Q: My filter has multiple size connections. How do I know which size I should use?
Linda – Toms River, NJ
A: Manufacturers may offer several size connections for a filter or pump. Just take a look at the AllClear™ PLUS Filter & SolidFlo™ Pump Combo or the PowerUV™ & SolidFlo™ Pump Combo tech specs, and you’ll see what we mean.
Deciphering those measurement ranges – a ½ inch fitting to a 1-1/2 inch fitting and everything in between – can be a challenge for DIYers. When figuring out what size to use, keep two things in mind: flow rate and pond aesthetics.
Go with the Flow Rate
Your filter’s flow rate refers to how much water passes through it in one hour’s time. The more water your pond holds, the higher the flow rate will need to be. Generally, you want the flow rate of your system to be fast enough to turn over your pond at least once every two hours.
The flow rate will also determine how your pond looks, meaning how much water channels through the filter and down your waterfall. Whether you have a small pond with a slow meandering stream or a goliath water feature with a gushing 4-foot waterfall, the look of it will be affected by the filter’s flow rate. You’ll also need to factor in your head pressure when determining the amount of flow needed.
The diameter of your tubing will determine the maximum flow it can handle. The greater the diameter, the more water can be moved (as long as your pump can handle it). Think of it like this: If you’re drinking water through a straw, you’ll get a bigger gulp from a standard-size straw than a narrow cocktail straw.
If you’ve determined that you need a pump that will move 2,500 gallons of water per hour, for example, following the recommendations below you would need to use 1-1/4″ tubing.
- Up to 500 gph: Use 1/2-inch tubing
- Up to 900 gph: Use 3/4-inch tubing
- Up to 1,500 gph: Use 1-inch tubing
- Up to 2,700 gph: Use 1-1/4-inch tubing
- Up to 3,600 gph: Use 1-1/2-inch tubing
Tubing too small would restrict the flow of water, while tubing too large would not create enough pressure to achieve the desired look. Choose wisely!
Pond Talk: Have you experimented with your tubing sizes? What results have you seen?