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  • How do drainage pumps work?

    drainage pumps

    Drainage pumps are often installed to move waste-water from a range of domestic and industrial sites, including private housing, farmland, and construction sites. They deal in underground dewatering, usually when gravity can't be applied to move the water (in this respect a drainage pump is similar to a sewage pump). What a drainage pump does is effectively ‘what it says on the tin', however, how they do it is a different matter entirely. This article aims to introduce the how's and why's of non-submersible and submersible drainage pumps.  

    Non-Submersible Drainage Pumps

    A non-submersible drainage pump is not placed directly in water; instead, it uses suction hoses and permanent pipework to transport the waste-water from the unwanted location. This type of drainage pump is often used when pumping waste-water from ponds, and other mobile drainage requirements.

    Submersible Drainage Pumps

    The reputable pump manufacturer Grundfos defines the submersible pump as "an enclosed unit with a close coupled pump and motor, due to its construction, the pumps are suitable for submersible installations – designed to be partially or completely immersed in water."

    A submersible drainage pump will collect water from the base of the unit and transport the water up and out of the system and include a no return valve to ensure there is no potentially damaging backflow. To use the ABS Coronada 250W-SX as an example, it is optimised to work when submerged in several ways. Firstly, the unit is encased in corrosion resistant stainless steel which is vital for the products durability – the model is also equipped with thermal sensors in the motor to prevent overheating. The Coronada is also equipped with the previously mentioned no return valve.

    The Calpeda GXRm 11 fits the similar purpose of draining rooms, water extraction, and can also clean water containing solids of up to 10mm in size. Its operating systems differ in various ways from the Coronada, for example in the Calpeda the motor is cooled by the water passing between the motor jacket and external jacket. However, both jackets are similarly corrosion proof – making both these submersible drainage pumps excellent units for domestic use.  

    Submersible Drainage Pumps & Industrial Use

    An industrial site naturally includes different working conditions when compared to the domestic setting – the Trencher T400F automatic submersible drainage pump is an excellent example to consider concerning industrial conditions.

    Whilst this pump is undoubtedly suited to a residential environment, what makes it uniquely suited to industrial sites is its adept handling of water supply from lakes and rivers. The Trencher is excellent when dealing with sediment removal thanks to its high abrasive resistance resin vortex impeller– which is something more common in industrial sites that often handle raw materials, thus this feature is less likely to be needed in a suburban estate.

    Every pump adheres to its specifications and operating systems, they often share a common purpose but when looking at the ‘how', one must look carefully at the detailed specification pdf's that are regularly available to select the correct drainage pump for you.

  • Making Your Office More Eco-Friendly

    With the average person spending 90,000 hours in the office during their lifetime, it is safe to assume that a decent-sized chunk of the pollution we produce as a species comes during the working day. While it is admittedly easy for environmental considerations to slip your mind in the midst of pressing meetings and deadlines, it is more important than ever not to abandon the planet - especially as temperatures continue to climb and extreme weather becomes a regularity rather than a rarity. To transform your office into an environmentally-friendly one that requires very little effort to upkeep on a daily basis, here are a number of the most effective changes you can possibly make.

    Saving paper

    hot water pump


    It may seem counter-intuitive to reduce the number of bins in an office if you want to encourage recycling, but that is exactly what the consensus is in the environmental community. By getting rid of personal bins, employees are forced to move around in search of a bin and are more likely to make a more conscious decision about whether the waste they are carrying can be recycled or not.

    Going one step further and eliminating the presence of bins in the office altogether is another option; one that is being explored successfully by the Macquarie Bank office in Sydney. The thinking behind it is that, without bins, employees have no choice but to complete their work without generating any paper waste.


    Before you even start thinking about how you can reclaim value from things you have already used, you should first consider how you can eliminate their use in the first place. Implementing software that can automatically improve the efficiency of any document you are printing - both in terms of ink usage and paper usage - can cut down on your office’s contributions to global warming. Brands like Green Print and E Print claim that their software can save up to 17% on printing materials.

    Saving electricity


    From the computers that allow you to send emails and store documents, to the kettles that provide you with boiling water, offices are full of electricity-guzzling equipment. Any opportunity to trim your electricity usage should be seized upon.

    Especially in larger offices, motion-activated lights can remove the human element that inevitably results in lights being left on when they simply don’t need to be. If you aren’t willing to take this step, you should at least consider installing LED lights, which use a fraction of the energy that their incandescent counterparts do. Similarly, energy-saving plugs will automatically switch off monitors and computers that are almost always left on standby after hours. These changes are simple yet effective.

    Saving water

    hot water pump

    In any UK office, people are constantly shuttling back and forth from the kitchen carrying cups of tea and coffee. For that reason, office kitchens are guilty of using copious amounts of water - not to mention the huge amounts of energy it takes to boil this water.  The most straightforward and effective method of reducing this amount of energy is to install a hot water pump. As well as providing your office with an instant supply of hot water, it does so extremely efficiently.


  • Is infrared heating here to stay?

    Infrared heating has struggled to find its market - that is, until late last year. Having been all but dismissed as a viable alternative to LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) infrared heating has since pivoted to great success. Infrared saunas are the latest craze gripping the famously fickle attention of the health industry - but is it just another fad that will stick around for a matter of months before exiting as unceremoniously as it entered, or is it built to last long-term?

    The history of infrared heaters  

    It wasn’t for another 150 years after the discovery of infra-red radiation that it was properly adapted for the purpose of heating. During World War Two, infrared heating started to prosper more. Banks and banks of infrared lamps were constructed to dry paints and lacquers on military equipment. After the war ended, infrared heating failed to go from strength-to-strength, with its use floundering rather than flourishing.

    Fit for use in the home?

    grundfos alpha

    Infra-red heating models itself as an alternative to the gas heaters that have a stranglehold on the heating market. Better for the environment and better for your bank balance apparently. Whilst the former can be true (if the source of electricity is renewable in origin) the latter certainly isn’t. At 14p per kWh (kilowatt hour) infrared heating is the most expensive heating fuel available. And it is perhaps for this reason that infrared heating has failed to cut into LPG’s sizeable market share in domestic heating - especially as LPG costs a meagre 6p per kWh. With tech like the Grundfos selectric ensuring maximum efficiency, the price battle between LPG and infrared becomes a complete mismatch.

    The revival of infrared heating?

    Infrared heating has experienced a resurgence as of late, mostly thanks to the infrared sauna and the growing roster of famous clientele that swear by its effects. Unlike many other health fads that fail to expand beyond the trend-setting hub of Los Angeles, infrared saunas have successfully breached the proverbial ceiling - and for that reason, they look set to stay -at least for a while anyway.

    What are infrared saunas?

    grundfos alpha

    As you can probably guess from the name, an infrared sauna replaces the heat that is typically generated through traditional means (hot rocks and water or something of that ilk) with radiant heat from infrared light. Because the infrared rays heat the body directly, rather than the surrounding air, a lower temperature of around 70°C (normal sauna temperature is around 90°C) is required to achieve the same cardiovascular exertion.

    Does the science back up the reported effects?

    What infrared saunas haven’t escaped is the absolute scarcity of scientific evidence backing their extensive list of miraculous effects. Improvements in cardiovascular health, weight loss, detoxification, and even euphoria are just a few of many supposed benefits.  The cardiovascular benefits are well-documented, but the rest, not so much. The weight loss claim is dubious at best - water weight is lost through sweat but is quickly replaced when rehydration takes place. As for the detoxifying effect, there is no evidence that any heavy metals or radiation are wiped from your body as many ‘experts’ have claimed. The purpose of sweat is to cool your body, not to expel toxins.

    In spite of the controversy, infrared saunas are enjoying a period of popularity at the moment and the future of infrared heating seems to rest firmly in the niche of saunas, rather than central heating.

  • From plastic bags to paving stones: innovative solutions to the waste crisis

    Disposing of hundreds of millions of tonnes of waste is no walk in the park - literally. The era of dumping waste in landfill sites is over. With the global population set to rise from 7 billion to 11 billion by 2100, the amount of waste we are producing is only going to rise. It is becoming more and more difficult to properly dispose of waste and the world is finally waking up to this fact - individuals all across the globe are committed to discovering new ways not just to dispose of waste, but to recover its utility completely.

    Battery-eating bacteria

    sewage pump Phone batteries at landfill

    In the modern age, a mobile phone is essentially an extension of the human body. While having almost boundless information at the tips of our fingers at all times is undoubtedly a positive, it also comes at a cost - e-waste is some of the most trying to dispose of. A slew of carcinogenic and toxic substances constitute the make-up of a phone battery and because of this, they pose a particular problem for waste disposal experts. The Belgians turned to smelting and the Germans opted for vacuums. The most successful approach appears to belong to researchers at the University of Edinburgh however. They are using bacteria that have the peculiar ability to precipitate out the precious metals in phone batteries as nanoparticles, allowing lithium, cobalt and nickel can all be extracted from battery waste.

    Vanishing circuit boards

    sewage pump Circuit boards at landfill

    Circuit boards are an indispensable part of all but the most primitive electronic devices. Because of their prevalence, they have been plaguing landfill sites with toxins like lead and mercury. In order to combat this threat, 12 research groups across the globe have made substantial efforts to produce a solution. It was discovered that silicon is water soluble, and subsequently, their research focused on reducing the standard width of these silicon circuit boards from 1 millimetre to just 100 nanometres,  allowing the circuit boards to dissolve in a matter of months.

    From plastic bags to paving stones

    Sewage pump Plastic at landfill

    Cameroon is just one example of a country that is turning one of its major flaws into an asset. Plastic bags and bottles have wrought havoc with the country’s environment - everything from blocked drains to polluted rivers have tormented Cameroonians. One savvy entrepreneur is making headway into ridding the country of this scourge by converting what had previously been plastic waste into paving stones. After the potentially toxic chlorine is removed, the plastic can be melted down and combined with sand to make durable paving stones. Not only are they superior environmentally, they are also considerably cheaper than their cement slab counterparts.

    Wastewater processing

    sewage pump Wastewater processing plant

    Wastewater is being underutilised in treatment plants across the globe. Fortunately, chemical engineers are becoming more and more efficient at extracting phosphorus from wastewater. Phosphorus is instrumental in the development of strong and healthy roots, flowers, seeds and fruit of plants. No longer is a sewage pump carrying just waste, but a multitude of potentially useful substances. Because the likes of phosphorus is diverted from the wastewater using modular activated sludge digesters, it dramatically reduces the energy required to treat the remainder.

  • How the human race is defending itself against flooding

    Although it might not feel like it, the UK is widely expected to suffer a drought in incoming months. And whilst it may seem like the worst time to start preparing for a flood, it is arguably the best. Floods are often so damaging because the defences made to combat them are often a case of too little, too late. And, unlike a waterlogged garden, you can’t just use drainage pumps. Through months, and sometimes years of preparation, areas of the world have been able to successfully defend themselves against floods. Here are some of the most interesting cases.

    Flood barrierdrainage pumps

    The Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier in the Netherlands is the largest of its kind in the world. Designed and constructed in response to the devastating 1953 North Sea Flood that proved fatal for thousands, the Oosterscheldekering (as it is also known) incorporates 4 kilometres sluice-gate-type doors that are only closed during adverse weather conditions. It has been so successful that (as part of the broader Delta Works project) it has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

    Hydroelectric dam

    Whilst the Oosterscheldekering is essentially a flood barrier, the Three Gorges Dam in China also doubles as a hydroelectric dam. Because of its 22 cubic km flood storage capacity, the dam is slated to reduce major downstream flooding as an incidence from one in every ten years to one in every hundred years. Alongside its proficiency as an anti-flood measure, the Three Gorges Dam also provides enough electricity to provide for 3% of the national demand.

    Channel modification

     In order to circumvent the pooling of rivers that causes flooding, the river course can be widened, deepened and straightened, to make the speed of flow of the water faster. Channel modification has been carried out on 25% of all the main rivers in England and Wales. While it is clear that channelisation has helped to reduce the risk of flooding, it can also have negative ecological repercussions - the dredging of the Charlton River in northern Missouri in the US caused the number of species present in the modified areas to fall to 13. In the natural areas of the river, 21 different species remained.

    Managed/ ecological flooding

    Ecological flooding is a more recent approach to combatting flooding. Why would you encourage the very thing you are trying to prevent? The answer is that, whilst you are allowing flooding to occur, you are only allowing it to happen in areas that you specify, which prevents it from happening in the highly areas you do not want it to happen. Aside from - diverted floodwaters away from settlements, managed flooding also aids the animal kingdom. An investigation of the ramifications of managed flooding in south-eastern Australia, found that it promoted the diversity of species present.

    Afforestationdrainage pumps

    Afforestation is potentially the most environmentally friendly anti-flood measure. By introducing more greenery, more rainwater is intercepted and used for photosynthesis and consequently prevented from ever reaching the river. The Mississippi River is one notable example of how this approach has paid dividends. As a counter-measure to the 1993 floods, a programme of afforestation was pursued and it has ultimately helped to reduce flooding by reducing the river discharge.

    With global warming making summers drier but winters wetter, do you think we should be doing more to combat the threat of flooding?

  • The most bizarre sources of renewable energy

    Our planet only has so many stores of the natural resources we use every day to power our cars and heat our houses. As the global population has spiralled, the search for sources of energy that are renewable, and subsequently sustainable, has become more and more desperate. Over the course of their research, scientists have discovered some truly bizarre sources of renewable energy - including things as seemingly disparate as sweat, dance floors and chocolate.


    Pretty much all of us take a great deal of effort ensuring we sweat as little as possible. Taking showers and baths, applying deodorant and wearing moisture wicking clothing are just three of many anti-sweat measures we take. But what if I told you that researchers from the University of California have been able to harness sweat as a renewable energy source? Using temporary tattoos containing small sensors (or biobatteries) that strip electrons from the lactate present in sweat, the researchers were able to generate an electric current.

    Before you crank up your central heating pump to get a sweat on so you can watch the latest episode of Coronation Street on the TV, this research is at an admittedly primitive stage.  At the moment, sweat can only generate around 4 watts of electric current - enough to power a light bulb for the best part of 3 minutes. Whilst there is obviously some distance to go before it becomes a viable alternative, it is thought that it could have use in biomedical and military research that involves exercise regimes.

    Dance floors

    The kinetic energy produced by the movement of the human body is a significant source of energy. One perceptive and forward-thinking business in Rotterdam installed the first energy generating dance floor in the world. Combining the obvious propensity people have for dancing on a dance floor, Energy Floors were able to power the accompanying LED lights by converting the kinetic energy of the dancers into electricity.

    Energy Floors favour an electromechanical system that transfers small vertical movements into a rotating movement that drives a generator. Do you think these dance floors have any chance of catching on in clubs across the world?


    Using chocolate for anything other than eating seems like a crime. Don’t worry though; researchers from the University of Birmingham have uncovered a way to produce energy from the waste products of chocolate. Hydrogen was produced by feeding nougat and caramel waste to E. coli bacteria. By combining the hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell, electricity was generated.

    Unlike sweat, chocolate seems to have more of a future as a renewable energy source. Researchers at the University of Warwick were also able to power a Formula 3 car capable of taking corners at 125mph using chocolate as a biofuel. Maybe you should hang on to all those left over Easter eggs?

    As you have seen, there are an abundance of unorthodox sources of renewable energy that most of us would never have thought worth even looking into in the first place. Fortunately, researchers had the vision and foresight to do so, and we now have an array of renewable energy sources, one of which may become one of the most important resources on the planet in the future.

    Which source of renewable energy surprised you the most?

  • Grundfos Are Lead Supplier to Water Treatment Plant

    Impressive news coming out of Grundfos: they are now lead supplier for the Austrian based Aqua Engineering water treatment plant - further proof of their excellence as a supplier of pump technology.

    Top 5 Home Booster Pumps on the market

    Based in the town of Monsee, Aqua Engineering GmbH are a global water treatment brand – providing solutions in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

    As a subsidiary of BWT (Best Water Technology); Europe’s industry leader in water treatment, they boast a yearly turnover of approximately 350 million euros and have a workforce of over 2500 people. They are specialised in providing wastewater treatment, seawater purification, industrial water supplies and clean drinking water.

    Aqua Engineering recently undertook a project in the Bay-Gan Island of Taiwan whereby 560,000 litres of seawater would be needed to purified per day. Grundfos pumps played a crucial role in the treatment process and the pumping of water in the systems – they supplied a range of pumps to properly deal with their needs. Booster units, service pumps and feed pumps were all supplied as well as a selection of dosing pumps that were each given a specific chemical/additive to filter within the water.

    These highly advanced Grundfos dosing pumps were comprised of two types: DMS and DME. The DMS pumps types are mechanically operating dosing pumps that are fitted with an intelligent motor that can vary the stroke frequency based on demand. The DME pumps are able to offer a more modern form of digital dosing, removing any problems with operational/setting difficulties. The diaphragm possesses the ability to be totally controlled every cycle through it being screwed into a crankshaft. It also boasts the operational range of In turning to Grundfos pumps for their all-in-one solution, Aqua Engineering has simplified their pumping system oper. Their high quality, highly efficient pumps speak for themselves and greatly reduce the time needed for staff training.

    Here at Pump Sales Direct, we are delighted to be official UK stockists of Grundfos pumps -  boasting a huge range of pump solutions for the domestic, commercial and industrial sector.

  • Grundfos Pumps takes home United Nations Momentum Award

    Leading  manufacturer Grundfos Pumps recently had cause to celebrate after it scooped a prestigious award for its efforts to tackle some of the challenges caused by global climate change.

    Grundfos Pumps Takes Home United Nations Momentum Award Grundfos Pumps Takes Home United Nations Momentum Award


    United Nations Climate Change

    The industry accolade was gained at a recent United Nations Climate Change event, where Grundfos won one of the six awards in the ICT category of the Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award for its Lifelink water supply system.


    The Lifelink water supply system was created to provide developing countries with a clean and constant supply of water. Countries in the Western world often take fresh tap water for granted, but many poorer countries do not get the vital quality standards and levels of water that they need to live a healthy and sustainable life.


    Grundfos Pumps take home ICT Award

    Grundfos got the ICT award in recognition of its efforts to integrate technology to establish a clean, continuous and sustainable water supply in remote villages and communities in African countries such as Kenya and Uganda. Its automated pump system gives communities the chance to access water supplies for a small fee. Payments are made using mobile phones, which also helps to cover servicing and repair work.


    The leading pump manufacturer believes the water system is sustainable because it provides an affordable and long-term solution for those communities that need access to water supplies. In many cases, communities will have paid for the systems within five years but can continue to pay a small fee to cover the cost of service charges. If there is ever a problem with the system, which can be accessed over the internet, a local Lifelink service department can quickly get it up and running again.


    Improving the quality of life for people

    There were 16 winners at the prestigious United Nations awards ceremony, with more than 450 initiatives battling it out to gain recognition for their merits. Grundfos believes that winning this award clearly shows how important it is to design creative and durable solutions that improve the quality of life for people in poorer countries. These can also help to tackle the many challenges that exist from global climate change.


    It is not just in Africa where these sustainable water supply solutions have been implemented. The pump firm has recently established water supply products in India. The AQtap solution supplies water by payment under the control of a water utility, whilst AQpure effectively treats river and surface water to bring it to drinking quality standards.


  • How you can control your central heating from your iPhone!

    Central heating systems are getting smarter, with app integration making it possible for people to control everything from their smartphones by making use of internet connectivity to enable a wide range of settings to be adjusted remotely. This means that people can manage central heating pumps, temperatures and activation times even if they are out of the house.


    There are a number of apps and systems to consider, and it is important to remember that not all apps are compatible with all central heating pumps, or indeed with all mobile platforms. If you have an Android or iOS device, then you should be covered, but the availability of this type of software for Windows Phone or BlackBerry’s OS is less guaranteed.

    central heating mobile

    So what apps and services are available at the moment, and what features and benefits do they bring to the table?


    Samsung SmartThings

    If you want a holistic approach to remote management of various facets of your smart home, then Samsung’s solution is one of the best around. You will need to install a Hub at home and make sure that it is compatible with your central heating as well as any other devices you own. And once the set-up is complete, you can even install other monitoring systems such as a wireless camera to provide security features as well as temperature control.


    With the SmartThings app on your mobile, you will not only be able to turn the heating on and off but also take charge of everything from the lighting to the stereo. And while the equipment will cost a little upfront, there is no subscription to worry about, with the savings made possible helping this system to pay for itself over time as your energy bills are reduced.


    Grundfos Go

    This app works with the compatible central heating pump system from Grundfos and lets you access a significant amount of information about how your heating is operating, thus enabling you to alter a wider range of settings than are usually available via this type of software.


    You can keep track not only of temperature but also of the water pressure, taking advantage of troubleshooting capabilities to pinpoint problems as they arise and even source replacement parts quickly. Operating over Bluetooth as well as infrared connectivity, this system and the compatible module will work with both Android and iOS and is of course free to download.


    There are many reasons to think about making your central heating smarter, especially as the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the boom in tablet and smartphone ownership have coincided, and most people now have the means to manage their entire premises from the sofa or from the other side of the planet.
    Some smart heating systems can even use the location provided by your smartphone to work out when is the best time to activate and warm your house so that just as you arrive home from work or the shops it is welcoming inside without energy having been wasted in the interim. And this is just one of the factors that could convince you that now is the time to upgrade.

  • What is the minimum requirement for workplace temperature?

    A productive workforce is a happy team, and so it pays to make sure their working conditions are comfortable. As an employer, it's important to ensure that the workplace is not hot and stuffy in the summer, and nor will they want to be cold or in draughty rooms in winter; 

    Frozen Office

    The Health and Safety Executive, Great Britain's independent regulator for work-related health, says that there are not actually any minimum or maximum temperatures set in law. A maximum temperature would also be difficult to impose because some people work in high temperatures, such as those found in foundries or glass works.

    Other factors such as radiant temperature, humidity and air velocity come into play.

    However, the HSE does say that the temperature in a workroom should be at least 16º or 13º if much of the work is tough and physical.

    The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 says that the temperature of work areas inside buildings should be 'reasonable'. Obviously, this is going to vary depending on whether you work in an office, a warehouse, a factory, a bakery or a cold store.

    The simplest way to measure thermal comfort, according to an article on the HSE website, is to ask your employees or their safety representatives if they feel the temperature is right.

    There is a thermal comfort checklist, which you can download here that includes a range of questions such as whether the air feels warm or hot, whether the temperature changes during a normal working day and whether employees complain that the air is too dry or too humid.

    Problems can be rectified by humidifying or dehumidifying the air, increasing air movement by use of ventilation or air conditioning or restricting the amount of time that employees are working in conditions that are too hot or too cold.

    If a comfortable temperature cannot be maintained in each room because of the type of work conducted there, then local heating can be installed.

    There should also be enough space in each room for the employees and their work stations. Employers also need to make sure their heating systems do not give off dangerous or unpleasant fumes.

    Why a Grundfos Central Heating Pump Is the Right Choice

    Maintenance of the heating system is also very important, as a breakdown and lack of heating would be very unpleasant for employees while they are trying to work. Choosing a central heating pump from Pump Sales Direct means there is no downtime because we have such an extensive range.

    Obviously, in very bad weather in winter you may want to think about closing the workplace if the roads are icy or flooded or severe gales are forecast.

    Although there is no obligation to do so, you may not want to risk your employees' safety if they try to travel in extreme weather conditions.

    Some employees may be able to work from home, or you could ask them to take a holiday or make up the time later. You could also put in an extreme weather policy so workers are clear about when they are and are not expected to make the effort to get to work.

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