Sep 12

Should I Turn My Pond Pump Off for the Winter?

Nothing quite beats sitting by a backyard pond, sipping a drink, surrounded by the sounds of cascading water from a miniature waterfall and fish slapping their tails against a gentle tide. All good things must come to an end however. As time rolls on, leaves start to carpet the ground and a chill begins to permeate the air. As someone from that show about zombies and dragons would say, winter is coming. It’s that time again; time to start thinking about maintenance to your pond pump.

Should I turn my pond pump off for the winter?

Whether you leave your pump powered on or off in the winter depends on two factors: climate and aquatic life. If you live in a climate that does not experience below freezing temperatures, you can safely leave the pump running throughout winter without any issues.

However if you live in colder climates, you may want to keep the pump off during the winter. When pond water freezes, it could freeze the pump as well and cause irrevocable damage, in which case you’ll need to purchase a replacement. The freezing point for water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have no aquatic life in your pond, it is safer to have the pump off when temperatures fall below freezing so you can avoid damage to the pump. You may even want to empty your pond of water as this can prevent damage from ice buildup. Ice expands over time and may damage your pond’s lining.

The primary job of a pond pump is to circulate the water of a pond. If you have aquatic life in your pond (such as fish, frogs, or turtles), the water needs to be warm enough for them. Water that is circulating takes longer to freeze than still water and pumps aid in keeping the water warm enough to sustain life. If you live in a cold climate, it’s also a good idea to have a pond heater. A pond heater can open a “breathing hole” in the ice, or a place for harmful toxins to escape.

Little Giant 566721

PumpProducts.com sells pond pumps from Little Giant at some of the lowest prices available on the web. Little Giant offers some of the most dependable models on the market. No matter which model of pond pump you own though, the best place to check on the specific maintenance and operating conditions of your pump is in the pump’s manual. Some pond pump models are better suited for colder climates than others. If you store your pump away for the winter, you may want to keep it submerged in a bucket of water (in a place that will not allow the water to freeze) in order to keep the seals lubricated.

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.

Sep 06

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 goldfish 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.

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 to 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.

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.

Aug 30

How to Locate and Close the Main Water Shut Off Valve

What would pumps be without water? Whether it’s circulator pump like the Grundfos 59896879 or a sewage pump like the Goulds 1DM51C0NA, without water these pumps become decorative art pieces. However sometimes it becomes necessary in case of an emergency to turn your water off and prevent damage to your pump.

A pump hooked into your system may have an isolation valve installed. Isolation valves allow you to cut off water to that specific pump without turning the water off to your entire system. Isolation valves prevent any leakage and can act as a sort of damage control. They are usually located somewhere near your pump.

However there are cases where you may want to cut off water to your entire system. Homes hooked up to a city water supply feature what is referred to as a main shut off valve. There are a few things that you should absolutely know exactly where they are located in your home in case of an emergency. Things like mini bottles of hot sauce, deodorant, chocolate, and of course (perhaps most importantly of all) where the main water shutoff valve is.

The main shutoff valve allows water to flow through your house when it’s open and cuts off the water supply to your entire house when it’s closed. If a pipe in your home leaks or bursts, it is essential to know where your main shut off valve is located instead of spending crucial time looking for it during an emergency. Turning your water off during an emergency can save you not only future headaches, but repair costs as well.

Though the location can vary, shut off valves tend to be located outside homes that reside in warmer climates and commonly reside inside homes in colder climates. Valves located outside are usually near the water meter or can even be located near a garden hose. For valves located inside a home, they are most likely in a basement (near the water meter and other utilities) or in a crawl space.

Shut off valves are typically found in two different styles:  gate valve or ball valve designs. Gate valves are more common in older homes. This design has a wheel that can be turned. To cut the water off, turn the wheel clockwise until it can’t be turned any further. If a gate valve has not been turned for a number of years however, it can give resistance and become difficult to turn. You can use a wrench in this case to help turn the valve. If the valve is difficult to turn even with a wrench, your gate valve may require stem repair.

Gate Valve

Ball valves are typically found in newer homes. This valve has a flat handle and is an especially dependable design. The valve is open when the handle is aligned with the pipe. To close the pipe, turn the handle counter clockwise for a quarter of a turn so that the lever is at a right angle to the pipe. This will cut the water off.

Ball Valve

After closing the valve, you should open the highest and lowest faucets in the home. This will allow the standing water in the plumbing to drain. Once the pipes are empty of water, they can be worked on without water spilling into your home.

It’s never a bad thing to be prepared for emergencies. Knowing how to shut off your water may help to prolong the service life of not only your pumps, but other plumbing systems in your home as well.

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.

 

Aug 22

5 Signs it’s Time to get a New Well Pump

Next time Lassie comes into the house, tail wagging and barking into the air to tell you Billy is trapped in the well again, make sure to tell Lassie to ask Billy to look at your well pump and see if it needs any maintenance.

Well pumps are used to extract water from wells. Most well pumps are submersible and have the crucial responsibility of making sure homes have a water supply. So it goes without saying that an efficient and properly running well pump is of the upmost importance.

Whether you own a shallow well, deep well, or a jet-driven pump, no pump is immune to Father Time so they will eventually need replacing. Though the average well pump lasts 3-5 years, there are several variables that can influence how long your pump lasts. Of course, regular maintenance and upkeep on your pump ensures a longer service life. Below are some signs that it just might be time for a shiny new well pump:

Berkeley-B15P4JP05231 Submersible Well Pump

Odd Noises

Loud grinding, groaning, or churning noises could mean your pump is wearing from the inside out. This could be an indication of several issues including damaged impellers or bearings. The sound your pump makes could be the first sign that it’s time for a replacement.

Discolored Water

If the water coming out of your faucets is cloudy or discolored, this could mean your pump is rusted. The most important thing to realize is that this is not safe to drink, shower in, or use for laundry. If the water is a cloudy white or yellow, this could be organic particle buildup in your well and the system needs to be flushed out. Other materials such as iron, manganese, and sediment can find their way into your system. These build ups can be common after a large storm. If your pump becomes rusted or you are continuing to get discolored water after cleaning your system, it’s probably time for a new pump.

Constantly Running Water                          

If your pump is running constantly, this could be a sign of internal damage to the pump. It can also be a sign of a leak in your system or an issue with the pressure tank. Internal damage will lead to your pump running inefficiently. When a component such as the pump’s impeller, bearings, or seal becomes damaged, the pump is unable to reach its cut off pressure. If left running constantly long enough, a pump can wear itself out.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure could be the result of many factors including scaling in your pipes, a stuck check valve, or a broken pipe. Pumps also lose efficiency as they get older. Ordering a replacement pump can end up saving money in the long run.

Expensive Energy Bill

If your energy bill is abnormally high it might just be because of your pump. Older pumps need to use more energy to operate efficiently. Pumps are kind of like people.  They need to use more energy if they need to work harder. If substances such as sand or bacteria are clogging a system, the pump will need to draw more energy. Once again, buying a new pump now may save money over the long run.

Zoeller Model NE460 Shallow Well Jet Pump

Anything that puts strain on a well pump can be a factor in shortening its service life. Power outages, water sediment, being overworked, or a lack of regular maintenance all lead to pumps needing to be replaced. However if you do need a new well pump (May I suggest the Myers MVPH-100 or the Goulds Model 5HS) PumpProducts.com has experts standing by, ready to answer your questions and make sure you pick the right pump for your application.

PumpProducts.com sales specialists are standing by to help you find the right pump or part, 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.

Aug 22

Know Your Pump Repair Parts: Impellers

It’s time for another exciting edition of Inspector Pumphead’s: Know Your Repair Parts Series. The star of this episode is perhaps the very component which defines what it means to be a centrifugal pump: impellers.

But Inspector Pumphead, I thought all impellers were the same? There are different types of impellers?? That’s crazy talk!

Actually, there are a few different types of impeller classifications and below I will detail some of the designs behind one of the Inspector’s favorite pump parts. Having the right style of impeller is extremely important in making sure your pump is suited for the application you need it for. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some basic impeller designs.

Open Impeller

Open impellers don’t have walls closing off the vanes of the impeller and are mounted directly onto a shaft. This impeller design is typically used on smaller, less powerful pumps. The vanes of open impellers are slightly thicker out of necessity and are attached from a central hub. This style of impeller tends to be weaker and less efficient than either closed or semi-closed impeller types and experiences more wear over time than its counterparts because of the open design. However open impellers are generally faster and easier to inspect for damage since all the parts are visible. They are able to handle suspended solids as well.

Semi-Open Impeller

Semi-open impellers (or sometimes referred to as semi-closed depending on if you see the glass as half full or half empty) are usually used in applications that require solids handling and are particularly useful when viscous liquids are involved in the pumping. The impeller’s vanes are attached to a single plate while the opposite side of the plate faces the interior of the pump housing. An added benefit of this design includes the ability to avoid the clogs that closed impellers sometime experience. The ability to pass solids makes this type of impeller particularly useful.

Closed Impeller

Closed impellers are referred to as such because of the vanes being sandwiched between a front and back wall. This design of the impeller features added strength from its closed design and are usually used in larger pumps. Closed impellers are typically used in applications without solids.

When it comes to selecting the right impeller type for your application, you want to select an impeller that guarantees high efficiency but you also want a reliable impeller that requires as little maintenance as possible.

If you’re not sure what type of impeller you need, don’t worry, you’re in luck!  You can always give Inspector Pumphead a call and I’ll make sure you get the best impeller and pump that’s suited for your application. Or if I‘m not around (the Inspector has a busy schedule), you can call a PumpProducts.com application engineer who I have personally trained. They’re experts in all manners of pumping applications and will help you find the right pump or part.

PumpProducts.com sales specialists are standing by to help you find the right pump or part, 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.

Aug 15

How to Prime a Transfer Pump

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a morning person. It takes every amount of energy just to roll out of bed, take 30 seconds to brush my teeth, and throw a waffle in the toaster. But then I have my first coffee of the day and everything changes. The birds start chirping and the sun peeks from behind the clouds.  Things are good and I am ready to go.

Pumps are similar. They need to be primed before they’re ready to operate. When it comes to pumps, priming basically means the pump casing must be filled with liquid before the pump can operate.  Many non-submersible pumps are self priming although some models require a manual prime.  However, if your self-priming pump is on and water hasn’t flowed within five minutes, you may need to prime the pump manually). It is always a good idea to refer to your specific pump’s manual as different pumps and systems may require different methods of priming. For this example however, we’ll take a look at how to correctly prime a Liberty 331 transfer pump.

Liberty 331 Transfer Pump

The first step in priming your Liberty 331 is to make sure the power to the pump is off. It is important to note that you should never ever run your pump dry. If you turn on a pump that has not been primed you risk permanently damaging the pump and motor.

Remove the prime plug that sits atop the inlet. The amount of water needed to prime a pump differs depending on the pump’s size but the Liberty 331 requires approximately 2 cups. Please note that the water used to prime a pump should be clean water in order to avoid any debris or solids. After adding water, hand tighten the prime plug back in place.

Next, connect the inlet and discharge hoses to the pump. The Liberty 331 features standard garden hose connections so your average garden hose can be used. Put the hose connecting to the inlet into your water source and the end of the discharge line to where you want to pump the water. Make sure the connections are tight and air-sealed. Even a pinhole leak may prevent the pump from priming as the air flow restricts the pump from pulling in water. It is also important to make sure the inlet hose is not damaged or obstructed by debris. Luckily the Liberty 331 includes a plastic hose strainer to filter debris just in case.

After the hoses are securely attached, plug the power cord into an electrical outlet. Turn the power to the pump on. The amount of time it takes your pump to prime depends on the suction length and height. For example, a maximum vertical suction lift of 15 feet through a standard garden hose could take up to 2 minutes to prime. A check valve installed near the bottom of the suction hose is recommended for suction lifts of more than 10 feet as it reduces the amount of time required to draw water.

After waiting a few minutes your pump should be pushing water from the discharge line. This means your pump is primed and ready to go.

PumpProducts.com sales specialists are standing by to help you find the right pump or part, 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.

Jun 29

6 Ways to Save Money on Utilities

I don’t know about you but I love spending money and always get really excited when I get my latest utility bill. That might not be a serious statement but what is serious is saving money. Saving money on utilities can help you save up for the stuff you really need, like the complete DVD box set of an obscure 80’s show, or a talking fish that hangs on your wall. Below are a few tips that will save you money so you can hear the sweet songs of that fish in no time.

Pack the Dishwasher

A good way to start saving money on utilities is to get the most out of your appliances. Never run a dish washer with anything less than a full load. Try hand washing large pots, pans, and dishes as well. These take up a considerable amount of space in dishwashers and if you have more space available, you won’t have to run the dishwasher as often. You can let your dish washer do the heavy lifting as well by skipping any pre-rinsing. By doing this alone you can save up to $70 a year. Air drying your plates and utensils can also be just as beneficial.

Thermostats

By adjusting your thermostat just 1 degree, you can save up to 3% on your utility bill. Lowering your AC while you’re away and raising it again once you get home can be a good routine to develop. Conversely, this works for heat as well during the winter months. Programmable thermostats can also make a significant difference. They pay for themselves over time as they can save you up to 10% of your bill.

Conserve Water

Conserving water may mean altering some common habits. For instance, make sure the water isn’t running while brushing your teeth or shaving. I love long showers as much as the next person, but they can definitely show up on your next utility bill.  However, while a typical shower can take up to 7.55 gallons of water, a bath generally uses about 20. When it comes to watering your lawn, make sure to not over water. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure it doesn’t turn on more than it needs to.  Also, try watering your lawn in the morning, before the sunniest and hottest hours of the day so water doesn’t evaporate as quickly.

Insulation

Poor quality or no insulation at all can make your home colder in the winter and warmer in the summer. Proper insulation is especially important in your attic. If you have an older water heater, insulating it can prevent heat loss by 25-45%. This means your water will be heated with much greater efficiency. Adding draft door stoppers, (cylinder looking objects that stretch along the bottom of your door), can help keep heat in the rooms and help regulate the temperature as well. If you don’t have any draft stoppers, towels can work just as well.

Ceiling Fans

Not only are ceiling fans cheaper to run, they cool rooms during the summer and circulate warm air in the winter. Many people wouldn’t consider turning their fan on in the winter, however, they can be quite helpful. Some fans are capable of running clockwise and counter-clockwise as well. By spinning clockwise in the winter months, the fans pulls air up into the room, rather than blowing air down on you.

All these tips are useful to know!  Even by just doing a few of them, they can keep more money in your wallet and maybe another singing fish for your wall!

Pumps!

And last but certainly not least, nothing is more satisfying than saving money on pumps! You can save money right off the bat by finding the pump you need on PumpProducts.com. We carry the most trustworthy pumps at some of the lowest prices in the industry. Or if you have a well pump and want to save money, make sure you have the right well tank for your pump. A bigger well tank, such as the Amtrol WX302, would prevent your well pump from turning on as frequently. This will save you energy and money on your next utility bill.

With all these tips you’ll have that singing fish on your wall in no time!

PumpProducts.com sales specialists are standing by to help you find the right pump or part, 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.

Jun 21

The Art of Unclogging Your Toilet

I think we’ve all been here before. You get invited to a friend’s house for dinner. It’ll be fun they said, except Jennifer didn’t tell you it was a burrito dinner party. An hour later it hits you. Suddenly you have to use the bathroom but you use the one upstairs because you know you’re going to be a while. Everything goes according to plan until uh oh, the water starts to rise. Luckily old Inspector Pumphead is here to walk you through this disaster so you know exactly what to do.

Don’t let your throne play games with you

 

The first and perhaps most important step is to not panic. After that, we want to stop the bowl from filling up. We don’t want that water spilling over the bowl and turning the bathroom into the world’s saddest pond. To do this, start by taking the lid off the tank. Next, close the toilet flapper. The flapper is the little rubber disk at the bottom of the tank, it releases water from the tank into the bowl. The water in the tank isn’t dirty so don’t fret about sticking your hand in there.

Now it’s time to get out a plumber’s best and most reliable friend, the handy plunger. Inspector Pumphead’s plunger is in a break glass in case of emergency case next to his toilet, but yours is hopefully close by. Having the right plunger is important. Funnel cup plungers work best as they have a flange on their rubber cup that creates the best seal between bowl and plunger. Now here’s an industry secret: run your plunger under hot water for a few minutes before use. This will soften up the rubber and create a better seal.

Believe it or not there is a right way to plunge. Get a solid seal between your plunger and the exit hole of the toilet and start plunging. The pull back motion is just as important as the push-down. After a couple strokes with the plunger, it’s time to flush the toilet. If the water goes down and clears the bowl, congratulations! Your clog is solved. If not, you may have to repeat closing the flapper and plunging a couple more times until the clog is gone.

If you don’t have a plunger handy (or are too embarrassed to ask for one), you can pour hot water and a few drops of soap or dishwasher detergent into the clogged toilet. Let these sit in the toilet for 20 minutes. The heat from the water may break up the clog and make plunging unnecessary or at least make plunging much easier.

Funnel Cup Plunger

If the methods detailed above haven’t worked and this clog has become the bane of your existence, you can always use an auger. What’s an auger you might be asking? An auger is a long, snaking cable that can reach down into the toilet. Augers should be available at your local hardware store. To use an auger, the cable end goes into the toilet and the other end has a crank attached that can extend the auger. The auger will either loosen the clog or hook onto it. If the auger hooks onto the clog, pull the clog out and discard.

If none of this sounds like fun or if the clog is serious, you can always schedule an appointment with a plumber. If you have water backing up into your sinks and showers whenever you flush, this is a sign that your main line is clogged and this has become a job for a professional.

Remember that cleaning your toilet regularly can help prevent clogs in the future and there is such a thing as toilet paper etiquette. I’m glad we could go on this journey together but next time tell Jennifer to just order a pizza.

PumpProducts.com sales specialists are standing by to help you find the right pump or part, 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.

Jun 12

5 Signs it’s Time to Get a New Sump Pump

Nobody likes a flooded basement. Sump pumps sit in your basement or crawl space and drain water in order to prevent flooding. Keeping your basement dry however, can prove to be taxing on a pump over time.  Below are five reasons it might be time to invest in a new sump pump.

Liberty 233

Making weird noises

If your pump is particularly noisy or making irregular sounds, it could mean a part is either damaged or broken. Sump pumps are relatively quiet when they are running properly, so unusual noises can be a sign it’s time for a new pump. A noisy pump can also be the result of an issue with the pump’s motor, so be sure to keep an ear open.

Not so-good vibrations

If your whole pump is vibrating, it could mean a damaged impeller. The impeller is the mechanism that draws water into the pump. Unfortunately, sometimes debris can get sucked into the pump as well, which could bend the impeller. Impellers are balanced specifically to reduce, wear on the shaft of the pump. They can prove difficult to properly replace so you may either want to call a plumber or replace the entire unit.

Infrequent pump usage

Limited use of a sump may reduce its shelf life. Be sure to test and clean your pump regularly between heavy rain falls in order to make sure all of the pump’s components are in proper working order.

Red Lion 14942746

If your pump is running why don’t you go catch it?

Alternatively, if your pump is constantly running, it could also shorten the pump’s service life.The most likely culprit of a  constantly running  pump is likely a faulty switch. The float switch is responsible for turning the pump on and off. Sometimes during operation, sumps can shift around in their basins and the float can become inhibited, leaving the pump unable to turn off. Constant operation can lead to a pump burning itself out. Your pump may also not be able to handle the water load it’s supposed to, which may lead to constant running as well.

Father Time

Even sump pumps aren’t immune to old age. The service life of a pump can vary due to several variables though the general life expectancy.  However, for most sump pumps, it is around ten years. Regardless of maintenance, testing, and cleaning, pumps experience wear-and-tear, and eventually they will need to be replaced.

If your sump fails,don’t fret, because luckily PumpProducts.com carries a wide variety of the most reliable and trustworthy sump pumps on the market. You can find our wide assortment here.

PumpProducts.com sales specialists are standing by to help you find the right pump or part, 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.

May 18

7 Tips to Save Money at Home while Traveling

It’s that time of the year again. The sun is starting to peek behind the clouds, flowers are blooming, and birds are deciding its okay to wake you up at 3 AM with a song. So you know what that means. It’s time to get the heck out of here and take a vacation, or as the British call it, a holiday.

Below are a few tips about your lights, water system and household appliances to save both energy and money while you’re away.

Tip 1: Thermostats are Cool

Setting your thermostat for the appropriate temperature or turning off your air conditioning is essential. For summer vacations, set the furnace to a low temperature and if you have central air, set it to a high temperature to make sure it doesn’t turn on until you get back. During winter months, thermostats should be set at 50° F to ensure pipes and appliances don’t freeze. Programmable thermostats are especially handy during vacations as your appliances do all the work for you. It may also be helpful to close doors around your house to keep individual rooms better insulated.

Tip 2: Plug it Out, Plug it Out

Unplug any nonessential appliances or gadgets as most devices still consume energy as long as they’re plugged in, even if they’re turned off. Devices such as toasters, televisions, and coffee makers are known as “energy vampires” because of this. The good news is you don’t need any holy water or garlic to scare these energy suckers away; simply unplugging them will work.

Pumps are generally an appliance that you won’t want to unplug while you’re away, but you might be able to save energy on some on-demand systems. For instance, re-circulating pumps designed to deliver immediate hot water to your tap can have the accompanying timers turned off for potential energy savings. A popular re-circulating pump with an easily disabled timer is the Laing LHB08100085.

Some booster pumps designed to provide extra pressure at the tap, such as the Grundfos MQ series pumps have sensors that can be disabled. Keep in mind that you should only disable the sensors if you use your booster pumps specifically for extra tap pressure; if you use a booster to evacuate rainwater or another similar application you need those pumps fully functional.

Tip 3: If you try to steal a jacuzzi you might end up in hot water

As much as it may hurt, turning off that boiling but somehow incredibly relaxing hot tub while you’re gone could shrink your next bill. Water heaters generally account for 15-20% of your bill so switching off the breaker to your water heater could help save you a ton. If you have a gas model and not an electric water heater, switch your heater to its pilot setting.

Tip 4: Is your refrigerator running? Because you should probably ahhhh….you know the rest….

Refrigerators are among the biggest consumers of energy. Adjusting your refrigerator to 42 degrees and the freezer to 5 degrees is a warmer but food-safe temperature. Determine what food you should keep and what food is perishable. Packing your freezer actually increases efficiency as well. If you’re particularly daring and going away for an extended period of time, you can turn your refrigerator off to save energy and prop the doors open with a dish. Remember to clean the shelves before you leave to prevent any bad smells. Also it’s probably time you threw out that two week old plate of lasagna anyway.

Tip 5: What did the curtain rod say to the blinds? Nice shades.

A simple but super helpful thing to do while on vacation is to close your curtains and shut your blinds. Heat can enter your home through windows and closing curtains helps to conserve heat energy. Closing your curtains keeps heat in during the winter and heat out during the summer. This will also help your air conditioner do less work to cool the house down after you return.

Tip 6: Text Alerts Are Your Friend

One of the wonders of our modern technological society is that as long as you have a phone and some data, there is very little information that is out of your reach. That includes the status of your pumping system. Pump alarms have long served to let users know when the groundwater level in a pit becomes untenable. Now you can receive both SMS text alerts and emails to your phone when the alarm sounds.

One of the most popular alarms is the Liberty NightEYE which is wireless enabled and includes a snap-on float switch. The NightEYE is built for use with an indoor Liberty sump pump and can send texts, emails or push alerts to up to four different contacts using cloud technology. Compatible with both Apple and Android, the NightEye is just one option to make sure you know the state of your system when you’re away from home. An smart alarm will save you money in the long run by making sure you don’t have to replace aspects of your system.

Tip 7: Let There Be Light

Many people leave a precautionary light on while they’re away to ward off burglars. Having programmable lights can save you lots of energy. Instead of a light being on all day, having an automatic or sensor equipped light that turns on when the sun goes down can be just as effective and more energy friendly.

So I’ve done all those tips, what now?

You’ve made it through a bunch of helpful tips…and a few bad jokes….but finally we’ve arrived at perhaps the most important tip: enjoy your vacation and don’t stress! Stretch out on the sand, put on that one Jimmy Buffet song, and enjoy a drink that comes with a free mini umbrella.