Best External Pond Pump 2020

This article is for pond lovers, who are searching for best available pumps for making proper oxygen flow in their pond by maintaining perfect water circulation. The airflow is very necessary aspect to make look their pond rich and lively, but selecting which pump will be good for their pond i.e. external or submersible. In this article we will enlighten them about the benefits of external pumps and which one is the best available in market.

Best External Pond Pump Reviews

Now we come to enlist the top external pump available you should also check some of the best pond pumps buyer guide. We will include both self-priming as well as flooded suction models. We will give detail review along with their pros and cons, which will help you to choose best option as per your requirements.

External pumps: When we talk about the advantages of the external pump over the most commonly used submersible pump, including external one are easier to maintain, they have lower running cost and provide more power in comparison to submersible. We will tell you how to select best external pump.Hence, these non submersible pond pump are good choice for you.

1) Evolution ESS Self Priming Pump

The top pick in our list is Evolution ESS self-priming pump, the reason for that it provides high end features of self-priming at affordable price. It is designed to run at lower power and providing high efficiency. Usually self-priming pumps cost higher than non-self-priming, but this evolution pump available at very convenient price. There are variable power ranges with flow rate of 4000 GPH to 9600 GPH are available, which provide various choice for consumer best for their pond.

As it has centrifugal motor external pump, so there no possibility to use this as submerged pump and it should always be placed outside the water. As per various customer reviews it has one of the best self-priming motor in the market. So you don’t need to worry about the pump, as pump is placed below the water line you will not face any issue related to priming. Talking about the noise and clamor it produces, when we compare with other competitions it is quiet low.

It also accompanies built in fan for cooling down of the motors overheating. The flow rate is very good, which will be adequate enough for providing flow to filtering system and proper water circulation to the pond ecosystem. The evolution pump would be good for large reservoir functions like, fountains or waterfalls, as they have large max head height of 21- 28 ft, varies as per model.

The next important aspect about the pump to look is its design, it has strong head casing which make this pump resistive to all water and weather conditions. In spite of that we would always recommend you to have cover for your external pump for its longevity. IT operates at 115V, which are very common in every household.

These are general features to look for, but the main reason behind this pump is on our top list is providing self-priming, energy efficiency as well as the cost coveneincy of this pump.

Monthly pump operation costs:

As per our estimation the operation cost of this pump would be around $0.10 per kwh for 5200 GPH pump, monthly rounding off at $21.6, which is very low as comparing other self-priming pumps. If you run it 24 hours/day for whole month.

Pros (What we liked)

  • Easy to Prime (Self-Priming)
  • Affordable price
  • Very low monthly operation cost
  • Noiseless operation
  • Very value for money
  • Strong head design
  • Good Head height for large reservoirs

Cons (What we didn't like)

  • Warranty period is very small 1year only.

2) Helix Koi External Pump

Now we have the runner up in our list, Helix series of external pumps, which have specifically designed for koi ecosystem by maintaining high water circulation in the pond. It can be perfect choice for those consumers who want to have large variety of fish in their ponds.

Helix pumps comes in the range of models which varying flow rates, from 3600 GPH to 8200 GPH, making it versatile for small as well as large reservoirs. The pump design very durable with withstanding all weather conditions and continuous operations, some consumer rated it has one of the top circulation in the market. It is named specifically for koi fish as they require adequate amount of circulation and aeration in pond to survive.

It has very large range of flow rates along with the very impressive max head height values. The flow rate varying from 3600-8200 GPH with 20ft to 23ft head height. Though they have very good water features, but we would recommend this if you want high head waterfalls and fountains. If your requirement is 5- 15 ft then it would be a perfect choice.

  • Now we talk about its priming, as it is not the self-priming pump like evolution, so you have to keep it below the pond level for better results. It is flooded suction pump, hence we would recommend you to have priming pot for easy priming. You may also add check valves to the suction line for maintaining constant priming during operation.
  • All of the helix pumps have dual voltage standby motors, working range of 115V or 230 V. This is the main advantage of the pumps as, if required you can easily switch from 115V to 230V, except for 3600 GPH model which only operates at 115V.
  • Now when it comes to design, this pumps comes in sturdy and durable casing which make this pump water and weather resistant. But as we would always recommend to have covers for their operation longevity. The helix offers 3 year warranty on its pumps.

A drawback about these pumps, they are very expensive as per their cost is concern, but if you purchase them they would offer long year of services without any problem. Hence it would be not that burden on your pocket.

Monthly pump running costs.

As per our estimation the operation cost of this pump would be around $0.10 per kwh for 3500 GPH pump, monthly rounding off at $16.3, which is very low as comparing other competitions in market. If you run it 24 hours/day for whole month.

Pros (What we liked)

  • Very energy efficient
  • Very durable and reliable
  • 3 year warranty
  • Dual voltage operation
  • Strong head height.

Cons (What we didn't like)

  • Very expensive
  • Non self-priming

3) MaxPro Legend External Pump

When it comes to have high working efficiency and low power option then, Max Pro legend Pump is perfect choice. It has custom designed pump with Low RPM fan cooled motor, which makes low energy requirement. This pump would be the perfect choice for the ponds around 10000 gallons of water, as they are low powered one will provide strong circulation at this water range. There are also other lower models available in the market with lower flow rates.

These pumps have decent max head heights, which make them capable of lifting water around 17ft to 22ft. They would be perfect pump for large water reservoirs, so that you can easily install ball valve for controlling the flow rate of the pump.  They do not have in built flow rate control, which would be the major drawback of these pumps, otherwise these pumps are very strong and sturdy.

  • Max Pro Legend is not self-priming pump, so you will need an external primer for starting water operations. We would recommend you to install these pumps below the pond level along with priming pot for easy priming.
  • The pump design is very sturdy and durable, have resistance to both water and weather. But as we would always recommend to have covers for their operational longevity. The Max offers 3 year warranty on its pumps. It don’t have dual voltage option, hence it all max pro pumps operates in 115V, which is another drawback when we compare with others.
  • However, considering it efficiency and low power uses it can be the perfect choice for 8000+ gallons ponds. Hence, you need to circulate water of large pond along with saving money, then go for Max Pro pumps.

Monthly pump running costs.

As per our estimation the operation cost of this pump would be around $0.10 per kwh for 3000 GPH pump, monthly rounding off at $14.5, and cost for the 10000 model would be $31.5 per month. If you run it 24 hours/day for whole month.

Pros (What we liked)

  • Very affordable to buy
  • Energy efficiency saves money
  • Noiseless operation
  • decent flow rates & head heights
  • 3 year warranty

Cons (What we didn't like)

  • No self-priming
  • No dual voltage options

4) Laguna PowerJet 600 Fountain/Waterfall Pump

If you are looking for pump with high capacity and low power requirement, then laguna Power pump is the best choice for you. It offers best cost benefit for GPH rate is best in this list. The maximum capacity if tan take around 1200 gallons of water. It also has riser stem through which you can get high head height, which makes great waterfall effect in your ponds.

Laguna powerjet is not self-priming pump, so you will need an external primer for starting water operations. We would recommend you to install these pumps below the pond level along with priming pot for easy priming. It has click fit connectors, so that you can easily connect the pump and filter with each other without any efforts.

The only drawback we consider about this pump is its small length chord provided with it, 16 ft chord may not be sufficient enough for giving the power supply to the pump, hence you may need an extension chord for its operation.

Monthly pump running costs.

As per our estimation the operation cost of this pump would be around $0.5 per kwh for 1500 GPH pump, monthly rounding off at $7.5, make it good and efficient fountain pump. If you run it 24 hours/day for whole month.

Pros (What we liked)

  • Great pump for creating fountain and waterfall effect
  • Not suitable for water circulation and aeration of pond
  • Easy tube connection parts

Cons (What we didn't like)

  • Very Small cord length
  • Not suitable for water circulation and aeration of pond

5) Alpine cyclone 3100 GPH

The only thing that make Alpine Cyclone 3100 gph pump included in this list, is its hybrid quality i.e. it can be used as both as submersible as well as the external pump. They come in the range of 2100 – 8000 GPH flow rate and it come with rating of 115V power uses for operation, hence you don’t have to worry about the changing your household wirings.  It has 33 feet wire accompanied it in so that you don’t worry about using extension chord for this pump.

This pump can be placed both horizontally as well as vertically, so you don’t have to worry about the position of the pump. It is hybrid pump, its Vortex impeller in built filter, so you don’t have to worry about the priming of this pump. The pump built is very sturdy and durable for all weather as well as water resistant. It comes with flow rate of 2100- 8000 GPH, so it will sufficient enough for handling small as well as large ponds.

The only drawback we can consider about it is that being a hybrid pump you cant expect that high class of head height and flow rate as we get in other external pump.

Monthly pump running costs.

As per our estimation the operation cost of this pump would be around $0.10 per kwh for 2100 GPH pump, monthly rounding off at $12.5, and cost for the 8000 model would be $29.5 per month. If you run it 24 hours/day for whole month.

Pros (What we liked)

  • Hybrid pump both submersible and external usable
  • Can be placed horizontally as well as vertically.
  • Vortex impeller with a large pre-filter feature
  • Cord length of 33 feet

Cons (What we didn't like)

  • Not powerful as external pump
  • Doesn’t have max head height.

External Pump advantages

External pumps are larger in size as well as in power capacity when we compare them with submersible pumps. As submersible pump are more preferred choice for the garden owners because of their compact size and very easy setup process. However, when it comes to the pump for larger size koi ponds we would recommend you to go for external pumps as they many advantages when t require to pump large amount of water.

1) External pumps are more energy efficient

When we compare the energy efficiency of the external pumps, they are usually more power savers when compared with submersible one. The savings will be unnoticeable when we check for smaller ponds. However, for large ponds with capacity above 8000 gallons of water, you may notice the difference. Hence, if you have pond that large we would recommend you to go with the external pumps.

2) High Flow Rates Head Height Potential

When it comes to flow rate of the water, external pumps don’t have upper limit. Submersible pumps usually have capacity flow rate of maximum 10,000 gallons, so if the water volume increases, the power require to pump that water increases, which submersible pump cannot do due to their limited capabilities.

3) Head Height Potential

Talking about the head height issue, it is not viable for the external pumps, as they usually sit above the water level on the ground. Hence, this things leads to higher flow rate. There are various external pumps available in the market, which have horse-power (HP) rating in place of gallons per hour (GPH), so they are able to circulate tons of gallons of water per hour. Which make their flow rate limitless.

4) Easy to Maintenance, Clean & Manage 

The major benefit of having external pond pump is they ae very easy to maintain, manage and clean. Since, these up usually sits on the ground, so you don’t have to worry about going inside pond and take out pump to clean it. In comparison to submersible pump, external one don’t clog easily as they don’t have to contend with debris and particles inside water.  Hence, you are looking for easy cleanable, manageable pump go for external pumps.

So, we can summarize benefits of external pump as

  • High capacity over 8,000 US gallons
  • Good Heavy fish stocked ponds (Koi)
  • Easier cleaning and maintenance

How to choose the best external pond pump (Guide)

When it comes to choosing perfect external pump, we recommend you to go with regular centrifugal motor driven pump over asynchronous pumps available. However, we will give you detailed guide about how to choose the best external pump.

1) Energy efficiency rating

As we mentioned above one of the main benefits of having external pump is its energy efficiency over circulation large gallons of water. But while buying the external pump we should we should look at its energy efficiency rating. Some of the pump available with built in technology, which optimizes energy usage. So this thing is very important to look before buying external pumps.

2) Head height vs Flow rate

External pumps are available in two varieties; one with high max head height and strong flow and other with low max head height and strong flow. The selection of choice is totally depend upon your requirement. Pumps with low max head height will prover higher circulating water, but it would not be efficient with the large ponds. When we consider high max head height pumps they will have good circulating rate, and they are very good for lifting water from heights for large ponds. If you want to have power a filter system, then low max head height and strong flow pumps will be better option, where circulation is primary thing.

3) Variable speed control

There some brands, which provide flow rate control feature in there pumps, so you have option to control flow rate and height head. You just have to set the switch in ‘high’ and ‘low’ modes of speed and provide you full control of flow and energy usage. This feature is not that necessary, but it may be an add-on to save the water flow and maximise energy savings. We would recommend you to have full speed water circulation in hot summer days for better aeration and lower speed circulation when fish require less food and there is lower waste to filter. In case your pump do not have speed control option, then we can use ball valve control the water flow.

4) 115 Volt or 230 Volt Pump

There is another thing we must consider is the voltage capacity i.e. 115V or230V. The lower power usually have 115V power and powerful one 230V. Practically speaking when we use 230 V pump for large reservoirs then it will be more cost beneficial and for small ponds of 6000 – 8000 gallons 115 V is sufficient. We would recommend 230 V would be better option in any case as running 230V on small reservoirs with lower GPH will be same as running 115V at full GPH.

5) Flooded suction or Self-priming Pump

Now we come to main thing there two types of external pumps available they are flooded suction centrifugal ponds and self-priming centrifugal pumps. Flooded suction pump are usually cheaper in comparison then self-priming pumps and there is requirement of surrounding their impeller motor with adequate water. This water requirement makes most external pumps to be installed at below or at level of pond line. This makes water circulation easy by entering without resistance in pump chamber. The second class of pumps is self-priming ones and they have unique feature to create suction that mixes air and water, while that not the same with non-self-priming which would stop functioning in case of excess air. Self-priming pumps mixes air and water to create fluid with pumping properties, which smoothens pumping. The major advantage of the self-priming over flooded one is that, they pump water from closer distance and doesn’t need hole below the water line to work effectively. But one thing to consider that self-priming pumps are much more expensive than flooded suction pumps. Hence, it is totally depends upon your pond design and size, which pump is suitable for your need

How to Install a Pond Pump?

When it comes to installing of the external pump, it is very simple process. The first thing we need to sort out the bottom of the pond, and it should be levelled well for proper circulation of the water then we provide two water way air hole inside it, one for suction and other one for drawing out water inside the pond. Regular thing we must check is the water level inside the pond, less water level will be harmful for pumps as well as the fish inside it. In first after filling up pond install you pump and switch it on. Now connect your pump to filter and most important thing please don’t add fish immediately after switching on the pump, wait for a one day at least and make sure everything is working fine and properly. Then afterwards proceed further.


In our list, the top pick is Evolution ESS Self Priming Pump, which is incredibly easy to install, very durable, and the perfect power for both small and large ponds. Along with these features it is very energy efficient self-priming external water pump, that will save your pocket in the long run.

If you don’t consider Evolution ESS then go with more sizing options for smaller or larger ponds is Helix Koi External Pump. It is also very durable and sturdy built, but it cannot by par the effective ness of Evolution as it is not self-priming and very expensive in cost also. There are other like Max pro, laguna( for only fountain effect) and alpine hybrid pump you can go for.

I hope you liked our article about best pond external pumps in 2019, and we are able to solve for dilemma and search for best option. In this article, we have discussed about their specifications, features and their pros and cons. So, if you are interested with any one of them please go for buying them. Please feel free to share this article with your friends & family and if you have any suggestions and queries related to it feel free to contact us.