyPro
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Hikari Foods
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Jungle Pond
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Laguna
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Microbe Lift
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Nishikoi
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Pond Care
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Pondmaster
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Sho-Koi
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Tetra Pond
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Wardley
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Zeigler
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Fish Feeders
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Pond Liners
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Liner Tapes, Glues, Etc.
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers De-Icer's
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Heaters
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Thermakoi Heaters
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Aquasieve Stainless
bird and hummingbird feeders
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Bird Feeders
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Bird Baths
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Hummingbird Feeders
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizersFountainswater garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Atlantic Skimmers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Aquascape
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Filter Falls
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers CalPump
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Crystal Pond
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Oase
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Pondmaster
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers Savio
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden lighting, pond light Lighting
water garden additives, algae fix, ph up, ph down
water garden lighting, pond light AquaScape
water garden lighting, pond light Clear Pond
water garden lighting, pond light Crystal Clear
water garden lighting, pond light GreenClean
water garden lighting, pond light Jungle
water garden lighting, pond light Kent/Nature Pond
water garden lighting, pond light Laguna
water garden lighting, pond light Microbe Lift
water garden lighting, pond light Misc Additives
water garden lighting, pond light Pond Care
water garden lighting, pond light Pond Clays
water garden lighting, pond light Tetra Pond
water garden lighting, pond light UltraClear
water garden lighting, pond light Plant Care
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden lighting, pond light Medications
fish health, pond doctor Misc Resources
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden lighting, pond light Pond Of The Month
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers
water garden pond supplies, pond filters, pond pumps & UV sterilizers



Free Tips From
the Experts
Sign up for our FREE water gardening newsletter PondStuff! and learn from our pond experts with over 10 years experience!
Name:
Email:


 


     Ponds Magazine Article
  Upcoming Issue

Submersible Vs. Above Ground Pumps: How to Choose Between Them

by James Careless (jamesc@tjtdesign.com)

Some ponds use submersible (in the water) pumps. Others use above ground pumps. Does it matter which kind of pump you use? Unfortunately, the answer is “yes”!                                                      

The answer is “yes” because, on a strictly gallon-per-hour basis, above ground pumps use less electricity than submersible pumps. However, power consumption isn’t the only criteria that counts when comparing one kind of pump to another: for instance, when it comes to quick deployment, nothing is faster than throwing a submersible pump into the pond and plugging it in.

Then there’s cost: submersible pumps come in much smaller sizes than above ground pumps: this makes them a smarter, cheaper choice for the beginning pondkeeper. However, above ground pumps can be easier to clean, while submersibles can be more forgiving of leaks.

Clearly, there are lots of good reasons for choosing either submersible or above ground pumps: the tricky part is knowing which ones apply to your own situation. To ease the confusion, Ponds magazine has taken a hard look at both kinds of pumps on your behalf. Here’s our primer to buying the right kind of pump for your pond.

Submersible and Above Ground Pumps: The Basics

In order to compare submersible pumps fairly against above ground pumps, we have to agree on what both terms actually mean. So here goes:

A submersible pump is an electrically powered unit that can be safely submerged in water. These days, the most popular submersible pumps use ‘magnetic drive’ motors. This motor is made up of two magnets: a cylindrical magnet with a propeller-style ‘impeller’ on its tip which spins freely in water inside the pump housing; and the larger electrically-charged magnetic housing itself, which sealed in epoxy and plastic to keep out water.

When the power is off, the outer casing isn’t magnetized, so the impeller doesn’t move. However, once power is applied to the outer casing, the metal within it becomes magnetized too. Since it carries the same magnetic polar charge as the impeller magnet (i.e. North-North, or South-South), the two are repelled from each other. This repulsion is what caused the cylindrical magnet with the impeller to spin inside the “impeller chamber”. In doing so, it draws water in through the mouth of the pump, and forces it out through the top: either directly back into the water, or a hose which carries the water to a filter unit.

In contrast, an above ground (never submerged) pump relies on a conventional electrical motor for its motion. Typically, this motor is an entirely separate unit, which attaches to the above ground pump’s impeller blades by some kid of mechanical connection. When power is applied to the electric motor, it spins, and so does the above ground pump’s impeller. This draws water from the pump’s input (usually a pipe or hose placed in the pond) into the impeller chamber, and then forces it out the other end into another pipe or hose. Because the above ground pump is placed above ground, it is possible to located a swimming-pool style leaf basket just before the point at which the water enters the pump. This helps prevent large items from jamming the impeller, and makes for easier cleaning as well.

Where Submersibles Make Sense

As mentioned earlier, above ground pumps use less power per gallon than submersibles do. A case in point: Danner Manufacturing (www.dannermrg.com) makes both “Mag-Drive’ submersibles and above ground pumps for ponds. “We have a 5000 gph (gallons per hour) Mag-Drive pump which uses 475 watts of power each hour,” says company president Mike Danner. “In contrast, our 6120 gph quarter-horsepower above ground pump only uses 287 watts of power hourly; which is about half.”

If money were the only object, then above ground pumps would win over submersibles hands-down . But it isn’t: there are many other factors that come into play when selecting pumps, and many situations in which submersible pumps are the right choice.

“Submersible pumps are ideal for small to medium ponds up to  2000 gallons,” says Brett Fogle, owner of MacArthur Water Gardens (www.macarthurwatergardens.com) in Weston, Florida. “One reason is price: above ground pumps cost two to three times as much as an equivalent submersible, although above grounds make up for that cost difference in power savings, usually in a year's time.”

“Another is ease of installation,” he adds: “People with small ponds often don’t want to go to the trouble of plumbing in an above ground pump. With a submersible pump, they don’t have to: they just connect the intake to a filter unit – many submersibles come with sponge filters which you remove, rinse, and replace as needed – and the output to a hose that takes the water to a waterfall, which then returns it to the pond.” Submersible pump users can even attach a simple biological filter like a Laguna PowerFlo filter (found online at www.hagen.com) to the intake to help eliminate ammonia, then let the outflow spill directly upwards into the water to push it to the surface for oxygenation.

“We have found that 90 percent of pond users that we’ve surveyed are using submersible pumps,” says Curt Nuenighoff, a product manager with Tetra (www.tetra-fish.com). As a result, Tetra has focused its efforts on submersible pumps, including the OFX line. Available for ponds up to 8000 gallons in size, Tetra’s OFX submersibles are equipped with special impellers which allow debris as large as 3/8" to flow through without jamming the pump; an innovation which our own usage has shown to vastly reduce pump clogs.

As the maker of highly durable and reliable Mag-Drive pumps – again based on our own experience; we’ve had Mag-Drives return to normal performance after being buried, dug out of a collapsed sand pond and cleaned – Mike Danner has many reasons for liking this technology for a number of reasons. Beyond price and ease of installation, “submersibles work great with skimmer boxes; you just place one inside and you’re in business,” he says. “Submersible pumps can also tolerate leaks better: after all, if the pump leaks in the pond, the water isn’t lost. In the winter, you can simply leave them in the bottom of the pond, as long as it is deep enough to resist freezing throughout. [Even in the coldest climates, ponds generally will not freeze below three feet from the surface.] Finally, submersible pumps are easy to hide visually; once they’re in the water, you don’t see them.”

When to Choose Above Ground Pumps

Based on what we’ve covered so far, we know that above ground pumps are cheaper to run than their submersible cousins. But that’s not all: above ground pumps have the extra power and push needed for larger ponds. Granted, you can service a 15,000 gallon pond by using three 5000 gph submersible pumps in combination: however, their electricity usage will be much more than consumed by a single 15000 gph above ground pump.

Besides power consumption and power, above ground pumps “are much quieter than submersibles,” says Danner. “To silence them further, you can mount above ground pumps many feet away from the pond, and use buried pipes to bring the water back and forth.” Above ground pumps are also far easier to clean – “you don’t have to haul them out of the pond” – and they are less prone to failure than magnetically drive submersibles. As well, if the motor fails on an above ground pump, you can simply replace it with a new one. If it fails on a submersible pump, you are sunk, because the motor is the pump; it can’t be removed nor replaced.

Above ground pumps typically have larger pipe gauges: in plain English, they can mate to larger diameter pipes, which means that they can handle more water than submersibles can. This also makes them better suited to for rigid piping systems, which are usually installed using pipes 2" in diameter or wider. In general, above ground pumps are the ones to choose for larger, permanently plumbed ponds.

One point to note: above ground pond pumps may look the same as swimming pool pumps, but they aren’t. Above ground pond pumps have special seals to protect the water inside from contamination, and their motors are kept separate to prevent oil from seeping into the impeller chamber. As well, above ground pond pumps deliver more “head” (ability to lift water up) than swimming pool pumps, which matters when you are feeding waterfalls and filter systems.                     

Conclusion: Different Pumps for Different Kinds of Ponds

As with clothing, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for pond pumps. Submersibles make sense for smaller ponds; for beginner ponds, and ponds which rely on flexible hosing. Above ground pumps are the best choice for larger, permanent ponds, and for people who are in the hobby for the long haul.

Given these facts, it is vital to decide what kind of pondkeeper you are before deciding which pump to buy. The issue here is not which kind of pondkeeping is ‘better’; the issue is which type of pump best suits the kind of pondkeeping you want to pursue.

Some Pump Manufacturers

Danner/Mag-Drive: www.dannermfg.com
Laguna: www.hagen.com
Little Giant: www.littlegiant.com
Tetra: www.tetra-fish.com

 

 
Home - Specials - About Us - Contact Us
© 2002