a bilge pump? or regular pond pump?

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Old 05-04-06, 01:03 AM
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a bilge pump? or regular pond pump?

My yard has 2 water fountains, both of which were here when I bought the house. It is now ten years later, both of them quit working long ago, and I want to repair them as inexpensively as possible, in preparation for selling the house. I'm just not quite sure how.....

They don't have a regular pump that you see in most ponds. The previous owner had them rigged up using what someone told me was a 'bilge' pump from a boat, and then powered through a car battery in the garage. I'm guessing the reasoning behind that would be that the bilge pump had force, so that the fountain actually shot up about 6 feet in the air.

I don't want to spend the $ to buy new bilge pumps, as well as car batteries. Could I just buy a cheap pond pump (is that what they're called?) from a place like Home Depot?

Are they powerful enough to shoot water up into the air? Any idea how far?

And could I get one for around $50?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

p.s. Are these pumps totally submerged?
 
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Old 05-05-06, 06:39 PM
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The big question for your fountains is: power. Do you have a 120 volt AC outlet near the fountain? The previous owner may have gone with a 12 volt DC bilge pump because they did not an outlet nearby. An AC submersible pump can by very inexpensive but you need somewhere to plug it in.

A car battery and bilge pump may be OK for an hour or two (like a temporary fountain for a wedding decoration) but that's it. I would not consider this option.
 
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Old 05-06-06, 12:16 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Actually we got a fair amount of use out of the bilge/battery pumps. I just don't want the expense of replacing the pumps and batteries. There is also a fairly large floodlight (that is also submerged) in the pond, which I don't think works either (I'm guessing that it was also somehow connected to the battery.) The previous owner must really have liked tinkering around, because he seems to have contraptions and lights and plugs happening all over the place. lol

Re power - Yes. There is an outlet fairly close by. The fountain is actually plaster/cement (that has some cracks I will have to try and repair) and is sunken about a foot and a half into the ground...... so I could just have the cord going up the side of the pond (even though it wouldn't look that great) and then along the side of the grass and into an outlet that is only about six feet away.

Would an AC (is that a brand name?) submersible pump push the water up into the air at all? or just gently move it around. I would like to figure out a way to get the water to perhaps go up a foot or so, and I'll just put a pile of rocks into the centre of the pond, and the water could just go back down through the rock pile (if that makes sense). The pond is actually a fair size (about 2' by 5'.)

Thanks again.
Marie
 
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Old 05-06-06, 04:19 AM
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AC (alternating current) ia a pump you plug into an electrical outlet as opposed to DC (direct current) like your bilge pump. Many small fountains are run by submersible AC powered pumps so I don't think you will have any trouble getting it to spray in the air. The pump may even spray too high but you can put a valve on the outlet side (not the inlet) of the pump so you can control the flow.

Check to make sure your outside outlet is GFCI protected.
 
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Old 05-06-06, 11:48 AM
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Thank you so much for replying again. Much appreciated.
 
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Old 05-08-06, 10:29 AM
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Pond Pump or Bilge pump?

So I have gone through this and I would agree with the previous user, no bilge pump. Do with a 'pond pump', you can get them at HomeDepot or Lowes or whatever type store you have. Tis the season !

My recommendation is to go get a new pond pump. The only problems is that you have to be careful on which on you purchase. Read the lables on the pumps to see how high the pump will "elevate' the water, i.e. 4'' rise or 8' etc. If the pump is in the bottom of a 3' deep pond and your foutain is an addition 3' that is a 6' rise so the pump has to be able to handle pushing water that high.

I have about three pumps sitting in my garage because I failed to read the lable LOL

I know you are planning on selling the house so a time investment is probably not what you are looking for but, what I finally did was put a new circut in my breaker panel and ran a electrical line through some PVC pipes out the my pond and put in a little utility box where all my pumps and filters can plug into. I put a big fern in front of it and run pvc pipes under my stone work for all the power cords ... good luck !
 
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