Waterfall Pumps and Fountain Pumps: What are the Differences?
January 31, 2017
A gently trickling fountain occupies the heart of a garden. Nearby, an artificially created waterfall creates a wide tributary of cascading water. Both garden features operate dynamically. They energize subdued ponds, with special waterfall and fountain pumps powering their man-made streams. But these are two different constructs. Beginning with a man-made waterfall, what dissimilarities shape these two backyard products?
Shaping the Water Discharge
Garden waterfalls release a wide rivulet of liquid. The broadened torrent starts at a high outlet point, tumbles down a rocky facade, and collects in a grotto located at the lowest point in the pumping cycle. A comparable fountain turns the discharge around by ninety degrees so that the outlet is pointing straight up. There's no widened water stream here, no broad rivulets, but there is a spout of water that shoots straight into the air.
Different Strokes for Different Water Features
Waterfall pumps are rated to handle large head differentials because they're elevated. Meters of tubing are coupled between the pump impeller and the discharge channel, so this head rating is an absolute necessity. Conversely, fountain pumps feed gravity-defeating nozzles, water systems that are designed to create tall waterspouts. Pressure and flow rate parameters dominate fountain pumping designs, not the maximum head rating.
Balancing Fluid Mechanics
Gravity pulls the water back as it rises through a sealed hose. The impeller overcomes this system obstacle by adding a beefier profile to the pump. Extra windings and magnetic poles reinforce the design, the liters per hour capacity swells, and head effectiveness is boosted. Naturally, this is a waterfall-centric device we're referring to, a mechanism that can mobilize thousands of liters of water per hour. That same impeller also requires enough torque to broaden the stream at its output channel, perhaps as wide as 40 cm. A fountain pumping mechanism, meanwhile, focuses on nozzle ejection characteristics, such as the height of the discharge. Flow rate and high-lift controls adjust this waterspout while similar user controls manage the meandering impact of the waterfall, maybe enough to transform it into a miniature powerhouse, one that generates its own pint-sized mist cloud.
Although the two submersible housings look similar, they function differently. Primarily, it's the waterfall pumping model that requires a special provision, an ability to overcome the discharge length that lays between the pump impeller and the wide outlet channel. Fountain pumping projects obviously share some common design features, but their mechanical innards focus more a narrow discharge, on height, not a need for head handling power.
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