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How to install an external pond pump

Updated February 21, 2017

External pond pumps are used in your pond to power features such as waterfalls and fountains, and are also used for pond filtration. Pumps use an electric motor to rotate a spinning chamber that creates an impelling effect to draw in the water. External pond pumps, although more expensive, are more efficient to operate and maintain than their submerged cousins. Installing an external pond pump isn't difficult, but there are a number of factors you need to take into consideration when setting one up.

Locate the external pond pump near your pond. The closer it is to the pond, the less distance the water has to travel and the more efficiently your pump will operate. Place a stone or concrete tile down for a foundation. Place the pump on top of the stone.

Place a shelter over the external pond pump. This can be as simple or elaborate as you wish, but it needs to keep the pump shielded from both the sun and the rain. At the same time, it should have enough space for air to circulate freely. You can construct one yourself or purchase a ready-made one.

Connect the inlet hose and filter to the pump. Use the largest-size inlet hose available. This cuts down on friction, which causes your pump to work harder. Secure the hose with a clamp. The inlet filter attaches to the end of the inlet hose and prevents debris from entering the pump.

Connect the outlet hose to the pump. Secure it with a hose clamp.

Connect the pump to the electrical source. External pumps and other outside electrical devices should be connected to GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) plugs. These types of plugs have sensors that automatically detect when the appliance plugged in on the other end develops a voltage leak and cuts the power.

Prime the pump. On your pump will be a primer button that you have to push a specified number of times to pump water into the system before starting.

Turn on the pump. Check for proper operation.

Warning

Don't start your pump without priming as this can damage the internal parts.

Things You'll Need

  • External pond pump
  • Shelter
  • Inlet hose
  • Outlet hose
  • 2 hose clamps
  • GFCI outlet
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About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.