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Monthly Archives: February 2018

  • How does a coolant pump work?

    Think you might need a coolant pump? You’ve come to the right place. By coolant pumpleaning on our years of experience in the pumps industry, we have created this post that will tell you everything you need to know about coolant pumps. For everything from sizing requirements to compatibility with different materials, you’ll find it all here.

    What is a coolant pump?

    As you can probably guess by the name, the role of the coolant pump is to ensure that coolant is distributed evenly throughout the structure in which it is situated. Coolant is any substance (generally speaking a liquid or gas though) that is used to regulate the temperature of a system. In industrial processing, the term ‘heat transfer fluid’ often replaces the term ‘coolant.’ Coolant pumps are used in a range of industries, which has led coolant pumps to specialise in a number of different ways.  Typically though, a coolant pump is a submersible multistage centrifugal pump. Put in simpler terms, a coolant pump is capable of operating fully submerged in liquid, and works by imparting energy from the rotation of multiple shaft-driven impellers to the coolant.

    Secondly, it is important to differentiate machine tool coolant pumps (which are the kind we deal in here at Pump Sales Direct) from the coolant pumps you might find in your car, or further still, in a nuclear reactor. Although functionally similar - they all work by pumping a coolant around - there are a number of subtle differences that distinguish them from one another in practice. A coolant pump designed for a pressurised water reactor for example, is more elaborate and technical as it needs to be able to transfer heat in a steam generator to water across different pressure circuits. Meanwhile, in car engines and machine tools, the role of the coolant pump is more straightforward as they are only needed to circulate coolant irrespective of pressure differentials.

    How do I know if I need a coolant pump? And if so, what kind do I need?

    Because coolant pumps have so many industrial applications (everything from boiler feeds to industrial washing machines) it can be difficult to work out whether you actually require one, and narrowing it down to a specific model can be even tougher. However, once you have established your flow, pressure and length requirements, picking out the right coolant pump is relatively uncomplicated. On the other hand, if you are still unsure when it comes to the technical details, the flexibility of the Grundfos range of SPK coolant pumps makes them a feasible choice in a multitude of scenarios.

    At Pump Sales Direct, alongside the very popular Grundfos SPK range, we stock a variety of machine tool coolant pumps. Have a look at this extensive range of machine tool coolant pumps here.

  • Condensate Pumps Explained

    condensate pumpcondensate pump could be the only thing standing between you and the overdue resolution of the dampness issue in your home that has been lingering for far too long. Unfortunately, the inner workings of condensate pumps aren’t exactly common knowledge, and this lack of familiarity and understanding on the part of homeowners can often be the stumbling block that prevents an issue like this from being resolved much quicker. With this in mind, Pump Sales Direct have put together this guide that covers everything you need to know about condensate pumps.

    How is condensate formed?

    In the process of heating your home, heating systems also produce latent water vapour. As is inevitable in any form of HVAC process, steam is produced - giving rise to the welcome temperature change that the product is designed to. However, when this same steam cools, it condenses into water droplets and becomes a waste product.

    Why is it so important to remove condensate?

    As well as causing dampness or even flooding in large quantities, the latent water vapour (or condensate) that accumulates below your boiler can also contain traces of potentially dangerous contaminants. These factors serve to underline the importance of finding a way to dispose of condensate properly.

    What are condensate pumps and how do they work?

    Put simply, condensate pumps help get rid of all of the steam (or condensate) that can build up in your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, condensing boiler or refrigerator over time. By transferring energy from a motor to the condensate itself via a rotating impeller, the pump is able to remove condensate quickly and effectively. Generally speaking, there are only relatively small amounts of liquid involved and condensate pumps often have small tanks for exactly this reason. The tanks allow them to store condensate until levels increase enough to activate the float valve, whereupon the condensate is released into a drain.

    How do I know if I need a condensate pump?

    Assuming it isn't the fault of your own central heating pump, finding dampness or worse in the pipes that service your HVAC is the clearest illustration you can find of the need for a condensate pump, but there is another important telltale sign you should be on the lookout for.

    What normally distinguishes a condensing boiler that is in need of an accompanying condensate pump, and one that isn’t, is location. Enough distance from a convenient drain, or positioning well below ground level, will prevent a boiler from ridding itself of condensate on its own.

    Typically, boilers are reliant on the natural action of gravity to drain condensate away. A condensing boiler located in a basement then, is poorly placed to take advantage of the gravitational pull that so many others boilers rely on. If your condensing boiler is in your basement, or a similarly ill-equipped location, and is not currently being serviced by a condensate pump, it is well worth exploring the possibility of purchasing one.

    For a range of condensate pumps, shop online at Pump Sales Direct.

     

  • Managing the global water shortage crisis in 2018 and beyond

    flotec pumps

    Whilst some areas are weathering widespread flooding, others, like Cape Town and California, are experiencing water shortage crises. How we choose to manage our most precious commodity may well define us as a species over the coming century. But in order to address the crisis, we first need to understand what it is.

    The causes of the coming water shortage crisis

    Overconsumption, an over-burgeoning global population (and its subsequent demands on agriculture), and anthropogenic climate change are the main contributors leading to global water shortage problems. The current crisis in Cape Town for example—a City on course to set records as the first to officially run out of water—is partly to blame on population growth, coupled with three years of very low rainfall.

    A consequence of the water crisis

    More than two-thirds of our planet is covered in water. Yet it is a remarkable fact that as little as 2.5 per cent is suitable for our drinking—and the vast majority of that small fraction is also inaccessible to us, being stored away in the glaciers of Greenland or Antarctica, or as permafrost or groundwater.

    We have already seen the first of the resource wars of the twenty-first century, those played out in Middle East over oil. It’s possible in the future wars may be waged over possession of water. This may not be as far off as one would think: Ethiopia is in the process of constructing a dam over the River Nile—much to the chagrin of Egypt. And there is at least some evidence linking the Syrian migrant crisis of 2015 to a prolonged drought.

    So, though it doesn’t seem obvious at first, a lack of water can trigger unrest in areas of national security for the Western powers.

    How we, the global community, can prevent the crisis

    Education is key, and farmers across the world are already learning about more sustainable ways to raise livestock, in addition to planting drought-resistant crops, turning to drip-irrigation practices and taking measures to capture and store as much rainfall as possible.

    It might seem this crisis will disproportionately affect the developing world, but that is not to say the education programmes should end there. On the contrary, it is vital that we take the necessary steps, so that citizens of the developed world learn to understand the importance of water, to respect it, not to waste it and—most importantly, not to take it for granted.

    How you can do your bit with Flotec pumps

    A perverse flip-side of the global weather conditions coin is that, where some regions are set to endure exacerbating droughts and dryness, other regions will experience more intense rainfall, with flooding being a likely consequence.

    Flotec pumps are ideal for dealing with dirty water. Even water that contains large, suspended solids as flood run-off generally does. This makes it ideal for draining pools or ponds overwhelmed with detritus in the flood, as it operates as normal even at fully-submersed depths of up to seven metres. And, as the pressure grows for us to collect and do more with our freshwater, pumps such as this one may play an increasingly important role in the recycling processes.

    If this post has interested you, take a look at some of the articles on our blog which further explore the topic of water management, such as how we treat wastewater here and how centrifugal pumps will become increasingly relevant in humankind’s management of the crisis.

  • Fighting off floods: Six tips and tricks

    Floods count as some of the biggest and most costly natural disasters to befall the British people—and the long-term forecast is bleak as climate change predicates longer and more intense rainfall.

    So, get your wellies on, your umbrella out, and give this a good read. The chances are, unfortunately, you’ll need it.

    Know the risk

    In England and Wales more than five-and-a-half million homes are at risk of flooding, and despite the increasing concerns over exacerbated flooding more than 10,000 new homes are built across flood-prone areas in Britain every year.

    Some areas, however, are more prone than others. And though the Environment Agency has said it is impossible to completely protect your property, the Agency can help homeowners with a “flood plan” that could keep you and your property safe.

    Make your house less permeable

    Arguably the best form of damage limitation is to prevent the water from entering your home in the first place. Water often seeps in through doors, air bricks, and other gaps. A form of reverse pressure can even force water to back-up through the sinks, even the dishwasher.

    Fortunately, guards and covers can be fitted in times of emergency, and “non-return” values can be fitted to pipes susceptible to backing up. Be sure to look for any flood-prevention products with the “kitemark” accolade. The kitemark is a symbol that the product has been tested to the rigorous standards of the Environmental Agency.

    Limit the damage with Clarke pumps

    clarke pumps

    The Clarke pumps available in our catalogue are submersible and known for their durability; they operate in dirty water—even water containing solids in suspension—as flood water undoubtedly will have. Now for the ingenious part: the pump has a float switch that enables it to operate automatically, whenever it detects a rise in the water level. So, if disaster strikes, this pump will be one step forward on the road to recovery.

    For more information on the kinds of pumps we sell, check out our article about it here.

    Keep the important belongings safe

    Expensive electrical gadgets, that handmade rug from overseas—any sentimental/irreplaceable belongings should be kept far from range of any floodwater; ideally upstairs, in waterproof cases, even in a different building. The plug sockets, if they aren’t already, should be relocated to higher ground.

    Prepare an emergency flood kit

    Ideally this should contain your ID, a change of clothes, any medication you should require, and some first-aid equipment—in addition to a list of useful contacts such as Floodline and your home insurance and policy number.  

    Be wary of the hidden costs for homeowners on a floodplain

    In addition to the already enormous cost of buying a home in Britain, an increasing number will require substantial investment into flood deterrents. Think, are you buying a home in a flood-prone area? Is it flood-resistant and, is it worth the price if not? It can cost anything up to £5,000 to resist quick, flash floods and this number can be expected to accumulate to as much as £40, 000 in the long term, in the more vulnerable flood hot spots. So think carefully before you commit.

    Do you live in a high-risk flood area? Read our blog here to find out, then take the appropriate measures.

  • How to create and maintain the perfect garden pond

    garden pond

    A pond is an attractive proposition for many homeowners. A body of water brings with it a burgeoning ecosystem of aquatic wildlife and vegetation, as well as aesthetic value. Despite the obvious advantages of having a garden pond, the effort required to actually build and maintain a thriving pond is an insurmountable stumbling block for many. Creating the perfect pond may not be as painstaking a task as you may have anticipated. With this quick guide as a head start, you may find it a great deal easier than expected.

    Construction

    The construction aspect of installing a pond into your garden is far and away the most costly and arduous component of the whole endeavour. Before lining the pond, the turf itself has to be excavated to your desired shape and depth by hand - whether you choose to dig it yourself or hire someone else is completely up to you. From there, a pond filter has to be installed to keep the water clean. A not altogether essential but nevertheless significant step is to surround the pond with rocks, stones or slabs as both a practical and decorative addition.

    Wildlife

    The type of wildlife you intend to attract to your pond will also dictate how you maintain it. Koi fish, while relatively hardy and resilient, require a finely tuned set of conditions in order to flourish. Neutral pH levels, excessive filtering and sterilisation of bacteria are all prerequisites for a koi pond.

    And while your instinct may agree to this in order to cultivate glistening crystal-clear waters, much of the wildlife typical of British ponds actually prefer to operate in much more congested waters full of vegetation. Tadpoles for example, depend on a bountiful source of algae as their primary food source. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends that only around 50% of surface water should be free from vegetation.

    Plants

    Any plants that you choose to inhabit your pond serve a practical purpose as well as an ornamental one. Certain plant species will help oxygenate your pond and some will even attract other species and wildlife. Other pond plants with unassuming names like water fern and floating pennywort are actually invasive and can have a devastating impact on the surrounding ecosystem - be extremely careful which plant life you choose to introduce.

    Cost

    Costs can vary wildly depending on the size of your pond and the type of life you want to live in it. Even within a single species, costs can differ dramatically from one purchase to another. Koi fish for example, a hugely popular pond species, can range in price from £10 to thousands and thousands; it all depends on your preferences.

    Maintenance

    submersible dirty water pump

    Even the most unkempt garden pond requires a certain amount of maintenance. Thinning out overgrown plants and removing any debris that may accumulate in the water are minimum requirements for a healthy pond. A full and thorough overhaul in which a submersible dirty water pump is used to drain the pond is required once every five years.

     

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