How to Calculate Pump Flow


When it comes to maintaining a home, there are certain times when you'll want to know the pump flow of a particular plumbing apparatus. Pump flow measures the amount of fluid that moves through pipes over a period of time. This measurement is usually taken in gallons per hour or GPH. For instance, if you have a water feature that has a filter, you'll want to know the pump flow to determine how often the water refreshes.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • 5-gallon bucket with measurements
  • Stop watch
  • Collect liquid for one minute in a five-gallon bucket. Be sure that the bucket has measurements on the inside or outside of the bucket so that you'll be able to read the results.

  • Determine how much liquid was collected. As an example, say you have a pond feature. You placed the hose into your bucket and turned on the pump feature. It resulted in one gallon. This is the amount of flow.

  • Multiply the amount of flow by 60. Because you let the pump work for 1 minute, you need to multiply the amount of flow by 60 in order to get a gallons per hour or GPH figure. The math in the example would be: 1 gallon per minute x 60 = 60 GPH.
    Amount of flow x 1 hour of time = Gallons per Hour

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are measuring something that has an extremely fast pump flow, use a rate of 10, 20, or 30 seconds to get your measurement. Just remember to adjust your calculation so that you are getting a full GPH estimate. As an example, if you collected liquid for 30 seconds, then you would need to multiply your result by 120 because there are 120 30-second segments within an hour.

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