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Old 07-13-2006, 05:40 PM
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Pump size for large water feature?

Does anyone have a formula they use to determine how big a pump they need for a large water feature? Or a website?

12' wide falls, 30'X10' stream, 8' drop on main falls. The water would be pumped 75' up another 15' hill.

Any help with this would be appreciated.
Thanks.
steve
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:02 PM
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Maybe a couple 12-15,000gph pumps to shower down lots of water.
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Old 07-13-2006, 08:10 PM
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Wow, thats a serious fall that will require some serious GPH! Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:23 PM
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There are formulas for how much water has to be circulated in a pond per hour, with the smaller ponds usually needing to be turned over once per hour. But I've been told by people in the industry that this isn't a requirement for larger ponds (like what you're talking about).

So with that formula being non-priority, the next question is how much water do you want going over your falls. This one is a lot harder, because it's hard to know how much water is going to look "right". The link below will show you a video of a waterfall we did using 2 - 10,000 gph pumps pushing water up about 10'. The pumps are CalPump Torpedos. If memory serves me correctly, they can still push 9,000 gph or so after pushing the water up 10'. The stones the water is flowing over are each 10-11' wide. If this looks like enough water, then go with it (but consider the added height of your falls, which might drop performance enough to require bigger pumps).

Or if you need more water going over the falls, you'll have to go up in size.

Waterfall
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:09 PM
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I agree with Stonehenge.

(By the way, thatís a cool video, how deep is the feature?)

Tell us more about the project, Steve. What kind of filtration are you using? Does this have a biofalls and a skimmer(s)? Whatís the depth of the main pond?


Ē12' wide falls, 30'X10' stream, 8' drop on main falls. The water would be pumped 75' up another 15' hill.Ē

Thatís moving some serious water that I hope you estimated into the cost.

Have you started this project yet or trying to give them an estimate?

This would be in the $20K budget?
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:04 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. Here's whats going on: This is in the front of a smaller housing development. Maybe 8-10 houses in the 600K to 1.5 mill. range. They have one road that goes up the hill, which everyones house is off of. There are two drainage ponds at the entrance of the devl. to catch all the runoff.

The developer built or had built a 120'X10' stream that runs along the road, drops over the 12' wide falls travels another 30' into a 400'X75' pond. That pond drains through a 12" culvert (under road) into a 25X18' pond. They have a 2hp pump that is used for the "stream,falls" and a 7 zone irrigation system.

Needless to say, there is barley a trickle in the stream or over the falls. They orderd a 3 hp pump.

I'm talking them into shorting the steam and maximizing the action on the falls. Those demensions in the first post are what I would shorten it to.
Its one of those " we want Niagara Falls, but we can only spend $4000." calls.
Unless they can give me a serious budget , I might say no thanks.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:04 AM
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don't think stream with a front to back oriention. Think waterfall or a lateral or side to side waterfall. Streams are a lot more expensive and a lot more disadvantageous.
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:14 AM
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a cal t 10, 000 pump is rated at 9 to 10,000 gallons per hour. That means that it could fill 10,000 one gallon milk jugs in 1 hour. Am I the only one who finds this a little hard to swallow?

There are 2 things you need to know. First you need to know the amount of "head". Head is the difference in height between the heigth of the pump and the end of the supply pipe. You will probably need to determine this with a level and transit. Once you know the head, every pump will come with a chart showing you how much gph the pump will put out at x amount of head.

The second thing you need to know is the width of the drop or weir. There is a general formula saying that for every 1 inch of width of the wier or ledge rock that you need 100 gph of water. I wouldn't trust this formula or any other formula. I am not a formula type of guy when it comes to gph. I am a Tim Allen guy when it comes to gph. Buy 7 cal t10,000's and have at it. Gph is the king daddy when it comes to a waterfall. You can never get enough gph. Cut corners on other things but not on gph. Gph is what produces white water or rumble or swirl which is what produces visual beauty. The more gph the wider you can make ledge rocks. The wider the ledge rock, the nore square feet of visual beauty you can get. You have to be really careful about having a good square feet of visual beauty to dollar ratio. If you get no white water or visual beauty it is a waste of money.


As for pumps you should check into high efficiency sequence pumps. Most are external and some require 220 volt electricity.

Pipe size is important - nothing but 4 inch pvc

And don't forget to check into how much electricity is going to cost to run all those pumps. It is honest to tell customers this cost before you close a deal. You don't want them coming after you with a shot gun when they get their first electricity bill.

Pumps - get on google and check them out.

Pure falls - don't use them they are a waste of money.

SKIMMERS I MAKE MY OWN FOR ABOUT $20.

To find out how, go to paradisegardens4u.com then to my about us page. At the very top of my about us page click on the gray title bar. This takes you to my private section page. Scroll down until you see the skimmer for $20 link.

As a price of admission how about reading my resume and waterfall qualifications and letting me know about someone who would want to hire me and build the absolute best waterfalls and ponds possible. With the price of a skimmer coming in at $250 or more and a pure falls at $250 or more, I just enabled you to save $500 to $700. You can take that money and charge customers less or take it and invest it in more or bigger pumps and produce a bigger and better waterfall for your customers. There are a hundred and one ways to decrease cost without decreasing quality or size. Do your best to give your customers the best.

Last edited by waterfall larry; 07-14-2006 at 03:22 AM..
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:37 AM
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notice the amount of visual beauty caused by sufficient gph.
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:44 AM
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Here is what produced it. 4 sequence pumps I believe from performance pro. 2 bead filters and notice the 4 timers to turn the pumps on and off automatically. For more about this project visit paradisegardens4u.com then to the very bottom of the waterfalls construction page then look for the title bar that says waterfall projects I have been involved in and click on the columbus job.
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Last edited by waterfall larry; 07-14-2006 at 03:49 AM..
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:48 AM
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Do you happen to have a shot of the waterfall before the boulders were added? I'd be curious to see the site work prior to.
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:08 AM
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As for pump size, I used a 5000 gph Calpump on this small one. We weren't looking for gushing drama, but a more serene, subdued feel.

I was deeply disappointed with this particular pump, and wouldn't buy another. It was replaced after 8 months of use, the replacement crapped out, and the Canadian online pond supply company said sorry...your problem. Got a Laguna pump from a local nursery...same gph but much less water flow for some reason.

Approx. 4' rise over 20 feet.

Raj
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:35 PM
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raj

what size supply pipe did you use? 2 inch should have been the minimum.

Did you use solid pvc of flex pipe? Check out the per foot price difference between flex and pvc, flex is a lot more expensive.
The larger the pipe the more gph gets delivered. There is a chart showing the gph difference somewhere.

Did you daylight the pipe on a rock in the stream or use a pure falls?

Raj, did anything at all change between the cal 5000 and the laguna 5000? If not a single thing changed, and if both were rated at the same amount of gph at the same amount of head, then it must be a matter of the specs lied to you and to us all. The only thing that might account for the difference might be the strength of the pump as measured in horse power.


WOULD YOU ALL DO ALL OF US A FAVOR?

I STRONGLY SUSPECT THAT THERE ISN'T A SINGLE PUMP THAT DELIVERS WHAT THE SPECS SAY THEY WILL!!!

IF WE USE OUR STRENGTH IN NUMBERS, WE COULD VERY QUICKLY TELL IF THE PUMP COMPANIES ARE LYING TO US

Before you hook up a pump permanently, put it in the pond then look at the spec sheet and see what the chart say for 5 feet or 10 or whatever the chart says, then attach that length of pipe. If the spec sheet says 4,000 gph at 10 feet, add a 10 foot pipe and pump the water into a 33 gallon trash can and see how long it really does take to pump 33 gallon and then do the math and see if it really does - in real life - pump what the specs say it will.

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE ADVERTISING?

Last edited by waterfall larry; 07-14-2006 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:00 PM
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stoneridge-

There's no really simple formula for determining water volume. When I have encountered large volume needs like this, I have used Stoney Creek as a supplier. They have pumps that can handle just about any situation. You give them your specs and they can recommend the pump/pumps for the job. I have always found it best to try to get a 1 pump solution for these things, but that's not always possible.

One thing to remember...

10 feet of run = 1 foot of rise when calculating head pressure.

I've found Tsurumi pumps to be the best for high-end needs.

You'll never be able to do it for $4k...
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for the advice Larry. When I get some time I'll check out your website.

Jessie- I've dealt with Stoney Creek for a few years. I'm waiting for a call back on this project.

If the falls are around 12' wide, what is the minimum length between the falls and the outlet pipe? Do I need a 8x8' basin to build up water before it goes over the falls?
Do I need a basin?
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