How To Siphon A Pond With A Garden Hose

On the part of most pond owners, keeping their pond clean may be a chore too boring, so some don’t have to own one on their property. However, they’re foregoing the many amenities that a garden pond can deliver.
Siphoning or draining a pond is not a complicated chore if you know the correct way to do it. Depending on the pond size and the amount of water you’re anxious to drain, most ponds can be drained within an hour if employing the proper equipment and method.
There are a variety of ways to do this but improper approaches can damage the natural ecosystem. This article will help you to drain/siphon your pond with the least amount of concern so you can proceed with your other agenda.

Do You Really Need To Drain Your Pond?

a small pond amidst green weeds
While draining a pond is an easy assignment, you must still consider if you truly have to empty the lagoon to achieve a result. If a pond is mature, it will possess a highly difficult ecosystem filled with beneficial bacteria, microbes, and all kinds of insects and plants. These are vital to ponds with fish to create the fundamentals of the nitrogen cycle which maintains the balance in the pond. Siphoning water will harm this ecosystem and it will need some time to set the pond again.
Observe extreme caution specifically when you domesticate fish in your pond. The water should be kept at a salutary pH water level and maintained free from ammonia and nitrites. It might consume numerous tests to return its original grades.
When you have to totally empty a pond to fix or change the pond liner, then completely draining the lagoon may be the sole alternative. Similarly, you’ll perhaps have to make a fresh start if you’re touching up your aquatic garden or remodelling the pond. But, if you just want to scour the pond, it’s not necessary to thoroughly drain it if you have the proper apparatus (such as a hand pump, pond vacuum, and solar pump).
Siphoning pond water must be the last resort since it will put so much stress on the mini-ecosystem, including traumatizing the populations of the good bacteria and impairing the nitrogen cycle. While completely draining water may be needed in some cases, with regards to general cleaning, it is seldom a requisite, provided you have the right equipment ready.

Reasons To Drain A Pond

There are grounds that will force you to drain a pond. First is if you have to capture your fish to check their health if there are some parasite infections or injuries. Likewise, when you want them to move them to a different pond, then it’ll be easier to catch them as the lagoon has a low water level.
Another goal is when you’re looking to entirely replace or fix your pond liner, or you want to make some improvement and reconstruct your water pond. And, perhaps when you’re aiming to perform heavy water changes into your lagoon to boost the health and growth of your fish by minimizing the toxic chemicals like high nitrates and methylmercury and refilling trace minerals into the water.

Where To Drain The Water

a hose attached to a yellow fire hydrant surrounded by weeds.
Pond water can be poured into your lawn as it is a natural fertilizer. It doesn’t make sense to send the pond water into water drainage. There’s no reason to discard plenty of nutrients and incredible microorganisms that are present in the water. On a more serious note, the nitrates and phosphates in the pond water work as stronger fertilizers compared to commercial fertilizers. Your plants and grass will thank you for this.
However, if you don’t have a garden, you can store the water in an empty container. Then water your bushes and perennials or fruit trees with it. You could also scatter the water around the turf, and it would still produce great results instead of adopting a drainage system. As soon as the soil in your yard obtains the nutrients from the water, they are taken into the roots of any nearby plants and trees.

Ways To Drain Pond Water

Draining A Pond With Submersible Pumps

A submersible pump is amongst the most in-demand by pond owners as it can help drain ponds at a high rate. You just need a power source and a hose pipe. Connect the hose to the pump and set the pump in the deepest part of the pond. The water in the pond will smoothly stream towards the deepest point; therefore, the soundest way to fully drain the water satisfactorily is to position the pump there.
Let the apparatus do its work after you’ve switched on the pump. While the impeller rotates, water is pulled in one side of the pump and is released on the other. The size and power of the impeller will determine the amount of water flow. More water will be drained if your pump has a larger impeller.
It’s vital to know the lifting power of your submersible pond pump in relation to its water height. Most models available on the market today will display the maximum head height, which will inform you of the maximum height it can expel water out of the pond when you are siphoning before it loses power. A higher number indicates the pump can be set deeper in the pond and can be emptied much farther away. This will provide you with a hint as to how deep you can place your submersible pump for ultimate draining action.

Draining A Pond With Solar Pumps

A solar pond pump is perhaps the most energy-efficient pump as it merely requires energy from the sun to operate. It’s intended for shallow garden ponds.
Most solar pump models include a solar panel, a small fountain pump, and a cable. The panel is positioned in a spot of full sun in the yard, the pump is seated in water and a sprinkler fountain is generated that presents the scene and sound of flowing water.
It’s feasible to empty a small pond using a solar pump; however, it will consume a lot of time than an electrical pump. This approach is best for draining water in ponds in a distant location that has an insufficient power supply.
Use the solar pump during the hottest time of the day as the extreme ultraviolet rays from the sun can effortlessly power a solar pump.

Draining A Pond Using Pond Vacuum Cleaner

Suppose you don’t wish to have debris while draining your pond. If that’s the case then a pond vacuum cleaner is the most suitable and straightforward way to complete the task. While some experts don’t suggest pond vacuums only for clearing a pond, it’s a versatile apparatus when you also need additional help with cleaning at the end of the day. A high-quality pond vacuum can siphon water ponds in a short time.
Many pond vacuums can be placed beside your pond. They typically have a flexible hose that attaches to the inlet of the vacuum and a hose extension that you connect to double the range directly into your pond. But in case you can’t access the entire pond in one go, simply move the machine to a better spot.
Pond vacuum operates by absorbing the entire fish waste and debris, plus the sludge and muck in the pond while they do the job, and also suck water. All the siphoned materials enter the vacuum via the inlet and are being discharged through the outlet.
Larger ponds might require extra work to remain clean, without any wastes. Nevertheless, if you only own a small pond, a pond vacuum is the right option.

Draining A Pond Using An External Pond Pump

An external pump is more practical and needs less periodic upkeep than a submersible pump. An external pond pump is commonly used to remove water within the skimmer, which helps sift out waste floating on the surface of the water before continuing with further filtration steps.
Submersible pumps could be operated in this routine because of the lack of space within the skimmer. It’s a lot easier to hold the water intake of an external pump within the skimmer instead of attempting to equip a whole submersible pump right within the skimmer. External pump is also easier to use, clean, and care for as it doesn’t get submerged in the pond where it can accumulate waste and other particles from the water, and you won’t need to address clogs.

Draining A Pond Using A Hand Pump

Hand pumps may be out of date due to the amount of physical work involved, but they are still an efficient and low-cost alternative for draining small ponds (or larger ponds if you want to have a little bit of workout).
See to it that you have a lengthy hose so that it is effortless and straightforward to siphon water. Your standard siphon hose is usually intended to displace water at a rate of 2-10 gallons of water every minute. A high-quality hand pump has a flow rate of 5-10 GPM.
With an adequately trivial marsh, a hand pump and siphon hose will perform miracles in helping you siphon water and efficiently fully drain a pond, considering you are ready to get a workout and are well-tolerant to wait until it is completed.

Can You Siphon Water With A Garden Hose?

A garden hose lying on top of a field with weeds.
If you don’t have a pond pump or yours isn’t working, a garden hose or a simple spigot can empty a pond by siphoning the water. Bernoulli’s equation is regarded as the scientific principle to be a reasonable resemblance to the process of the siphon. It pertains to how you are going to extract the pond water from the pond without utilizing any kind of pump.
When siphoning a water pond, be sure that the drainage area is at the garden hose’s lower end for it to do the job easier. In this manner, raised pressure forces water upwards to the low-pressure spot atop of the arch and then plunges at the other side since gravity pulls it down and diverts it. The force of gravity will keep sucking the water once the operation begins, provided the hose remains full.

Draining A Pond with Garden Hose

Before you begin, you have to prepare the required materials like a siphon hose, a nozzle, and brick or rock. You can also use a typical garden hose if you don’t have any siphon hose.

Why Does This Work?

A siphoning effect is formed when the hose is already filled with water. The water molecules in the hose piping stick together, leading to water pouring from the open end of the hose. As this happens, the pond water gets extracted in the back.
The maximum height you can siphon water upward is approximately 34 feet.

Factors To Prevent Disruption

The second you start the siphon process, two things will probably ruin the siphon’s outpour:

Air Inside the Hose

Make sure the garden hose is entirely filled with water. Any air that invades will have a high chance of disrupting the water flow.
The typical way air is exposed to the hose pipe is when the end of your hose that’s in the pond you’re siphoning is not stable at the bottom. For this reason, it’s necessary to scoop out a deeper trench at the floor of the pond you’re attempting to drain. This will provide the end of your hose a greater chance of remaining submerged.
Likewise, you may have to dig channels whereby the entire water in the pond can rush towards the trench that you’ve excavated as the water drains. This will save you from needing to repeat the process above if you own many ponds.

Gravity Begins Counteracting Your Work

Another factor that will stop a siphon from running is when the end of the hose you’re draining from slides lower than the end you’re siphoning to.
The siphon’s flow is due to the gravitational potential difference between the liquid level in the pond and the output hose’s opening. Gravity is vital for the siphon process. The output end of the hose is required to be longer than the length of the input hose. So, when two ends are of the same level, no siphoning will occur.

Remember These Things After You Siphon A Pond

After you drain your pond and plan on refilling the water in it, please remember to treat your water adequately to optimize its quality and lessen any adverse effects on the ecosystem. This procedure must be done, especially if your pond houses fish like goldfish and Koi.
Water from the mains supply will possess a high concentration of chloramine and chlorine which are toxic to your fish as these substances will destroy good bacteria and harm all living organisms in the pond. Water must be safely dechlorinated before you add it to the pond to guarantee the safety of your fish and stabilize the water quality.
After draining a pond, you probably ruined a majority of the natural bacteria and your tap water will not contain the beneficial bacteria that your fish necessitate to grow and live. Therefore, supplementing with a good bacteria product can assist in setting off your biological filtration once more. A healthy ecosystem will be maintained by carrying out this important measure.
Last but definitely not least, you must conduct a water quality analysis to guarantee that water is ideal and faultless for fish, which incorporates getting assessments for carbonate Hardness (KH), pH levels, nitrites, and ammonia (NH3). These things can be affected easily by drainage and water changes. They must be inspected and monitored before and after the siphoning process to compare the readings and see the differences.


In the event that you need to drain your pond, it is beneficial to learn that you can adopt a siphoning to do the task. This process is fairly easy, and as opposed to the general belief that it runs solely due to pressure, siphoning, in fact, operates through gravity.
You can execute siphoning and drain your own pond effectively just by using some basic materials. Also, be sure that you know the procedure and perform it appropriately. It is vital to review the laws or ordinances about throwing out wastewater.
Ergo, the next time you need to drain pond water and your pond pump goes haywire, try using the siphoning technique by using only materials that are readily available in your home.

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