Sep 14

Inspector Pumphead’s Classroom: Training with A.Y. McDonald

Pump Products recently held a training seminar and Q&A session with Michael, the Northeast territory manager representing A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. This training session was just one of a number of such sessions designed to familiarize Pump Products application engineers and marketing staff with a manufacturer’s products, processes and customer service capabilities. Pump Products employees will in turn be able to better communicate about those products to customers.

Cutaway of an A.Y. McDonald submersible well pump, now on display at our front counter

The talk centered specifically on A.Y. McDonald’s versatile and well-built submersible well pump line. The strength of A.Y. McDonald well pumps lies in their quality construction; all pump ends are made and manufactured in the United States. The target market for these well pumps is the discerning consumer who is willing to pay for quality manufacturing. While A.Y. McDonald has experimented with imported pump ends in the past, according to Michael, the company has rededicated itself to domestic manufacturing centered in its factory in Dubuque, IA.

Application engineer Nick examines the submersible well pump

Keeping design and manufacture in-house allows the company to have “wonderful customer service,” according to Michael.

“It’s a very tight knit and family-oriented group,” he said.

The focus on customer service is particularly important for A.Y. McDonald because it is a “boutique” manufacturer. That focus extends to shipment (A.Y. McDonald can drop ship directly from the factory) and to the warranty process. Most pumps carry a one year warranty, but extended warranties up to three and five years are also available. Michael estimated that he fields about one warranty request per month.

Michael lectures the gang

The group also talked about A.Y. McDonald’s vaunted SludgeMaster pump. Commonly used to get radon out of water cisterns, the SludgeMaster is powered by an air compressor and can evacuate mud, gunk, leaves, twigs and other waste from a system. While it can’t run on pure solids – the pumping medium should be about 70% liquid – the SludgeMaster is still a heavy duty pump. It has been described as an “animal” or “beast.”

Some A.Y. McDonald literature

All in all, it was an enlightening and invigorating training session that strengthened the partnership between Pump Products and A.Y McDonald and has better equipped Pump Products to better serve the customer needs.

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.

Sep 08

Inspector Pumphead’s FAQ: What Is The Difference Between A Sewage Pump & A Grinder Pump?

Welcome to Inspector Pumphead’s Frequently Asked Questions! I will be answering some of the most common questions we get on a specific topic. Some of this information may also be available elsewhere, but this feature will serve as a convenient one-stop source. In this edition, I’ll talk about sewage pumps and grinder pumps.

First, watch the video explanation below:


Are sewage pumps and grinder pumps the same thing?

Sewage and grinder pumps are indeed related but are different in its construction and use. The idea that they are the same is a common misconception because many people will often use both terms interchangeably to refer to a basement pump that moves sewage water out of a building.

This is where taxonomy becomes important: all grinder pumps are sewage pumps, but not all sewage pumps are grinder pumps. Much like the old quadrilateral adage (“all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares”), this aptly describes a relationship where one (sewage) is general and the other (grinder) is specialized. The key fact is that both pumps are built to move sewage when the sewage line is above the point of collection (such as with a basement toilet).

So what’s the difference between these two kinds of pumps?

Inspector Pumphead is ready to answer your questions

The difference between the two is the type and size of the solids that can pass through the pump. Sewage pumps can pass up to 2” waste solids. “Waste solids” in this instance generally refers to human waste (gross) or other ‘soft’ solids that can easily be broken down or dissolved. Harder and thicker solids will clog and eventually damage the pump.

Grinder pumps incorporate a cutter or cutting mechanism that macerates (grinds/chops) the solids into a fine slurry to be exported. The fine slurry can be pumped higher than the solids from the sewage ejector pumps.

So should I just get a grinder pump for my house if I’m worried about clogging and waste solids?

Grinders are more expensive, require more power and are typically built for commercial and/or light industrial applications where a system might be strained by trying to process solids. Think motels or any place where a lot of people will use the system everyday without caring about what they flush. I’m talking about diapers, plastic, wipes, gloves, etc. So unless something very strange is going on at your house, you probably won’t need a grinder.

Sewage pumps are less expensive and more suitable for domestic and/or light commercial applications. Still, if you really want a grinder for more domestic applications, Liberty makes the PRG ProVore/Omnivore grinder pump series for just such a purpose.

So if I do have a grinder, can I just throw any old thing down there without worry?

Not exactly. While grinders are well equipped to macerate solids, they are not impervious to wear and tear over time. If things that should not be flushed down the toilet keep getting flushed down there, eventually, yes, even a grinder pump will suffer damage and have to be replaced. That is why you should do everything possible to make sure that people – whether they be employees, guests, tenants – do not abuse your system. As I always say, preventative care is the best way to ensure that your equipment keeps operating in good health for a long time.

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

 

Aug 17

Inspector Pumphead’s Classroom : How to Attach a Float Switch to a Pump

Welcome to an exciting edition of Inspector Pumphead’s Classroom! In this feature, we’ll be talking about various small, simple pump “How-To’s” that any homeowner or facilities manager can tackle. Next up: how to attach a float switch.

In the video below, Pump Products application engineer Nick, who I have personally trained, will walk you through the process, using the Goulds LSP0311ATF and Goulds STS21V submersible sump pumps as examples:

If you prefer a written guide, read on.

First, what is a float switch? If you’re browsing this site, chances are you already know, but briefly: a float switch is simply a mechanism that activates a pump when water within the pumping systems enclosed area (pit, basin, etc.) reaches a certain level. A chamber or compartment contains the actual switching mechanism when it is pushed up by water.

There are a wide variety of different switch types. Perhaps the two most common are vertical float switches and tethered style piggyback float switches.

With a vertical switch, a thin plastic stem runs through the center of the switch compartment. The stem is attached parallel to the vertical axis of the pump. Water rises, the switch compartment moves up the plastic stem.

Goulds LSP0311ATF pump with piggyback tethered style switch

Tethered switches have the compartment attached to a flexible cord, which hangs parallel to the vertical axis of the pump. When the water level rises, the tethered compartment “swings” upward, activating the switch mechanism. Keep in mind that tethered switches require room to swing, so if you have a small or narrow basin, a vertical switch might better serve your needs.

How to Attach

The principles are the same for either a vertical or tethered style float switch, just keep in mind that a tethered switch will need more space to swing up.

First, make sure that you have all your materials. If you buy an automatic pump, a circular clamp mechanism should come with your package. The only tool you’ll need is a screwdriver.

Next, you need to attach the clamp to the float itself. Vertical float switches should have a mounting bracket that connects to the clamp. For a tethered switch, you can slide the cord between a tight snap clip. Put clamp and switch together.

Next, find a good level to attach the switch – it should be higher up on the discharge pipe. Remember, that submersible pumps need to be engulfed in water, which acts as a coolant for the motor.

Goulds STS21V pump with a vertical switch

The clamp should wrap around the cylindrical discharge pipe and rest loosely. Tighten with your screwdriver and voila – your switch is attached. It’s simple and easy. For a piggyback float, you can plug it into the back of your pump’s power cord. As the name suggests, the switch will “piggyback” off of the pump’s current.

As I said in a previous FAQ blog, our application engineers usually recommend buying a pump with a piggyback float (when available) because it grants the user a high degree of control. When attached, the float will “piggyback” of the power cord’s current and activate when the water reaches a certain level, but you can also detach the float and run the pump manually. It’s also a good option as a replacement float because of the ease of installation.

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.

Aug 14

Inspector Pumphead’s FAQs: The Difference Between Manual vs. Automatic Sewage Pumps

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, I’m glad you could attend, come inside, come inside: it’s Inspector Pumphead’s Frequently Asked Questions! In this feature, I will be answering some of the most common questions we get on a specific topic. Some of this information may be available elsewhere on our site, but hopefully the FAQ category will act as a convenient one-stop source. 

In this edition, I’ll discuss the difference between manual and automatic pumps and give you a little information about our discounts.

Q: What does it mean when you say a pump is ‘manual?’ Does that mean I have to work the pump by hand?

A: Nope! It simply means that the pump has to be manually plugged in every time you want the pump to run. There is no mechanism to start the pump automatically.

Conversely, automatic pumps feature a mechanism that will start the pump in certain conditions, typically a float switch. There are a variety of different types of switches, but probably the easiest way to help you visualize it is with a tethered switch. When the water level in a pit or basin rises, the tethered float will “swing” upward and activate the switch, which in turn activates the pump.

Float switches can be purchased separately and attached to manual pumps.

Q: Okay, quick followup: when is it better to have a manual pump or vice versa?

A: It’s really just a matter of control: if you want to know exactly when your pump runs, how long it runs, how much water it pumps, etc. then you should buy a manual pump. If you’d rather just set up your pump system and let the amount of  water determine its operation, buy an automatic pump. Generally speaking, our application engineers recommend getting an automatic pump with a piggyback float – you can always detach the float and run the pump manually if you so desire.

Keep in mind that manual pumps also need to be hardwired directly into a control panel.

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.

Aug 03

Inspector Pumphead’s Quick Tips: Check Your Pump Discharge Piping

Here’s another edition of everyone’s favorite semi-recurring content feature: Inspector Pumphead’s Quick Tips!

Inspector Pumphead wants you to check your pipes!

In this space, I, Inspector Pumphead from Pump Products, will be sending out friendly reminders and dispensing basic tips for ordering, maintaining and servicing pumps. The Inspector is in and here to help!

Tip: Check your discharge outlet before buying a new pump.

Recently, a friend of mine had to replace his sump pump. He noticed that the pump was not evacuating water out of the basin at the same rate as it previously did – and the sump pump was over five years old at the time, so it was no big deal to get a new one. Unfortunately, once he installed the new pump, he found that the new pump wasn’t moving any more water than the previous pump did.

“Inspector this pump is defective!”, my friend said. So he bought another brand new pump – and the same exact thing happened! The problem was actually with his pipes. The discharge line was clogged with dirt and sediment. My friend will keep one of the pumps as a backup, but he still spent money that he didn’t need to spend. The moral of this story is that sometimes the problem isn’t with your pump, it’s with something else in your system. Be sure to examine all aspects of your system before making major changes!

Pump Products applications engineers are standing by to help you find the right pump, as well as to provide price quotes, availability and shipping information. 

Jul 27

Inspector Pumphead’s FAQ: Should I Increase My Pumps Horsepower?

Inspector Pumphead has the answer

Welcome to Inspector Pumphead’s Frequently Asked Questions! In this feature, I will be answering some of the most common questions we get on a specific topic. Some of this information may be available elsewhere on our site, but hopefully the FAQ category will act as a convenient one-stop source.

In this edition, I’ll discuss whether it’s a good idea to increase your pumps horsepower for an existing system.

Q: Should I get a more powerful pump (in terms of HP) than my old one?

Customers looking to replace a pump are often looking for an upgrade. It’s perfectly natural and could apply to virtually any other consumer driven field. People don’t want to settle for the old thing, they want newer, bigger, flasher.

When it comes to pumps, “upgrading” could mean a variety of different changes. One of the most frequent requests we get from people looking to change is for a higher horsepower pump. Many have the conception that more power is always a good thing or that increased HP will lead to more pressure. While this can sometimes work out, upping the horsepower can often lead to damage to your pump or system.

Increased motor power can lead to the pump running “dry.” That means evacuating the water in a pit/basin at an unsustainable rate, to the extent that the basin is emptied before it can be replenished. That leaves your pump essentially sucking on air. Water acts as both a coolant and lubricating agent. When a pump runs dry it can overheat causing the internal components to damage or spark due to friction.

Of course, there are pumps that can be run dry intermittently, such as the Goulds WS_D3 sewage pumps. But my larger point is about proper sizing, which is something we here at Pump Products emphasize often. Knowing your system, your application and all the precise requirements will ensure you get the right pump for your application and that the pumps runs to its most efficient possible use. Bigger is not always better.

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

Jul 14

Inspector Pumphead’s Classroom: Graywater vs. Sewage Water

Inspector Pumphead is lecturing on wastewater

Welcome to Inspector Pumphead’s Classroom! In this series, I will discuss various aspects of pumps, pumping technology and the pump industry. I’m here to school you on pumps. So pull up a chair, open up your notebook and grab a pen – it’s time for class!

Wastewater

Graywater or effluent is “used” water that does not touch any urine or fecal matter. Most of the water fixtures in your home will produce graywater. Sinks, washing machines, laundry discharge, shower water – all of that is considered graywater. Different pump types are capable of handling graywater and the solids therein; in a general sense, effluent pumps, sump pumps and dewatering pumps are capable of handling graywater. While we always recommend that you purchase a pump matched specifically to your application, there is some crossover. A good example is the Zoeller 53-0001 Mighty Mate which is listed as an effluent pump but can also be used for general dewatering applications.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that effluent pumps are capable of handling up to ¾” solids.  This is good because things such as soap scum, oil, grease, laundry detergent residue and other particulates often accumulate in the wide variety of water fixtures that produce graywater.

Sewage, by contrast is typically only produced in toilets, at least at the residential level. Sewage is defined as any used water which is touched by human waste like urine and fecal matter. Unlike graywater, which is recycled through usable systems, sewage water is exported for treatment. This exported sewage can go to either a septic tank or a city sewer line. 

As would be expected, you need a sewage pump to pump sewage out of your home or building if you do not have a gravity line. Sewage pumps are built to handle and transport 2” diameter waste solids. Grinder pumps are a subcategory of sewage pumps equipped with a cutting system that chops waste solids into a fine slurry for higher head export. Unlike the crossover effect with effluent pumps,sewage and grinder pumps should really only be used for sewage water.

So if you didn’t know before, you now know the difference between graywater and sewage water and what type of pump you need for each. Knowing is half the battle – that’s the promise of Inspector Pumphead’s classroom baby!

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

Jul 13

Inspector Pumphead Recommends: Top 5 Best Selling Pumps!

Summer is here and I, Inspector Pumphead, sincerely hope that you are enjoying it. Whether you prefer going to the beach, taking a family trip or catching a baseball game, summer is a great time to get outdoors and get out of your routine. What are your favorite summer activities? Let us know in the comments!

Inspector Pumphead recommends these five pumps!

As for me, I think you all know what I love most about summer: pumps! Of course, pumps are my favorite thing about any season, but I digress. Reliability and performance are a must for any pump, especially if you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time. That’s why I’ve decided to put together this list of our top five bestselling pumps of the summer, to help you find the right product so you can take that summer vacation with no worries.

You will read about our best selling pumps such as, grinder pumps to turn your sewage into a fine slurry for export, our best irrigator pump for lawn sprinkling/general irrigation and a convenient best selling pump for wet bars.  The gang’s all here, so dive into this list and find the right bestseller for your application.

I’ve also created a highlight video using VideoScribe! Check it out here:


The Top Five

Zoeller 202-1000 (Grinder Pump)

Zoeller 202-1000

The Zoeller Qwik Jon 202 Ultima pump is one of the most popular sewage system grinders on the market. The package includes the grinder pump itself and a container tank in a pre-assembled configuration. It is compact and easy to install – a perfect mini-system for isolated or outdoor areas such as basements, cabins, workshops, garages, pool houses, etc.

Liberty LSG202M

Liberty LSG202M (Grinder Pump)

The Liberty LSG202M is a manual pump and part of Liberty’s famous “Omnivore” series of grinder pump. It features Liberty’s famous “V-Slice” cutting technology to provide up to 108 alternate cuts per revolution, reducing waste solids to a fine slurry for higher head export. Solids such as tissues, plastic wipes and thin rags are easily cut down by the powerful cutter.

Goulds GT15

Goulds GT15 (Centrifugal Pump)

 

The Goulds GT15 is one of the company’s famous IRRI-GATOR pump. It’s perfect for lawn-sprinkling applications, so it’s no surprise this is our best selling irrigation pump of summer. The GT15 can also be used for general irrigation, water transfer and dewatering applications. The pump is self-priming up to 25 feet and features an easily-serviced back pullout design.

Myers MUSP125

Myers MUSP125 (Utility Sink Pump)

The Myers MUSP125 is a versatile drain pump built for wet bars, laundry sinks and utility sinks. It is compact, lightweight and easy to both install and service. For more detailed information on this pump, click here.

Zoeller 53-0001

Zoeller 53-0001 (Effluent Pump)

And here we have our number one seller, one of the ‘mightiest’ pumps in our catalog, the Zoeller 53-0001 Mighty Mate.  This pump is truly “The King of Pumps” at least so far this summer. The 53-0001 is a basic cast iron dewatering pump and is popular for its simplicity, reliability and effective performance. It is designed primarily for residential and light commercial usage.

So there you have it, our top five pumps! Call us now at 1-800-429-0800 to discuss these bestsellers or other products with one of our highly-trained application engineers.  You can also visit us at Pumpproducts.com for all your pump and part needs!

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

Jul 11

Inspector Pumphead’s Quick Tips: Pullout Design for Goulds Irrigator Pumps

Inspector Pumphead has a tip for you!

Here’s another edition of everyone’s favorite sem-recurring content feature: Inspector Pumphead’s Quick Tips!

In this space, I, Inspector Pumphead from Pump Products, will be sending out friendly reminders and dispensing basic tips for ordering, maintaining and servicing pumps. The Inspector is in and here to help!

Tip: Pumps with a back pullout design are easier to clean, service and repair.

You may have noticed that some of our centrifugal pumps, such as the Goulds IRRI-GATOR, are listed as having a “back pullout” or “pullout design.” This simply means that the rotating assembly of the pump can be pulled out of the volute or pump casing without disturbing the piping. As noted above, this makes cleaning those areas of the pump (including parts such as bearings, shaft seals, etc.) much easier. Quick disassembly can also be beneficial if you need to perform any maintenance. This can save you a lot of time, money and headaches.

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