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Hey if you have been looking for a waterfall pump and you are looking at some of the larger pumps you probably been noticing a measurement for head height. It could even be listed as waterfall rise or just waterfall height but on the pumps, on the larger pumps there will normally be a notation for head height. Now, let’s say you are looking at a 36,000 gallon per hour pump and then you will notice that for head height it may say 5 which would be a 5 foot of head height, 10, 15, or 20. Now, what you want to do to figure out what the head height is that you are looking at is you are going to want to figure out the top of your pump to the top of your waterfall, so if your pump is down 3 foot and your water fall is 3 foot already you are at 6 foot of head height.

Now, to make it more complicated what you are going to need to do is also add one foot of head height for every 10 foot of pond tubing that you have. So if you’ve 6 foot of head height and another 20 foot of tubing now all of the sudden you are at 8 foot of head height. So on that 36,000 gallon per hour pump now all of a sudden for what you are pumping you know, it is going to show you at 5 foot it’s 31,000 gallons and a 10 foot let’s say it’s around 2,000 gallons you are probably going to be pumping it around 22,000 or 23,000 per hour at that head height.

So you know instead of buying the 36,000 gallon per hour pump if that’s how much flow you really wanted you may have to go up to the next size let’s say a 45,000 gallon per hour pump. And to make it even more complicated for every inch of width of your waterfall you are going to require another 100 gallons per hour. And if that is not enough to get your head around a lot of times you will see a GPM for head height instead of GPH, and what you have to do then is take what ever the GPM is. You know, let’s say it’s 50 and multiply that by 60 because it is gallons per minute and so we are going to work and figure out gallons per hour. At least I do because it makes it easy for me to understand you know, what this pump is going to actually do with head height.

Now, the other thing to be careful of is you know it doesn’t just keep going along you know the formula you think it would. You know, if you say 5 foot of head height or a 36,000 gallon per hour pump has now dropped to 31 at 10 foot it’s 2,000 but at 15,000 foot you are thinking it is a thousand, well it’s not. You know, basically there comes a point where that pump can just only pump so much head height and at 36,000 it is going to die somewhere between you know 10 and 15 foot. It’s not just going to be able to pump 15 foot of head height. Even a 45,000 gallon per hour pump you know, where at 10 foot maybe it is running 34,000 and at 50 the next dropped to 2,000 and at 20 which it can still pump but it is only pumping 900 gallons.

So if you’ve got a waterfall that is more than you know this wide at that head height even that 45,000 gallon per hour pump is basically just going to be a trickle for you, so you know keep in mind that first of all being able to figure your head height understand that the further away the pump is from the waterfall the more tipping it has to go through that is going to cut down how much flow you are going to have and also understand the wider your falls the more flow you are going to need to make it look the way you wanted to, so there is nor real rule of thumb and it is just things to be aware of.

It is just a lot of times if you figured out hey you know the amount of flow that my neighbors 2,000 gallon per hour pump does over their little falls is what I want but their pump is setting right there next to the falls and it is not having to go very high, and you may have to have double the size of the pump to get the same amount of flow. Conversely, if your neighbor has a very big pump but they are pumping very high up and they are pumping a lot of away ways, you may be able to get the same amount of waterfall with half the size of the pump. So these are just some things to keep in mind and don’t let head height or rise throw you and that’s how you work your way through it.

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