Guide written by:
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter
All types of pump serve the same basic purpose: to move water from point A to point B. Point A might be a river, a basement or a well, and point B can be a garden, a septic tank or a house.The water is either sucked indirectly by the pump (in the case of submersible pumps) or via a suction pipe (in the case of surface pumps). The pumped water is then evacuated via a discharge pipe.All pumps incorporate a motor with a rotor which drives one or more impellers which work to draw in and then discharge the water.The power, pressure and flow rate are proportional to one another and must be chosen based on the pumping requirements.Depending on the type of pump and the above-mentioned characteristics, the pump may be powered by electricity (single-phase or three-phase) or petrol (2-stroke or 4-stroke engine).
Possible uses of surface pumps Possible uses of submersible pumps
The type of pump you need will vary depending on what you want the pump to do; for example, to pump water from a well, drain a flooded basement or supply rainwater to different points around your home.
In order to drain a flooded basement, a swimming pool or a septic tank, you'll need a submersible pump.
These pumps are made to be submerged in water and most models can be used for pumping grey water. If you're looking to pump water from a well that is over 7 metres deep, you'll need a submersible pump (check the maximum depth). With this type of pump, only the discharge pipe and the power supply cable are visible above the surface. Certain models have particularly narrow diameters, meaning they can even be used in deep boreholes.
A surface pump can be used to pump water from a wellup to 7 metres deep, or to pump water from a rainwater collection tank or a river. As its name implies, this type of pump is installed above the surface and the water is drawn up by a suction hose.The pumped water can then be used to water the garden or to supply household appliances or toilets.
If you are suffering from low water pressurein your home due to inefficient distribution, or want to regulate and/or increase the pressure of a submersible pump or a surface pump, you can install a booster or even a pressure tank in order to increase efficiency and durability, and to save money.
If you need a solution for collecting rainwater and waste waterbecause you are too far from the mains drainage system– or because your house is below the level of the sewage network – then a lifting station is the answer.A lifting station consists of one or more dirty water pumps and a storage tank. It can be installed underground.
Engine-driven pumps are ideal for pumping/draining substantial quantities of water for extended periods of time.These pumps have combustion engines which run on either diesel or petrol (2-strokeor 4-stroke). The exact characteristics to look for depend on how you intend to use the pump.
The flow rate tells you how much water can be pumped over a given period of time. It is expressed as a number of litres per minute (l/min) or a number of cubic metres per hour (m3/h). 6 m3/h corresponds to 100 l/min.
Pressure is expressed in bars and measures the force with which the water is pumped. However, it is important to remember that flow rate and pressure are proportional to one another: the smaller the cross-section of the pipe, the higher the pressure, regardless of flow rate. Pressure can also be indicated as a number of metres of water column (mWC), where 10 mWC= 1 bar.
The discharge head (or static height) is the maximum height reached by the discharge pipe after the pump (it may help to picture a sloped surface).The discharge head is given as a number of metres.
The suction head (or static lift) defines the depth of water which can be pumped by a surface or a submersible pump.
The total head or Total Dynamic Head (TDH) is the sum of the discharge head and the suction head, minus friction losses (pressure losses due to the length of the pipes, bends, etc.).
It is important to carry out a thorough analysis of the water quality, because each pump/motor is designed to handle specific types of water and can become damaged if used for the wrong type. Water quality is classified as one of three distinct types based on the size of particles it contains:
The design and materials of a pump are determining factors when it comes to ensuring reliable and long-lasting operation. When assessing the quality of a pump, you should consider the materials used for the pump housing, the engine casing, the shaft, the impeller and all of the other fittings.
Pumps can be single-stage or multi-stage.Single-stage models have one impeller which sucks up and pumps the water; multi-stage models have several impellers.The advantage of a multi-stage pump is that the water pressure is progressively increased by each impeller. Multi-stage pumps offer greater hydraulic efficiency and are more cost-efficient and robust. Due to how they operate, these pumps are referred to as centrifugal pumps: the high-speed rotation of the impeller sucks in the liquid.
Different models have different levels of power, depending on the specific characteristics. Some require a single-phase power supply, others require a three-phase power supply.
In terms of practical features, some pumps are self-priming (for easier start-up). Some models also have a water-level detection mechanism which switches off the pump when there is no water supply.Depending on how and where you want to install your pump, you may also want to consider the number of decibels (dB) it generates (not applicable for submersible pumps).
Guide written by:
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 248 guides
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