Nov 20

Inspector Pumphead’s Classroom: Training with See Water, Inc.

As part of an ongoing effort to provide the best possible service for all product lines, Pump Products employees attended a training session with a representative from See Water Inc.  See Water, located in Riverside, CA, is one of Pump Products’ newest manufacturing partners and isrenowned in the industry for its line of innovative water products and controls.

Pump Products currently carries a plethora of quality wastewater pump control accessories from See Water, including water level alarms, control panels and junction boxes.

Eric Wallace, Vice President of Operations at See Water, gave a presentation lecture in which he dove into the history of the company, its products, and practices for ensuring across the board customer satisfaction.

Training day begins

“We’re a customer-driven company and we pride ourselves on great customer service,” he said. “Our focus is always on the end user.”

Wallace said that this focus is best exemplified by the simplicity and straightforwardness of See Water installations. He described his ideal customer interaction as, one in which the customer is able to install the product so easily that he feels compelled to call the company to make sure the process really is that simple. That’s why many See Water products are “plug and play” an approach that emphasizes the end user in the consumer interaction chain.  This produces return customers, and according to Wallace, there’s nothing See Water likes more than return customers. It is a philosophy that Pump Products shares as well.

An attentive class

Another, incredible fact is that, all See Water products are constructed at the company facility in Riverside, CA. Having everything manufactured in the U.S., is an important mark of quality. All products are also UL-listed and CSA certified for the U.S. and Canada.

Such customer care also extends to the warranty process. Most See Water products (except custom builds) include a 3-year warranty. Wallace estimates that “90%” of warranty issues are able to be resolved through calling the company directly and troubleshooting. This allows the user or contractor to solve the problem onsite. In cases where that doesn’t work out, customers can send the product back to See Water for thorough examination.

“We’re just interested in the customer being happy,” he said.

Eric listens to questions

Testing is also an important aspect of the process. Each product that leaves the warehouse is factory tested before it is packaged. Wallace emphasized that the testing is not a la carte but holistic.

“We don’t have a station with a bunch of floats and then hook up a panel to test it,” he said. “We test each control panel with the specific float that will be in the package before it gets sent out. That way the customer is sure to get everything that works.”

For lead times, prebuilt products can usually be sent to Pump Products within a matter of days. Custom panels can take up to four weeks but See Water tries to push those panels through sooner if possible, particularly for repeat customers.

An example of some of the material

See Water also emphasizes the commonality of various parts and components across various types of panels. This allows the engineers to rig up all sorts of custom panels, with special custom features, tailored to make the user’s life much easier. Some of these features include but are not limited to: touchscreen interfaces, variable frequency drives, programmable logic controllers, multiple alarms (that can be run back to a main alarm) and solar alarms.

The thoroughness of the engineering process allows for a lot of same-day and next day quotes on custom panels. Making sure exactly what each customer needs, also reduces the risk of returns and call-backs.

The fabled See Water price catalog

“It was a really interesting and informative lecture,” Pump Products application engineer Nick said. “It’s always good to get insight into how other companies interact with customers and think about how we can apply those practices here [at Pump Products].”

The training session with See Water is part of a continual effort by the Pump Products staff to familiarize themselves with manufacturer products, to deliver the best possible service and product information to our customers.

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.

Nov 10

Inspector Pumphead’s Classroom: How to Replace a Pump Bearing Assembly

Welcome to another 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, small business owner or facilities manager can tackle.

The purpose of this feature is to help customers become more familiar with the parts of a pump and give them the confidence to make the necessary fixes to keep the system running smoothly.

In this edition, Pump Products application engineer Nick, will walk you through the process of replacing a bearing assembly on a three-piece circulator pump from Bell & Gossett. The bearing assembly is the unit between the motor and the volute/pump casing. It contains the connecting shaft that powers the impeller, allowing the pump to move fluid.

From left to right: Motor, volute and bearing assembly with impeller

A good indicator that the bearing assembly needs a replacement, is if you hear strange noises coming from that area on the pump. If a seal or coupler snaps, you might hear a squeaking or shaking noise. You might also see traces of oil or water leakage in the pump area. Since the bearing is what keeps both ends of the pump functioning together, it is important to replace one right away if defective.

Pump Products expert Nick walks you through the replacement process in the video below:

The pump used for the breakdown is the Bell & Gossett 102210 HV NFI, a top flight circulator. The bearing assembly replacement package is the B&G 189166LF , which includes the attached impeller, a replacement gasket and lubricant.

*Note: While B&G repair parts are used in the example for this video, Pump Products also carries Taco pump repair parts, Grundfos pump repair parts, Armstrong pump repair parts and Wilo pump repair parts, among others.

Tools and supplies

–1 ⅝” combination wrench

–1 7/16″ combination wrench

–1 Allen wrench/hex key

–Lubricant (should come in the replacement package)

–Replacement bearing assembly

–Alcohol wipes

Process

As always when working on a pump, be sure to turn off the motor and shut down the water flow moving through the pump. For this process you will not have to remove the pump end from the piping.

Loosen the bolts on the motor end first

Identify the bearing assembly of the pump. It should be between the wet end and the motor of the pump.

First you will detach the motor end from the bearing assembly. For this attachment you will use the box end of the 7/16″ wrench.

Use the wrench to carefully loosen the bolts.

Pull the bearing assembly away from the motor, and inside you will find a spring-style coupler which connects the two units. This is where you will use your Allen key.

The motor disconnected from the rest of the pump

On each end of the coupler will be an indentation where it connects to the shaft. Use your Allen key to loosen the connections and remove the coupler.

Take out the coupler and put it and the motor down somewhere safe. Unless you bought a replacement, you will need to reattach the existing coupler.

Next, turn your attention to the other end of the bearing assembly, which is also connected by four bolts to the volute.

For this part you will use the box end of your ⅝” combination wrench to loosen and remove the bolts.

Loosening the bolts on the pump end

You can now remove the old bearing assembly. Inside the lip of the volute should be a rubber gasket. Remove the gasket and examine the lip area for any impurities or imperfections. This area is important for creating a watertight seal, so be sure to wipe it down with alcohol wipes or a similar cleaning agent until the area is clean.

The removed bearing assembly with attached impeller

Now you can install your replacement bearing assembly. This will simply be the deconstruction process in reverse. Insert the end with the impeller into the volute, reapply the bolts and tighten in a criss cross pattern to ensure a watertight seal.

Next, you will to have reattach the spring coupler. Remove the the piece of cardboard from the impeller shaft in the bearing assembly and find the right indentation groove. Match up the groove on the coupler and shaft, insert the hex key until it is flush to the area and tighten.

You will need to reattach the coupler

You will need to repeat the coupler process with the shaft end of the motor unit.

Once the coupler is secure, you can reattach the motor end completely and tighten the bolts.  Since there is no watertight seal between the motor and bearing assembly, you do not necessarily have to use the criss cross pattern.

You can see the coupler peeking out from the bearing assembly

Since the pump used in this example is not maintenance free, you will have to apply some lubrication (a bottle should be included with your package). Find the insert cap above the bearing assembly, fill with oil until the bottle is empty or oil starts to accrue at the top of the cap. Close the cap and you are ready to turn the pump and water flow back on.

So that’s it! It’s a relatively simple process. As always, be sure to examine your pump regularly and practice preventative maintenance.

If you have any ideas for other ‘How-To’ guides you’d like to see, let us know in the comments.

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.

Nov 02

Inspector Pumphead’s Classroom: How To Change a Circulator Pump Cartridge

Taco 007 with a replacement catridge

Welcome to another 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 Replace the Cartridge on a Taco 007 Circulator Pump.

As the name suggests, circulator pumps are used to keep hot water circulating throughout your water system so that it is immediately available at point of use. For those of us who live in colder climates, the coming winter months are a particularly annoying time to have to wait for water at the sink or tub to heat up. The presence of a circulator pump ensures that hot water is always readily available.

The Taco 007 is built for quiet operation in hydronic heating, radiant heating, hydro-air fan coils, indirect water heaters, chilled fresh water and domestic water circulating systems. The cartridge style design means the actual circulating mechanism is contained in an easily serviceable or replaceable single unit. It is perhaps the most popular cirulator on the market and plenty are always available in stock.

In the video below, Pump Products application engineer Nick, who I have personally trained, will walk you through the process of replacing the cartridge, using the Taco 007-F5 pump and the proper Taco replacement cartridge (the cartridge package should also include a replacement gasket and spare bolts as well).

You can also purchase the full suit of Taco Repair parts.

You can also continue reading below for a written breakdown.

Items and Materials

The only tool you’ll need is a hexagonal Allen key (or Allen wrench). Make sure you have the replacement cartridge handy as well.

Steps

–Turn off the water flowing through your system. You do not need to remove the pump base outlets from the piping.

–Identify the four casing bolts.

–One by one, use the proper Allen key to loosen the bolts.

–Remove the bolts.

–Remove the motor casing from the volute. Inside the motor casing you will see the cartridge.

The cartridge removed from the motor casing

–The cartridge should be solidly in place. Tug gently but firmly until the cartridge is out of the casing.

–Discard used cartridge.

–Take the replacement cartridge and firmly insert into the volute.

The cartridge should fit snugly

–Firmly place the replacement rubber gasket into the lip of the volute base. The gasket is important for creating a seal.

The rubber gasket creates a seal

–Line up the base plate and the volute to the base and connect them. Be sure to match up the bolt holes.

Make sure all holes line up

–Insert the bolts and tighten only until each is roughly equally snug. Uneven tightening could cause leaks in one area.

–Complete the tightening on all four bolts in a crisscross pattern to ensure evenness on all sides.

And there you have it. It’s a simple and cheap process, one that any person should reasonably be able to complete. With winter upon us, making sure your circulator pump and cartridge are up to the task at hand is very important.

Do you have any suggestions for other “How To” videos you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments!

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.

Oct 13

Inspector Pumphead’s FAQs: Discounts and Deals

Inspector Pumphead is ready to answer your questions

Q: Do you guys do anything in the way of offers or discounts?

A: Yes! We offer free shipping on most items of $399 or more. You get a $5 coupon to apply to your first order right when you sign up. Subscribers to our email list and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) frequently get exclusive discounts and offers, so be sure to sign up.

We are also developing a loyalty rewards program for our most frequent customers. We want to be sure to reward those who are part of the Pump Products family with exclusive offers.

If you have any comments or suggestions for loyalty offers, let us know in the comments!

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 28

Inspector Pumphead’s Video Classroom: Manual Pumps vs. Automatic Pumps

Welcome to Inspector Pumphead’s video classroom! In this feature, I Inspector Pumphead will provide a video lecture on a subject related to pumps, parts and accessories. I hope you take good notes and pay close attention because we just might test you at the end!

In this video lecture, my assistant Mike will talk about the difference between manual pumps and automatic pumps. My most attentive students will know that I’ve talked about this before! Watch the video or read below for further explanation.

Manual vs. Automatic

As the name suggests, manual cords operate when the power cords are plugged into an eletrical outlet. This grants the user control over the timing of an operation. This mode of operation is popular if you are on a job site or need to evacuate water temporarily (or if you’re a control freak I guess). Manual pumps are often used in conjunction with a control panel as well. Automatic pumps use some kind of switch mechanism to activate the pump under certain conditions. The most popular kind is probably a tethered style float switch, which is attached by a cord to a pump and activates when the water level reaches a certain point. Watch the video for a cool animation example.

Once you’ve watched the video, take the quiz below! If you complete the quiz, you’ll get a coupon code for a $5 discount on any order of $30 or more! Offer valid until October 28, 2017.

Manual or Automatic

Can you answer the questions to this extremely tough quiz?

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 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 wajit paihere 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.