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Selecting the Right Pump for Your Water Feature

Congratulations on picking your new water feature. The next step is to find the right pump. There are a ton of complex specs but selecting the right solar or electric pump doesn't need to be a daunting process. At Fountainland we've simplified the process for you. Firstly, here are a few key terms you need to know:

Max Flow Rate (L/hr)
This measurement is defined as the volume of water flow in litres per hour a pump can handle at its max.

Max Head
When water is pumped vertically, the flow rate is highest at the bottom and lowest at the peak. The maximum height the water can flow upwards is called the "Max Head" or "Lift".

Pumps have several specs, but generally the Max Head figure is sufficient in finding a suitable one. Now as water travels through the tube there will be some friction and resistance reducing water flow. Hence a greater Max Head is required to compensate for this friction.

STEP 1: Measure the distance (height) between where the pump is placed to the fountain's peak water flow.

  • For fountains with ponds, this is the distance from the pond to the peak.
  • For fountains without a pond, this is the distance from the largest bowl to the peak.
  • For wall fountains, this is the distance from the bowl to the mouth

STEP 2: The Max Head required is 25% more than the height calculated.

  • For a 1m distance, this is 1 x 1.25 = 1.25m (added 0.25m)
  • For a 2.2m distance, this is 2.2 x 1.25 = 2.75m (added 0.55m)

STEP 3: Find a pump with the figure in Step 2.

E.g. the Catalina Concrete Fountain (use without a pond) is approx. 1.3m distance from the largest bowl to its peak. We add 25% to get 1.63m. The pump that is appropriate is the Resun 2F with a Max Head (Lift) of 1.7m.

Important Note
When using a fountain with a pond, we recommend the fountain sit on a small pedestal of around 10-20cm. Note that this will add to the required Lift of the pump needed.

Let's use the Catalina Concrete Water Feature example from before.  If it were to be used with a pond and also sit on a slight pedestal of 20cm, the total distance from the pond to tip is 185cm + 20cm = 205cm.

This means the Lift required is 2.56m. The Resun 3F has a Max Head of 2.2m which will not be sufficient while the Resun 4F with Max Head of 4.1m will do the job.

While it's important to not select a pump that is not as powerful, it's also important to not get one too powerful as the water flow would be too great.

Don't worry, if this is a bit tricky to work out, please do get in touch with one of our friendly Outdoor Decor Specialists via phone on 1800 661 929 or email at

Thanks for shopping at Fountainland.

Best wishes,

Fountainland Team.