Best External Pond Pumps in 2021

If you want to keep your pond healthy and beautiful, you need to let the water move. Nothing brings down a perfectly nice pond than having stagnant water filled with algae and mosquitoes. External pond pumps allow you to move larger amounts of water compared to submersible pumps plus they’re also easier to maintain. 

In this article, I’ll share with you the best external pond pumps available today. I’ll also discuss everything you need to know about them — what to look for and when you should choose them over submersibles. So keep on reading below!

Sequence 4000 Sequence Primer Waterway Ironmight

Best overall value

Best self priming

Best budget pick

3600 to 8200 GPH models

3700 to 7800 GPH models

2400 GPH

$1.3/day electricity (8200 GPH)

$1.45/day electricity (7800 GPH)

$0.43/day on electricity

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The Best External Pond Pumps

The best external pond pump for overall value

The Sequence 4000 is a top choice by hobbyists and professionals alike. It’s perfect for small to medium-sized ponds where you need to balance flow and head capacity with efficiency. 

Not only can you move a huge amount of water, keeping the fish and the pond healthy, but you can also create a fountain or a magnificent waterfall. 

The best part? You can fully immerse yourself in the serenity of its beauty with the Sequence pump’s ultra-quiet motor. Even more so considering you only have to use an estimated $1.3 per day for the larger 8200 GPH model. 

The pump is available in 3600, 5000, 5800, 6800, and 8200 GPH models.

Best for small ponds

If you have a small pond less than 3000 gallons, the Sequence 750 series will suit it nicely. This is an industrial grade pump that can give you trouble-free operation for years. 

Perfect for koi ponds and filtration systems, it’s everything you need to keep your pond flowing constantly.  

The Sequence 750 pump is also the most efficient low head pump I’ve found worthy of consideration that’s available in 3600 and 4200 GPH models. The latter only needs an estimated $0.46 worth of electricity to run non-stop every day. It’s hard to ask for more.

Best for medium ponds

If you’re looking for a trusted brand when it comes to pond pumps, then the Helix is for you. Its pump is made with a rugged assembly that can withstand the weather for years of reliable service. Lessen the time worrying about replacing your pump and indulge yourself more in the beauty it makes. 

Helix external pond pump is available in 3600, 6800, and 8200 GPH and match the efficiency of our top pick, the Sequence 4000, with $1.3 in electricity use per day for the 8200 GPH model.

Best for large ponds

Large ponds and water features will need a more powerful pump to circulate all the water within it. That’s where the Sequence Titan comes in. 

This heavyweight can handle the most demanding ponds, filtration systems, and water features. Forget about installing two or more pumps, get one that can do it all. 

The Titan is available in 18000 and 31500 GPH with an estimated power consumption of $6.08 per day on the larger model.

Best self-priming external pond pump

The Sequence Primer Champion and Alpha series have all you need in one beautiful assembly. These pumps feature an integrated basket pre-filter and self-priming capabilities to give you a powerful pump you can set and forget. 

The filter takes care of the leaves, twigs, and other debris and stops it from clogging and damaging your pump. On top of that, it allows you to easily prime the pump on its first use.

The Sequence Alpha Primer series, perfect for low head applications, is available in 6800 and 7800 GPH models. On the other hand, the Champion Primer, which is better if you have a demanding filter or a waterfall, is available in 37004900, and 6600 GPH models. The largest 7800 GPH model only consumes an estimated $1.45 of electricity in a day.

If you want to keep your pond healthy but don’t have the budget to spare, the Waterway’s Ironmight pond pump is worth a look. 

Primarily known for their pool and spa products, Waterway’s stab at a pond pump has given some of the other manufacturers a run for their money.

The Ironmight uses around $0.43 per day of electricity to circulate 2400 GPH of your pond’s water. It might not be as powerful and efficient as other pumps on this list but in terms of the value for the price, nothing else comes near. 

This is the perfect budget pond pump to keep a small pond beautiful and healthy.

Buyer's Guide

1. Efficiency

When it comes to pond pumps, energy efficiency is the name of the game. It’s basically how much water you’re pumping per dollar of your electric bill.

Since pond pumps run 24/7 to maintain oxygen content and prevent algae, an efficient pump is a game-changer. The pump itself might be more expensive but the savings over time will more than make up for it.

2. Pumping capacity

Flow rate

All the water in your pond has to circulate at least once every hour. This means if your pond has 3000 gallons of water, you need a pump that can move at least 3000 GPH of water. Be careful not to oversize though. Not only would it be more expensive and consume more power, your filter might not be able to catch up or even get damaged.

Head

When a pump mentions a flowrate, it usually refers to the maximum capacity. In actual applications, the flow is actually lower thanks to losses in the system. These losses depend on how high and how far you’re pumping, the fittings in your pipeline, and the system’s water filter. Pumps with higher head capacity can maintain its flowrate better even with all the losses.

3. Build quality

Great pumps are built with the best materials and construction to withstand changing weather conditions throughout the year. The pump casing has to be made of corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel or plastic to avoid contaminating the pond in the future.

Why choose an external pond pump over a submersible?

1. Longer lifespan

External pond pumps typically last longer compared to submersible pumps thanks to a less challenging environment. It’s not directly exposed to the harsh environment beneath the water where issues escalate easily such as in a seal failure where water may enter the motor. The only exception would be external installations in extreme climates.

2. Higher capacity

External pond pumps are better equipped to deliver more water which is what you’ll need if you have a large pond. The Sequence Titan, for example, can reach up to 31500 GPH of flow.

3. Easier installation and maintenance

Since it’s not submerged, external pumps offer the user easier access for installation and maintenance. Issues such as leakage and bearing failure will also be more noticeable and therefore be addressed faster.

4. Environmental safety

Most pumps use oil to help cool the motor. When it fails for any reason, this oil will contaminate the pond and may cause harm to the lifeforms in your pond. With an external pump, you don’t have to worry about oil spills keeping your fish and plants safe and healthy. 

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