Essential Criteria for Selecting the Right Motor for your Garden Pond
June 16, 2017
Garden ponds transform dreary backyards into fascinating botanical landscapes. It's all artificial, of course, but the overall effect is enchanting. Artificial or not, the relaxing feelings that wash away the day's worries while you watch pond plants and fishes caught in a gentle current are very real. A suitable motor creates those gentle currents, so shouldn't you know how to select that prime mover?
Water Pond Motors: Primary Selection Criteria
Like an engaging theatre performance, there's a lot going on behind the scenes here, especially in the pond pump housing. The surface of the water feature is like glass, except for the occasional Koi rising to the surface for a curious glance. Meanwhile, a behind-the-scenes pond pump is recirculating the water and keeping it fresh. That pump contains a drive motor, an electrically powered gadget that's rated to handle the volume of water in the pond.
Essential Motor Characteristics
This isn't some tough industrial application, but there are unique requirements to consider when installing a garden pond motor and its pump parts. First of all, as you already know, volumetric capacity is a primary property. Next, is the pond motor installed in a submersible housing or externally? A low noise unit is required if the pond setup demands an external device, then your peace of mind won't be disturbed by an incessant motor buzzing sound. That motor also must have some power overhead, enough to recirculate the entire contents of the pond within a few short hours. Then, if there's Koi in there, water aeration enters the selection guide because your pond swimmers need extra oxygen, not a choking pool filled with stagnant fluid.
A Meditation on Motor Types
Standard motor types gain their torque capabilities from the number of poles and windings on a stator. A mounted rotor and a tough impeller complete the design. Unfortunately, the seals in this motor type can fail. In a submersible pump, that event would be quite disastrous, with oil poisoning the life in the pond. Mag-drive motors sidestep this design issue by entirely isolating the electrical motor compartment from the "wet" end of the pump. Basically, there is no shaft coupling, just a magnetic field linking the two drive sections.
The inner workings of a typical pump in a water feature are shaft-coupled. In mag-drive technology, that design weakness is overcome. Consider that feature an essential one when a submersible housing works away in this self-contained environment. Otherwise, if the garden pond is larger and plumbing pipes can be easily concealed, select an external pump and a higher torque driven motor.
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