Tips for Choosing a Water Pump


April 21, 2017House & Garden

When it comes to nature and the demonstration of all its might, there’s never a dull time in Australia. In summer it’s battling bushfires, while the transition to autumn brings about plenty of raging storms quickly creating flooding problems. It sure seems as though we can’t catch a break, but it’s also helped us learn over time why it’s important to know the machinery we can rely on, such as water pumps in this case.

Considering there are all sorts of water pumps online and in stores one can find, it may not be easy to make the choice. Taking nature and its unpredictability into account, it’s not a matter of whether to buy a pump or not, but which one to buy. As first, it’s advisable to get to know the different types of pumps available for sale so you’d be able to purchase based on what you need it for. The pump is a hydraulic machine designed to increase the mechanical energy of liquids so as to move them from one place to another.


The water transfer pumps, also known as gushers, can move large amounts of water from one place to another as can be guessed from their name, making them ideal for several tasks; from fast fill tanker applications and flooding irrigation to dewatering construction sites, meaning they’re both useful for residential and commercial purposes. Fire fighting pumps logically are pumps used for dealing with fire, pumping water from the source, be it pool, tank or creek, with a great deal of pressure which also makes them suitable for high pressure spraying and spray irrigation.

Trash pumps, unlike transfer and fire pumps only suitable for clear water, serve their purpose of moving water with debris of up to two inches, as the one usually found at construction sites, whereas the sump pumps are perfect for basement flooding pumping the water away from the building and keeping the basement dry. Next, when choosing water pumps online or in store, make sure you’re well aware of the basic terms and what they indicate, such as flow rate, inlet size, maximum head and pressure.

The flow rate indicates how quickly you’re going to be able to move the water from one place to another, with a unit for measuring water flow known as GPM (gallons per minute) or LPM (litres per minute). While for home use you may not require more than 200 LPM, for construction sites and agriculture you may need as up to 2500 LPM or more, something stationary pumps can provide. Inlet size is related to flow rate, and all you have to know is the bigger the size, the faster the pump can pump, so if you’re up for job done faster, out of 1” to 6”, the bigger you buy the better.

Maximum head indicates the height the pump can pump to, encompassing both pumping height and suction height. Bare in mind the flow rate decreases as the height increases so if you want to be sure you’d have enough pumping pressure, buy maximum head that’s higher than the pumping height you require. When it comes to pressure, PSI (pounds per square inch) is what you should look into, i.e. the pump’s pressure rating. Vertical suction lift is the vertical distance from source to pump (top of the water to pump suction), something of importance when dealing with floods.

Remembering that transfer pumps have lower PSI capacity, meaning they have lower pressure but high flow rate, if you need high pressure capacity then high pressure fire fighting pumps is what you should be after, but mind you, their flow rate is lower than that of transfer pumps. In case you want to do the math and work out the pressure capacity of a pump, multiply the maximum head by 1.42; 1.42 PSI equals 1m maximum head.

Last but not least, proper maintenance is the way for enhanced durability, so if you want the pump you buy to serve you for years to come, you better make pump maintenance part of your chores. And of course, don’t forget to do your homework and learn the pump glossary well.