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#491318 - 06/05/18 01:40 PM Aeration System Advise
kramedt Offline


Registered: 06/05/18
Posts: 10
Loc: MI
Hello. I have a 1/4 acre pond, approximatly 12' deep in the middle. Mostly circular. I currently have a windmill powered aeration system with a single diffuser but I have a large woods to the west of the pond that blocks most of the wind, so I don't get very steady output from it. I was looking at installing a second system. Was originally looking at solar (though the costs have started to scare me) and now am wondering if I should either run power to the pond or bury an air line from my barn. My barn is about 600 feet away from the pond. I could run power or an air line from it. I would love advice on what system may be best for my needs as well as any equipment recommendations. Here are my needs (in order of priority):

I would like to run the aerator 24x7 throughout the summers months. I don't need to run it over the winter as the windmill does a good enough job of keeping it from freezing over.

I would like a system that is reasonably quiet. In particular I suspect this will get into pump types as it seems that rocking piston types can get quite loud, though perhaps with a decent enough box I could muffle that some.

I would like a system that has low operating costs (less than $100 annually if possible)

I wouldn't mind having power down at the pond for the occasional use, but this is more of a nice to have and not a big deal if I don't have it. I'd prefer and efficient low/cost system over this.

I've looked at solar systems and while they sound appealing at first, the battery cost/lifespan has started to turn me off a bit. I've also looked into direct powered solar, but that doesn't really allow me to run 24x7 but I'd still be open to the idea if anyone has good experiences they can share.

My main questions are around pumps. I know you can get linear diaphragm, rocking piston and rotary vane, but I'm not entirely sure what the pros/cons and limitations around each are. For example, linear diaphragm were originally what I was looking at (primarily because that is about the only thing a reasonably sized solar system would power), but I like the low power consumption (<100 watts) and nearly silent operation. However, it appears that most people recommend them only in ponds less than 8 feet deep (though I see some manufacturers advertise up to 12 feet). Couple this with the option of running a 600 foot air line from my barn and I don't know if I'd get enough psi to work at 12 feet without destroying the pump. The noise and wattage requirements of a rocking piston give me a bit of hesitation and I really know nothing about rotary vane.

Running power to the pond would be more expensive than running an air hose and I would also be slightly concerned about the voltage drop and loss of efficiency for a run that long and am not really fond of the idea of buying 600 foot of 6 awg wire. I am considering a hybrid where maybe a bury both an air line and a power line to get the efficiencies of running the pump from the barn and convenience of having a small power supply at the pond.

Any advice would be most welcome. Thanks!


Edited by kramedt (06/05/18 01:42 PM)

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#491320 - 06/05/18 02:04 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Clay N' Pray Offline


Registered: 12/03/17
Posts: 194
Loc: Caswell co NC
I'm relatively new to aeration but I have noticed that 24x7 operation is not needed in my .79 acre 8' deep BOW.

The water temps were getting alarmingly warm, so I switched to 9pm-4am x7 days.
The water temps went back down and the fish feed better (5:30pm.)

I also notice more dusk time predator surface action with the aeration off.
With a 1/4 acre pond, you don't need 24x7.
I look at aeration like feeding- both are supplemental to what nature is already providing.

Some of the diaphragm pumps pull 60w.
That's not much draw on a typical solar battery bank.
My diaphragm septic pump is relatively quiet in its weatherproof housing, but I'm rarely at the pond when it's running.

I bet using a 60W panel, 4x 6V golf cart batteries, an inexpensive charge controller and a small inverter, you could run a small diaphragm pump 6hrs a day without drawing your bank below 50%.
(I am assuming you have a good spot to put the panel)


Edited by Clay N' Pray (06/05/18 02:20 PM)
_________________________
Half acre 30 year old farm pond, Mebane NC. Aeration & feeder.
LMB, CC, SC, BG, HBC, two no account welfare carp and nine seasonal Tilapia that all the other fish are terrified of.


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#491321 - 06/05/18 02:32 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
kramedt Offline


Registered: 06/05/18
Posts: 10
Loc: MI
Thanks Clay. I am not committed to 24x7 but I would like to be somewhat aggressive in the amount of aeration I'm doing. I get a lot of surface run off in my pond so sludge buildup has always been a problem. I dump several hundred dollars worth of algaecide and bacteria in it every year to keep in manageable but I'd really like to cut out that expense. So I'd rather go bigger than smaller. My main concerns on solar are two fold: 1.) The batteries likely will cost a couple hundred a piece and will need to be replaced every 5-7 years based on the research I've done. That already works out to $100-$200/year for a relatively small aerator. 2.) I'm concerned that those small 60w diaphragm pumps won't work well in 12' of water and I'll lose CFMs and burn out diaphragms like crazy. Any experience running those pumps at that depth?

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#491322 - 06/05/18 02:35 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 804
Loc: West Central Missouri
First off, welcome to the club!

When I considered running electric versus the air lines to the pond, I was very fond of the pump being at the shop. I finally decided to run the electric to the pond instead, mainly, to avoid any condensation and freezing problems in the air lines. I don't think condensation/freezing is a real common problem, but I just wanted to avoid the risk all together. My lines would have to make a few rises and dips before getting to the pond and I felt like I was asking for problems. AND, it will be convenient to have the electric at the pond for something, I'm sure...Night lights, radio, power tools, phone charging, etc.

Check out Vertex for complete systems. They seem to be a popular choice. You can try to save some money by doing-it-yourself, but if you want all the niceties and quality that the complete kits offer...you'll likely spend as much unless you have free/cheap access to a lot of the individual parts. I decided the DIY route, but it was for the tinkering, not necessarily the minor savings.

I can't give much advise otherwise, as my aeration parts are patiently waiting for a trench to be dug.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#491331 - 06/05/18 03:39 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Last Summer I installed a large solar system that, among other things, runs a 1HP pump for my aeration. I chose to run 700' of airline and I chose wrong. The airline was not laid perfectly on grade and condensation killed me this Winter. Besides just freezing up, the condensation present in every dip of the line will also cause my pump to work harder than necessary for the rest of it's life. I am having to re-dig the line this Summer to fix the issue.

In hindsight, I am a huge fan of running power to the pond. If you choose to run air you better make sure the grade is perfect.
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#491340 - 06/05/18 06:28 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
kramedt Offline


Registered: 06/05/18
Posts: 10
Loc: MI
Thanks. I didnít think much about condensation. If I do run a line I was planning on renting a trencher and burying it 3ft down below the frost line to avoid any line freezing. I also donít really plan on running it much if at all during the winter months to save cost. My understanding is that oxygen usage is pretty low on cold weather and the only real advantage of aeration in winter is to prevent the pond from freezing over and my windmill system already does that for me. And Quarter Acre, Iím a DIY person as well. Love the experience and satisfaction of it but I also canít screw up too bad because my wife will only give me so much slack if this turns into a money pit so Iíd really like to get it right the first time smile

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#491357 - 06/06/18 08:42 AM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
kramedt Offline


Registered: 06/05/18
Posts: 10
Loc: MI
What about pump types? Anyone have any experience on the different types (linear, rotary vane, rocking piston etc)? I am looking at around a 12' depth and depending on my setup either a short line from from the edge of the pond or a long 700' line run from my barn.

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#491359 - 06/06/18 10:22 AM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Journeyman Offline


Registered: 08/10/17
Posts: 12
Loc: wisconsin
It looks like you are in exactly the same place I was in, about a year ago. That said, after much research I went with a diaphragm pump from Hiblow, the 120LL.

here's a link - https://www.wholesalesepticsupply.com/products/hiblow-hp-120ll-septic-air-pump?variant=17783425412

You could either run power to the pond or an air line, I wouldn't worry about a loss of output as long as the airline run is not too small. I never had an issue with condensation or freeze up, but my line is pitched towards the pond.

I used 3/4" Pex tubing, a 250' roll was about $60 and used it all, plenty of output for two diffusers in my 1 acre pond.

It's been a year now, and it ran constantly through the cold months, now on a timer to turn off in the hot weather. Highly recommend!

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#491365 - 06/06/18 12:19 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
RC51 Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
I have a 1/3 HP Gast 0523 and it's sweet! Will do 12 feet no problem. There is one other positive to having electric at the pond. For me I have a outdoor plugin on a 4x4 post. I use it all the time to pump water for the yard, to run an electric weed eater to have a big fan going if needed. Always nice to have that option. When we built my dock it was REAL nice as we had electric right there to build it. Just something else to think about.

Good Luck,
RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#491367 - 06/06/18 12:30 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
I understand freeze up is not an issue for everyone. The condensation in my line builds up and increases my draw 3 amps. Then we blow out the condensation and the draw drops 3 amps. Consistently. That is a 16% increase in electricity usage for me. Not to mention the freezing up and the advantages power at the pond provides like RC mentioned.

IMHO, rotorary vane pumps usually provide the most CFM bang for the buck, but lack high PSI (which you don't need).
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#491409 - 06/06/18 06:39 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
kramedt Offline


Registered: 06/05/18
Posts: 10
Loc: MI
Thanks for all the great feedback. Here is what I leaning towards. A rotary vane seems like the best bet for my depth and I like the high cfm. Iím still a little concerned on the noise and power consumption. RC51 can you speak to how loud yours is? And if Iím reading the specs right it runs on about 180 watts is that right?

Iím also thinking about running both an airline and power. That way I get the best of both worlds and I can keep the pump in my barn and not have to build/buy a box for it. I can also probably get away with a smaller gauge power run since it would likely be for very small infrequent uses. My run would be all down hill but thanks to the condensation warning Iím going to make sure I donít have any small inclines along the way.


Edited by kramedt (06/06/18 06:41 PM)

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#491426 - 06/07/18 08:17 AM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 804
Loc: West Central Missouri
The 1/4 horsepower Gast 0523 specs says it's less than 70 dBA. That's about as loud as a dishwasher. 60 dBA is the volume of common conversation. I can run my pump in the shop on the bench and talk to someone without problem. The spec states 180 watts as you mentioned.

So, I'd say that they are not loud UNTIL you are at the pond in the dead of the night with no other sound sources, then it's all you'll hear.

I am building a small outhouse looking structure (out of scrap stuff) to house my pump. This should help cut the noise down as well. And, most of my aeration will likely be at night due to the small size of my pond.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#491452 - 06/07/18 04:29 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
kramedt Offline


Registered: 06/05/18
Posts: 10
Loc: MI
And actually I think I am wrong. I think the 180 Watts is output power. The specs say it draws 5 amps. Which would be 575 Watts at 115v. Does anyone know if that is starting amps or running amps? That can make a huge difference in operating costs

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#491453 - 06/07/18 04:51 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
RC51 Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Originally Posted By: kramedt
Thanks for all the great feedback. Here is what I leaning towards. A rotary vane seems like the best bet for my depth and I like the high cfm. I&#146;m still a little concerned on the noise and power consumption. RC51 can you speak to how loud yours is? And if I&#146;m reading the specs right it runs on about 180 watts is that right?

I&#146;m also thinking about running both an airline and power. That way I get the best of both worlds and I can keep the pump in my barn and not have to build/buy a box for it. I can also probably get away with a smaller gauge power run since it would likely be for very small infrequent uses. My run would be all down hill but thanks to the condensation warning I&#146;m going to make sure I don&#146;t have any small inclines along the way.


My gast isn't real loud to me but everyone can take that different. When I am on my deck and it kicks in at night I have to stop what I am doing to actually here it running and it's about 75 feet away. I mean I wouldn't want to be 10 feet from it all the time but it really isn't that loud to me. I run mine from dusk till dawn and it costs me about 11 bucks a month on that setting. Dusk till dawn is about 10 to 11 hours each night.

RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#491454 - 06/07/18 04:52 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 804
Loc: West Central Missouri
Here's a spec sheet for the GAST 0523.



I believe this pump draws about 1.64 amps during steady-state operations. That's 180 watts/110 volts, but it would draw about 3 to 5 times that at start-up. That would be pretty close to 5 amps at times 3. I bet the 5 amp rating your are seeing is the inrush at start-up OR the protection amperage (what you would fuse it at).

EAT CROW EDIT: Scratch the mumbo-jumbo above regarding 1.64 amps at steady state. Disclaimer: I am a hobby electronics boob. See next post below.


Edited by Quarter Acre (06/09/18 09:31 AM)
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#491530 - 06/09/18 09:44 AM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 804
Loc: West Central Missouri
So, no more speculation. I bench tested my Gast 0523 pump this morning with a fluke amp meter (clamp-on style) and obtained the following results. I simulated different pressures by gradually closing off the air flow and had the pump wired for 115 volts...

Steady-state operations:

0 psi = 3.6 amps
3 psi = 3.9 amps
5 psi = 4.1 amps
6 psi = 4.2 amps
7 psi = 4.4 amps
8 psi = 4.6 amps
9 psi = 4.8 amps
10 psi = 5.0 amps
11 psi = 5.2 amps
12 psi = 5.4 amps
13 psi = 5.7 amps
14 psi = 5.8 amps
15 psi = 6.2 amps

20 psi = 10 amps (this 20 psi point was captured at the point the pump was just about to flutter/sputter and start dogging down.

I checked the start-up inrush at 5, 8, and 10 psi and it measured 23 amps througout the range.

As you can see in the psi/cfm chart that they stop at 10 psi...that is the 5 amp mark you were referring to.

I hope this makes up for my earlier, foot-in-mouth assumptions.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#491549 - 06/09/18 08:59 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12468
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Quarter thanks for performing and sharing the results of the GAST 0523 pressure amp test. Valuable information. Great job!
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#491620 - 06/11/18 10:41 AM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 804
Loc: West Central Missouri
There is a couple of notes that I should add that will help us to better understand pump specs and such...

After talking to a controls engineer that I know, I have learned that the "0.18 KW" from the spec sheet is merely a motor size. This is the metric equivalent to the 1/4 horsepower spec. It has nothing to do with the pump component just the motor as if it were not connected to the pump. Do not use this number for calculating electricity usage. The best way to estimate the watts would be to use the amp spec off the motor plate (4.4 amps for the 115volt or 2.2 amps for 220-230 volts - see photo below). For 115 volt wiring, you would have... 115 volts X 4.4 amp = 506 watts. BUT, this is only an estimate because the actual amps changes depending on your backpressure created at the pump. If my pump operates at 5 psi then my watts would also go up slightly.



Secondly, I will be retesting my pump without the intake filter. If the filter is adequately sized (larger than it needs to be), the results will not change much, but if the filter I ordered is too small then I should see a noticeable reduction in amp draw. A filter that is undersized (too small) would cause the pump to work harder to pull the air in leading to higher amp draw. This test will help me to determine if the filter is too small. The same thing would happen if the filter got real dirty and began to choke the pump.


Attachments
20180520_092854.jpg (455 downloads)

_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#491628 - 06/11/18 01:13 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Journeyman Offline


Registered: 08/10/17
Posts: 12
Loc: wisconsin
Just a couple points to figure Watts or Amps.
Volts x Amps = Watts.

1 Horse power equals 746 Watts. So the 1/4 hp is 746 x .25 = 186.5 watts.

KW stands for kilowatt, or 1000 watts.

186.5 divided by 1000 = .18 KW

Then add the load, the pump, the inefficiency and the restriction to flow.

Here's the most important part.
Different pumps have different applications they are best suited for. Ex, in your garage you have an air compressor and a leaf blower. Both move air, but very differently. An air compressor takes a long time to build up enough pressure to fill the tank and be able to blow leaves, and a lot of power.
A leaf blower will never fill you car tire, but moves a lot of air quickly, and less power consumption.

The OP stated one of his primary objectives was "low operating costs".

Keep in mind the goal is to move air, not compress it and waste power.

Let's compare the Gast vs the Hiblow.

According to the charts above, the Gast puts out 4 psi at 4 amps at 3.4 cubic feet per minute.
120 volts x 4 amps = 480 watts.

According the specs below, the Hiblow puts out 4 psi at 100 watts at (100 cubic liters per minute) 3.53 cubic feet per minute.
http://www.hiblow-usa.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/HP-100LL-120LL_170308.pdf

While output to the diffusers is almost the same with both units, the power needed to run the Gast is almost 5 times as costly.
Personally I am running two diffusers strongly at 12 foot depth with 4 psi left on the gauge at the pump with the Hiblow 120LL.

In a similar analogy, if your goal was to leave a light on all the time in the garage. Would you want a 100 watt bulb, or a 480 watt bulb?

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#491646 - 06/11/18 04:41 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Just out of curiosity, have you actually measured how much power your Hiblow is using? It appears at 6 PSI you are running it at 1 PSI below it's max output of 7 PSI where it looks like CFM falls to zero. At 6 PSI it looks like it is producing somewhere around 1 CFM which is the rated minimum CFM for two vertex diffusers to work properly (just used Vertex for a reference point).

It appears, to me, they rated the Hiblow for 100 watts at ~2.5 PSI. I would be surprised if you were only drawing 100 watts running at ~6 PSI.

I have been surprised many times before though!

On the other hand, the Gast is rated for 3.5 CFM at 6 PSI. Over three times the CFM which might explain the ~3x power required. One thing I have learned through my pond/solar/pump journey is, generally speaking, if it draws less power it's because the pump can do less work.


Edited by wbuffetjr (06/12/18 10:27 AM)
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#491677 - 06/12/18 10:06 AM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 804
Loc: West Central Missouri
The Gast 0523 pump was tested last night without the filter attached and I found that the amp draw was slightly lower than with the filter in place. It was about 0.1 to 0.2 amps higher with the filter inline. I am going to call it "good enough". The filter I used was from McMaster Carr...part number 4369K31. It has a spec of 10 scfm @ 100 psi which did not really tell me much, hence the need to verify that it was not choking the pump at much lower CFM's.

I will take some other readings as the system is put into place, but for the near future I am in a hustle to get the pump house erected and the system functioning before the heat and lack of rain takes a toll on the pond.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#492673 - 06/25/18 05:08 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 804
Loc: West Central Missouri
My aeration system is complete and I started it up. With all three diffuser lines wide open, the pump pulled 4 amps at 3.5 psi. The deepest diffuser was about 5 feet down while the other two were around 3 and 4 feet down.

If I equalize the boil at all three to look the same by turning down the shallowest two diffuser's flow valves, the pump sees 5.5 psi and draws 4.2 amps.

This "real data" seems to follow the bench tests from my earlier post which is good.

I just thought I'd share my finding to sort of wrap up what I started.

AND, I was hoping Journeyman would come back with some test data too!
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#492674 - 06/25/18 05:19 PM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: Quarter Acre]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2032
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Cost to run it at 4 amps: 4A x 122V=488 watts. If you run 10 hours per day that is 4.88 kWh per day. At 10 cents/kWh that's $14.64 per month, as near as I can figure it.
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#492874 - 06/28/18 09:23 AM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Journeyman Offline


Registered: 08/10/17
Posts: 12
Loc: wisconsin
Just tuned to see this thread is still going.

QA, I suppose I could take test readings, but my pond is at my vacation property and I won't be back there until July 4th. I expect them to reflect readings very close to what is advertised, as yours did though.

JF does a good job of connecting the power consumption to actual cost.

For the purpose of passing on info I have learned that I consider valuable I'll summarize;
The HIblow 120LL is about half the cost of the Gast 0523, and uses less than a quarter of the cost per month to operate.

By the way my vacation neighbor just purchased the same pump I have and is quite pleased, as am I.

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#492883 - 06/28/18 11:10 AM Re: Aeration System Advise [Re: kramedt]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 804
Loc: West Central Missouri
I don't want to fruitlessly debate that "my dad is stronger than yours". LOL. Actually, I am more interested in learning about different pumps, their curves, costs, testing, etc. If my pump was not the best choice, I'll learn from it and thank the forum members for the lessons. At this point, the Hiblow seems like it would have been a better choice for my small pond if it is truly operating at such a low amp draw. The Gast does seem to have more capacity available at higher pressure requirements which I do not need, but the prices are comparable...

http://www.gopro.pro/Gast.0523-101Q-G588NDX.htm

Gast 0523 = $415 - free shipping

Journey, I think I see where WBuffet was headed with his comments. I would bet that the 100 watt spec is at the "Rated loading pressure" and that we could expect the watts to increase as the backpressure increased. I would love to see some test data to prove me right or wrong (or even somewhere in between). Enjoy your 4th!
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Noel

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