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A Buyer’s Guide to Getting Your Hands on an Efficient Water Pump

Posted on September 01, 2016

How many pumps do you own?

The answer to such a question is not as generic as it should be. If the question was directed towards a contractor or rental store owner they might respond with an answer stating a random number like 1 or 50, or maybe, even over a 100. On the other hand an average Australian might reply none to the same question or that he or she has no clue about it. The truth is, even if you think you don’t own any water pumps, the chances are that you do, especially if you are living in an urban environment. Water pumps are among the most widely manufactured items globally and can be used in everything from washing machines and refrigerators to cars and trucks to construction sites and food-processing plants. Water pumps simplify everyday tasks and are an important factor in sustaining our lives, even though we often take them for granted.

There are umpteen types of pumps available in today’s market. Yet there is not one pump ideally suited for every application. This can make it very confusing whilst looking to shop for your water pump. Water pumps may vary significantly depending upon the purpose for which they are utilized. This makes investing in the right water pump to be a slightly tricky proposition, especially for people unfamiliar with the technical terms or unaware of the inner workings of a water pump. This buyer’s guide is meant to provide you with a basic understanding of the various types of water pumps available, and what kind of engineering they possess as well as what are the various scenarios they would be efficient in working with. This should be able to help you purchase the best product for your specific requirement.

 

What are water pumps?

Water pumps are simple devices that displace water from one point to another delivered with apposite amount of pressure to overcome the resistance it might encounter along its path, and propel it forward. Water pumps afford us with a variety of fundamental services including but not limited to activities such as delivering usable water for industries, domestic purposes or even aiding in fire fighting.

 

What are the different types of water pump designs and features?

Even though all pumps provide the same niche service of transporting water from point A till B, there are various types of pumps available in the market for the same. You might ask why, but this is because there are several diverse situations in which you might have to necessitate pumping water, and each one comes with its own set of challenges. For example, a pump used to drain your basement might not be the ideal pump for your water sprinkler machine. Low downtime, price as well as longevity and durability are important aspects you should look for while in the process of searching for a new pump to suit your needs. In general, water pumps are classified into two broad categories—Centrifugal and Positive Displacement. But, this can be further classified based on the type of mechanisms they deploy or their functionalities as follows:

 

Centrifugal Water Pumps:

These are the most common types of pumps found in use today. Also, called velocity pumps due to the functionality they are based on, these types of pumps utilize a rotating impeller in order to transport water into the pump with a pressurized ejection flow. The pump impeller rotates within the housing that creates a reduced pressure at the inlet of the pump. The rotational movements of the impeller drive the fluid to the exterior of the housing, thus mounting its pressure, and then sending the fluid out via the pump discharge. Pretty much any form of liquid can be transported via the usage of centrifugal water pumps, including liquids with low viscosity. Centrifugal Water Pumps can be further classified into two types:

 

  •  Radial Flow Pumps: These types of centrifugal pumps employ a rotating impeller that creates vacuum which can in turn move the fluid from one point to another. Nestled within the housing, this pump’s impeller rotates decreases the pressure at the inlet. This chain of action then simultaneously drives the fluid to the outside of the pump’s housing, gradually increasing the pressure enough to force it out with the discharge.
  • Axial Flow Centrifugal Pumps: Unlike the radial flow pumps that use an impeller which is more alike to the shape of a fan, axial flow centrifugal pumps uses a curved propeller-shaped impeller. These types of pumps help in the transportation of fluids by sucking in the fluids into its axis, and sending it out via the other side of the pump.

In recap, let’s note some important characteristics of the Centrifugal Water Pumps:

  • Increased power costs
  • Less pressure exerted on fluids to be pumped
  • Discharges a variable amount of fluid depending on the variable discharge pressure
  • Works better for high flow environments
  • Flow rate dependant on system pressure and is inconsistent
  • Flow rate decreases if the viscosity of the liquid is increased
  • Can run at high speeds (higher than positive displacement pumps)

Use case scenarios for Centrifugal Water Pumps:

  • Water supply for households and buildings
  • Overhead storage systems
  • Domestic water supply
  • Irrigation and agricultural purposes
  • Hot or cold water circulation
  • Wells (both, shallow or deep)
  • Fire prevention systems
  • Construction
  • Cooling engines of automotives, or in factories
  • Drainage systems
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Bilge pumping
  • Cryogenics
  • Power generation
  • FMCG industries
  • Textile and Paper pulp industries

 

Positive Displacement Pumps:

Positive displacement water pumps collect a predetermined amount of fluid before forcing the same into discharge pipelines for transportation. The main differentiating feature between a positive displacement pump and a centrifugal one is that positive displacement pumps move about fluids at the same speed irrespective of the amount of pressure being applied on the inlet. These types of pumps manage to keep the flow of the liquid uniform, due to the presence of both expanding and decreasing features entrapped in a flexible diaphragm modeled in their engineering. An important point to note here is that these types of pumps will often continue to discharge liquids in fixed volumes until the valve is closed or until the line busts and the pump ends up damaged; therefore if you do decide to opt for this type of a pump, you should check for a safety valve, that is essential for its safe functionality. Positive-displacement pumps can be further classified into three categories as follows:

 

  • Rotary Positive Displacement Pumps: These types of pumps work by drawing liquids into some type of a diaphragm that is shifted around by the rotational action of the pump from the inlet to the outlet. The gaps between these moving parts are typically small, and thus, the pump speed in general must be kept comparatively slow. Operating these pumps at high speeds might lead to erosion caused by the fluids that can further complicate by permitting the skidding off of liquids, which in turn decreases the overall efficiency of the pump. Rotary pumps can be further classified into types such as:
  • Gear Pumps: Gear pumps are made up of typical gears that have teeth, which rotate in opposite directions, so that they can pull the fluid into the gaps that appear between the gear teeth and the pump casing, until the fluid is finally discharged. Uniform fluid flows are easier to maintain by smaller teeth, whilst larger teeth might result in a more erratic fluid flow pattern.
  • Lobe Pumps: Although, principally the same as a gear pump, lobe pumps employ a lesser number of bigger lobes instead of gears. Here the liquid is transported through the pump in gaps between the lobes and the pump casing.
  • Screw Pumps: These come fixed with two screws that turn in opposite directions—one turning clockwise and the other anti-clockwise. These screws are set firmly on parallel shafts that have interlocked gears. As the shafts rotate, the liquid is drawn from the pump due to the turning movement of the screws. The gaps between the moving components of the pump are traditionally kept quite small.
  • Peristaltic Pumps: This type of a pump uses a rotor with lobes that compresses the tubing against the inside of a cylinder as it rotates. This mechanism helps in drawing the fluid through the tube.
  • Reciprocating Positive Displacement Pumps: Often also referred to as piston pumps, reciprocating positive displacement pumps are used by numerous vacuum pumps. The pump essentially comprises of a cylinder and piston with two one way valves, one of which is situated at the inlet and the other one at the outlet chamber of the pump. As the piston moves creating suction at its end tip, the discharge one-way valve is closed and the inlet valve is opened due to the resulting formation of suction inside the cylinder. At this point, the piston is poised to reverse its direction and proceeds with the discharge stroke. The inlet valve is then closed shut and the outgoing valve opened so as to allow the fluid being pushed out to discharge from the discharging port of the pump.
  • Diaphragm Positive Displacement Pumps: Typically, in a diaphragm positive displacement pump, a liquid is suctioned into the diaphragm as it is pulled back and then forced back out when the diaphragm is pressed forward. One-way inlet and outlet valves back the reciprocating motion of the diaphragm and it may be caused by a camshaft and piston, or due to compressed air. One interesting point about this type of water pump is that the liquid being pumped is completely separated from the drive mechanism, and thus it reduces the chances of leakage vastly.

Some important characteristics of the Positive Displacement Pumps are:

  • Decreased power costs
  • Can self-prime
  • More pressure exerted on fluids to be pumped
  • Discharges a uniform amount of fluid
  • Ideal for low flow environments
  • Flow rate is not dependant on system pressure and is consistent
  • Flow rate increases if the viscosity of the liquid is increased
  • Can run at high speeds (higher than positive displacement pumps)
  • Displays a greater tolerance for entrained gases
  • Provides a higher efficiency in terms of volume, as PD pumps are generally used in tandem with high viscosity liquids

Use case scenarios for Positive Displacement Pumps:

  • Metered applications
  • FMCG industries
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Hazardous chemical industries
  • Fuel boosting pumping applications
  • Textile and Paper pulp industries
  • Lubricating applications
  • Manufacturing industrial work
  • Diesel handling and distribution

 

What are some of the water pump specifications to lookout for before buying?

Now that you have had time to read about the various types of water pumps available and the mechanics they deploy. You have also learnt about the various use-case scenarios that might increase the efficiency of a certain kind of pump. Depending upon the type of function you to perform, here are some of the considerations you should keep in mind as you go to buy your water pump are:

Power:

  • Flow rate is critical for any job you want to accomplish by your pump. You need to evaluate the ideal flow rate required for your type of work. Also, the amount of horsepower you need to accomplish that flow rate is important.

Material:

  • If you plan of placing a pump in an outside environment, where it will be exposed to the elements, you should opt for a ‘weather-resistant’ material that can limit the environmental damages.

Type of Motor:

  • Water pumps come in various incarnations, and you can have your pick from diesel, gas, and power, hydraulic or manual motors to power your pump.

Discharge Head:

  • Discharge head is the maximum height reached by the pipe after the pump. This is important in deciphering how much power will be required by the pump to accomplish a specific job. Knowing which application the pump is likely to be used for also helps.

 

What are the various types of pumps based on functionality?

There are 4 primary types of water pump classifications based on the types of work they are expected to perform—sump, sewage, well, and utility pumps. They are further be classified as follows:

Sump Pumps:

Sump pumps are water pumps deployed to pump clean water from a sump space that is usually located in a basement or a hollow depression where water may collect. These pumps are often the best defense against flooding as they feature high levels of automation and works on its own when the water level gets too high. Sump pumps have been used widely in tackling disasters like flooding caused by natural calamities or busted water pipes. Sump pumps are a practical household item that most property owners consider having in order to protect their homes from water damage or mold.

Some common types of sump pumps are:

  • Pedestal: In this type of pump, the motor is kept open and the device is installed above water level. Its key characteristics include being hugely economical with a lifespan of around 25-30 years, and are easy to repair at low costs. Although, you should remember the open motor can be exposed to dust and debris from time to time, and some of its other drawbacks include being noisy, and inability to be submerged.
  • Submersible: This type of pump showcases a motor that is sealed and the device can be installed below water level. Its sealed design protects the pump against dust and moisture, it can function when submerged, and is known to have a lifespan of 5-15 years. Although they are less obtrusive and are generally deemed safer for usage in a household with children, they might often require a lump sum investment upfront. 

Sewage Pumps:

These are pumps designed to pump liquids as well as semi-solids from a sewage basin for removal. The longer the distance the waste is to be pumped, the more power the pump needs to harbor. Sewage pumps can pump water or liquids containing solid matters up to 2 inches in diameter. These are most commonly used to move waste from toilets to a septic tank or sewer.

Well Pumps:

These types of pumps help in the transportation of water from underground sources (or wells) to your home, office, etc. Some different types of well pumps are:

  • Shallow Well Jet Pump: This type of pump sits above the ground and draws water through one inlet pipe, and possesses a one-way check valve to keep the pump primed. They are considered ideal for usage in depths of water up to 25 feet or less.
  • Deep Well Jet Pump: This type of pump sits above ground and draws water by the help of one pipe and drives water out through another. They require a foot valve in order to prime the pump, and may comprise of a tailpipe to make sure that the well is never pumped out. They are ideal for usage in depths of water ranging from 25-110 feet.
  • Deep Well Submersible Pump: This type of pump features a single pipe coming up from the inside of the well that connects to a pressure tank. They have 2 types—2-wire pumps that possess built-in controls, and 3-wire pumps that necessitate a separate control box. One potential drawback of this type of pump is that they need to be pulled out from their well casing in case of repairs. They are ideal for usage in depths of water ranging from 25-400 feet.

Utility Pumps:

These types of pumps are used for short-term functions or in case of emergencies. Utility pumps are often portable with manual functionalities and can be used for various chores like to drain blocked sinks or bathtubs, drain waterbeds or aquariums, pump water out of a flooded basement, or pumping furnace pits and window wells. Utility pumps can have manifold usage applications involving almost any type of liquids but it cannot pump out solids. The different types of utility pumps are as follows:

  • Submersible: In this type of pump, the motor is placed inside a water tight chamber that allows the pump to be fully immersed in liquid. Submersible utility pumps can have power ranges between 1/6-1/4 horsepower, and you can pick between manual or semi-automatic varieties. The manual mechanism pumps turn on when plugged in, while the semi-automatic devices turn on when plugged in and sense water periodically for motor draw.
  • Pool Cover: This is a specific type of submersible water pump specifically designed to remove water from your pool cover. Its key characteristics include choice between manual or semi- automatic activation, and are often attached with a long cord. Some types of pumps also come equipped with leaf screens.
  • Transfer: This type of utility pump transfers water from one location to another via hoses, and is available in an assortment of sizes and power. Transfer pumps are not submersible. Transfer pumps, also sometimes referred to as booster pumps can increase water pressure where low or inadequate pressure is a concern that makes it ideal for car washing or sprinkler usage.
  • HVAC Condensate: This is a type of non-submersible pump that are available as manual or automatic devices, and are used to get rid of accumulated condensation from gas or air conditioning units.

 

Some other types of Water Pumps:

Other than the 4 primary types of pumps mentioned above, here are some other commonly found types of water pumps:

Sprinkler Pumps:

  • Much like the name suggests, these types of pumps draw water from various sources to power your sprinkler systems.

Fountain Pumps:

  • Fountain pumps are a specific type of pump that is used to power water flow and circulation for decorative pieces like fountains or waterfalls.

Pool Pumps:

  • Pool pumps circulate water through a swimming pool, and perform additional functions like filtering of debris, and keeping the water clear of contaminants.

Hot Water Recirculation Pump:

 

What are the some of the various power sources used by water pumps?

Before you go out to buy a water pump, you should be looking to gain a basic grasp of the various types of power sources that can fuel water pumps. It is important to note that investing in your pump may also be limited by the type of power available, and hence it should factor into your decision making process. Here are some of the types of power sources used by water pumps:

Fossil Fuels or Crude Oils:

  • Crude oils like petrol or diesel are comparatively inexpensive and thus within the means of an average homeowner, and have hence grown in popularity. These pumps can quickly transfer high volumes of water. As these pumps are powered by a fuel source they are deemed to be portable and do not require an outlet to power itself. Often times, these types of pumps are sprung into action via a recoil chord (similar to the ones on your lawnmower) till the engine is primed for pumping water, although some models might come with an electronic start button. However, you should remember that these types of pumps are also prone to carbon emissions and thus, must be used outdoors or in open spaces.

Electricity:

  • Electric Water Pumps are the most common type of pump used for smaller indoor requirements. Designed for the typical do-it-yourself demographic to accomplish smaller domestic tasks, these types of pumps are often less powerful and entail less maintenance over petrol or diesel powered pumps as it eliminates the hassle of changing oil and so on. Most electric powered water pumps can be plugged into a standard household mains power or a 12-volt power source, and are ideal for caravan pumps, rain water tank pumps, garden pumps, etc. They are however, always require to be connected to a power source in order to function, and are not ideal for work in areas where there are no available power or electricity sources, deeming them virtually unusable for farming or rural applications.

Renewable Energy:

  • With the effects of global warming spreading far and wide, newer water pump varieties that showcase a renewable energy source to power themselves are popping out. Although, not as popular as the other two types of power sources, renewable energies like solar or wind powered water pumps might be in for a surge in the near future.  

 

What are some of the common mistakes made while purchasing a water pump?

  • One of the most common mistakes consumers make whilst setting out to buy a water pump is over-emphasizing on horsepower or wattage. Many think that they determine how powerful the flow or the pressure will be, but in fact is a wrong assumption. Power ratings on a pump only indicate how much electricity is likely to be used by a pump when in use, and has no real connection with water flow or water pressure. Pumps come equipped with customized impellors, diffusers, or jets, depending upon its usage and that affects its flows and pressures greatly, not the horsepower or wattage. Indeed, an inferior pump might use more wattage to achieve a similar flow.
  • Be aware of the maximum pressure your pump will do. Virtually every pump comes with a flow chart depending on its head and this will help you gauge your requirements. But, you should be careful about exaggerated numbers printed, and should cross-check from multiple sources or user reviews.
  • Another important constraint in choosing a water pump is the level corrosion resistance they possess. Many sellers dubiously name their pump shafts stainless steel when in reality they are just anti-corrosion, anti-rust or 45 steel variants. In order to adjudge a pump properly, you should understand the differences between them.

 

In conclusion, what type of water pump should you buy?

The answer to the question, what type of water pump you should buy is not a straight forward one. In essence, the question poses a similar challenge as when asking someone, what kind of a dog they should adopt. It is a matter of personal preference. There are an enormous variety of water pumps available for purchase, and various pumps can provide the same functionality via different methodologies. What you need to consider is your budget, your need, the sort of environment you might use the pump in and your long-term plans for the pump. Once you have gauged your requirements, you could opt for a specific type of pump that will best fulfill your needs efficiently. Hopefully, this buying guide will have allowed you to do just that.

In addition, if you are looking to make a pump purchase online, During Days provides an impressive array of various types of water pumps that can meet your requirements and will allow you to buy the best product online at an attractive price. Happy Shopping!

If you need any other assistance before you buy a water pump or want to enquire about which pump best suits your needs, feel free to contact us at contact@duringdays.com. You can let us know your queries and one of our team members will get in touch with you within the as soon as possible. We are the leading suppliers of the best quality water pumps across Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Victoria, and other prime localities. You can also avail some of the best deals and discounts we frequently offer our customers, to get your hands on some top-notch affordable water pumps on the cheap.

Please share your thoughts about this article in the comments section below. Also, please feel free to add any other information or ideas on the topic you may have.

 

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