After you have a water fountain ready to install, you should have a quality fountain pump for the flow of water in and out of the fountain. Fountain pumps are the mechanisms that help in the re-circulation of the water in your fountain. They bring water from the basin at the bottom back up to the top making them crucial to their operation.

Fountain pumps are typically centrifugal, meaning they move water using pressure from the centrifugal force created by the movement of the impeller. The liquid pump moves the water to an aerator or a fountain device that sprays water from the surface. The free-flowing water gathers oxygen as it falls back to the surface, providing aeration and enabling microbial action in the breakdown of wastewater or providing oxygenation for fish in ponds or farming tanks.

Various types of common water pumps used in garden fountains that are available today are:

Battery Pumps:  While there are companies who manufacture units that can operate on "A" and "AA" batteries, I have not found a battery-operated pump that lasts or that is reasonably priced.

For those customers who need battery operated fountains for wedding centerpieces (a common request), I suggest finding the one you want and buying as many batteries as possible at a store like Wal-Mart.

Solar Pumps: These pumps do not provide the desired output which is required  and should be rarely used unless you have a very high budget. Solar power is simple in terms of wiring but it's also complicated by the weather. You don't usually want your water standing still for long and prolonged periods of cloud cover can be bad.

Electrical Pumps: These are the most widely used pumps. Within this category, there are two sub-types: submarine (installed underground and beneath water) and outdoor. These pumps easily provide the required performance necessary for a fountain to operate effectively.

 You should always consider a few things while getting fountain pumps or replacing an old one:

  • Getting the right head: This is the maximum vertical lift of the motor. Choosing a right head from a variety of heads available today include stainless steel or bronze varieties.
  • You should always know what GHP (gallons per height) you need to achieve the desired effect.
  • You should always know what size pump you need to install in your fountain.
  • You need to know the type you need to install: either a submarine pump which is placed inside the water or an exterior model instead.
  • Always look in the fine print of your product to see where it was manufactured. Generally speaking China, Germany, Korea and Taiwan make good quality pumps.
  • The outdoor pumps should have a 3-wire plug and those used in indoors generally have 2-wire plugs. People who want to have a spiritual experience should opt for the 2 wire plug varieties.
  • You should know how much water your fountain needs to re-circulate. This matters.
  • Always get the warranty card from the store owner where you purchased your unit. You will need this information to get a new one or repaired or to replace it if the motor burns out or fails due during the warranty period.