How to calculate the size of a fountain pump

Written by b.t. alo
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How to calculate the size of a fountain pump
Calculating the right size pump will ensure your fountain performs as desired. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The first part of calculating the right size fountain pump for your fountain is deciding what type of fountain you are after: a spray fountain or a jet fountain. Spray fountains create a more horizontal fountain flow (like bell, mushroom or star sprays) whereas jet fountains are all about vertical lift, and require a more rigorous pump. With a few measurements, calculating what size fountain pump is right for you is simple.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Measure the distance from the pump position -- on the floor of your fountain basin, typically -- to the place where the fountain spray will come forth. This distance is the "rise" of your pump.

  2. 2

    Add the total height your fountain will spray to, if using a jet fountain, or the width of the fountain spray, if using a spray fountain. This will give you the approximate lift the pump will need to generate the right kind of fountain spray.

  3. 3

    Purchase a fountain pump with double the capacity, or "maximum lift," of your rise calculations -- which should be around the same number as the rise plus the lift. The flow at the maximum lift is zero, so you need to exceed the rise calculation in order to achieve a fountain spray. For example, if your rise is 4 feet, and you purchase a pump with a maximum lift of 4 feet, you won't achieve any lift, or spray. Choosing a pump with a maximum lift rating that exceeds your rise plus your lift will ensure you purchase the right size pump to achieve the fountain spray you want.

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