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  • Is Your Basement Sump Pump Protecting You From April Showers?

    April 8, 2019

    As the saying goes, “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” Trite and corny perhaps, but it is true that significant precipitation tends to impact wide swaths of the country this time of year. And increased precipitation naturally means more groundwater, as rainfall seeps into the earth and bedrock. It can be a challenging month for home and business owners who rely on sump pumps to pump excess groundwater out of a basement. How Rain Damages Your Basement “We tend to get a a lot of calls from customers who have flooded basements around this time of year,” according to PumpProducts.com application engineer Lee. “With all the rainfall, the extra groundwater can overwhelm a sump pump system that works fine most of the year.” As groundwater pools and accumulates, upward pressure is exerted. Given enough time and water, that upward pressure will move the dirt, gravel and concrete of your basement floor, causing cracks to form, through which water seeps into your basement. That water can damage or even ruin your basement floor, walls and any other items (such as furniture, electronics or valuables) that you store in the basement area. If you let the water linger too long it can cause mold growth and spread germs or other contaminants through the air. And when the flooding finally recedes, damage that necessitates costly repair remains. “Having to redo your basement floor is bad enough, but if you have furnished rooms or store valuables in your basement, the cost could be quite exorbitant,” Lee says. Signs Your Sump Pump Might Need Replacing The beginning of April is generally a good time to run a test on your sump pump system. It’s straightforward - try pouring a bucket of water into your sump pump pit or basin (at least enough to make your float switch rise) and see how your existing sump pump handles the water flow. Here are some things to look out for when you run your test: Debris When you pour the water into your pit, do you notice any loose debris shaking loose Things like dirt, twigs or other particulates can clog your sump pump. Remember that a sump pump is not a sewage pump and is not capable of passing solids. Excessive noise While a little noise is natural for any operating mechanical device, your pump should not sound like it is straining to pump. Listen for whining or grinding that may indicate a problem. Short Cycling Short cycling means that the pump is running too frequently. Try holding a timer and see how long a pumping cycle takes. If it is running for too many seconds and barely “resting” before another pumping cycle starts again, the motor may burn out. Other factors to keep in mind include your recent history of flooding and the overall age of your system. Ideally, your sump pump system will run smoothly forever; there is no exact lifespan because of the wide variety of extenuating factors that determine system health, including local climate, geography, topography, quality of soil, etc. But generally our application engineers believe that a sump system that runs for three to five years is solid. Any older and you might want to consider the possibility that the pump needs repair or replacement. Sump Pump Brands We Carry PumpProducts.com carries a wide variety of sump pump brands from industry leading manufacturers, including Goulds sump pumps, Zoeller sump pumps and Liberty sump pumps. Each brand has its own strengths and features, but all our known for high quality construction, precision engineering and efficient performance. Keep your specific system parameters in mind when shopping for a sump pump. “Generally speaking, I like to recommend Goulds for lower horsepowers, Zoeller for midrange horsepowers and Liberty for the bigger stuff, but it can vary depending on a user’s needs,” according to Lee. “The most important thing is to know what you need to get out of your specific system in terms of factors like total dynamic head, run of pipe and so forth.” Is Your Sump Pump Enough Another factor to consider is whether a single sump pump is enough to combat excess groundwater. A battery backup sump pump is highly recommended by our experts, particularly if you live in an area prone to heavy rainwater or if you operate a business that cannot afford basement flooding. The battery backup is simply a sump operating on battery power that would kick on should a power outage knock your main sump pump out of commission. Considering that rainwater and power outages often go hand in hand in extreme storms, a battery backup is a smart option if keeping your system running is of the utmost importance. PumpProducts.com sells primary and back-up sump pump combination units for customer convenience. If extra protection is needed, you can rest easy with full sump pump packages. These comprehensive all-in-one packages include the primary pump, the backup pump and a basin. Many of the packages also include extra accessories such as floats, alarms, check valves, extra batteries and the like. The complete sump pump package ensures that you can keep a system running with minimal downtime and less overall maintenance. Lastly, another option to consider is the water powered backup sump pump. A non-electrical pump that kicks on when the rising water lifts up a pedestal, the water powered backup sump pump is the perfect choice for someone who does not want to rely on electrical components. Old fashioned but effective. Regardless of your choice of brand or type, a sump is critical for the health of your home and water system. Now is the best time to make sure your sump pump and your entire system is prepared for the rainy month ahead. 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.  

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  • 5 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

    March 6, 2019

    Welcome to Inspector Pumphead’s classroom once again! This week’s lesson is an important one. The Inspector happened to look out his window the other day and noticed it’s still cold outside. The Inspector loves hot cocoa and skiing just as much as the next world renowned pump expert but one thing about winter that gives him the chills is the potential for frozen pipes. The Inspector is getting goose bumps just thinking about it. How can a pump properly function if the plumbing system around it isn’t functioning The Inspector cares about pumps almost more than world peace so he has decided to make a list of preventative measures you can take in order to keep your pipes from freezing. Turn up the Heat The Inspector’s first tip is perhaps the most obvious sounding on this list. If you decide to go away during the winter (hopefully you’re vacationing in a warm place, the Inspector recommends Cancun), it’s a good idea to keep the heat on while you’re away. Paying a little money for the heating bill can save the money it’s going to cost if a pipe freezes and bursts. A good rule of thumb to follow is setting the heat above 50 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re away.   If you’re not going away this winter, it can also be beneficial to keep the temperature consistent in your home during both day and night. Let the Faucet Drip Allowing a slight drip from a faucet relieves pressure in a system. Even a trickle can help prevent pipes from freezing. When a pipe freezes, it is the pressure created between the blockage and faucet that causes the pipe to burst. An open faucet can prevent pressure from building up. If a faucet has both cold and hot taps, open both slightly. If a faucet has a single handle, set the faucet to warm. Seal off Cracks and Holes Exposed pipes are more vulnerable to cold air. Common places where cracks occur are window and door frames as well as in the back of cabinets.  Make sure that if you notice an exposed pipe, you seal it up. Seals help to contain warm air and protect against cold drafts. A caulk or spray foam insulation make for effective seals. Open up Cabinet Doors Opening cabinet doors, especially in rooms like kitchens and bathrooms where there is more plumbing, is an easy measure to take in the war against frozen pipes. Doing this will allow warmer air to circulate and balance the temperature in a house. You don’t need to keep your cabinets open all winter (the Inspector doesn't have the will power to fight against snacks staring at him in the face that long) but this is a good idea to do periodically. Remember to protect your food and keep anything harmful in the cabinets away from pets or children as well. Add Insulation Some pipes may need more insulation than others depending on where they’re located. Extra insulation will help keep the pipe the same temperature as the water inside it. Materials such as foam rubber or fiberglass can be fitted onto pipes for extra insulation. Please keep in mind a pipe will still freeze if it is exposed to freezing temperatures for an extended period of time. The Inspector hopes these tips help. If you experience any issues with frozen pipes there are always solutions such as allowing hot water to run which can melt the ice in the pipe. Of course if things get really serious, calling your local plumber is never a bad idea. As always, if you are in need of a pump, pump accessory, or just have a pump question and need a friendly voice to talk to, call our pump experts. They can give you advice on how best to maintain your pump during the winter months. 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.  

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  • 5 Tips to Prevent Basement Floods

    January 30, 2019

    Welcome to Inspector Pumphead’s classroom! This is the space where the Inspector serves up knowledge like Gordon Ramsey serves out vaguely offensive British insults in the kitchen. This week we'll be talking about how to keep your basement flood free. The Inspector would venture to guess that most people can agree one swimming pool is enough. You buried that orange shag carpet in the basement for a reason, you never wanted to see it again.  Now there it is...floating on top of a basement shaped puddle along with a participation award in athletics and the rest of your valuables. Fear not though, the Inspector didn't go to 12 years of pump school and travel the globe in search of world's biggest pumping problems just to leave you whatever the opposite of high and dry is. Without further ado: Sump Pump & Backup The Inspector can’t stress this one enough. A reliable sump pump is the best defense against basement floods. Sump pumps act like a drain. They pump water safely away from your basement and surrounding foundations.  The Inspector would recommend getting an automatic sump pump that turns on whenever the water reaches a certain height. The pump does the work for you, this way you can continue painting pictures of happy meadows from old Bob Ross reruns without interruption. Just as important as owning a sump pump, is maintaining a sump pump. Sump pump failure is among the most frequent causes of basement floods. If you’re aware of heavy rain in the near future, make sure your pump is clean and clear of debris. Debris can lead to potential clogging. Owning a backup can be crucial as well in case your first sump fails. A battery operated backup for instance, will turn on in case the first one turns off due to a power outage. Paying for a reliable pump now can save later. If you’re in need of a new pump or backup you can browse our extensive collection of sump pumps. Gutters & Downspouts Having your gutters cleaned seasonally will be sure to prevent any debris from building up. Debris such as leaves and branches can get caught in your gutters and cause blockages. Blockages restrict flow and cause rainwater to pool. Once rainfall has pooled, it will start to dump directly onto your foundation. This can lead to not only flooding, but cracks in your foundation as well. Be sure to keep your downspouts positioned away from your foundation. A good rule of thumb to abide by is having water direct at least three feet away from your house. Install Window Wells Depending on the condition of your basement windows, you may need window wells. The frames of basement windows can be susceptible to cracks, warping, or mold.  Window wells get installed directly onto a house’s foundation and can protect against water, dirt, and pesky insects. The Inspector would suggest getting acrylic wells as these can brighten up a dingy basement. Foundation Cracks There’s no better place for water to get invited into your home than from a crack in your foundation. Homeowners should regularly inspect their home’s exterior foundation as well as basement walls and floors. Foundation cracks can be filled in with epoxy while masonry sealer should be used on the home’s interior. For more serious cracks a professional may need to be called. Landscaping And last but not least- strategically placed shrubs and greenery can do more than just block out your neighbor’s Christmas decorations that they leave up until April. Consider your landscape when it comes to flooding especially if you live on the down slope of a hill where water is more likely to collect and flow. If you live on flat ground and water has nowhere to go, there are a few solutions for your lawn that can make a flooded basement less likely. You can install a lawn drainage system or use heavier mulch in your garden. An abundance of shrubs and plants helps to absorb excess water. Some homeowners even create small slopes in their landscaping in order to direct water away from their foundations. 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.

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  • How does a Pressure Switch Work?

    January 9, 2019

    Welcome to Inspector Pumphead’s classroom. This is the place where the Inspector likes to teach everything he knows about all the parts and components that makeup pumps! This is also the place where he likes to talk about himself in the third person. In this week’s edition the Inspector will be discussing what a pressure switch is and how they operate. The Inspector would also like to point out that if you ever inspect your pressure switch, always make sure the power to it is OFF for safety’s sake. Pressure switches are commonly associated with well pumps. Well pumps deliver the clean water to your house that you use for drinking, watering the garden, and loading the unnecessarily-large-but-you-can-never-have-too-much-firepower Super Soaker that you terrorize your neighbors with. What, just me But the Inspector digresses... To put it in a nutshell, pressure switches basically tell the pump when to turn on and when to turn off. A more technical definition of a pressure switch sounds like this: a device that monitors pressure and provides an output when a set pressure is reached. The specific pressure that opens and closes the switch is called the set point. Many residential pressure switches are designed for a minimum of 30 PSI and a maximum of 50 PSI (or pounds per square inch). So in this example when the pressure in the system drops to 30 PSI, the switch activates and lets more water flow into the system. At 50 PSI, the switch turns off. Pressure switches are comprised of several components including an adjustment screw, diaphragm, lever, and contacts. The adjustment screw sets the spring pressure. This can be adjusted to change the on-and-off pressure range that the switch operates at. The standard range of a pressure switch is usually located on the unit itself or on the box it comes in. You can always check online as well if you know the model number. Pressure switches rely on water pressure to do all the work. The change in pressure that activates the switch is provided via the water from the well. The pressure moves up through the diaphragm which presses against a piston and spring, which in turn opens or closes the contacts.  Open contacts located within the switch, closes when pressure drops. This completes an electrical circuit, which in turn activates the pump. When the set pressure is reached, this allows the contacts to open again which turns off the pump. Pressure switches are usually wired to a control box. Wires from the box are connected to separate terminals within the switch while other terminals are connected to a power supply. If you have any questions about pressure switches or if you’re in need of a replacement, you can give our pressure switch page a look or give a call to one of our PumpProducts.com application engineers. They’re waiting for your call and would be happy to help you figure out which pressure switch is right for your application. They have been personally trained by the Inspector so they know what they’re talking about! Check in next time to the Inspector’s classroom where he will be getting into pressure switch troubleshooting, adjusting, and maintenance tips! 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.

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  • Selecting a Pump for Groundwater Applications

    January 2, 2019

    As long as gravity exists, people will need pumps. If your application requires the pumping of groundwater, making sure you have the right pump for the job is essential. Using a pump that is incorrectly sized for an application can lead to damages in equipment and your wallet. The first thing to keep in mind is the type of fluid you intend on pumping. Is it clear water or water, such as grey water, that is mixed with solids such as dirt and silt The material you’re pumping can drastically change the model of pump you need. If you do expect solids, make sure your pump is suited for solids handling. Next you’ll need to figure out how far exactly and where the water is going to be pumped. Knowing this will help you determine the required total dynamic head (TDH) and flow rate of your application, which are key factors when picking a pump. Total dynamic head refers to the total resistance in a pumping application. To calculate the required total dynamic head, you will need to figure out two factors: vertical rise and friction loss. Vertical rise is how high your water will need to travel before gravity takes over. Friction loss is the loss of flow in a system due to friction created by factors like pipe type or fittings. You can follow this guide for more information on calculating TDH. Once you know the TDH, you will need to figure out the total distance the water needs to be pumped, or how far from the source of the liquid to its ultimate destination. This will help determine your flow rate, or the velocity of the liquid traveling within a certain amount of time (usually measured in gallons per minute). Once you know your specifications, you can refer to a pump curve chart to see if that model of pump will work for your application. Pump curve charts are a helpful tool in figuring out what a pump is capable of and in mapping out their efficiencies over various specifications. You can find these charts on PumpProducts.com, which are usually located in a pump’s brochure under the manuals tab on our product pages. If you need additional help in sizing out a pump for your groundwater application, give our application engineers a call. They’re standing by to answer your questions and make sure you get the right pump for your application. They’ll basically do the work for you! 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.

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  • What is a Jet Pump?

    November 14, 2018

    Believe it or not, jet pumps are not associated with the awful New York football team. They are referred to as such because they work similarly to a jet engine in the way they create large amounts of pressure. Jet pumps are mounted above ground and are non-submersible. They are typically used to draw water from a well through a suction pipe in order to provide potable water or domestic water pressure. Other common applications (though certainly not limited to) include light commercial or residential irrigation and supplying water for sprinkler systems. Jet pumps are typically more popular in warmer climates or areas with high water tables. Jet pumps come in two variations: deep well and shallow well. The type of jet pump most suitable for your application will be dependent on the depth of your well. Shallow well jet pumps are used to transport water from wells as deep as 25 feet. Deep wells are generally used for depths up to about 200 feet. Deep well jet pumps can move larger volumes of water more quickly and over longer distances than shallow well pumps. Please note that altitude can affect the specific depth to which a pump can draw water from. Deep well pumps can also be referred to as convertible jet pumps. This means that the pump can be used in either shallow or deep wells. In a shallow well setup, an ejector kit (or jet kit) is built in or attached to the pump. For deep wells, the kit is placed down in the well. This ejector kit helps force water up from the bottom of the well. If you already have a jet pump and you are looking to determine whether it is a deep well or shallow well pump, look at how many pipes are between the pump and the water source. One pipe indicates a shallow well pump while two pipes indicate a deep well pump. It is important to keep in mind that jet pumps should never run dry. Running a pump dry may significantly and permanently damage the pump. Jet pumps need to be primed first before they are ready to draw water. In order to prime your jet pump, first make sure the electricity to your pump is off. Next remove the priming plug on the wet end of the pump (or the side opposite the motor). Then fill the priming vent with water until it reaches the top of the vent. The idea behind this is to remove all the air from the pump housing. After the pump is primed, your pump is ready to go and you can turn the electricity back on to the pump. If the pump does not pull water within five minutes you may need to re-prime the pump. 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.

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  • 3 Signs You Need a New Sewage Pump

    October 11, 2018

    Below is a list of a few things you never want to see break down: The 87’ Volvo you’ve owned since college breaking down during a long road trip. Your 87 year old grandma breaking it down during the bridge of a popular hip-hop song. (Most costly of all) Your sewage pump breaking down after your extended family comes over for a 4 course Thanksgiving dinner.   Sewage pumps are used to transport waste and solids up to 2 inches in diameter to a public sewer or septic tank. Though sewage pumps typically have a service life that can last 10 or even 30 years depending on circumstances and variables, they are not immune to certain malfunctions without regular maintenance. Below are a few signs and indications that you may need to call your local plumber or look for a replacement sewage pump. Smells Perhaps the most obvious (and arguably worst) sign your sewage pump needs replacing would be the-why-does-my-basement-smell-like-my toilet-bowl fragrance suddenly emanating from your basement. This could be an indication that your pump is not emptying the pit or basin after it turns on. Smells could also mean you have a pipe leak in your system. If you or your local plumber can’t find a pipe leak, this could mean your sewage pump is faulty and may need replacing. Continuously Running If the pump is running constantly this could be an issue with your float switch. Float switches basically tell your pump when to turn on and when to turn off. When the water within the pit or basin reaches a certain height, it moves the float switch which in turn activates the pump. If the float switch is tethered, make sure the switch can properly hang straight down and is not encumbered or stuck. Constantly running can lead to a pump burning itself out or significantly shortening its service life. Fluid not being pumped If your pump is running but the basin is not emptying of wastewater, it could mean that your pump is clogged or not drawing enough power to create the suction necessary to pump. This could also be a symptom of your pump being overheated and shutting off from thermal overload. Be sure to monitor your pump and to minimize any toilet flushing to ensure that no wastewater floods over your basin or pit. Please note, that if there are a few inches of water in the bottom of the pit at any given time, this is normal and nothing to worry over. Remember that taking care of your sewage pump will mean your sewage pump taking care of you. Pump repairs can be costly and it may be more cost effective just to purchase a replacement. Fret not because if you’re reading this, you’re in the right place. PumpProducts.com carries a wide variety of sewage pumps from the most reliable brands in the industry like Goulds, Zoeller, and Myers among others. We also offer some of the lowest prices on the web. Call our application engineers and they can help size you out the right pump for your application. This means next Thanksgiving you can eat comfortably, knowing your reliable sewage pump is doing the dirty work so you don’t have to. 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.

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  • 3 Common Grinder Pump Problems

    October 11, 2018

    Grinder pumps are not just for making cool videos of cutting up rubber chickens. Grinder pumps are used in applications that require large solids to be sheared into a fine slurry, which is then pumped into a sewage system. Think sort of like a blender, but not the kind made for smoothies. Grinding solids down also allows grinder pumps to be suitable for applications which require higher heads. Grinder pumps however, like all pumps, are not immune to their environment and require care and maintenance (if Inspector Pumphead has one thing he wants people to know, it’s that pumps need a little TLC every now and then too). Problems with your grinder pump can lead to other serious problems like sewage backup so making sure your grinder pump is in tip-top shape will save you headaches and repair costs down the road. Below are some common issues grinder pump owners can experience and some solutions. Clogs There are some things that shouldn’t be flushed down a toilet or poured down a drain. Materials such as kitty litter, paint, disposable napkins, and oil should all stay far away from your pipes. Substances such as these can build-up and become debris which in turn will restrict the flow of a grinder pump. Clogs can lead to more serious problems, like sewage being leaked onto your lawn (no one wants to mow that grass). A common fix to prevent blockages is to wash the pump periodically using a standard garden hose. Clotting If your pump is making a strange, whirring noise when it’s activated, this could be a sign of clotting. Clotting occurs after larger pieces of debris get caught and stick to the inner workings of the pump. This debris accumulates over time and can expand within the pump. Clotting can lead to a pump operating more slowly or even turning on more frequently. If your grinder is suffering from clotting, the best option is to call your local plumber and have the pump cleaned out. Freezing If you live in warmer climates, grinders can be buried a few feet underground without a second thought. However if you live in a colder climate, it is important to know what your frost line is. Frost line (sometimes referred to as frost level or frost depth) is the maximum depth below the soil that does not freeze in the winter. Wastewater traveling through a grinder that is not buried deep enough can freeze and seriously damage the inner workings of the pump. It is also important to keep in mind the depth at which your pipes are buried when it comes to frost line as frozen pipes can be just as much of a headache. If your pump is continually giving you issues or needs constant repairs, the best solution is to visit or call PumpProducts.com. Luckily PumpProducts.com carries grinder pumps for a variety of applications from the most trusted brands in the industry. Give our experts a call and they can help you select a brand-spankin-new pump that will work in your system so your pump can get to grinding wastewater instead of grinding your gears (bad joke alert, I know, but I couldn’t help myself). 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.

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  • Should I Turn My Pond Pump Off for the Winter?

    September 12, 2018

    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. 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.

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  • 5 Things to Know Before Buying a Pump

    September 6, 2018

    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. 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. 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.

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  • How to Locate and Close the Main Water Shut Off Valve

    September 4, 2018

    There are a few things that you should absolutely know exactly where they are 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 located on your house. 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. 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. 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 may take some searching but knowing where your main shut off valve is located in your home is one of those underrated yet important things every homeowner should know.

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  • How to Prime a Transfer Pump

    August 15, 2018

    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. 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.

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