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Selecting the Right Pump for Your Water Fountain

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:

Flow Rate (L/hr)

Generally larger fountains with larger volumes of water require more powerful pumps of greater flow rate capacity.

For a 1 inch (2.5cm) thickness of waterfall flow, we generally need about 450L of flow per minute per 1m of waterfall.

As we use 12mm tubing, we get the following rough guide on appropriate flow rate levels:

0.5m high → need ~450L/min flow
1.0m high → need ~900L/min flow
1.5m high → need ~1350L/min flow
2.0m high → need ~1800L/min flow

Some of our fountains are not as high but require a more powerful pump given the flow rate required specifically for that fountain.

Please note that the distance between where the water flows out and the basin (or pond) may be small compared to the overall height. Thus you may not need a pump as powerful. E.g.

Verona fountain showing flow rate of pump

Generally speaking our Resun King pumps are compatible with fountains as follows:

  • Resun King 1F - for fountains less than 1m in height
  • Resun King 2F - for fountains between 1m to 1.40m
  • Resun King 3F - for fountains between 1.40m to 1.80m
  • Resun King 4F - for fountains between 1.8m to 3.25m

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".

For our range of Resun pumps, the Max Head figure is generally sufficient in finding a suitable pump.

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.

Catalina concrete fountain showing pump flow rate

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.

We have listed the recommended pump on the product pages. Do get in touch with one of our friendly Outdoor Decor Specialists if you have any questions or concerns via phone on 1800 661 929 or email at

Thanks for shopping at Fountainland.

Best wishes,

Fountainland Team.

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