To keep your pond gorgeous, you need fresh and clear water. For that, you need to re-circulate water to prevent the formation of algae and mosquitoes. External pond pumps are excellent at moving water from an inflow pipe to any outlet point around the edge of the pond.
These pumps will help you move a bulk amount of water while consuming less energy, and require minimum effort from your end. With one of these, there’s no need for you to spend time every day or week taking care of your pond manually.
Here, I’ll review some high-performing pumps currently available in the market and so that you can easily find the best external pond pump.
What is an External Pond Pump?
External pond pumps are handy machines that are designed to be fixed just outside of the pond. When it comes to suitability, these are perfect for your koi pond or large size pond.
Also, external pumps can easily move a large amount of fish waste through the bottom drain and they require less maintenance
6 Best External Pond Pumps reviewed
External pond pumps help circulate the water in your pond, keeping it clean and providing oxygen for fish. Also, they consume less energy, which is why they’re quite popular.
Whenever you want to buy a pump it’s crucial to know about it from top to bottom. And, since you are already here, it means that you have an interest in buying an external pond pump for your pond.
Here I have added all the relevant info after doing tons of research to present you with the best product within your reach. So that you can make a proper decision of which one would be best for your pond setup.
So let’s not waste any more time and get a glimpse of what I have in store for you…
1. Helix 3600 to 8200 GPH – Best External Pump For Koi Pond
One of the most amazing pond pumps that’s designed for koi fish ponds. It would be an optimum choice for mass stock fish ponds. And also for larger ponds that need high-level aeration.
The flow rate of this Helix Koi External Pump series is 3600 – 8200 GPH. You will be amazed at the durability of this pump which means you need to worry less about replacing your pump.
Even this waterproof pump is catered in a way that has one of the top-notch water circulation rates. It can do continuous operation and the weatherproof motor allows it to run in an outdoor environment.
Plus, you should use them in low-head waterfall ponds. Though it works like a beast, it does everything quietly. Another good thing is that this external pump has dual voltage motors.
If you install them below your koi pond level you can expect an excellent result. You can use this pump for the flooded suction application. Also, you can add a check valve to the suction line to keep a constant operation level.
An 8-foot power cord increases the flexibility to connect the pump to the main plug. Plus, the high-speed circulation rates and the sturdy-strong outer case makes it one of the highly recommended external pumps for your koi pond.
One issue is the cost of the pump. Apart from that, it would be a reliable and risk-free buy for your pond.
2. Sequence 5000SEQ20 External Pond Pump
This model from the Sequence brand is ideal for koi ponds and garden ponds. It is designed to keep outside of your pond and below the pond level.
When it comes to the size, it’s absolutely perfect to be used for small to medium size ponds. The maximum head pressure is 20.5 feet which is quite good.
You will be amazed at the supreme level performance of these end-suction centrifugal motors. Plus, it can operate smoothly and efficiently over a broader scale of flows and pressure. It has a maximum flow rate of 5000 GPH.
Not only that, it can generate this maximum flow rate by consuming less electrical energy. And that’s something really cool about it. An 8 feet long power cord will help you to connect it with the main electric line.
When it comes to the durability of this Suction series pump I would say they are legends in this particular arena. Though the motor is quite powerful, it does not generate noise like many other pumps.
Furthermore, you will see that the motor is fully enclosed and it has a fan attached to keep it cool. Which ultimately increases the chance of a longer lifespan of this pump. What’s even better, the motor is made of aluminum making it fully weatherproof.
Though it’s a pump with multiple good features, it does have drawbacks too. This pump is not able to serve larger size ponds. However, this is a cheap buy with excellent features.
3. Alpine Cyclone 8000 GPH
The Alpine Cyclone 8000 GPH can be used both horizontally and vertically. It’s made with high-grade plastic materials that come with waterproof ceramic bearings.
Besides, you can use this pump outside of the pond at a below water level. And also in the water inside your garden pond. It has an oil-free and magnetic-driven high-performance asynchronous motor that does the job for your pond.
In addition to that, the maximum flow rate is quite strong which is 8000 GPH, and maximum head pressure of 26’. A specially tailored vortex impeller makes it a high-energy efficient pump.
Plus, it can perform as a heavy-duty filter. Also, the pump can move a large amount of water constantly without any trouble as it is backed by 540 Watts.
You will get a large pre-filter that can handle solids up to ¼’’. As a result, it requires less maintenance. The weight of the water pump is 14 pounds. As it’s a powerful pond pump it will be an excellent addition for larger size ponds.
Until now you only read about the good side of this pump but now I am going to tell you the cons of this pump. The cover intake end falls quite easily and does not fit tightly. Another drawback is that the protective impeller strainer’s built quality is not up to the mark.
Anyway, if I look at it from a neutral point of view, it would be an epic inclusion to your pond.
4. Sequence 7800PRM24 Self-Priming External Pump
Sequence 7800PRM24 is another fantastic pond pump from the sequence brand that is highly energy efficient. This pump is run through a centrifugal motor. Which allows it to combine air and water mixing at the time or priming.
It also includes a small internal reservoir that helps to hold the re-circulating water that assists to remove the air during operation and makes it easier to prime for the next session.
Also, the motor is made of aluminum which makes it weather-resistant and waterproof. The maximum water flow rate of this pump is 7800 GPH.
Unlike other motors, you have the option to level up the voltage level by rewiring it. The casing of this is made of glass-filled polypropylene. One of the unique features you get in this is the mechanical seal that is dry run-resistant and helps to prevent any kind of damage.
Being such a powerful motor it will run in a completely noiseless manner. This motor is around 504 Watt and you can easily use it for your waterfalls and also for watercourses.
One of the features is a priming basket which is good enough for trapping any kind of leaves and debris of your garden pond. You can open the lid from the top and it’s super easy to clean it.
If you own a large size pond or kid pond, it would be an extremely reliable option for you. The only downside is that this pond pump is a bit expensive. But if you just look at the features, it is one of the top dominant motors in the market.
5. Waterway Plastics Iron Might 3410030-1E Pump
The Iron Might was designed to perform for a very long time. One of the most durable pond pumps you can buy.
You have to make sure to put the pump below water level on the outside so that it can function properly. The maximum flow rate of 2400GPH might not be excellent for a large one, but well enough for any small water feature.
Compared to the 1.3Amps power of this pump, it runs pretty silently. It’s backed by a total of 1/15HP that uses a lesser amount of electrical energy. The width of the intake and discharge is around 1 ½‘’ that comes with Viton seals.
Furthermore, this pump has a rugged ABS housing which increases the lifespan and durability.
Also, the side-discharge system is given to produce the optimum performance.
In case if you want to use it for a large pond, you should install multiple pumps to get the optimum result.
Like every other technical stuff, this pump has a negative side too. You need to buy attachments and adapters. However, an awesome and reasonable buy for the proper circulation of your beautiful koi pond. Overall, if you own a small pond and are looking for an external pump that can operate 24/7 smoothly, then this is for you.
6. Landshark LS3000 External Pump
The Landshark External Pump is one of the top-notch high efficient pond pumps in the market. This excellent piece of the pump is a self-priming pump with an impeller that is self-balancing hydraulically which helps to keep it free from vibrating during operation.
Even if you look at the price, it’s reasonable. Because the motor of this pump is self-lubricating it requires low maintenance which is a great advantage for sure. You can use it by keeping it outside of the pond and below the water level.
This motor can tackle the heating issue easily as it comes with a thermal sensor. Also, you will get a removable extra-large debris basket that will trap the leaves and twigs. You can clean it easily.
A maximum level of 3300GPH water flow rate and 36 feet max head high will do an outstanding job for your mid-size koi pond. The motor is backed by 400 Watt. A 4-foot long power cord comes with it which is double insulated.
Though this external pond pump is a heavy-duty one, it’s durable also. And the durability is long due to the use of high-quality bearing in the motor.
One snag about this pump is that the outgoing valve does not fit tightly and is prone to leak sometimes but fixable. Keeping this problem on one side, the rest of the bells and whistles are brilliant.
Types of external pond pumps
For your koi pond or garden pond, you can have two options of an external pump. One is a flooded suction centrifugal pond pump and another is a self-priming pond pump.
Flooded suction pump
A flooded suction pump needs enough water to put pressure on the impeller motor to work properly and it needs to be placed below the pond water level. Mostly in a hole dug near the pond is the place for the pump, which allows pond water to smoothly enter the pump chamber to start the suction.
A self-priming pump can mix air with water to generate a fluid with pumping properties. It removes the air from the water to start the pumping. They can easily function if you place them above the pond water level without a check valve.
Things to consider while buying an external pond pump
No matter whether you have a small pond or a big one, when you are about to purchase an external pond pump, there are a few factors which you should keep in your head. Considering all these factors, I have arranged a list of things you should consider before buying your new external pond pump.
1. Energy consumption
One of the biggest worries while buying a new external pond pump is how much energy it is going to consume every day. Because the electricity bill will be directly proportional to the amount of energy your pump consumes.
So it’s always safe to go with a pump that is less energy-consuming. That’s why you should pick high-quality pumps which are designed in a special way to save electricity bills.
It’s better if you take someone with you who understands the wattage ratings on the pump. They can assist you with determining which pump is going to be less energy-consuming.
2. The rate of flow
The reason why people install external pumps is to make the water move in their pond. So, a pump with a greater flow rate is a must. Now the confusing part is, there are mostly two kinds of external pumps available in the market.
If you want to use the external pond pumps simply to keep the water circulating, you can go for pumps with less head heights. But this kind of pump won’t be of much help when it comes to powering any water feature like waterfalls.
On the other hand, if your goal is to use the pump to maintain various water features, you should go for the external pumps with high head height and stronger flow.
3. Variable flow
This is a very unique feature that you won’t find in ordinary submersible pumps. These features basically allow you to have better control of how your external pumps will perform. You will get a few built-in modes, in which you can set the pump run.
In some recent digital models, you get full control over how your pump will flow water. Though it’s not something mandatory to have, while buying an external pond pump, if you get this feature, this will surely come in handy in the future.
4. Input voltage
An important point which many people miss checking before buying an external pond pump and then regret is the input voltage. Mostly there are two categories the external pumps operate. Either on 115 volts or 230 volts.
The pumps with lower power usually operate at 115 volts while the high-end powerful pumps operate at 230 volts. And the pumps operating at 230 volts reduce energy costs since they are more efficient.
So while choosing, try to get an external pump that operates at higher volts.
5. Suction vs self-priming pump
The flooded suction pump and the self-priming pump are two kinds of external pond pumps out there. No matter what, pumps are needed to be primed before you start using them. In case the term is new to you, it means the process of filling water inside the internal compartments so that the pump is able to flow more water.
If the pump is not primed, it will move air in place of water. And if water is not properly inside the pump, it might overheat over time and the lifespan will be shortened.
On the other hand, self-priming pumps are able to prime themselves and in the long run, these kinds of pumps are more durable. Though they are more expensive as well, the extra bucks are well worth it.
I hope now you know the things to consider while buying an external pond pump. And if you keep these factors in mind, you will surely buy the best external pond pump according to your requirements.
Why choose an external pump?
Being said that, external pond pumps have their own advantage.
So let’s have a look at what are the advantages of the following part and why you should choose it.
More Energy Efficient
Depending on the size of your pond, you can actually figure out how much energy you are saving at the end of the month.
In the case of a relatively small pond, you won’t be able to find out the difference. Because the pond pump does not require much power for the lower volume of water circulation.
On the contrary, in a larger pond that approximately holds 8000 gallons or more, you will notice a significant difference in the energy consumption level. And that is an awesome advantage without any doubt.
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Less Hazardous for Pond
External pumps are kept outside so there is no chance of oil spilling into the water even if the motor fails for some reason. This ensures a lot of safety for your ponds, water, plants, and fish.
Higher Water Flow and Head Height
Added with the efficient level of the external pump if you notice that you will see that they can go for a higher level of flow rate.
Whereas submersible pond pumps are crafted to serve a less than 10000 gallons pond, and when there is more water pressure and volume it has to function and operate at an extreme level which makes it a high consumption pump.
External pond pumps don’t have this problem as it is fixed at the ground level and the flow rate will be much higher compared to the submersible pump.
In the market, you will see external pond pumps which are being rated and highlighted with their Horse Power level. It is done to show the power of the external pond pump.
Easy to Clean & Maintain
One of the best advantages of buying an external pond is that it is really easy to maintain, manage, and clean.
As it sits on the ground, you have easy access to it, unlike a submersible pump. Plus, it does not require getting in touch with the floating waste and particles so the chances of getting clogged are low and need less cleaning.
Priming External Pond Pumps to Avoid Damage: Useful Tips
If your pump is a non-self-priming pump, you need a wet install just below the pond water level.
External pumps that prime using flooded suction are generally fixed in a box underground. And, this thing assists to supply water to the motor chamber to keep the pump running.
Also, it is suggested by many, to add a priming pot or debris basket in front of the pump’s intake.
There is only one way you can prime your external pond pump properly without a priming pot. And that is to use a check valve but it’s a complex process that is exposed to many errors and increases the chance of pump damage.
One of the plus points of a priming pot is that it comes with a basket that can trap debris, leaves, etc. Also, prevent them from getting inside your external pump. So it decreases the chance of any damage.
On the other hand, a self-priming pump will have a chamber where priming will take place so you don’t need to buy an extra priming pot.
If you want to ensure smoother priming of your pump and to protect it from any kind of clogging, then its optimum arrangement should be such where the external pond pumps will be installed lower than the pond water level and priming pot should be attached and also a check valve is fixed on the pond end.
Why External Pond Pumps are better than submersible pumps?
When you compare two types of the same thing then you need to take the measure of the more good side and mark it according to that.
External pond pumps are definitely better than submersible pumps. Because they are more powerful, operate quietly, and consume less energy. Moreover, it is easy to maintain and excellent for large-sized ponds.
In all the aforementioned features, the submersible pond pump lag behind the external pump. So definitely external pumps are better than a submersible pump.
How to setup an external pond pump?
The whole process of the external pond pump is not that complex. Once the setup is done, you will be able to monitor them, wash them and maintain them without much effort as they are placed outside on the ground.
So let’s see the steps,
Step 1: Placing the external pump
Fix the external pond pump close to your pond. So that the water has to travel less distance from the external pump. Also, it will be able to operate efficiently.
After placing the pump on a concrete surface, you need to protect it from sun and rain. So you need a shield to protect it. The shield should have enough room for proper air circulation.
Step 2: Adding the hose pipe
Now, you can connect the inlet hose and filter to your external pump. Try to choose and use the larger size inlet hose. It will reduce the amount of friction. Thus, your pump won’t have to work that hard.
Step 3: Securing pipe with clamps
After adding the hose, you need to secure it using a high-quality clamp. At the end of the pump’s inlet hose, it’s attached with an inlet filter which blocks any leaves and debris entering into the pump. Following that you have to connect the outlet hose with your external pumps and use a clamp to fix it tightly.
Step 4: Connect to your electric point
At this step, you should connect your pump to the main electrical source. It is recommended that your external pond pumps and other outside electrical appliance should have a connection with the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
This plug has a built-in sensor that will automatically detect and cut the power if there is any voltage leak.
Step 5: Priming of your pump
It’s time to prime your external pump. Priming will make sure the pump is filled with water.
Now press the primer button or switch to let the water flow through. Please follow the proper instructions of using the priming buttons by following the manual because in some pumps one-time press is okay while in others you need more than one press.
Step 6: Start your pump
This is the final step. Now just turn on the switch and keep a close eye on whether it’s operating perfectly or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are external pond pumps loud?
How do external pond pumps work?
Where should I put my external pond pump?
Do external pond pumps use a lot of electricity?
How long does the external pond pump last?
An external pond pump is one of the key players behind the aeration system and aesthetic condition of any garden pond. In this article, I tried to bring info about the best external pond pump and their details for you.
If you were to raise a question which one is the best external pond pump according to me. Then I would like to go for Sequence 7800PRM24 Self-Priming External Pump. Because of its combo package of being extremely durable, self-priming system, waterproof, and energy-efficient ability.
Anyway, other external pond pumps are also of excellent quality and you can pick any of them without confusion.