WATER TRANSFER PUMPS: A HANDY TOOL FOR HOMEOWNERS
ONTARIO, Calif. – If it’s springtime, it’s time for heavy rains that can cause basement flooding, particularly if your grading is not sloped away from the house, or if you have cracks in your foundation. While those flooding hazards can be repaired, there is always the chance that a 100-year rain will penetrate your basement no matter what. This is where a water transfer pump will come in handy.
Water transfer pumps are available in a variety of sizes, but their function is the same – to move water from one location to another via an inlet valve and a discharge valve.
“While indispensible if your basement floods, water transfer pumps have other uses,” said Dorrance Noonan, CEO of A-iPower, a manufacturer of water pumps, generators, pressure washers, and gasoline engines. “They are handy for light aquarium applications, garden ponds, swimming pool covers, hot tubs, boating, and almost any other task that requires movement of water.”
Choosing a Water Pump
No matter the brand, all pumps have three measurements.
- Discharge capacity (gallons per minute) – the greater the flow, the faster the water will be moved.
- Maximum head lift (the total point from the water source to the pump) – the greater the head, the higher you can pump the water.
- Vertical suction lift – the vertical distance that a pump may be placed above the water level and be able to draw water.
For most lightweight residential needs, a discharge capacity of 130 gpm, a head lift of 98 feet, and a vertical lift of 23 feet are sufficient. (Numbers are approximate.)
To ensure your pump is durable and long-lasting, check for these design/engineering features.
- Fully enclosed heavy-duty frame
- Silicon carbide mechanical seals
- Cast Iron cylinder sleeve
- Cast iron volute and impeller
- Low-oil shutdown
- Dual element air filter
Operating the Water Transfer Pump
Place the pump on a level surface free from any obstructions or potential hazards. The pump should be placed close to the water level to ensure maximum pump performance. Note: Transfer pumps are NOT submersible and should not be place in water.
Use hoses that are no longer than necessary. That will enable the pump to produce the greatest output with the least self-priming time. The discharge hose should be short and large diameter because that will reduce fluid friction and improve pump output. A long or small-diameter hose will increase fluid friction and reduce pump output.
Water transfer pumps are gasoline powered and therefore, like generators, have to be run outside the home, building, or enclosure, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
To prevent fire hazards, keep the pump at least five feet away from building walls and other equipment during operation. Do not place flammable objects close to the engine.
Water transfer pumps should not be used for pumping gasoline and fuel oil mixtures, detergents, acids, chemicals, beverages, pesticides, fertilizers or any other flammable liquid or corrosive.
If the water contains hard or soft solids, such as mud, leaves, small twigs, sand, and sludge, use a trash water pump.