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Your Guide to Selecting The Right Trash Pump

Craig McCrickard
Pump Expert


Trash pumps are the cannons of the pump world, designed to transfer large volumes of liquid laden with dirt, sludge, leaves, twigs and other solids.


Trash pumps do not grind down the solids that pass through them but, rather, pass them along intact. They are portable, heavy-duty pumps with deep impeller vanes capable of producing flows up to 1,600 gallons per minute (gpm) at heads up to 150-feet.


Trash pumps can handle spherical solids up to half the diameter of their suction inlets, which generally range from 2 to 6-inches. They are powered by high horsepower engines that run on electricity, gasoline and diesel. Trash pumps are available in centrifugal and diaphragm designs.




View our trash pump video


Video used courtesy of Gorman Rupp



Choosing the Right Trash Pump


Centrifugal Trash Pumps operate by using a rotating impeller to draw water into the pump. The impeller is generally a cast iron, two-vane design with a large volute to handle high volumes of water and debris. Centrifugal trash pumps can pump water with a solids content of up to 25%. They are used in applications ranging from draining ponds to flood water removal and typically come equipped with a protective frame that enhances their mobility and reinforces them for rugged jobsite conditions.


Diaphragm Trash Pumps function through the expansion and contraction of a flexible diaphragm that acts like a piston in an engine, alternately drawing in then pushing out debris-laden water. Diaphragm trash pumps provide the low rate of discharge and head of any large, heavy-duty pump. They can handle air without losing their prime and can pump water with solids content greater than 25%. Diaphragm pumps are commonly used in slow-seepage applications where  high-discharge centrifugal pumps would quickly lose their prime, such as those occurring when groundwater seeps into a pit.  







Electric Trash Pumps are often used in applications where electrical power is available.





Gasoline Powered Trash Pumps  are popular for applications in which electrical power has failed or is absent. They form the largest selling category of trash pumps available with 2 to 6-inch inlets.





Diesel Powered trash pumps are comparable in size and weight to gasoline-powered models and are used in many of the same applications. They offer the added advantage of fuel economy.





A Suction Hose is a reinforced hose through which water flows into the suction end of a trash pump.    






A Discharge Hose is a hose through which water flows out of the discharge end of a trash pump.  






A Suction Strainer is placed over a trash pump suction hose in order to prevent large debris from entering the pump and creating a blockage.






Wheel Kits and trailer mounts enhance the mobility of trash pumps.







For detailed specs, manuals and reviews on the electric, gasoline and diesel powered trash pumps we stock and ship nationally, visit our products pages or call us for details: 1-800-429-0800.