Hydroponic water pumps have one of the most important jobs in a hydroponic system. Without the water pump, we would be unable to send hydroponic nutrients from the reservoir into the grow tray or flood table.
What is a hydroponic water pump?
The water pump is responsible for circulating the nutrient solution in the reservoir, ensuring it is adequately mixed.
What kind of water pump do I need for hydroponics?
There are three main types of water pumps for hydroponic applications, and each has its place.
If you are operating a larger scale system, an inline water pump is probably your best option, since they generally have more power. An inline water pump sits outside of the tank, and is air-cooled.
Hobby growers tend to use submersible water pumps, as smaller gardens don’t require as much power to pump water. These pumps sit directly in the water of a hydroponic reservoir, and use fittings and hoses to move water around.
A third type of pump is a sump pump. These are specifically for sump systems, which are essentially a collection reservoir for all the runoff from the hydroponic system. The pump helps move water to and from the tanks, and can also be used to mix nutrients in the tank.
Remember to clean your water pump regularly, with every nutrient solution change to prevent cross-contamination of nutrients!
How do you determine what size pump you need?
The size of your pump is going to depend on two variables: the size of your garden and the type of hydroponic system you are operating.
A flood and drain (ebb and flow) system is going to require a higher volume hydroponic pump than a simple NFT method of growing. Likewise, an aeroponic system has different specifications than a deep-water culture system.
What is GPH of a pump?
GPH stands for gallons per hour, and is how pump sizes are measured. At Hydrobuilder we have water pumps ranging from 1-200 GPH all the way up to over 1,000 GPH. When deciding the GPH you need for your hydroponics system, you need to know how many gallons you want to move and the head height of your system. From here, you can use the chart or specifications listed on a specific pump to see if it works for you!
We advise growers to purchase a pump twice the size of what you suspect you may need. Worst case scenario, your pump is larger than you need, and you can reduce the water flow on the pump. However, if your pump is too small, you will not be able to pump more water through it. Start by calculating how much water you are going to need to pump through your system, and shop accordingly!
Not sure which pump is right for you? Our year-end review of the best hydroponic water pumps is a great resource, as we offer an option for every type of grower out there. Give our experienced growers a call today at 888-815-9763 and we can help you decide! If you want to learn more about hydroponics, check out some of the articles in our learning center!