Aquamedia Corp compiled information on the water garden industries pumps for Davis Energy Group. Davis was commissioned by The California Energy Commission
to provide performance data on pool and spa pumps and water garden submersible and centrifugal pumps. This information will enable California's power companies to provide energy-saving recommendations to its customers state wide. We are also making this information available to you.
This is a partial list of water garden pump manufacturers products and their published performance data and on-line suggested retail prices. Due to misleading published energy consumption rates and performance charts on the internet, some manufacturers are not listed here. They will be added, however, as the corrected data are submitted to us for verification.
Download Now: Published Water Garden Pump Data
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We are compiling information about the performance of water garden pumps, related to the manufacturer's claims and their responses to warranty issues. For legal reasons, you must fill out the form completely or your submittal will be disregarded. On June 1, 2011
, all collected information will be published on this website and will include first initial and last name (only) of the submitter. The report will be updated every month, indefinitely. Manufacturers and/or dealers will have the right to rebut and should also submit form below prior to midnight of the 25th of each month.
When I started in the waterfall and pond design & construction business in January of 1982, I was asking the same question. I had a slight advantage over most when it came to answering the question, “Which pump do I use?” I came out of the energy conservation field, so I was already savvy about energy consumption topics. It was a challenge in the seventies, when I was trying to convince people that they should buy the Mitsubishi compact fluorescent bulb to save energy.
This was the first of its kind and it retailed for $12 to $14. Its lumen or light output was equal to a 60-watt incandescent bulb, which sold for $.60 in most stores. I needed to convince the engineer at Betty Ford Hospital that a $12, 12-watt bulb would save the facility $35,000 a year in electrical costs. I did so, and it did! Pumps are no different when it comes to performance vs. energy consumption.
The rule of thumb is: If an electrical appliance was engineered to be used only occasionally, as opposed to continually, rest assured, it is not engineered or built with the highest industry standards in mind. Sump pumps were designed to be submerged underwater and pump that water to a different location. Their most common uses are in basements, bunkers, bilges, and that sort of thing. These pumps would only come on by demand, when a float control indicated a high water level.
Sump pumps were cheap to buy because they were built cheaply. It did not matter that they consumed more energy than the more expensive centrifugal pump, since they only came on occasionally. These pumps turned out to be perfect for the get-rich-quick liner pond industry for three major reasons: They were cheap to buy, as were the liners; They were simple to install; and They were easy to hide. One major drawback of sump pumps that the liner pond industry does not share with their clients is that they are literally energy sponges. But then, that is not the only thing they forget to mention to their usually innocent and unsuspecting clients.
These easy-to-install, easy-to-make-a-killing liners that come with a 20-50 year warranty (against factory defects only) are actually a meal down the road to a burrowing gopher, rat, mouse, ground squirrel, chipmunk or muskrat. How do I know? I replace liners with concrete and rebar for a living and I ask if the customer if the liner salesman told them the pros and cons about the liner. (Most cons don’t!) Besides a sump pump costing twice as much to operate than a high efficiency, centrifugal pump
, they plug up easily. (By the way, the liner guys changed the name to a “submersible pump” and they are now using the term “waterfall pump.”)
Concrete and rebar constructed ponds with bottom anti-vortex drains seldom, if ever, plug up. In the industry magazine, Water Garden News, the vice president of product management for the Aquascape Company stated, A lot of the time, the more energy efficient the [sump] pump, the less solids and debris it can handle. So often the consumer is excited the pump will only cost them $10 a month to run, but what they did not know is that they are going to have to be out there 3 times a week, cleaning the intake of the [sump] pump to keep it going.
Water Garden News is a trade magazine that is for manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers in the water garden industry. This information was not meant for the consumers’ eyes. Until now! Read my article entitled Pondless Waterfall: Concrete vs. Pond Liner
published below. I cover the subject in depth, and expose the truth about pond liner promoters.
All of the costs involved in building a pondless waterfall are analyzed by comparing the two techniques: using concrete & rebar or a rubber liner. The difference in the cost of energy consumption between a 5700 gallon per hour sump pump and a 5800 gallon per hour high-efficiency centrifugal pump is staggering. The sump pump uses twice as much energy, costs $171 more to purchase, and its warranty is 6 months less! Look before you leap and research before you weep. D. Hoover- author
Pondless Waterfall: Concrete vs. Pond Liner.
The get-rich-quick factor in the pond liner industry has forced up the price of pond liner kits to equal the cost of concrete construction. If you search for the truth about concrete ponds and waterfalls from reading the literature of the greed-driven liner pond industry, you will not find it. Why? Because if the truth be known, no one in their right mind would invest good, hard-earned money in a pond liner!
The pond liner track record speaks for itself:
More than 37% of all waterfalls have serious structural damage within 3 years of construction.
57% of homeowners say they are rather unsatisfied with the way their waterfall came out after the project was completed.
One in three waterfalls and ponds are leaking water within nine months of completion.
63% of “do-it-yourselfers” say they wished they had the proper information from the “get go” or that they had hired someone.
These statistics are from the pond liner industry itself (Bob Wilder, 48-Hour Waterfall). I can confirm and attest to these figures myself. I have built over 1,900 concrete and rebar waterfalls and ponds over the past 26 years. I have ripped out and replaced dozens of defective liner ponds and replaced them with concrete ones with lifetime warranties. Pond liner guys will not attach more than a one-year warranty.
They make no guarantee against rats, mice, ground squirrels, gophers, tree roots and sharp objects. Let’s compare apples to lemons … First, let’s talk about apples (concrete waterfalls). We will construct a pondless waterfall that is 20 inches wide at the top by 20 feet long, becoming 24 inches wide at the bottom, to create a spillway 3 feet tall. At the bottom is a catch basin 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 3 ft. deep. The costs of excavation are as follows: To dig a waterfall and basin takes two men 4 hours @ $20 per hour = $160. The flexible PVC pipe is 35 ft. @ $1.25 per ft. = $44. Concrete (3500 psi with stealth fiber)): 2 ½ yards = $250. 20 pieces of 20 ft. x 3/8 inch rebar = $100. One 1/3 HP high efficiency pump, 2800 GPH, 356 watts = $429. One anti-vortex drain = $10. Four 2 x 4 ft. heavy plastic corrugated or galvanized plans to cover the collection basin = $35. Setting the rebar: 3 man-hrs. = $225. Pumping and finishing 2 ½ yards of concrete: 4 man-hrs. @ $75/hr. = $300. Applying thoro-seal, 1 sack + 1 hour = $43. Rock work + 8 sacks mortar mix: labor - 8 man-hrs. @ $75/hr. = $600. Mortar: $40. TOTAL EXCAVATION COST FOR A CONCRETE POND = $2,236.
With this type of construction, no filter is needed. The water in the basin is not exposed to sunlight, so there are no algae. Plus the top layer of rock and the planks are easily removed for cleaning out debris about once a year. If a plastic screen is placed over the planks before the rock layer, cleaning is reduced by 90%. Now let’s talk about the lemons (the liner folks).
The pondless waterfall liner kit advertised by all the disciples of the “liner messiah” on their websites is $1,940 + tax & shipping, or $2,176. And now for the math: One concrete/rebar construction pondless waterfall completed with high-efficiency pump = $2,236. One pondless liner kit to build a pondless waterfall of the exact same dimensions = $2,176. If I did the math correctly, the completed concrete pondless waterfall costs $60 more than the pondless waterfall liner kit; however, it is still in the box! Concrete and rebar pondless waterfall has a lifetime warranty.
Liner pondless waterfall: 1 yr. warranty on labor, lifetime warranty against factory defect. But there is no warranty whatsoever against holes caused by rats, mice, ground squirrels, gophers, tree roots, sharp objects, etc. Sorry Charlie! Concrete and rebar pondless waterfalls use a high-efficiency above-ground pump
that is easy to service (it has a 3 yr. warranty). The 1/3 HP pump is small, very quiet, and easily hidden behind a couple of rocks or plants next to the falls, or piped to another part of the yard. The liner pondless waterfall uses a submersible sump pump that is placed in the bottom of the basin, and then buried with hundreds of pounds of rocks.
To service this pump (only a 2 ½ yr. warranty), all the slimy, stinky rocks have to be removed from the basin first. The concrete and rebar pondless waterfall pump produces 5,800 gallons per hour at only 356 watts (retail $429). The liner pondless waterfall kit comes with a sump pump (they advertise as “the best pump on the market”). It produces 5,700 gal/hour (100 gal. less) at a whopping 911 watts of power (over twice that of the above-ground pump). You will pay $525 more per year for electricity (at $.12/kwh) for that extra 555 watts. Their pump costs $600 retail ($171 more than the above-ground).
Oh, did I mention “the best warranty in the industry” is only 2 ½ years, compared to 3 years for the above-ground? The concrete and rebar pondless waterfall’s rocks are all mortared in place. So anyone, especially small children, can climb on the rocks without them moving, with possible serious injury resulting. With liner pondless waterfalls, rocks will move and shift on their own without help. After a few months, the ugly liner is exposed in the falls and around the pond. While building the concrete pondless waterfall, design liberties can be taken, such as altering the length, width or shape of the feature. With a liner pondless waterfall, the parameters have already been set by the manufacturer of the kit.
The concrete pondless waterfall can utilize the large, open basin to install an Aquafill automatic water leveling device. In addition, the basin can be made smaller because the space for water is not taken up by rocks as it is in the liner pondless waterfall basin. The only rock that exists is on top of the galvanized or plastic plank cover. Wow! Concrete waterfalls are stationary, permanent, lifetime life-expectancy, cheaper to build, cheaper to operate, easier to clean, easy to maintain, longer pump warranty, safer and more natural looking! Apples or lemons? You be the judge!
I am sick and tired of these amateurs giving my life-long profession a bad name by their exaggerated, dishonest and sensational claims – only to be backed up by a nebulous warranty and, at best, shoddy workmanship.
My disclaimer: There are professionals installing liners that do take measures to prevent rodent or root attacks by placing a think layer of mortar under and over the liner. I found that if you are going to go to all that extra work and expense, just build it with 3500 psi concrete to begin with! D. Hoover