5 Things to Know Before Buying a Pump

For the last 10 years, your sump pump has been steadily working and soldiering on in your basement. But the day has finally come. It’s outlasted your kid graduating high school and your pet gold fish but at last, Father Time has taken his toll. As sad as this may be (even more sad than that scene in the Lion King), there’s a silver lining to all this. It’s time for a shiny new pump to come in and take over.

Here at PumpProducts.com, we hear this sad tale every day but that’s why we have experts standing by, ready to help you pick out a suitable replacement. Selecting the right replacement pump can truly be a daunting task. Numerous classifications and scores of different models all built to different specifications and applications can leave some people overwhelmed. That’s why our experts are here to help. Below you will find five general things to know before you pick out a new pump including some questions our experts might even ask.

Before buying a pump - Blog 1
Taco Circulator Pump

What Are You Pumping?

The first and perhaps most obvious thing to keep in mind when selecting a new pump is of course knowing what you need to pump. Having a pump that is not suited for a certain type of fluid can lead to corrosion or unnecessary wear and tear. There are pumps designed to pump all sorts of materials including oil and chemicals while others can only pump water. Some pumps can also handle solids such as slurry and waste while others are designed to only handle liquid. Knowing if you require a pump that is designed to handle certain fluids and solids is essential.

Where Are You Pumping?

This may also seem obvious at first but knowing where you’re pumping is also important. If you need a transfer pump to move water from your pool cover, you need a compact and mobile pump that has a garden hose adapter (like the Liberty 331). The location of your application and pump accessory requirements may be a factor in determining what pump you need. Some pumps are submersible, meaning they can operate submerged in water, while others can be irrevocably damaged if water gets into motor components. If a pump is going to be stationary, you may even need to purchase a basin. A pump’s surroundings can help determine how long its service life lasts. Also make sure the power cord on your pump is a suitable length for your application.

Flow Rate

Understanding flow rate can perhaps be the single most important factor when selecting the right pump for your application. Flow rate is the rate you want to transfer fluid at and basically determines the overall effectiveness of a pump. Flow rate is generally measured in gallons per minute (GPM). A larger flow rate means a larger pump size is needed.

Inlet Size

Pump inlet sizes can vary but are typically between 1-6 inches. Centrifugal pumps work by sucking water in through an inlet and discharging the water through an outlet valve. Larger inlet sizes allow for larger amounts of water to be pumped out faster.

Head & Pressure

“Head” refers to the longest distance in terms of height a pump is able to pump water before gravity takes over. If you try to pump water higher than a pump’s maximum head, the flow rate will be zero. It can be beneficial to select a pump that has a maximum head greater than the head needed for your application.

Before buying a pump - Blog 2
Berkeley Centrifugal Pump

Selecting a pump can be challenging. If you have any doubts of this, just check out our extensive pump catalog and scroll through the myriad of pumps we offer. If you need any help, give our experts a call and let them do the work for you!

Pump Products application engineers are standing by to help you find the right pump, as well as to provide price quotes, stocking availability and shipping information. Call our toll free number 1-800-429-0800 to speak to an expert today.