Can a Pond Pump Be TOO Powerful?

Last update:

A pump is a must for any pond owner. However, there might be a possibility that your pump is doing it’s job a little too well.

Your pump probably has too much force behind it if your pond water is muddy or if your waterfall geysers rather than falls. This can happen if the pressure valve on the pump is turned up too high or if you have the wrong type of pump for your pond size.

There are many possible reasons as to why or how your pond pump might be too powerful. Here are a few to consider.

What to Look For

The problem might be as simple as having your pump’s pressure set too high. This will increase the speed and power of the flow which will constantly stir up the water and the pond bed which makes for dirty water. This can also create issues for vegetation which could be yanked out or pulled under the water. It can also cause problems for your fish.

The pump could be having a bad day and malfunctioning as well. Constant overpowered flow can lead to impeller damage and loud noises. It is also possible that you purchased the wrong type of pump for the size of pond you have.

A few telltale signs of this particular problem are messy, stirred up water, or a waterfall that has too much power behind it. If the water shoots up rather than falls gently, your pump is definitely not suited for your water feature.

You may also notice that your pond seems to be losing a lot of water on a regular basis. This is another side effect of the wrong type of pump. If the flow is too powerful (especially for a waterfall) this results in a higher level of splashing which will cause water loss. This issue can be wasteful and expensive if not remedied quickly.

You should probably pay attention to gushing noises or other loud noises that the pump could be making. If it is making a lot of noise or creating a huge mess of your water and plants, you should get it replaced as soon as possible. This is another area where expenses may bother you.

A larger pump requires a larger amount of energy to run. You do not want to be using more energy than you need to. That will hurt your wallet for sure.

Solving the Problem

To every problem there is a solution. The first thing you may want to try is checking for a pressure valve or adjustment knob. Not all pumps come with these but many do, and if yours does, try lowering the pressure level. This will relax your pond’s flow and hopefully allow things to go back to normal.

If adjusting the pressure fails, consider adding a waterfall weir. This is a tank that will help slow the output and spread water over a larger area. It will decrease the speed and force behind your waterfall jet. If you already have one, you could consider replacing yours with a wider one that will be more effective.

If all else fails, remove the pump and do some research, as it is very possible you grabbed the wrong model at the store. If you are unsure as to what your specific needs might be, consider calling an expert or a knowledgeable friend who could help you out.

If your pump is too large for your pond, it will most definitely be causing some flow issues. Also, if you have had strong flow for too long, it could have caused damage, so make sure you check for damage before doing anything else.

Here are a few good rules to consider: you want to calculate what type of pump you need by tubing size, head height, lift height, water volume, and pump type. Pump types are either submersible or external (also referred to as centrifugal).

If your pond has a volume of less than 1,000 gallons, you will probably want to opt for a submersible pump. For ponds with a volume equal to or greater than 1,000 gallons, an external pump is the better option.

Here is a list of a few models that should be considered and can be found on Amazon (FYI – we may receive a commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!):

Simple DeluxeSimple DeluxePond Boss Waterfall Pump
1056 GPH400 GPH2300 GPH
Lift Height 12ft Lift zero feet
Non-corrosive impeller shaftNon-corrosive Impeller ShaftFilter bag around impeller shaft

Head height and lift height refer to 1.) how high your pump shoots water into the air, and 2.) how far the pump has to pull water from its source. Typically for head height, a maximum of 18 feet is a good number to aim for. For lift, the water source cannot typically be more than 25 feet below the pump’s center line. (

Pump Maintenance

Keeping your pump clean and functioning well is one of the best ways to ensure that it does not malfunction or cause you problems. Obviously you want to stick to whatever the users manual says, but here are a few tips for good pond pump maintenance.

You will want to take your pump out regularly and clean it well. Routinely taking apart the skimmer and debris net will help keep it working. Check the filtration systems for clogs. This is important; if your pump is clogged, it will cause the pump to work too hard and eventually shut it down.

Once you have cleaned all the crucial parts of the pump, you should check your water level. A pump that runs dry is just as bad as a clogged pump. The lack of water circulating through it will cause it to burn out a lot faster than if it was working properly. If the water level is high enough but it’s still not getting to the pump, it is likely that there is something in the pond preventing the water from circulating.

Check for clogs or large pieces of debris that might be blocking water from the pump.

Photo of author


We always wanted a fountain of some kind at our house, but professional installation was just too pricey. So, we decided to make our own little fountain and after learning how, we thought we should share our experiences to help people in our same situation.

Leave a Comment