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Although there are several types of pumps, they usually fall into either the centrifugal or positive displacement categories. Centrifugal pumps use flow velocity to continuously transfer water but may not always have a consistent speed. Positive displacement pumps trap water and move it consistently when enough has built up to cause pressure. These are the main types of pumps sold for moving water.
These portable positive displacement pumps are typically used for clean agricultural purposes or fighting fires. A high-pressure pump is designed to move water over long distances. However, it is not designed for use with water containing sediment or a lot of mud. For an engine with 7 horsepower, expect to pay between $900 and $2,000. Engines with 10 horsepower or higher may cost anywhere from $1,100 to over $4,000 for top fire-fighting pumps.
These pumps deliver constant power and are ideal for moving water out of a hot tub, swimming pool or clean landscaping pond. They are not made for pumping dirty water and can only handle solids up to one-fourth of an inch in size. When draining a dirty pool or a flooded basement, a semi-solid transfer pump is better since it can handle solids up to three-fourths of an inch in size. Pump sizes vary between 1.5 inches and 4 inches for the intake inlet diameter. For a standard pump, prices typically range between $600 and $1,000 depending on the intake capacity.
Centrifugal trash pumps are larger and durable enough to handle liquid with sizeable solid matter. These pumps typically hold up to 25 percent solid matter by volume. As a rule, they can take solids that are about one-half the size of the suction inlet. Some larger pumps can handle rocks, sticks and debris slightly over an inch in diameter. These pumps are used for irrigation, debris cleanup and construction sites. Heavy-duty trash pumps may move up to 6,000 litres per minute. Prices vary between about $700 and $2,000 depending on capacity and power.
These positive displacement pumps are also used in construction sites or in instances where there is water seepage to control. The low-volume pump is designed to keep areas dry and will not sustain damage if the water dries up before the pump is turned off. Diaphragm pumps can usually hold 25 percent solid matter by volume and can handle debris, mud and water. These pumps are priced about the same as trash pumps. Prices often range between $400 and $3,500 depending on specifications and power.
Deciding which of these types of water pumps to buy can be confusing. The criteria in the following water pump selection guide will help you decide. For sizing within a specific pump category, consult a pump sizing guide.
How quickly must the water be moved? In the event of a flood that could lead to water damage and fungus or a fire that needs to be put out immediately, there is an urgent demand. Look at a pump's discharge capacity or litre-per-minute pumping ability. Also, note its power or horsepower capability. These factors affect how quickly water is moved.
This is the distance between the source of water and the outlet where the water is discharged. Maximum head lift greatly affects the efficiency of a pump. For example, choosing one with a lower capacity in this area for transferring water long distances on a farm would yield poor results.
The distance from the water source to the pump itself is the vertical suction lift. When a pump is used to move water upward from a pool or well, this is an essential consideration. Be sure that the pump's vertical suction limit measurement matches the distance between where the pump will sit and the bottom of the water's depth.
It is easy to buy all of these types of pumps online, and some vendors sell diesel pump sets as well. Make sure you go for a reliable brand such as the Perkins diesel engine. Always consult a pump sizing guide to match individual needs with pump specifications before making a purchase.