Q & A Series: Fountain Pumps

A fountain pump is the workhorse of any well functioning water feature. Often referred to as a “recirculating pump,” these devices propel water from the lowest tier or pond up through the tubing to exit the finial or water outflow location.

As discussed below, for a water feature to perform optimally, it must use a pump with the recommended gallons-per-hour output. It's always best to stick with the pump that is authorized/recommended by the manufacturer of the water feature itself.

To make the shopping experience as simple as possible, Fountainful includes the authorized pump with every water feature purchased from us. 

What is “GPH” and why is it important?

Fountain pump output is measured in gallons-per-hour (GPH). A pump’s GPH plays a vital role in how optimally the fountain will function, and why it is so important to use a pump with the output recommended by the water feature manufacturer. 

  • Too weak of a GPH: creates a dull and flat water effect – and potentially not enough power to fully recirculate the water . 
  • Too strong of a GPH: will likely cause unnecessary splashing, resulting in premature water loss. 

Check your water feature installation/maintenance guide for pump GPH specifications. If you’re stuck, give us a call! We can quickly locate specifications for all of our brands, including Massarelli’s Fountains, Giannini Garden Ornaments, Blue Thumb Fountains, GIST Concrete Products, The Outdoor Plus and more. 

Can I bury the power cord?

Yes! This is a common practice and definitely helps maintain good landscape aesthetics. Cord lengths on fountain pumps typically range from 6’ to 15’ and utilize a standard 3-prong plug. 

Can I swap my electrical pump for a solar pump?

Fountainful advises caution when replacing a water feature pump with a solar model. The biggest concern to using an unauthorized solar pumps is having no guarantee of consistent power output to fully recirculate the water. 

Other potential drawbacks of unauthorized solar pumps include:

Poor Landscape Aesthetics: You will need to integrate the solar panels into available space within your landscape and close to the fountain. There will still be a cord. 

Inconsistent Operation: A solar pump will not operate on cloudy or overcast days. 

Insufficient Output: As mentioned above, the water flow will not be as strong, and your pump may require 6-8 hours of consistent sunlight daily to achieve desired results. 

What are the typical cleaning requirements of a fountain pump?

We’re planning a future Q & A Series post that will be devoted entirely to pump and fountain cleaning + winterization.

In the meantime, below are 3 guidelines that are applicable regardless of the make or model of your fountain pump:

  • Clean the pump every 1-3 months depending on the specific condition of your fountain environment (i.e., algae growth rate, debris volume).
  • Disassemble the pump per the included instructions and use a suitable brush (often a toothbrush or cotton swabs will work) to remove algae and/or mineral deposits and debris from the components. 
  • A good homemade cleaning solution is ½ cup distilled white vinegar per 1 gallon water (this works on concrete fountain pieces as well!).

A valuable resource for fountain pump cleaning and maintenance tips is this informative YouTube
video by Massarelli’s Fountains.

Warranty note: Information about the pump’s warranty is generally included in the box. As these are made by a manufacturer different from the water feature itself, pumps carry various warranty terms. For example, the Mag-Drive pumps used by Blue Thumb in many of its fountains and smaller water features carry a 5-year warranty (excluding the impeller).

Fountainful.com: A user-friendly shopping experience 

Sugar Kettle Fountain Kit

 The Sugar Kettle Fountain by Blue Thumb Fountains

We've built our online store to provide a seamless experience, whether you’re a first time water feature shopper or a seasoned owner. Every fountain on our site comes as a complete kit, meaning everything needed for installation and enjoyment is included with your order – including the pump. 

When it eventually comes time to replace your fountain pump, we have a selection available for individual purchase for our most popular brands, with more coming soon.

Browse our fountain pump collections:

Questions about which pump is best for your water feature? We’re here to help! Give us a call, or reach out via our Contact page

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