Pumps are – quite literally – the beating heart of a lot of industrial, construction and agricultural operations. Whether they’re pumping water onto a fire or moving oil or gas in a mine, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist without high quality, reliable pumps.
Given their immense importance, and the fact that they’re used for such a wide range of applications, choosing the right pump is extremely important. Getting it wrong can not only impact the effectiveness of your operations, but it can also result in costly damage, breakdowns and even hazardous accidents.
Before you head to your local pump sales & hire store to buy a pump, there are some important questions to ask in order to make sure you make the right choice.
Check out the rest of this post to learn more about the 5 things you need to know before buying a pump.
What Are You Pumping?
This might seem a bit obvious, but the first thing you need to know is what it is that you’ll be pumping.
If your pump isn’t suited to the type of fluid that it’s pumping it can lead to corrosion and unnecessary wear & tear. These, in turn, can lead to expensive repairs & maintenance, or event total breakdowns that mean you have to replace the pump entirely.
Questions to ask include:
- What is the viscosity and specific gravity of the fluid?
- Are there solids present? If so, what is the particle size, percentage of solids in the fluid and are they smooth or sharp?
- Are there chemicals present? If so what are they and what are their concentrations?
- What is the temperature of the fluid?
Where Are You Pumping?
Understandably, the location of your pumping application will be a big determining factor in the kind of pump you’ll need.
For example, some pumps are submersible, while others will be irrevocably damaged if water gets into their motor components. Your pumps surroundings will also determine how long its service life is, and there are also size and weight concerns to take into account.
What Are Your Head & Pressure Requirements?
“Head” is a technical pumping term that refers to the longest distance (in terms of height) that a pump is able to pump a fluid before gravity takes over.
This important, because if you try and pump a fluid higher than your pump’s maximum head, your flow rate will be zero and nothing will happen.
You need to choose a pump that can generate enough pressure to get the job done effectively.
What Flow Rate Do You Need?
Understanding your flow rate properly is one of the most important steps to ensuring that the pump you buy is suitable for your needs. It refers to the rate you want to transfer fluid, and essentially determines the overall effectiveness of a pump.
Questions to ask include:
- Are you transferring, decanting or dosing?
- Are there chemicals present in the fluid, and if so, what are their concentrations?
What Inlet Size Do You Need?
Pump inlet sizes vary a lot, but most are typically between 1 and 6 inches in diameter.
The inlet size you choose will affect the amount of fluid that you’re able to pump and the speed that you can pump it at. Basically, the larger inlets allow more fluid to be pumped out faster.
So there you have it. Before you buy your next pump, make sure you’re prepared and have answers to all of the questions above. Doing so will ensure that you’re able to make the right choice.