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How Do I Know What Tubing Size to Use? – Water Garden Q & A

Flex PVC Tubing

Q: How do I know what tubing size to use? I want to increase the water to my waterfall from 1,500 gph (gallon per hour) to almost 4,000 gph. I currently have 1″ tubing will this work? – Matt of Vermont

A: No. Your pump and tubing are currently sized correctly, but if you increase the water flow to 4,000 gph you will need to increase the tubing to see the benefits of your new pump. I would guess that you would not see more than 2,000 gph if you leave the 1″ tubing. When using a 4,000 gph pump, the proper tubing size to use would be 2″. A good way to think about tubing size is to imagine drinking from a straw. If you were to try to drink a glass of water with a cocktail straw it would take much longer than if you were to drink that same glass of water from a standard size straw. Over the years we have developed a chart to help our customer’s size their tubing. Please see below. To see our selection of plumbing and accessories, click here.

Up to 500 GPH: Use 1/2″ Tubing
Up to 900 GPH: Use 3/4″ Tubing
Up to 1,500 GPH: Use 1″ Tubing
Up to 2,700 GPH: Use 1-1/4″ Tubing

Up to 3,600 GPH: Use 1-1/2″ Tubing
Up to 5,400 GPH: Use 2″ Tubing
Up to 13,500 GPH: Use 3″ Tubing
Up to 21,000 GPH: Use 4″ Tubing
Up to 42,000 GPH: Use 6″ Tubing

Plumbing Tip: Try to avoid 90 degree turns for this will cause friction slowing down and reducing your water flow. We always recommend flexible PVC to avoid connections that can not only leak but cause friction loss reducing your water flow.

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