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  • Common sump pump problems

    sump pumps Ebara sump pump

    Sump pumps are one of our bestselling products. Essentially an anti-flooding mechanism, sump pumps are as important as any appliance in your home. With such a crucially important role to play, an underperforming sump pump is a genuine concern.  Uncovering the issue that is preventing your sump pump from working at maximum capacity can be extremely tricky. Is your sump pump clogged or is it simply a mismatch for your pumping requirements? To help you decipher these questions and ensure the continued safety of your home, we have delved into some of the most common sump pump problems and how you can fix them.

    Overwhelmed sump pump

    An overwhelmed sump pump spells disaster for you and your home. If the rate and volume of water it is expected to dispose of exceeds the rate and volume of water it is actually capable of handling, your home will quickly succumb to flooding. Every sump pump has a maximum rate it is capable of working at. To rectify this issue, take care to ensure the rate at which your sump pump works complies with the volume of water it is expected to deal with.

    Clogged sump pump

    A clogged sump pump can only be caused by two things. The first and most likely cause is simply delegating a sump pump with a task beyond its abilities. Every sump pump is limited by its ability to handle fluids containing a certain size particle. The ABS Robusta 200 for example, is capable of handling fluids containing particles no bigger than 10mm. To prevent clogging, you should make sure that the fluid have tasked your sump pump with handling isn’t rife particles that are too big for it to handle.

    Manual vs automatic

    The importance of opting for an automatic sump pump cannot be overstated. With a sensor capable of detecting a rise in water levels and autonomously setting an appropriate response in motion, automatic sump pumps are invulnerable to the unpredictability that can render a manual sump pump ineffective. Sump pumps are, after all, installed to remove water that accumulates in sump pits. These sump pits are invariably located in the basement of the home - not exactly a place where you would spend the majority of your time - leaving it isolated and impractical for regular manual operation. With an automatic sump pump, you can rest assured that the build-up of water will be halted - and all without any assistance or intervention required on your part.

    If you have had the misfortune of experiencing one of these issues, hopefully you can come away from reading this article with the knowledge to put it right. The role of a sump pump is critical to the everyday functioning of your home. Without it, the consequences are dire - your home and possessions can be irreparably ruined. You will find only the best submersible sump pumps at Pump Sales Direct. We are more than happy to field any questions you may have too, we are committed to ensuring every product matches your pumping requirements perfectly.

  • How long do shower pumps last?

    Grundfos shower pumps

    A shower pump can have a transformative impact on the quality of the showers in your home. There can however, be an imposing number of barriers to acquiring a quality and affordable pump that perfectly services your home. A shower pump is a sizeable investment and you want to be sure that every penny that you do put towards it is worth it. Acquiring a top of the range product that services your home perfectly is essential. With this in mind, we have put together this guide that answers many of the most common questions and queries that people have when it comes to Grundfos shower pumps. There are a number of inherent factors that affect the lifespan of shower pumps but it is worth noting that there are external factors that also play a role.

    Brand name

    A well-respected and well renowned brand name is often a signifier of quality and the same is true for shower pumps. At Pump Sales Direct, you will only find products from leading manufacturers, meaning that you can rest assured that each and every purchase you make is a worthwhile investment.

    Water quality in your area

    The hardness of water is dictated by the levels of dissolved minerals that are present within it. High volumes of magnesium and calcium make hard water particularly reactive - leading to a plethora of inconvenient outcomes. Washing your hands with a combination of soap and hard water is likely to leave behind a residue of sorts. Similarly, in the presence of heat, dissolved calcium reacts to form solid carbon carbonate, which is why hard water leaves behind scale in heating equipment throughout the home. Because of this reaction, the harder the water is in your area, the quicker your shower pump is likely to deteriorate. Therefore, the lifespan of a shower pump can be reduced by the quality of your water supply.

    So, what is the average lifespan of a shower pump?

    Typically, excepting the influence of all the aforementioned factors and any other uncontrollable interruptions, you can expect a shower pump to last for somewhere around eight years. Of course, this is just a generalised observation and if you are looking for further indication of the durability of the shower pump you are buying, you are best checking the duration of the warranty that has been offered to you. A warranty more or less guarantees the product’s survival. At Pump Sales Direct, the vast majority of our shower pumps are protected by comprehensive two year warranties.

    Where to direct any further questions and queries you may have

    If you feel any of your questions have been left unanswered, or if you simply need further explanation or clarification, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our dedicated team are ready and waiting to field any of your questions and queries. Call us on 0800 008 6405, email us or use the contact form on our website.

  • How do self-priming pumps work?

    self-priming pumps Flojet self-priming pump

    Self-priming pumps are a staple of the pumps industry.  From important environmental sustainability projects (water desalination plants) to huge commercial operations (petrochemical plants), self-priming pumps are incredibly important for many different people in many different environments. If, for whatever reason, you are not overly familiar with self-priming pumps and how they work, don’t worry. Before we get into the best ways to utilise self-priming pumps, we will first provide an explanation of exactly what self-priming pumps are and how they work.

    A self-priming pump is a form of centrifugal pump, the other of which is positive displacement pumps. Centrifugal pumps use centrifugal force to generate a pressure differential in a liquid. This pressure differential causes the liquid to move from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure, allowing centrifugal pumps to pump fluids from one area to another. A (non-self-priming) centrifugal pump requires its casing to be completely submerged in liquid for it to be able to operate properly. As air is far harder to pump than liquid, the presence of air in a (non-self-priming) centrifugal pump renders it air bound. Meanwhile, a self-priming pump is able to operate in an air-water mixture by transforming this mixture into a fluid that can be pumped.

    Self-priming pumps have their in-built water reservoir to thank for this ability. The reservoir of water allows self-priming pumps to recirculate water within the pump at will, ridding the pump of the air that prevents it from operating whenever necessary. For this reason, self-priming pumps have the rare distinction of being able to turn a previously unpumpable mixture of air and water into a fluid that it can comfortably exercise control over.

    Self-priming pumps’ ability to work in a mixture of air and water makes them far more versatile than their non-self-priming counterparts, which allows them to work in a broader range of environments. In industrial chemical processes, a lot of the chemicals involved are volatile, making the ability to self-prime vital when air does seep into centrifugal pumps. Similarly, the number of air entrained liquids involved in the paper-making process makes self-priming pumps a common sight in paper mills across the world. As well as being suited to these industries, self-priming pumps are also popular in the wastewater treatment field amongst others.

    At Pump Sales Direct, we have a range of only the highest quality self-priming pumps available at the most affordable prices. If you require any more information on any of these products, please do not hesitate to contact us - one of our helpful and knowledgeable team will be on hand to help. You can get in touch by telephone, email or through this contact page.

  • What are submersible pumps used for?

    submersible pumps ABS Robusta submersible pump

    Submersible pumps are one of our bestsellers at Pump Sales Direct. Their popularity, in some part, derives from their versatility. Equally at home fighting fires (their cables are flame retardant) as they are handling seawater and extracting oil from thousands of feet into the Earth’s surface, submersible pumps have a wide range of uses. And having already brought you a guide explaining the ins-and-outs of how they work just a month ago, we thought it would only be natural to follow it up with a post explaining the different scenarios in which they can be used. To learn about the ways in which submersible pumps are used and why, carry on reading.


    Supplying crops with water is as important a job as any - one that, in many cases, falls to submersible pumps. The future health of our food depends on the efforts of submersible pumps. Tasked with moving masses of water from one location to another, often with metronomic precision, submersible pumps certainly have an important and difficult undertaking on their hands. There are two forms of submersible pumps, or rather compositions of submersible pumps that are typically used for irrigation - deep-well submersible pumps and vertical turbine pumps. The major difference between the two is the location of the motor. In vertical turbine pumps, the motor is installed above ground and connects to the pump itself via a line shaft. Deep-well submersible pumps have a slightly more intricate and complex design - their motor accompanies them submerged in the water - and is designed accordingly to cope with the high pressure.

    Drainage and wastewater

    Multi-stage submersible pumps’ ability to pump water upwards against the action of gravity makes them a popular choice in the sewage and wastewater industries. In packaged pump stations, where drainage by gravity is not possible, submersible pumps have become particularly invaluable - so much so that they can be considered to have had a marked impact on the sewage pumping industry over the last fifty years. Their use isn’t just confined to the commercial world though; they are just as useful domestically. For homeowners with a swimming pool or a pond that needs draining, a quality submersible pump is a valuable ally.

    Oil extraction

    The action of submersible pumps is essentially the same no matter what fluid it is pumping. While minor alterations may be made to account for differences in viscosity, submersible pumps appeal to those in the oil industry for the same reason they appeal to those in the wastewater field - submersible pumps are able to act against gravity. Where the use of submersible pumps with oil differs from those that are designed to handle water, is their ability to endure the variations in viscosity, temperature and depth that oil extraction often demands. Depths of over 4000ft are common and electrical submersible pumping systems are assembled to maximise durability and productivity even at such huge depths.

    As you can see, submersible pumps have a plethora of potential uses - both commercial and domestic - and you will find a range of the highest quality submersible pumps here. If you have any questions about specifications or otherwise, please call or email us, we are happy to help.

  • Common water pressure issues and how to solve them

    home booster pumps Grundfos home booster pump

    Throughout the UK, homeowners are affected by low water pressure. Faulty boilers, closed stop valves, frozen pipes and internal plumbing are just a few of many guilty parties. With so many potential candidates at fault, it can be overwhelming to sift through them all in search of the one (or few) that actually need addressing. To accelerate this process and make it altogether easier for our readers, we have put together this guide that covers all of the main water pressure issues that are likely to affect homeowners in the UK and how to resolve them

    It is worth noting that all of the issues we have presented in this list are all actually easily explained - and just as easily resolved. If, you don’t encounter the problem that is plaguing your own home in this list, it may be that it is a less-easily diagnosed and more complex internal plumbing issue. If you think you fall into this category, you should get in touch with a plumber.

    Identifying an internal plumbing issue

    Before you can explore potential fixes for your water pressure problem, it is important to first identify the source of the issue. Normally, your main water supply will enter your home through the cold tap in your kitchen or utility room. If this tap is working, whilst others throughout the home are not, you have an internal plumbing problem on your hands and you need to get in touch with a plumber.

    Checking for a closed stop valve

    Sometimes the most seemingly drastic problems can have the most straight-forward solutions - and that is certainly true when it comes to a closed stop valve. Your water nightmare could have been resolved a long time ago with a cursory glance under the kitchen sink (where the vast majority of indoor stop valves are housed) and a simple anti-clockwise motion twist. As simple as it sounds, you’d be surprised just how often plumbers travel to a home just to conduct a bewilderingly simple fix.

    Preventing and fixing frozen pipes

    Unfortunately, once temperatures drop low enough, frozen pipes are an ever-present threat. And in the colder months, this threat lingers in the background like a bad smell. There are however, a number of preventative measures you can take. An unoccupied home acts as a breeding ground for frozen pipes. With the heating turned off, pipes filled with water can very easily freeze over. To combat this, it is imperative to set your thermostat to at least 5°C to stave off the advance of the cold.

    If your home’s pipes have already been affected by low temperatures, you have to prioritise remedial rather than preventative measures. The first, and most vital, step you have to take is to shut off your water supply using your stop valve. This will prevent any more water from entering your home and potentially exacerbating the problem. From there, turning on all the cold taps in the house will allow the water that has accumulated in your pipes as ice to escape. To speed up this process, you can use a hairdryer or hot water bottle to heat up the pipes nearest to the taps. If, however, there is a leak, it is unavoidable that you will have to contact a plumber to amend the leak and repair any damage.

    With an understanding of the most widespread water pressure issues, you should be well placed to identify and resolve any issues that may come to affect your own home in the future. Rather than dealing with a fundamental flaw in your water system, there are homes that just do unfortunately suffer from weak water pressure. A home booster pump can rectify this with ease. At Pump Sales Direct, we have a range of the highest quality home booster pumps that are fit to service any scenario. If the issue is confined to your the water flow of your shower, you may instead benefit from a new shower pump. If you require any more information, simply call or email us - we are more than happy to help.

  • What bar shower pump do I need?

    shower pumps

    If you have spent a fair bit of time browsing through the range of shower pumps we have on sale, you may have noticed a piece of notation you were not familiar with - the letter B. Accompanying the brand of shower pump, the number of impellers it has, and its listing as positive or negative head, is a two digit number that lies somewhere within the 1.0 to 5.0 range. This number is an indication of a shower pump’s bar rating. To give you a better insight into exactly what bar is, how it works and how it should affect your decision to buy or not buy a particular shower pump, we have put together this helpful guide.

    What is bar?

    First things first, an explanation of bar is required. Bar is a metric unit of atmospheric air pressure, and the bar rating of a shower pump is a reflection of its ability to generate pressure. The higher the bar rating, the higher pressure the shower pump is capable of generating. More precisely, 1 bar of pressure is equal to the pressure exerted by 10m of water. Although there are instances of pumps with a full range of bar ratings from 0.5B right through to 5.0B, the vast majority of shower pumps lie somewhere in the 1.5B to 4.5B range.

    What bar shower pump do I need?

    The sheer scale of the room you aim to service with your shower pump is perhaps the simplest yet strongest indication you can garner of the bar rating you’ll need. A pump with a 0B or 0.5B rating (a rating which you’ll really struggle to find) is incapable of generating any of its own pressure, meaning it is largely reliant on gravity to shift water from A to B. At the opposite end of the spectrum are pumps with a rating of 4.0B, which possess the ability to move masses of water. So much so, that a Grundfos shower pumps guide suggests that a pump with a rating of 4.0B can service two bathroom suites single-handedly. From that, you should have a better idea of the kind of bar rating your shower pump is likely to need.

    What other factors should I consider?

    Alongside bar, there are a number of other factors you should consider before committing to buy a certain shower pump. Just as important, if not more so, is the positive or negative head status of your shower pump. So too is the pump’s centrifugal or regenerative status. You can read about the implications of positive and negative head shower pumps, as well as centrifugal and regenerative shower pumps here.

    What next?

    Hopefully, you have a far greater understanding of bar, and how differences in its rating are likely to affect the kind of shower pump you require. If you need a more detailed explanation, or want some clarification on the specifications of a particular product, you can contact us by phone (0800 008 6405) email ( or through the contact page on our website.

  • Submersible pumps explained

    submersible pumps Grundfos Submersible Borehole Pump

    Used in swimming pools, boreholes and cisterns, submersible pumps have an abundance of underwater utilities, but just how do they operate? To help clarify the inner workings of submersible pumps, and how this makes them suited to a number of different uses, we have put together this guide to everything you need to know about submersible pumps.

    What allows a submersible pumps to operate underwater?

    In other words, what makes submersible pumps submersible? Submersible pumps have hermetic seals to thank for this ability. A hermetic seal is any kind of sealing that excludes the entry, exit and movement of any gas, making a property completely airtight. The motors of submersible pumps are protected by the hermetic seal - giving the pump itself the licence to operate without fear of water infiltrating it, which is so important as the influx of water would cause a short circuit.

    How do submersible pumps work?

    Broken down to its constituent parts, a submersible pump consists of a motor, an impeller and a cable. When a pressure switch is activated, the motor spins a series of impellers and the pump can begin to draw water in. The water is pushed through the pump and travels to the surface, where a pipe then transports water to the desired destination.

    What is the difference between single stage and multiple impeller submersible pumps?

    Single stage impeller submersible pumps are the simplest, and most commonly used variety of submersible pump. As the name suggests, single stage impeller submersible pumps contain only one impeller, giving them limited range and power when compared to a multi-stage impeller pump. You will find single stage impeller pumps in use as swimming pool and pond filters as well as in drainage.

    Meanwhile, any transportation that requires any kind of artificial lift, like a borehole or a well, is reliant on a multi-stage impeller submersible pump. This is because, with multiple stages, they have the strength to propel water upwards against the pull of gravity. While this makes multi-stage impeller pumps more versatile, the increased exertion they are exposed to makes them far more susceptible to damage than their single stage counterparts.

    What are the advantages of submersible pumps?

    By way of their operation underwater, submersible pumps are constantly primed which is an advantage for a number of reasons. Because they are acting against gravity, above ground pumps are subject to huge amounts of stress that submersible pumps simply don’t have to deal with. Also thanks to their positioning deep underwater, they are protected from any potential cavitation issues - placing submersible pumps amongst the most resilient and durable pumps on the market. The typical lifespan of a submersible pump is evidence of this - they typically last well over 25 years.

    Compare submersible pumps at Pump Sales Direct

    Sourced from the leading manufacturers worldwide like Grundfos and Ebara, Pump Sales Direct is proud to make a range of the highest quality and best value submersible pumps available to customers online. If you have any questions or queries, do not hesitate to contact us. You can get in touch on 0800 008 6405 or email

  • What you need to know before buying a sump pump

    What you need to know before buying a sump pumpIf you notice that your basement is a little damp, there could be a risk of flooding, a serious problem that can cause a multitude of problems for your home. A flooded basement can lead to some serious health and safety issues, including rotting, rusting, moulding and unclean air. This can often result in a putrid smell lingering around your home. With this in mind, you will want to do everything you can avoid this problem.

    One solution to this problem is investing in a sump pump. Installing a sump pump in your basement can be done either beneath or above the floor and will pump the water that amasses in the sump basin and eject it outside safely.

    Should you be unfortunate enough to experience a damp basement, don’t panic, we’ve got you covered. Here at Pump Sales Direct, we have a wide range of sump pumps to choose from. If you are unsure about which pump you require, then have a read of this useful guide about what you need to know before you invest.

    Manual or automatic sump pump?

    You need to decide whether you want your pump to work manually or automatically. Generally, we think you should go with an automatic as the intelligent systems can be configured to pump water when needed. Although, we do understand that due to budget limitations it isn’t always possible to buy a more expensive automatic model, but if you can spare the money it will save you a lot of time and effort.

    How big should your motor be?

    It goes without saying that the more powerful the motor, the more water it will be able to pump out of your basement. So you will need to judge how much your pump will need to work for you.

    Should you go with a submersible pump?

    If the sump basin in your basement has the space, we would recommend a submersible pump. Having a submersible pump gives you the ability to use a lid to cover your sump pit, which will massively reduce the noise and keep out unwanted debris that could cause clogging. Another idea is to invest in a lid that is vacuum sealed, that way there is no chance of the air seeping out and causing damage.

    Can it handle debris?

    As mentioned before, debris can be incredibly damaging to a pump if it causes blockages and stops it functioning. Some pumps have an intricate design with impellers that can handle larger debris than normal, which should be quoted in the product description.

    Is one enough?

    Usually, yes. Although a bit of insurance never hurt anyone. Having a back-up pump alongside the first would be essential should you use your basement as a living area and cannot afford for this space to be damaged. If the first cuts out, the second will pick up the slack.

    Shop sump pumps online now.

  • Will a pump help my shower water pressure?

    Are you tired of struggling with a shower that provides a trickle of water rather than a flow? Does it take ages to run a bath? Does your electric shower cut out when someone flushes the toilet or turns on a tap? All of these could be symptoms of low water pressure.

    Shower Pump Water Pressure

    You can test your water pressure by using a one- or two-litre measuring jug, turning a tap on full and simply seeing how long the jug takes to fill. From this, you can then calculate the flow in litres per minute – as a rough guide, a figure under ten means that you have low pressure.

    If your water pressure is low, there are a number of things you can do about it. A Home Booster Pump can help significantly boost the pressure to the whole house. Or if you’re just having problems with the shower, a Shower Pump could be the solution.

    A Home Booster Pump is fitted to the mains supply and can improve the pressure to the whole house, so you’ll benefit in the kitchen as well as the bathroom. On the other hand, a Shower Pump boosts the flow to an individual outlet. This can ensure you enjoy a powerful shower, as well as helping with filling the bath or ensuring that the toilet cistern fills quickly.

    There is a range of home booster pumps available to buy online from Pump Sales Direct, which can help increase your water pressure and ensure you get a great shower.

    Before fitting a Home Booster Pump or Shower Pump, it’s important to understand the type of system you have - whether it’s an older property with a gravity-fed system - with a cold-water tank in the loft and a hot-water cylinder - or a more modern system with a combi-boiler. These have different requirements for pumps, so if you’re not sure, then consult a qualified plumber or give the expert team at Pump Sales Direct a call for advice on your purchasing the right pump: 08453 664 754

  • Noisy shower pumps FAQs

    Jumping into the shower is an invigorating way to start your day; it’s also more economical than running a bath too!

    Sometimes your water pressure can let you down, and there’s nothing worse than a shower head dribbling drops of water instead of a fast flow.

    Shower Pump

    In many cases, you will need a shower pump to give your water pressure a boost. You’ll need to make sure it is fitted properly so you don’t get any problems. The last thing you want is for a noisy shower pump to annoy the rest of the household.

    We've found that usually the pumps at the lower end of the market which make the most noise, as their cheaper parts are more likely to vibrate, so investing wisely is one good option.

    If you do have problems with a noisy shower pump, there are a few things you can try for a quick fix. If your shower pump is already fitted, you could try mounting it on a concrete block to absorb some of the vibration or checking that the pipes are tight and securely fitted to the pump to reduce noise. These small amends should lessen the vibration and noise pollution from your pump when you turn on the shower next.

    If you have tried all of the above, and your noisy shower pump is still too much of a problem to solve, it is advisable to fit a new one.

    There are a number of quieter shower pumps on the market which are made of high-quality parts and are therefore less likely to vibrate and make a noise.

    Some manufacturers have researched materials and methods to create a quieter shower. Look out for Grundfos shower pumps, which have been designed to perform strongly but quietly.

    Grundfos shower pumps have built up a reputation for quality, and their Amazon pumps have motors emitting a low noise as well as special anti-vibration feet to cut the noise level from there too.

    Shop the full range of shower pumps online today at Pump Sales Direct

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