If your fountain isn't running right or even running at all, it's time to start troubleshooting. The culprit is often the fountain pump. Unless it was a DIY fountain project, the pump probably came with your fountain and you didn't have to shop for it. Choosing the correct-sized replacement pump for your fountain is important for making sure the water flows properly.
If the pump is too small, there will not be enough flow or spray. If the pump is too large, it can run out of water and burn itself out. Doing a little research on how to select a replacement fountain pump will help you feel confident when shopping.
DIY Trouble Shooting
If your fountain isn't running properly, first try some simple pump troubleshooting to be sure the problem isn't an easy fix. A rock or leaf may be clogging the pump intake or preventing water from flowing out of the fountain. The power cord may not be delivering power to the pump.
There are a few simple problems that you can quickly fix. If troubleshooting doesn't solve the problem, it may be time to replace the pump. You can go to your local Lowe's, Lowes.com, or our parts site if you know which model you need.
Selecting or Upgrading a Replacement Fountain Pump
Fountain Pumps with Low Water Shut Off
Low Water Shut-Off Pumps are a great option if you don't want to worry about water levels and refilling your fountain regularly. These pumps work like a standard pump when fully submerged in water, but include a smart sensor that detects water levels. If there's not enough water in the fountain, the pump shuts off automatically to prevent damage and turns back on again when you restore the water levels. These pumps are ideal for fountains in a sunny or windy area where the water levels can drop without someone noticing.
Our Premium Fountain Pumps have low-water pickup, so the pump can continue running even if the water levels are low. Some models also have a longer pre-filter to help prevent the pump from clogging, which is extra helpful if your fountain is under a tree where leaves may fall. The 155-500 GPH models can be used in-line, adding even more flexibility.
In-line capable pumps do not need to be kept in water. They can sit below the fountain with a tube running to, and from, the pump to the fountain. In-line capable pumps are perfect for fountains that do not have a large water reservoir or good hiding spot for the pump.
Choosing the Right Size Pump
Once you've decided on the type of pump you want, the next step is to figure out what size you need. The pumps come in different sizes based on flow rate. The flow rate is measured in GPH, gallons per hour, which determines the pumping height--how far the water has to travel vertically. It is measured from the top of the water level in the fountain's reservoir to where the water will spray or flow out.
Some pumps will have the same pumping height but different GPH. A higher GPH will make a stronger water spray or flow. Pumps with adjustable flow control allow you to control the strength of the flow manually.
Check Your Tubing
It is important to use the correct size tubing. You should use the same size tubing that was connected to the original pump. If you're unsure what the tubing size is, you can measure the inner diameter of the tubing. Standard tubing sizes are 3/8, 1/2, or 3/4 in.
The smallest fountains that sit on a desk or coffee table are going to be the tabletop fountains. The ideal pumping height is up to 2 ft. and the flow rate is between 55 and 80 GPH. If the pump sits at the fountain's base and is less than 2 feet to the top where the water flows or sprays out, choose this pump.
If your fountain is a little bigger than a tabletop fountain, the next step up is a small fountain pump. Small fountain pumps have an ideal pumping height of up to 3 ft. and are between 80 and 155 GPH.
Medium fountain pumps have an ideal pumping height of 5 ft. and are between 155 and 300 GPH. These pumps are for medium-sized fountains and can have strong flow or spray depending on the GPH used.
The biggest fountains need the strongest pumps. The large fountain pumps have an ideal pumping height of up to 7 ft. and are between 300 and 500 GPH. These pumps can be very powerful and are perfect for your biggest fountains.
Selecting a replacement fountain pump can be a little intimidating, especially if your fountain came with a pump when you originally purchased it. There are many different pumps to choose from depending on specific features like low water shut-off and size. Doing some research before heading to the store can help you feel less overwhelmed when shopping. Once you have picked the right pump, you can install it and enjoy your beautiful fountain again.