Best Fountain Pump & Waterfall Pump 2018 (Reviews & Costs)

Best Fountain Pump & Waterfall Pump for Garden Ponds

Selecting a dedicated pond pump for your waterfall or fountain provides a range of benefits, including better lift height, easier installation, and lower running costs. In this guide we’ll explain how to choose the best water feature pumps, and recommend our top rated pump picks!

US Pond Owner? We recommend.. US Pond Owner? We recommend..
UK Pond Owner? We recommend.. UK Pond Owner? We recommend..

 


Why Choose a Dedicated Water Feature Pump?

Pumps designed for water features often have higher water lift capacity, providing a better water display.

If you’re running a pond pump with filter system on the circuit and decide to also add a fountain or waterfall, you likely see a large decrease in potential water height. Every component in your pond that water needs to pass through will increase resistance and reduce overall lift height to your water feature. Filters, in particular, hugely reduce the amount of flow as they need time to process the water through their mechanical and biological media. If you’re setting up a waterfall or fountain, we always recommend using a dedicated pump just for running the water feature. By doing this you’ll ensure you have a strong water flow, and it also makes selecting the correct pump that much easier.

As well as this, having a dedicated pump just for your water feature means you’re free to install it however you like. If you’re running alongside a filter, you’re restricted by how far away you can place your feature due to the loss of pressure. With a dedicated pump, you can install it anywhere in your pond, as the fountain or waterfall will be the only consideration. It also makes things easier to clean and maintain, as there is less attachments and hosing in a single place.

And a final major benefit is monthly savings! One of the great things about fountain and waterfall pumps is they’re usually very energy efficient in comparison to regular pond pumps. They’re optimized not so much for power, but for maximum water lift height. This means you’ll likely save money on your electricity bill monthly compared to running a regular pond pump. If you’re looking for a small water display, and decide to choose a solar pump option, you will have no monthly running costs!


How to Select the Best Fountain & Waterfall pump? (Considerations)

 1) Fountain or Waterfall Pump Head Height (Water Lift)

The higher your fountain or wider your waterfall, the more head height you’ll need from your pump.

All pond pumps will have a rating for maximum water lift height, and also display their GPH (LPH) flow rate at each interval of height. As the height of your fountain increases, you add “head pressure” to your system. Head pressure, or head height, is added resistance your pond pump has to work through to get water to a certain point in your circuit (i.e., top of fountain).

So, for example, if you have a 5 foot fountain, you will be effectively adding 5 foot of extra head pressure to your pond system, so you would need to choose a pump that can work through this height and still provide a good flow rate.

This is one of the reasons we recommend a dedicated pump for a water feature, as you only need to know the added head pressure of the fountain or waterfall. When running through a filter, especially a pressurized filter, you will be adding a lot more head pressure due to the increased resistance. This makes it more difficult to provide an accurate answer for optimal fountain or waterfall flow.

Flow rate is important for water circulation in fish ponds, but is also important for determining the size of water display.

2) Fountain or Waterfall Pump Flow Rate

Although not as important as head height, you should also take into account the pumps maximum flow rate in gallons per hour (GPH). This is the amount of water a pump can move at 1 foot of ground height. This rating is used for pumps as water needs to be circulated fully every 1-2 hours for effective filtration and aeration. If you’re purchasing a dedicated pump for your water feature, you don’t need to worry so much about complete circulation, as you should have another pump connected to your filter for this purpose.  When purchasing a pump for your water feature, the easiest way to determine the best GPH (LPH) rating is to simply measure the diameter of the fountains outlet head.

As an example, if the diameter of your fountain head is 2 inches, you can multiple this by 100 to get an estimate of GPH. So this would be 2 inches x 100 GPH = 200 GPH fountain pump.

If your fountain is than 5 foot in height, a sufficient pump would be one that can output 200 GPH flow rate at 5 foot of head height. What is important here is not so much the overall GPH rating, but the GPH rating at each interval of head height. The lower the rating, the less water flow you will have at that point of height.

3) Current Plumbing Framework & Components

Even though we recommend purchasing a separate pump, if you still want to use a pump for both filter and feature, you would need something with more head height to compensate for the added resistance. You would need to still take into account the max head height and the flow rating at that height, but you now also need a pump that can circulate your entire pond water every 1-2 hours.

On top of that, you need to add extra head pressure to the system to compensate for the filter, which will slow the flow rate of the pump. There is no hard and fast rule for working this out, but in general we would advise for a regular box filter (non-pressurized) to add 2 foot of head height, and for a pressurized filter, 7 foot of head height. So you would need a pump which can circulate your entire pond water every 2 hours, which also has enough head height for fountain/waterfall height + the extra head pressure of filter box.

For a list of powerful pond pumps which can power both filter and features, check our recommendations here.


Solar Powered Fountain Pumps – Worth it?

Solar powered fountains are great for small ponds and displays

Solar fountain pumps are a great method of powering a fairly small water fountain. The pump is connected directly to a solar panel which produces electricity from sunlight it catches during the day. The best solar power fountain pumps will come with an additional battery which holds charge for night time operation.

A solar powered fountain pump is an attractive alternative to a mains socket pump, as they cost nothing extra to run monthly. With that said, these kind of pumps do have drawbacks, and they sadly won’t be suitable for all pond owners and water feature types.

Firstly, solar pumps are usually very small and much weaker compared to a electric pump, so you won’t be able to achieve the same water lift heights with solar power. As well as this, the fountain will only work with strong sunlight, and won’t work at all during the night without a battery. Unless you’re confident you can get constant sunlight, this may not be the best option for your pond.

These pumps are also mostly designed for fountains, and not waterfalls. They’re able to power a small fountain effectively in strong sunlight, but would not be able to power a waterfall feature in same way. With this in mind, we would only recommend a solar powered fountain pump for very small ponds, or for pond owners who want no monthly running costs. For our recommendations on the best solar fountain pumps, check here for our guide!


Best Fountain & Waterfall Pumps Review 2018 (Most Efficient Models)

Due to the different brands available between the US and UK markets, we’ve researched and divided our categories to provide both US and UK pond owners a review on the best waterfall pump and best fountain pump available.

These recommendations assume you will be running the pump only for a water feature, and not for circulating your pond water through a filter system. For regular pond pumps which work great with filters, check our guide here.


US - Best Fountain and Waterfall Pumps US - Best Fountain and Waterfall Pumps

Best for small water features

1) TetraPond Feature Pump Review

A compact and extremely energy efficient waterfall and fountain pump series perfect for use in small garden ponds. TetraPonds feature pumps consume minimal power, with the lowest being only 17w, but still provide a strong water head height for features. The pumps are fully submersible, and also very quiet in operation.

The smallest model, the 325 pump, provides 325 GPH at 1 foot of height. It has a maximum head height rating of 6’5″,  but an ideal height would be closer to 5′ to maintain a good flow rate. At around 5′ of head height, the pump can still maintain an average flow of 150 GPH, which is very respectable.

The largest, the 1900 pump, provides a strong 1500 GPH at 1 foot of height. This would work well for ponds between 1000-1500 gallons, and should be sufficient to power a larger water feature. It has a max head height of 16’5″, and can provide strong flows of 1150 GPH at 7′ of head height. This rate would slowly reduce as head height increases.

Sadly, the strongest pump is also quite power hungry in comparison to the other models, so we would personally only recommend the lower models. The jump in power consumption is very large, and there are other pumps on the market which provide similar heights at much less power usage.

With that said, the lower rated pumps are still very energy efficient compared to most regular pond pumps, so running a water feature will not cost much extra monthly. These would be an ideal pump for small fountains or waterfalls, but we would probably recommend a different series for larger features (6ft+) as these pumps may struggle to maintain a sufficient flow rate at such head heights.

Monthly running costs?

Assuming a charge of $0.10 per kWh (national average), the cost to run the 325 model pump per month would be $1.25 per month. This would be running the pump 24 hours a day, 30 days a month.

Lower models very energy efficient
Good head heights for such small pumps
Very easy to setup
No fountain head attachments included
Not the best for larger features
  • Type: Submersible Fountain Pump
  • Maximum Flow Rate: 50 – 1500 GPH (depending on model)
  • Maximum Head Height: 6’5″, 7’5″, 8′, 16’5″ (depending on model)
  • Power Consumption: 17, 40, 80, 226 w (depending on model)
  • Power Cord Length: 12 ft
  • Outlet Size: ½”, ¾”, 1″ ID tubing  (depending on model)
  • Warranty: 3 Year

Best for medium water features

2) Laguna Powerjet Feature Pump Review

A fantastic fountain and waterfall pump for small-medium sized water features comes in the form of Lagunas PowerJet series. These feature pumps are designed for efficiency, with the lower models costing less to run each month than a regular household light bulb.

The PowerJet pumps comes with a flexible fountain adapter with 2 fountain head options, 3-Tier & Waterbell style. This is a nice addition if you don’t already have a fountain in place, and also includes a rising stem for easy height adjustment. The unit also comes with a flow valve switch, which provides handy water control to both your fountain head and waterfall.

The pumps have been designed with built-in Start Pump Technology (SPT), which provides maximum performance and efficiency during operation. This system controls the motor, water flow, and impeller, to ensure only the necessary power is being utilized. This and the pumps overall lower wattage ratings means you will save a lot of money monthly in comparison to some regular pond pumps.

In terms of water lift heights, the pumps provide very strong flows at heights ranging from 5’10” – 14’8″, and can run both a fountain and waterfall without much loss in flow rate. The smallest model provides a maximum head height of 5’10” (3.5m), and the largest model 14’8″ (4.5m) of head height. Running below these heights, you will maintain a strong GPH rating, meaning the pumps would be ideal for both fountains and waterfalls between 5-14 foot of water height.

The pumps feature a strong caged design which helps prevent blockage, but we found regularly cleaning is beneficial in more debris heavy ponds as the pumps still can become clogged quickly. This will impact water feature performance and reduce the overall life of the pump, so regular maintenance is advised for optimal operation.

Overall, a great choice for waterfalls or fountains below 14 foot of head height. These pumps are energy efficient, flexible with attachments,  and can power both waterfall and fountain while maintaining a good flow rate. They also come with a lengthy 3 year warranty as standard.

Monthly running costs?

Assuming a charge of $0.10 per kWh (national average), the cost to run the 1200 model pump per month would be $2.26 per month. The cost to run the largest 5800 model would be $8 per month.  This would be running the pumps 24 hours a day, 30 days a month.

Great lift heights
Very energy efficient
Lots of water feature flexibility
3 year warranty
Can become clogged easily
  • Type: Submersible Fountain & Waterfall Pump
  • Maximum Flow Rate: 1200 – 5800 GPH (depending on model)
  • Maximum Head Height: 510″, 6’6″, 11’5″, 12′, 14’8″ (depending on model)
  • Power Consumption: 32, 57, 75, 80, 112 w (depending on model)
  • Power Cord Length: 16 ft
  • Outlet Size: ¾”, 1″, 1 ¼” ID tubing
  • Warranty: 3 Year

Best for large water features

3) TotalPond Feature Pump Review

One of our favorite pond pumps for running larger fountains and waterfalls is TotalPonds dedicated feature pump. This particular pump series has been designed with maximum head height in mind, with the pumps being able to achieve a solid 5-18 foot of maximum water lift for waterfalls or fountains. At these heights, the pumps maintain a strong output and can provide a wide waterfall stream or fountain display.  The pumps can work higher than this, but we found that flow rate dropped significantly past this range.

The pumps come in 4 different models, all intended for fountains and waterfalls of different heights. The smallest, the 1200 model, has a maximum pumping height of  16 ft, but would work best for features around 5-6 ft for optimal flow. The largest, the 5100 model, has a huge 24 ft maximum pumping height, and can work to 18 ft of height without much pressure lose. The pumps are actually so strong they can easily be combined with a filter and still achieve good head height values, which is very impressive for a feature pump.

If running just for a feature, you should be able to achieve a very strong flow rate and a large water display, be it for fountain or waterfall. The pumps don’t come included with any fountain attachments or extra fittings, being just a no-thrills powerful feature pump.

They’re 100% submersible, run fairly quiet, and have a strong mesh cage to prevent clogging. They will still require regular cleaning to keep a good flow rate, but you shouldn’t have too much of a problem unless you have a very debris heavy pond.

Overall, a very powerful waterfall or fountain pump which can provide a strong flow for both small and large displays. Ideal for larger ponds, or for owners who want to run the pump through a filter, as well.

Monthly running costs?

Assuming a kWh charge of $0.10 (national average), it would cost you $7.63 to run the 2000 model constantly each month. This would be running the pump 24 hours a day, 30 days a month

Very good lift heights
Ideal for large water features
Fairly energy efficient
Easy to setup and maintain
No attachments included
  • Type: Submersible Fountain & Waterfall Pump
  • Maximum Flow Rate: 1200 GPH, 2000 GPH, 3600 GPH, 5100 GPH
  • Maximum Head Height: 5 ft (1200 model), 10 ft (2000 model), 12 ft (3600 model), and 18ft (5100 model)
  • Power Consumption: 106w (2000 model)
  • Power Cord Length: 16 ft
  • Outlet/Input Size: 1″, 1 ½” ID tubing
  • Warranty: 2 Yearsr

UK - Best Fountain and Waterfall Pumps UK - Best Fountain and Waterfall Pumps

Best for small water features

1) Blagdon Mini Feature Pump Review

A perfect pump for small waterfalls and fountains is Blagdons Mini Feature pump series. These pumps are very compact, easy to setup, and are extremely energy efficient to run. They don’t have the greatest flow rate or maximum head height, but they cost very little to purchase and can still provide a small pond a fantastic water display.

The series provides 4 different models, ranging in LPH from 700 – 2000, and having maximum water head heights from 1m to 2.2m, depending on model. These lift heights are respectable for such a compact pond pump, and the flow rate maintains strongly even close to maximum height. Unless you want a fountain or waterfall higher than 2m, these pumps should be more than sufficient for your needs.

The pumps come with a range of fountain attachments for Daisy, Super Daisy, and Waterbell displays which can be easily fitted on the fountain head pipe included. If you don’t already have a fountain in place, this pump comes with everything you need to start creating a small display in your pond.

The pumps also have a handy control valve for flow rate, and an optional filter media foam to help prevent fountain head blockage. This is useful and recommended, as the only downside of these pumps is they can clog very easily. If you have quite a bit of debris in your pond, you may need carry out regular cleaning to maintain a strong feature display.

Overall, a very solid pump choice for smaller water features and small pond owners who want very cheap monthly running costs and easy installation.

Monthly pump running costs?

Assuming a kWh cost of £0.10, the 700 pump would cost £0.72 per month to run and the largest 2000 model would cost £3.46 per month to run. This would be running the pump 24 hours a day, 30 days a month.

Great for small water features
Low monthly running costs
Lots of fountain attachments
3 year warranty
Not suitable for large water features
Requires frequent cleaning
  • Type: Submersible Fountain Pump
  • Maximum Flow Rate: 700, 900, 1600, 2000 LPH.
  • Maximum Head Height: 1m (700 model) – 2.2m (2000 model)
  • Power Consumption: 10w (700 model) – 48w (2000 model)
  • Power Cord Length: 10 m
  • Outlet/Input Size: ½” (12.5mm) and ¾” (19mm) ID tubing.
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Best for medium water features

2) All Pond Solutions Feature Pump Review

For pond owners who want a larger waterfall or fountain and still great monthly savings! All Ponds Solutions dedicated feature pumps have been designed for use with fountains and waterfalls, but are also strong enough to power a filtration system if desired. The pumps have respectable maximum water lift heights, ranging from 2.5m on the 3500 model, to 3.8m on the 5000 LPH model.

The flow rate is strong enough for a fairly large fountain and a wide waterfall, and would suit pond owners who want a bit more power behind their display. The 3500 model would be perfect for fountains or waterfalls between 1-2m, and the stronger models great for displays 2m+.

Included with the pumps is a fountain head hose pipe and multiple head attachments for different water displays. The unit also includes a flow valve so you can control the flow to both your fountain and feature, which is great.

Everything is easy to install and attach, and the outlet supports a range of hose sizes due to its multi-size head adapter. The cage design is decent for stopping larger debris and the pumps rarely become fully clogged due to their design and strong flow rate. With that said, they can be a bit fiddly to clean properly as the outer casing is difficult to open, and the casing also feels slightly brittle in parts.

In terms of energy efficiency, these pumps are great for their overall flow strength, running at 42w for the smallest model, to 100w for the strongest model. They won’t cost much extra to run each month, and will be be able to provide a strong water display for waterfalls and fountains between 1m-4m of head height.

Monthly running costs?

Assuming a kWh cost of £0.10, the 3500 model would cost £3 per month, the 4500 model £5.4, and the largest 5000 model would cost £7.2 per month to run. This would be running the pumps 24 hours a day, 30 days a month.

Strong flow rates
Energy efficient
Range of fountain attachments
Good water lift heights
Fiddly to clean
  • Type: Submersible Fountain & Waterfall Pump
  • Maximum Flow Rate: 3500 LPH, 4500 LPH, 5000 LPH (depending on model)
  • Maximum Head Height: 2.5m, 3.5m, 3.8m (depending on model)
  • Power Consumption: 42w, 75w, 1oow (depending on model)
  • Power Cord Length: 10m
  • Outlet Size: ¾’ (19 mm), 1′ (25 mm), 1¼’ (32 mm); and 1½’ (35 mm) ID tubing.
  • Warranty: 2 Year

Best for large water features

3) Blagdon Midi Feature Pump Review

The Blagdon Mini pumps bigger brother, capable of powering large fountains, waterfalls, and multi-feature systems. Blagdons Midi range pumps are great choices for pond owners who want a large single water feature, or multiple water features in their pond.

The pumps come in 4 different strengths, ranging from 3500 LPH to 6500 LPH. The smallest pump is capable of a 1.5m maximum head height, and the largest close to 4m of maximum head. The stronger models are fantastic for both features and filter systems, and are flexible enough for you to combine multiple components without losing much water flow. As a dedicated pump, these would be ideal for fountains and waterfalls between 2-4m of height.

With that said, we found the smallest 3500 model slightly underwhelming in terms of performance and lift height, and would only recommend the stronger models for most water features. For much small fountains and waterfalls, the Blagdon Mini pond pumps are better value for money and will still provide great results.

The pumps come with 5 different fountain head attachments, multiple adapter options, and a useful central control valve so you can control the flow to your fountain or waterfall feature. The fittings are all durable and high quality, can be attached to different sizes of fountain pipe for various heights.

The pumps are submersible, quiet in operation, and have a great cage design to help prevent clogging. Unless you have heavy debris in your pond, these should not require too much in the way of maintenance. They also come with a 3 year warranty as standard for peace of mind, and are fairly energy efficient, so won’t cost too much extra to run monthly.

Overall, a great choice for pond owners wanting to run a larger fountain, waterfall, or both at the same time! The pumps provide strong max water lift, and maintain a good flow at each interval of height. One of the best pumps for larger water features!

Monthly running costs?

Assuming a kWh cost of £0.10, the smallest 3500 model would cost £3.4 per month, and the largest 6500 model would cost £9.72 per month to run. This would be running the pumps 24 hours a day, 30 days a month.

Great for large water features
Good water lift heights
Loads of fountain attachments
3 year warranty
3500 model underwhelming
  • Type: Submersible Fountain Pump
  • Maximum Flow Rate: 3500 – 6500 LPH (depending on model)
  • Maximum Head Height: 1.5m – 4m (depending on model)
  • Power Consumption: 47w, 75w, 100w, 135w (depending on model)
  • Power Cord Length: 10m
  • Outlet Size: 1″, 3/4″, 1/2″ ID tubing
  • Warranty: 3 Year

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