FAQ

Throughout the many years we've been supplying our Irrigation, Garden Lighting, Pond Gear & Pumps, we've been asked plenty of questions. So to make things easier for you, we've compiled a list of our most asked questions, along with our answers. So have a browse, click on as many as you want & if you can't find your answer here, check out our Product Guides where you'll find even more detailed information. 

Irrigation

  • We get any number of calls from people across the country who've bought from overseas & have problems. From electrical output problems to thread compatibility problems & other problems that we aren't able to help with!

    By buying from SunshowerOnline, right here in Australia, you can be sure that your warranty issues are covered, that compatibility & compliance isn't an issue & that you'll be able to get helpful after service advice. 

  • The main cause of blowout is pressure. Whether it’s poly fittings, PVC fittings or timers, whatever the component, if the pressure is too high for what it’s designed for, kaboom! Simply solve the problem with a pressure reducer & make it a brass one if it’s on your water supply.

  • A garden tap is an excellent place to connect your irrigation system. Ideally, install a connection point behind the tap (turn the water off first) so you can still use your tap to fill a bucket when you need to.

  • No, unless you’re tapping into your water supply, a plumber isn’t required. Most domestic irrigation systems can be installed by anyone half handy.

  • There’s no best type of sprinkler, just better sprinklers for different applications. Gear Drives are better for large areas, over 5m. Pop-Ups are ideal for 1.5-5m & Micro sprays are excellent for anything under that.

  • There’s no single answer for any system because of a range of factors. So work with trial and error. If you’ve got no idea, maybe start at 5-10 mins. Then think about watering days depending on the time of year, if it’s summer, everyday, but winter maybe once a week.

  • The type of nozzle all depends on how far you need to spray, each nozzle is specified by the radius it sprays & the spray arc it provides (0-360 degrees). Aim to spray to the base of the next closest sprinkler for even watering. For more information on planning, check out our Product Guides.

  • Most gear drives adjust the same way: Alter the spray radius by changing the nozzle, most sprinklers come with a nozzle rack. And, alter the spray radius using a gear drive adjustment tool or screw driver. Gear drive adjustment tools or spanners make adjusting much easier with the added function of being able to lift the sprinkler riser for simple adjustment.

  • Drip tube is excellent in areas of rich dense soil where water spreads nicely throughout. Installed under mulch, the water is delivered with minimal evaporation & wastage, going direct to the root ball.

  • No, drip tube isn’t simply holes punched into poly pipe. Inside each hole is an intricate dripper which delivers that water nice and evenly. Punching a hole will simply create an uncontrolled leak!

  • Unless a drip tube is designed for use under ground, with anti-root intrusion technology, it’s should not be buried under soil. However, performs at its best when installed under mulch where the water is delivered with minimal evaporation.

  • You can simply use Micro Drippers or Micro Drip Tube, but your challenge is delivering the water to the pot. We suggest you run Poly Pipe as close as you can & then thin Micro Tube as hidden from view as possible up into the pot.

  • Each sprinkler & nozzle sprays water at different rates, but the key factor is the flow rate of your water supply. Work that out with a simple timed bucket test. From there, you can work out how much water each sprinkler you’re looking at uses & work within your flow limit. For more information, check our Product Guides.

  • The main safety concern is regarding the water supply. To avoid contamination of the mains water upstream, in most municipalities, a Dual Check Valve is required at the water connection.

  • The type of pipe you use depends on the water pressure of the application. For example, in any application under constant mains pressure like before your Irrigation Valves, you’ll need pipe that can cope. This rules out Low Density Poly Pipe & you’ll need to use something like Class 12 PVC or Metric Poly Pipe, these typically have a rating of Class 12, or PN12 which translates to being able to cope with 1200kPa. For irrigation lines after the valves in most domestic applications, Low Density Poly Pipe is ideal. In this situation, the operating pressure is much lower because the water is able to escape out of the operating sprinklers or drip tube & once the valves shut off, there is no static pressure build up.

  • Pipe sizing is all about reducing friction loss & allowing maximum flow to all points of your garden. There are a number of variables to consider, but in most domestic applications, 19mm Poly Pipe is the common choice. In larger areas, where you may have to run pipe 30-40m to the start of an irrigation zone, or zones with large sprinklers with high flow requirements, you may want to consider upping your pipe size to 25mm of more boost that flow output.

  • In rare applications, like on a wall under a well covered patio where the space is 100% dry all the time & not exposed to the sun, an indoor controller will continue to operate without issue. But if you’re not sure, we recommend installing an outdoor model. If something does go wrong with your controller due to water damage or the LCD screen failing from sun exposure, the warranty is voided so it’s not worth the risk.

  • Yes, irrigation controllers typically have a manual function, this will allow you to both operate all zones, or each one individually as you please.

  • Domestic irrigation controllers will always operate zones one at a time. Even if you try to operate 2 to come on at the same time, the controller will automatically delay the operation of the second zone until after the first zone has finished running.

  • In some states a rain sensor is mandatory, but regardless it’s something you should include in your irrigation system. Having your system turn on in the middle of a day of rain is not only embarrassing, it’s a terrible waste of water & the overwatering is bad for your garden!

  • A solenoid valve is the automatic tap that controls that flow of water to an irrigation zone. Solenoid Valves are automatically operated by an irrigation controller which is programmed to tell the solenoid valve when to open & close.

  • The number of solenoid valves you use depends on the size of your garden & the flow output of your water supply. The number of litres per minute that are available will determine the number of sprinklers or drippers you can operate at any one time. Once your garden is divided up into each section using that information, you’ll need one solenoid valve to operate each one individually.

  • A master valve is installed upstream of the solenoid valves being used to control each irrigation zone. They’re not mandatory, but they are a good idea as installing one increases the life-span of each valve by protect the valves downstream from the constant pressure that would otherwise be applied. The way it works is, every time a zone is programmed to come on the master valve also switches on, providing the flow, but when all the zones are off, the master valve closes, holding back the flow & pressure of the water supply. Simply, it’s kind of like an irrigation insurance policy.

  • As you install a system, it’s almost inevitable that small fragments of dirt will get into the pipe, for this reason you should always flush out the system before running it the first time. This can be done by leaving an open end at the farthest point of each irrigation zone & operating the zone for 15 or so seconds to flush it out. Then plug it up & you’re good to go! This can also be said for any other times dirt may have gotten into the system (eg: further irrigation repairs or a mains water supply fault).

  • We definitely don’t recommend it. Typically, drip tube will deliver the water at a far slower rate that sprays. Because of this, if you were to have both on the same zone, the areas with drip would be left far drier than the areas with sprinkler coverage. If you do want to water some areas with drip & some with sprinklers, it can be done, but each will just need to be run on their own separate irrigation zones.

  • Due to the different flow rates or each type, it’s often not recommended. A micro spray will typically provide water at 1-2lpm, where as a fixed micro dripper will provide far less, at 2-8lph. However, there are adjustable drippers which can provide higher flows & there are applications where you may want less flow, like pots or native planting.

  • Each spray & dripper provides water at different rates, but the key factor is the flow rate of your water supply. Work that out with a simple timed bucket test. From there, you can work out how much water each sprinkler you’re looking at uses & work within your flow limit. For more information, check our Product Guides.

  • Firstly, each sprinkler &/or nozzle has a specified spray radius. Secondly, sprinklers are typically designed to deliver more water at their base & progressively less the further away you get. For this reason, you want to position sprinklers so they spray to hit the base of the next sprinkler. Of course this isn’t possible all the time so in those cases, aim to spray at least 80% of the way. By doing this you will guarantee even water across your lawn or garden.

  • Whenever you’re connecting two threaded fittings, teflon is required. The only exception is whenever either fitting has an O-ring, in this case, do not apply teflon as it may cause the O-ring to not seal correctly. The amount of teflon you apply depends on the application. In any constant pressure applications you look at up to wrapping around the thread up to 20 times, whereas in any non-constant pressure applications, like on irrigation risers, 2 or 3 times around the thread is enough.

  • Being exposed to the weather, water damage will occur any where water can get in. Electrical tape isn’t quite water tight & over time water will creep into the circuit & create havoc & void all warranties. For this reason you should always use waterproof cable joins like heat shrinks.

  • Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest tasks in irrigation. First, look in the obvious spots which are near you water connection & any garden taps. Often over time solenoid valves can get buried, so it can be useful to use a stick or long screwdriver to poke prospective areas until you feel that hard tap of the valve box (if there is one). Beyond that, it’s time to consider solenoid valve seeking equipment or calling a serviceman. This can all be avoided of course by installing valves in single locations on a manifold close to a tap & at a depth not likely to get covered over time.

  • Well you’re in the right place! We’ve got it all here. The first step, is drawing out a plan of your garden, to scale of course. We’ve got Grid Paper in our Product Guides & all the advice you’ll need in there too!

  • Because of their small outlets, micro sprays can block from time to time. Fixing individual sprays can be as simple as unscrewing them & simply blowing the blockage back out. To avoid repeat blockages we recommend installing a simple inline filter.

  • Even on a typical domestic system running on mains water a filter is still a good idea. In the event of a water main fault where rubbish does find it’s way down the line, a filter will protect the system from blockage and or failure. On systems operating off recycled water, like from a tank, a screen filter is mandatory. Debris like silt & dirt from recycled water is the most common cause of blockages of failures in irrigation systems.

  • Nearly all of the time, a solenoid valve staying open is caused by debris caught in the diaphragm. Even the finest debris can cause the valve not to seal shut, causing a constant leak. Other cause can be: Not enough flow because the irrigation zone is too small or, not enough pressure, the valve needs the pressure to seal shut.

  • Unless your tank located is upwards of 20m above your valves, gravity feed will not provide enough pressure for your valves to reliably open & close. It is not recommended.

Garden Lighting

  • We get any number of calls from people across the country who've bought from overseas & have problems. From electrical output problems to thread compatibility problems & other problems that we aren't able to help with!

    By buying from SunshowerOnline, right here in Australia, you can be sure that your warranty issues are covered, that compatibility & compliance isn't an issue & that you'll be able to get helpful after service advice. 

  • The main difference you need to worry about is their output current. Each brand of lighting has their own specified power compatibility, typically our transformers are 12v or 24v AC & our drivers are 12v DC. So if you’ve got existing lights or globes or are researching, it’s very important to check what power supply they are compatible with before you buy a power supply.

  • The size of your transformer/driver depends on the total wattage of the lights on your circuit. Eg: If you are using 8 x Spotlights with 5W LED Globes, you’re using 40W. You need a driver that is rated to handle the total of 40W. However, keep in mind that it’s important not to cut it too fine with matching the wattage to the capacity of the driver, if you undersize you will find the farthest lights will flicker. For this reason we recommend you allow for at least an extra 20%.

  • Cable sizing is different for each situation & is determined by a number of factors: The number of lights & wattage of each light & their distance from the power supply. We go into more detail in our Product Guides, but it’s important not to undersize for both safety & effective operation.

  • No, you do not need an electrician to install 12v garden lights. Transformers plug straight into a powerpoint & all of the 12v components are safe for DIY installation.

  • Yes, all 12v Garden lighting cable is safe to run in the garden bed, it doesn’t need to buried for any regulations’ sake. If you’re concerned the cable might incidentally get damaged, we then recommend you run it in some conduit or PVC pipe.

  • Being exposed to the weather, water damage will occur any where water can get in. Electrical tape isn’t quite water tight & over time water will creep into the circuit & create havoc & void all warranties. For this reason you should always use waterproof cable joins like heat shrinks.

  • There’s no better, they’re just different. One popular view is that cool white globes look best on hard surfaces & warm climates for that cooling effect, whereas warm white globes better suit soft surfaces like foliage & cool climates for the warming effect.

Ponds & Water Features

  • If you want clean healthy water yes! You may know someone that tells you their pond is crystal clear and they don't have a filter but what they're not telling you is that they're regularly emptying and scrubbing their pond. A good working filter means you save water by not having to empty your pond and lets you have a good healthy environment for your fish. You wouldn't let your dog or cat live in their own waste so why do it to your fish?

  • We get any number of calls from people across the country who've bought from overseas & have problems. From electrical output problems to thread compatibility problems & other problems that we aren't able to help with!

    By buying from SunshowerOnline, right here in Australia, you can be sure that your warranty issues are covered, that compatibility & compliance isn't an issue & that you'll be able to get helpful after service advice. 

  • It is possible to make your own biological filter and we have high quality filter media such as Biomatt for this very purpose. When making your own filter consider the overall cost and extra time it will take to clean. If your time is valuable you’ll be better off buying a filter that’s had all the design work and low maintenance features built in.

  • No. Swimming pool filters are not suitable for ponds. Pool filters are mechanical filters that are designed to catch small particles in the water. They do not perform biological filtration and are therefore not suitable in ponds. A pond filter will mechanically remove particles in the same way but also remove toxic waste through biological filtration.

  • Yes but check to see if it needs a clean before you go. Although if going away for an extended period please ask a friend, relative or pond maintenance specialist to check on the whole pond as well as the filter.
  • No, they plug into a normal weatherproof power point.

  • Only if you’re using a filter with a UV light.

  • Yes, most UV bulbs have an operating life of around 12 months so you should change them each year. The bulbs will still be shining after this time but they will have no UV effectively and will therefore not be controlling algae.

  • Yes, the amount of fish in your pond will make a big difference to the size and type of filter you require. The more fish you keep the larger the filter you require. Always let your retailer know how many fish you have in your pond when selecting a filter.

  • High quality filters let you clean the filter without getting your hands wet but from time to time you'll need to give them a more thorough clean. You'll need to turn off your pump then open your filter and take out the media. The filter media should be cleaned with pond water or rain water only as the chlorine in tap water will kill much of the beneficial bacteria. Never use cleaning agents or bleach because this will kill your bacteria and then your fish when you turn your system back on.

  • Depending on the model, there will be an indicator window or clear hose tail through which you can see the light.

  • Biological filtration performs a process known as the nitrogen cycle. In this cycle organic pollutants that enter the pond via fish waste, decomposed plant matter or excess fish food are converted from toxic to non-toxic substances using oxygen and bacteria. If the harmful substances are not broken down by oxygen and bacteria then algae is encourage to grow and fish kills can occur. The process is the same that occurs in aquariums, just on a larger scale.

  • It doesn't, you need a pump to do this. A pump moves water and filter cleans it, you need both to get clean water.

  • Every pond is different and this will depend on your individual circumstance, although generally, you should get at least two years out of your filter sponges and replacements are available.

  • A biological filter must run 24/7 to sustain the bacteria and oxygenate the water. This is why pond pumps with low power consumption are recommended for filtration systems.

  • 24/7. It should not be turned off as it will give the algae a chance to multiply.

  • Every pond is different so there is no easy answer to this question. As a general rule you should clean your pump and check your filter when you notice a reduction in water flow on the outlet side of the filter. High quality filtration systems will have inbuilt mechanisms that will tell you when it’s time to clean them.

  • Yes, Koi are a beautiful fish that can grow to a large size but also produce a lot more waste than other fish species. Koi ponds require high amounts of oxygen and larger filtration systems.

  • You must expect a small amount of algae in a pond because it’s a natural system but if you experience problems caused by excessive string algae or blanket weed then you should consider reducing the amount of feed and ensuring you have a good biological filter that operates 24hrs a day to help remove excess nutrients from the pond. String algae prefers water with high pH so testing your water and reducing your pH will also help.

  • Yes, a UV light does not perform any biological filtration and will not stop the build up of toxic substances in the way a biological filter will. The filter will also catch the dead algae that would otherwise turn into sludge at the bottom of the pond.

  • Before a hole is dug and you have an idea or the size & type of pond you need. It is feasible to ask your local dealer on the cost of items such as pumps, liners, ponds and filters etc. This will help to save on any cost blowouts once the pond is setup. Ponds without fish stock require the water volume to be turned over a minimum of once every 8 hours, low fish stock require a minimum of once every 4 hours and large fish stock such as Koi, a minimum of once every 2 hours. And to get the correct advice and equipment from the start. For successful fish keeping, a pump and biological filter are essential. A good filter system will give you clear water, aids in keeping fish healthy, aerates and oxygenates water, circulates would be stagnant water and most importantly saves you time. Although many people have said they have never had a pump or filter, they are often cleaning out their entire pond and replacing dead fish on a regular basis. As with most projects, you will forever enjoy something that is setup correctly the first time.

  • Not at all, it is a natural bacteria that occurs in all natural water systems.

  • Your bulb could have blown, it could be dirty or it could need replacing. Check to see that it’s clean and working, make sure it’s not more than 12 months old and keep it on 24/7. If you’re still having problems see your retailer for further advice.

  • Most filtration systems that are available in Australia & New Zealand are manufactured in Europe and the recommendations on the packaging are for European conditions. We have different environmental conditions and therefore most ratings found on filtration packaging will not hold true in our climate.

  • No, light bulbs are not covered under warranty due to factors outside of the manufacturers control such as power surges and lightening strikes. 

  • A gravity filter sits outside of the pond and is fed water by a pump where it enters the filter and flows through the filter media under gravity and returns to the pond. These filters must be positioned slightly higher than water level to enable its return under gravity. Gravity filters are the most efficient and effective because they have a larger amount of filter media and higher oxygen availability for bacteria than other styles. Gravity filters are suitable for all size ponds

  • A pressurised filter sits outside of the pond and is fed water by a pump where it enters the filter and flows through the filter media under pressure so can therefore be positioned above or below the pond. Pressure filters must never be run with swimming pool or irrigation 'sump pumps' as these pump pressures are too high and will cause the filters to burst. Pressurised filters are suitable for ponds with fish up to around 7000 litres or 15000 without

  • A skimmer is designed to catch leaves before they fall to the pond floor where they break down and form an organic sludge that feeds algae. Skimmers can be attached to the suction side of a solids handling pump or be built in to the side wall of the pond during construction.

  • An Ultra Violet light (UV) is a light that emits ultra violet rays. They are used in ponds to control algae that turn water green. The algae that turns water green is microscopic and as it passes over the UV light it is killed and trapped in the filter.

  • An internal filter sits inside the pond underwater. They are usually attached to the suction side of the pump and are not as efficient as other styles of filtration as they are relatively small and have low oxygen availability for bacteria. Internal filters are used in small ponds up to around 1000 litres.

  • Where you can locate it; How often do you want to clean it; How easy it is to clean; The amount and type of fish you have; The size of your pond; Will it do what it claims on the box.

  • Pond filters are known as biological filters as they purify water through a biological process driven by bacteria. Biological filters convert toxic substances that pollute the water, feed algae and can harm your fish, into non-toxic substances through a natural process known as the nitrogen cycle. There are many types of biological filters but all need to be sized according to the size of your pond and the type and amount of fish you wish to keep.

  • It depends on your individual situation and the size of the pond.

  • When you're planning your pond. If you think filtration when you're planning and constructing your pond you’ll have more choices available to you. We see many cases where customers need a certain type of filter but can't use it because they’ve already built their pond and there's nowhere for it to go. Even if you don't buy your filter right away at least plan for it in your construction so you can install one when required.

  • It smells because the bacteria is doing its job. A good working filter will produce nitrogen gas as one of its by-products which means it’s working well. 

  • The small sponge filters found on the front of some pumps are only designed to stop particles damaging the moving parts (impellor) of the pump. They are not designed, nor capable of cleaning water.

  • Cheap UV lights can have inferior bulbs with life cycles of 6 months or less. Some have even been made using non-UV stable plastics!

  • A UV light will kill all of the free floating algae in your pond that turns the water green but will not control algae on rocks or the sides of ponds as these are more highly evolved plant life and cannot be passed over the UV because they are not free floating.

  • High quality pumps are silent. Mid range pumps are very quiet but as you go down in price the noisier a pump becomes. Some pumps can be easily heard in a shop display but sometimes the noise can be hidden by surrounding sounds.

  • Yes, pond pumps have been around for many years without problems or safety concerns and we would not be allowed to sell them if they weren't safe. As a safety precaution we always recommend a safety switch be installed on the house.

    We also recommend that all water based electrical equipment should be unplugged before water gardeners immerse any part of their body in the water or clean a filter or UV Light.

  • Yes, depending on your needs there are several application specific pumps available such as fountain, water feature and filtration pumps.

  • We allow plugs to be cut and replaced if necessary, but for safety and warranty purposes we do not allow you to shorten the cord. We recommend a qualified electrician performs any electrical work but do not permit shortening of cords even if done by an electrician.

  • Yes you can but remember you will always need to remove the pump from the pond for cleaning, repair or replacement so always keep this in mind when installing pumps or any pond equipment. Always make your equipment easy to remove.

  • If it is a damaged impellor, yes you can purchase another one and replace this but otherwise you would not be able to fix any other problems that may occur and it is best to return it to your place of purchase to be assessed and repaired if possible by our qualified technicians. Attempting repairs yourself will void the warranty.

  • Some pumps can but we recommend using them as they were designed – submersed in water. This will enable the pump to run at a cooler temperature. Pumps that can be run outside of the pond will need to be situated below the water level and be gravity fed as no pond pump can suck water upwards.

  • No, pond pumps cannot be used in chlorine as the chlorine calcifies on the impellor which can cause damage to both the pump and impellor and will void any warranty claim.

  • No, as a general rule. The majority of pond pumps on the market cannot be used in salt water as the salt builds up on the impellor which can cause damage to both the pump and impellor and this would not be covered under warranty. You would have to specifically ask for a pump that is rated to be used in salt water.

  • No, not at all, they are a standard electrical product that needs to be plugged into a weatherproof switch if being used outdoors.

  • Yes, all pond pumps require maintenance and cleaning from time to time depending on the water quality. Pumps with pre filters will require more maintenance as the filters do clog up easily and restrict the performance of the pump.

  • Yes, the larger the hose you use the more flow you will allow the pump to produce, the smaller the hose the more friction loss or restriction you place on the pump and the less water you will produce.

  • For pumps with pre filters you will need to remove the pre filter from the front of the pump, rinse out the filter and also check and clean the impellor inside the pump. For pumps with a cage design you will need to wipe any leaves or build up off the cage and open the cage and check the pump and impellor every now and then.

  • The question is largely dependent on your needs, you must decide whether the pump will be used for filtration, a water feature or to decorate a pond with a fountain. Once you have established the application of the pump you will then need to determine the size of the pump you require.

  • You should always run your pump 24/7 to ensure good water quality and prevent stagnant water which will allow mosquito’s to breed. This is especially important if you have fish in your pond as stopping the circulation will reduce oxygen levels in the pond and may lead to fish kills.

  • Pond pumps have a very low power consumption and therefore cost very little to run. As a general guide for every watt of power they will cost roughly $1 a watt per year to run 24 hours, 7 days a week. Eg. 80 watts = $80 per year in running costs. This is an approximation only and will vary between areas. Please check with your local power authority for confirmation.

  • If the cord cannot be concealed using the natural materials around the pond such as rocks and garden beds, you can use products that allow you to pass the cable through the wall of the pond with a water proof seal rather than over the edge.

  • Head height is the maximum height to which a pump can push water, at this height the pump will only produce a trickle.

  • This will depend on whether your pump has a thermal safety switch or not. Quality pumps will have a thermal safety switch built in, this is a safety mechanism that will turn the pump off and protect it if it overheats. Pumps without a thermal safety switch will traditionally burn themselves out when they are run dry and overheat, once this occurs you will notice a warping of the pump at which point the pumps will no longer work, are irrepairable and would not be covered under warranty. 

  • - The application.

    - Running costs.

    - Submersible or External running.

    - Safety of a thermal safety switch.

    - Maintenance.

    - Quiet/Silent.

    - Reliability.

    - Extended Warranty.

  • Pond pumps are designed to run continuously, have lower power consumption than pool or sump pumps, are compact and submersible.

  • We do not recommend it, as most pool pumps are not rated to run continuously, have more moving parts and have very high power consumption therefore very high running costs.

  • Ponds require water movement to maintain a healthy, well-balanced pond or to create an impressive water feature. Moving water can offer benefits to any type of water feature in the form of recirculation, aeration, and ornamentation. The best way to move water in a pond is by installing a pump. Even if your pond is solely ornamental, a pump will be required to prevent stagnation, inhibit algae growth, inhibit insect pests, and to power a decorative water display. Stagnant water tends to have a distinctive, unpleasant scent, which is generally undesirable for an ornamental pond. Streams, waterfalls, fountains, and spitters all require a pump.

  • With price comes quality, the more expensive pumps will have more features and benefits such as thermal safety switches, lower power consumption, silence, reliability and reduced maintenance through the use of cages rather than foam pre filters all backed by a longer warranty period. The cheaper pond pumps are traditionally very basic, have higher power consumption, are less reliable and have a shorter warranty.

  • Not on it's own, it will definitely help by turning over and oxygenating the water but at some point you will need the help of filtration or treatments to keep your water clean. The sponge filters that are found on some pumps are not capable of keeping water clean, they are only there to protect the moving impellor from particle damage.

  • Definitely not, a pump will actually help improve the health of your fish by turning over the water and improving the water quality in your pond. 

  • Yes, some treatments use chemicals but some use natural products such as bacteria and enzymes.

  • All of our water treatments are safe for fish and plants when used as per the instructions. The only exceptions are products designed specifically for water features and therefore use a formulation that is not suitable for fish or plants.

  • Filtration systems are designed to reduce the amount of pollutants from a pond and starve algae of its food source. The first step is to make sure you’ve got a filtration system that is capable of filtering the size of your pond and the amount of fish you have in it (further information on filtration can be found in the filtration section of the FAQ’s). If you have a well balanced pond with a good working filter then it’s unlikely that you’ll be a regular user of water treatments but you may need some from time to time. 

  • If you’re experiencing problems with excess algae, poor plant growth or fish health problems then you should start looking at the reasons why. Testing the water is a good start as this can determine if the pond is out of balance. Testing the water before you use a water treatment is also a good idea because many of them won’t work as well if the pond has unfavorable water conditions. Testing the water will help identify problems that water treatments can fix or if you need to consider other alternatives such as filtration. 

  • You can start by looking through the product descriptions on our website or by reading the packaging in the shops. Some water treatments are easy to work out because they target a specific problem.

  • In most cases the best method is to take a bucket of your pond water, mix in the correct amount of liquid or powder and distribute throughout the pond. Some treatments differ from this procedure so please follow the instructions.

  • There are treatments for a range of problems including; -killing floating algae that turns water green -preventing algae -balancing and stabilizing the pond’s water chemistry -reducing sludge -increasing oxygen levels -altering important water chemistry conditions like pH and hardness -improving biological filters with beneficial bacteria -removing algae from water features -removing chlorine from tap water -improving the hardness of rain (tank) water -clearing cloudy water -removing ammonia from the water There are water treatments available to help with most pond problems.

  • When you need to. Although water treatments are safe to use it’s not a good idea to use them when you don’t have to. For example, it’s unlikely that you’d need to use an algaecide over the winter months because algae naturally die off over this time of year so why load you system with unnecessary products? Depending on your pond, you may need to use balancing products all year round as these products provide stability and maintain the general health of your pond.

  • While water treatments are effective, the need to use them usually identifies underlying problems with your pond such as excess nutrients from runoff, organic pollution, too many fish or over feeding. If you’re using water treatments all the time you should look at the reasons why to work out better long term options. In many cases the cost of purchasing a filtration system is soon recovered by the savings on water treatments.

Pipe & Fittings

  • We get any number of calls from people across the country who've bought from overseas & have problems. From electrical output problems to thread compatibility problems & other problems that we aren't able to help with!

    By buying from SunshowerOnline, right here in Australia, you can be sure that your warranty issues are covered, that compatibility & compliance isn't an issue & that you'll be able to get helpful after service advice. 

  • The main cause of blowout is pressure. Whether it’s poly fittings, PVC fittings or timers, whatever the component, if the pressure is too high for what it’s designed for, kaboom! Simply solve the problem with a pressure reducer & make it a brass one if it’s on your water supply.

  • There’s no requirement to bury irrigation pipes any depth, but there are a couple of things to consider; Allow enough room to run the pipe under your sprinklers so they sit at the right height & think about going deeper to avoid damage in areas where future digging or planting might happen. 20-30cm is often deep enough.

  • The main safety concern is regarding the water supply. To avoid contamination of the mains water upstream, in most municipalities, a Dual Check Valve is required at the water connection.

  • The type of pipe you use depends on the water pressure of the application. For example, in any application under constant mains pressure like before your Irrigation Valves, you’ll need pipe that can cope. This rules out Low Density Poly Pipe & you’ll need to use something like Class 12 PVC or Metric Poly Pipe, these typically have a rating of Class 12, or PN12 which translates to being able to cope with 1200kPa. For irrigation lines after the valves in most domestic applications, Low Density Poly Pipe is ideal. In this situation, the operating pressure is much lower because the water is able to escape out of the operating sprinklers or drip tube & once the valves shut off, there is no static pressure build up.

  • Pipe sizing is all about reducing friction loss & allowing maximum flow to all points of your garden. There are a number of variables to consider, but in most domestic applications, 19mm Poly Pipe is the common choice. In larger areas, where you may have to run pipe 30-40m to the start of an irrigation zone, or zones with large sprinklers with high flow requirements, you may want to consider upping your pipe size to 25mm of more boost that flow output.

  • Whenever you’re connecting two threaded fittings, teflon is required. The only exception is whenever either fitting has an O-ring, in this case, do not apply teflon as it may cause the O-ring to not seal correctly. The amount of teflon you apply depends on the application. In any constant pressure applications you look at up to wrapping around the thread up to 20 times, whereas in any non-constant pressure applications, like on irrigation risers, 2 or 3 times around the thread is enough.

Pumps & Water Tanks

  • The size of your tank shouldn’t be determined by either of those things as we’ll never know how long it could be between rain events. So we always recommend looking for the biggest tank you can reasonably fit into your yard & one you can reasonably afford.

  • Concrete Slab

    The no-compromise solution to base construction is a reinforced 100mm concrete slab.  A slab can be square or round.  The base should always be 100mm larger than the diameter of the tank. Prior to pouring the slab, ensure the ground has been 100% compacted. Your base will be compromised if soil has not been compacted and will affect your tank guarantee.

    Crusher Dust/Sand

    A crusher dust/sand base is considerably cheaper than a concrete slab, but may need to be augmented over time.  Heavy rain falls can erode a crusher dust base and may cost you extra if it needs to be repaired. It’s best to use treated pine sleepers, screwed together at the ends to create a retainer for the crusher dust/sand but many other materials are appropriate.  Ensure base is compact and sturdy prior to laying down the crusher dust/sand. Base should be anywhere from 25mm to 50mm high when compacted.  Crusher dust or sand is available from any landscape material suppliers.

    Pre-Cast Concrete Slabs

    1. A series of pre-cast concrete slabs or pavers on a sealed bed of sand makes an appropriate base for a slim cylinder tank or a tank stand.***Please note that all Wall tanks must be on a concrete base for safety.
    2. Prepare a flat area for your tank. Clear an area that is 300mm wider than the diameter of your tank.
    3. Make sure the ground is 100% compacted and that there are no rocks, stumps, tree roots or anything else that could affect/damage the base of your tank and void your guarantee.
    4. Place sand on base. Put in a bed of sand (packing or river sand) about 25mm to 50mm thick. Bluestone dust is also acceptable, just ensure it is well packed down.
    5. Flat & Level. Make sure your base is flat and level so that the base of the tank is fully supported.
    6. Tank delivery. Once the tank is delivered and fitted, put either sleepers, pavers or bricks around your site and box the sand in. This is important, as it keeps your base stable and prevents the sand from washing away.

  • There are a few factors to consider when buying your first tank. You many want to consider the following:

    1. What is the tank being used for?
    2. Where will I put the tank and how much room do I have?
    3. How will I put the tank into position? (consider fences and driveway access)
    4. How much water can I catch off my roof?
    5. What is my budget?

  • Rainwater is harvested from roofs, channelled down gutters and through downpipes. These surfaces can also catch dirt, dust and insects that can be captured in your water tank through the water collection process.  Leaf strainers, gutter guards and water diverters all provide protection against dirt and dust entering your tank.

    Over a period of time, your water tank will build up sludge and muck that sits on the bottom and the walls of your water tank (especially if it has corrugated walls). There are many things which contribute to this such as:

    • wood fires (smoke can settle on your roof)
    • high tree areas (sticks and leaves can fall on your roof)
    • high traffic areas (polution from traffic can settle on your roof)
    • some new roofs (they have a clear film which eventually wears off)
    • Animals (dead possums, birds, mice etc)
    • Mosquitos (which can lay eggs and breed)
    • Eucalyptus (from over hanging trees) etc

    It is recommended that you clean out your tank regularly every 2-3 years to avoid such issues occuring.  

    Straight (smooth sided) water tanks are the easiest to clean.  How do you clean your tank?

    1. Once the tank is empty, spray down the inside of your water tank with a hose.
    2. Use a medium bristled broom to scrub down the walls. (do not use chemicals)
    3. Give the wall a final rinse and wash any muck out through the outlet.
    4. Your tank is now right to fill again.


  • Plastic, or polyethylene (poly), water tanks are now the biggest selling sector of the booming water tank market.

    Polyethyelene has been developed and tested in the market place over many years for the manufacture of upright water storage containers.

    Polyethylene cannot rot or corrode, and is UV stabilised for Australian & New Zealand conditions. It is also resistant to algae growth as a result of its formulation.

    Water tanks made from polyethylene are available in a range of sizes and designs to suit your needs and to make an attractive addition to your home.

  • There are poly tanks that have been giving loyal service storing liquids for over 30 years, however there is no definite "life" period for a poly tank.

    As with any other product you buy, its "life" will depend on how you install and maintain it, after it leaves the factory and what the service environment is like.

    Most tanks will far outlive their warranty period, however the Australian & New Zealand Standard requires a design life of 10 years.

  • Yes, they can be completely recycled.

    Polyethylene is already regularly recycled and used again in different products. The poly tank industry has shown a real concern for our environmental future by working with Auckland University on finding new ways to make it easy for tank owners to recycle their own tanks at the end of their product life.

Turf & Seed

  • Lawns help us to relax, are aesthetically pleasing and reduce glare and traffic noise. Lawns help beautify the landscape and provide a sense of community pride.


  • Lawns provide a relatively safe area for children to play and are a low cost ‘injury prevention’ surface for games and sports. They allow rainfall to replenish groundwater for trees and shrubs. They are effective in soil erosion control.


  • Firstly you must prepare the ground to a depth of 10cm remove stones and debris to make a suitable seedbed. Roll or rake the surface until a firm surface is achieved. A Starter Fertiliser can be raked into the surface before seeding.


  • For cool season grasses temperatures need to between 16 deg.C and 24 deg.C. (Southern States) For warm season grasses temperatures should be between 27 deg.C and 30 deg.C (Northern States)


  • Let the grass grow to a height of 5 to 6cm before the first cut and then only reduce the height by a third.



  • If the weather is warm and windy it may be necessary to water the seedbed 3 to 4 times a day to prevent drying


  • Oversowing will rejuvenate the lawn and improve it’s appearance. It should be done in Spring or early Autumn when temperatures are suitable.


  • For newly establishing lawns Starter Fertiliser which contains Nitrogen and extra Phosphorus is ideal for root establishment. A high analysis fertiliser for leaf and stem growth should be used after establishment.

Electrical

  • Being exposed to the weather, water damage will occur any where water can get in. Electrical tape isn’t quite water tight & over time water will creep into the circuit & create havoc & void all warranties. For this reason you should always use waterproof cable joins like heat shrinks.

Tools, Teflon & More

  • Whenever you’re connecting two threaded fittings, teflon is required. The only exception is whenever either fitting has an O-ring, in this case, do not apply teflon as it may cause the O-ring to not seal correctly. The amount of teflon you apply depends on the application. In any constant pressure applications you look at up to wrapping around the thread up to 20 times, whereas in any non-constant pressure applications, like on irrigation risers, 2 or 3 times around the thread is enough.