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Pond Pumps - Koi Clubs USA

Pond PumpsChoosing the right water pump for your pond can make all of the difference in the world. Just because a pump may cost less to buy, it is not always the way to go.

The most important thing to remember is the electrical usage when looking for a water pump for your pond.

In order to maintain a healthy environment for your Koi pond or water garden, you MUST run your water pump through your filter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

So it is important to pick the right water pump for your Koi pond or water garden. Water pumps have variances in electrical usage and electrical costs.

External Pond Pumps vs. Submersible Pond Pumps

For many people, it's not really a question of whether to use a submersible pump vs. an external pump, primarily because most people have smaller ponds and are used to using a submersible pump.  Submersible Pond Pumps are easy to install, and they are pretty reliable.

TetraPond Fountain PumpThe Benefits of Submersible Pond Pumps.

For understandable reasons, a submersible pump derives its name because it is designed to be placed in the pond, and submerged under the water.

Submersible Pond Pumps are the easiest of all pumps to install.  Installations require no more than attaching a hose to the waterfall, or to a submersible filter, and then just drop the submersible pump in the water and plug it in - and you’re ready to do.

Submersible Pond Pumps range in size, or gallons per hour, from 50 GPH all the way up to 50,000 gallons per hour, but for most ponds - pumps anywhere from 350 GPH to 4000 GPH will be sufficient.

The Benefits of External Pond Pumps.

First, external pond pumps can be far more energy efficient. However be careful not to include a typical swimming pool or spa pump into this category as pool and spa pumps can be huge energy hogs.  As a general guide always check the amperage of the pump you are considering, anything drawing over 10 amps will also draw a significant amount of cash from your pocket every month in electrical costs.

The external pumps we are referencing are designed specifically for ponds and water gardens, and are engineered for energy efficiency.

External Pond PumpFor comparison purposes, a typical 4000 GPH (gallons per hour) submersible pond pump will typically draw between 10 amps all the way up to 15 amps, depending on the brand.  In contrast, a comparably rated external pond pump will deliver 4000 GPH (gallons per hour) and only draws 2.3 amps.  The resulting difference in energy consumption is 75% less than that of the submersible pond pumps.

When you start getting into larger ponds, 1000 gallons up to 20,000 and above - it's usually a good idea to look into these more energy efficient pumps.

External pond pumps are almost always better when you are using a pressurized external filter, as submersible pumps are not designed to handle all the back pressure.

Other benefits of using an external pump include:

  • Easy to clean without getting your hands messy
  • Come with a removable leaf trap which clog less often
  • Easy to hook up to bottom drains or surface skimmers
  • Generally external pond pumps last longer, and are easier to repair

To summarize:

For smaller ponds, and for simple installation and daily use, submersible pumps are probably your best option. For larger ponds, 1000 gallons and above, it may be worth looking into an external pump for your needs. Although they cost a little more on
the front end, the energy savings alone can often more than offset this increase in cost during the first year of use alone.

The following formula will assist you in determining how much you will spend (approximately) per month to run the pump you select.


  • Amps x Volts = Watts
  • Watts x 744 and divide by 1000 = KWH per month
  • KWH per month x Cost per KWH (located on your electric bill) = Cost per month

Or feel free to use our handy pump cost calculator.

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