Backyard Waterfall Question

We have a waterfall feature in our backyard. A pump, pumps the water up a maybe 6 foot hill and it runs down a small stream over a rock and then gets pumped up again. Just a contineous loop of water.
My question is the pump we first purchased was a bit too weak and the next model up is a bit to strong. The strong one makes lots of water flow but sometimes I would like to just slow it down a bit.
Can the speed of the pump be regulated to slow it down, sort of like a speed control on a ceiling fan?
Someone told me that the pump is made to run at certain speeds and reducing the voltage in order to slow the flow rate down could damage the pump motor.
I this is not true where can I find a device to regulate the speed (power) of the pump motor?
Thanks
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We have a waterfall feature in our backyard. A pump, pumps the water up a maybe 6 foot hill and it runs down a small stream over a rock and then gets pumped up again. Just a contineous loop of water. My question is the pump we first purchased was a bit too weak and the next model up is a bit to strong. The strong one makes lots of water flow but sometimes I would like to just slow it down a bit. Can the speed of the pump be regulated to slow it down, sort of like a speed control on a ceiling fan? Someone told me that the pump is made to run at certain speeds and reducing the voltage in order to slow the flow rate down could damage the pump motor. I this is not true where can I find a device to regulate the speed (power) of the pump motor?
Just put a restrictor on after the pump. Never before the pump. Tom
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Ed Hayes wrote:

Simply add a T fitting after the pump with a valve on one side. Plumb the output of that valve back to the lower pond. Opening the valve will allow some of the water to return to the lower pond., reducing the amount going up the hill.
I don't suggest trying to restrict any of the flow as it could damage some pumps.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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It can.
Few motors can operate properly on less then their designed voltage, and pumps are almost certainly in this catagory. With lower voltage, if it runs at all, it will indeed run slower, but will also overheat, and soon you'll be left with a dead pump.
Ceiling fan motors are designed very differently, as are power drills and the like.

Just in case you want to try it, and don't mind replacing your pump, make sure you use a regulator that's rated for the power your pump consumes. A ceiling fan uses less power than any pump that can raise water 6', so that's out. An old, dusty electronics shop, run by an old, dusty guy who got started in his business by building mechanical TV sets, is your best bet. Look under Electronic or Electrition Supply in your phone book. A regulator that's capable of controlling a pump like this, and is also adjustable, will set you back quite a bit, enough to buy a few more pumps at least.
A restrictor, or a valve that can be adjusted to restrict the output of the pump, will work, but it will slow the water going through the pump, which is also probably cooling the pump, as well as create additional back pressure, generating more heat, and so on. This probably won't hurt the pump right away, but it will make it work harder, which means it won't last as long. It's not likely your pump was made for that kind of abuse.
Mr. Meehan's T fitting suggestion is the best idea.
Otherwise, you can try two smaller pumps, different pump manufacturers, small sump pumps, DC powered pumps...
Pagan
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using a reduced speed for any length of time will damage it!
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wrote:

This I got to see. How does a mechanical TV set work?
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There is a bird in the back that runs the treadmill and makes it work. I saw it on the Flintstones about a decade ago.
Steve B.
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Not very well, but this was a while ago.
http://www.earlytelevision.org/scandisk.html
Thought I was BSing, eh? ;-)
Pagan
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