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Pump It Up: Moving Water The Right Way

Nick B

Pumps, or circulators, are used in hydronic systems to move water through the system at a desired rate.  There are many important factors to consider when purchasing a pump, such as GPM, head range, voltage, and horsepower.


Two Quick Terms
GPM – An acronym for “gallons per minute,” this figure indicates the maximum flow rate of water a pump can circulate at a given head range.

Head Range – This score represents the number of feet the pump can raise or lower a column of water at atmospheric pressure.


The Types of Pumps

Sump Pumps 

-Used to remove excess water from a sump pit, these pumps are most commonly found in basements prone to flooding and are available in two varieties: submersible or pedestal.  A submersible pump operates while submerged under water, while a pedestal pump is hoisted on a support and switches on only when water reaches a certain level.


-Want more?  Learn about Sump Pumps and read up on How To Maintain Them with some other posts on our blog.


Sewage Pumps 

-These pumps move solids and liquids between locations.  While they can be submerged, typically they sit in a sewage basin, which must be in the lowest area of the location in need of drainage.


Effluent Pumps 

-Used in sanitary sump drainage applications to transfer wastewater.  “Effluent” is the gray wastewater that remains after the solids settle out.  These types of pumps are commonly found in septic tanks.


Recirculating Pumps

-These pumps keep the water moving through your pipes so every time the tap is turned on hot water will be there with no delay.  This can save water, energy, and money by eliminating water wasted while waiting for it to become warm.


Pool Pumps 

-Available in two varieties, cover pumps and utility pumps, the average person is most familiar with this variety of pump.  Cover pumps remove water that rests on a pool cover while utility pumps are submerged on a flat surface to pump clear water.  These pumps are generally used for dewatering and filling.


Grinder Pumps

-Wastewater from household appliances (toilets, bathtubs, washing machines, etc.) flows through the home’s pipes into the grinder pump’s holding tank.  Once the waste inside the tank reaches a specific level, the pump will turn on, grind the waste into fine slurry, and pump it to the central sewer system.  Grinder pumps can be installed in the basement or in the yard.


Well Pumps 

-These pumps use suction and pressure to extract water from and underground source.  Out of the two variants, residential well pumps are the smaller with typically less than one horsepower of energy in order to produce the water it needs to.  Commercial well pumps are larger and are designed to contribute to supplying water for an entire community.


Irrigation Pumps 

-Used for providing water to a section of land, irrigation pumps are generally powered by electricity, but some are powered by other fuel sources.  Each option has its benefits and drawbacks when it comes to their reliability, constancy, and the amount of upkeep needed.


Utility & Drain Pump

-These pumps are small, portable electric devices designed to automatically drain an area of unwanted water.  Moving water quickly and efficiently as a temporary solution is what utility pumps are specifically designed for.


For any of these Pumps or other plumbing, heating, and HVAC products go to today!


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2 Responses to Pump It Up: Moving Water The Right Way

  1. Darrel Reinbold says:

    I’ve got issues where my sump pump becomes “overwhelmed” with water coming into the sump during certain types of rain storms, mostly when it has rained for a few days and then a heavy rain happens over a short period of time. Any suggestions? The pump works fine and has no obstructions. It is pumping approximately 50-60 gym!

    • Nick B says:

      Hi Darrel,
      So I talked with our guys here and it sounds like you have a sizing issue with your pump and the workload that it’s getting. The people at Zoeller will be able to help you figure out what to do. You can get to them at 1-800-928-7867.

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