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How to choose the right pump

Pumps that are designed to move clear water can easily get clogged by thicker sludge and debris. If you need something with more of a kick, you need to hire a trash pump.

These powerful pumps are built to handle high volumes of trash water and slurries, but they're not all created equal. The type of trash pump you choose depends on the type of water you need to pump, the portability you require and the volumes you're dealing with.

The three main categories of trash pumps are:

1. Centrifugal pumps

Standard trash pumps have a large pump housing that can tolerate debris such as pebbles, twigs and leaves. These objects pass through the wide impeller veins with ease, but it's still important to use a strainer to avoid overworking the pump and reduce cleaning and maintenance.

2. Semi trash pumps

These pumps also use centrifugal force to draw up water, but they're better suited to less sludgy water with smaller debris. Larger objects can damage a semi trash pump, so it's important to check whether the hose has a strainer or to hire one separately.

3. Diaphragm pumps

The heavy-duty end of trash pumps, air diaphragm pumps work similar to a piston engine as they draw in water and eject it through the pump. These pumps can handle thicker sludges, slurries and chemicals, with a range of diameters available. To determine which type of trash pump is the best fit for your dewatering needs, ask yourself:

What type of water are you dealing with?

You don't always need to hire the most powerful trash pump available. You equipment supplier can recommend the best fit for your situation.

If the water you're pumping is only slightly muddy or sandy with no large debris, a semi trash pump could meet your needs and be a cheaper option than a full centrifugal pump.

If you need to pump more abrasive or sludgy liquids, such as draining a pond, an air diaphragm pump is your safest bet.

How much water do you need to move?

If you need to move water quickly, centrifugal and semi trash pumps are more efficient than diaphragm pumps, which specialise in low flow applications. If you're under time pressure and need to complete a dewatering project more rapidly, you may need to hire multiple pumps. This helps to divide the load during peak flow times and means you'll have a backup if one pump develops a problem.

Do you need a portable pump?

If you're draining a large area or multiple locations, you could benefit from a portable pump that's easy to move around. Air diaphragm pumps are usually more portable than centrifugal pumps, but for the greatest convenience you should look into lightweight options such as portable wet prime pumps for sewers.

What accessories do you need?

Trash pumps may come equipped with hoses and strainers as standard, but you should also see what specialised pump accessories your supplier offers to enhance your dewatering project, from pipes, valves and couplings to acoustic barriers.

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