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  • 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.

    Irrigation

    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 (customerservices@pumpsalesdirect.com) or through the contact page on our website.

  • How do garden water pumps work?

    Garden pumps are an essential component in keeping your garden fresh, green, garden water pumpsand clean. There are different types of pump, namely submersible and external – but the basic premise of how they work is relatively similar. This article aims to give a brief explanation of how garden pumps work and outline their various functions.

    Anatomy

    A submersible garden pump's primary component is its impeller which moves the water through the water intake pipe and the water outlet pipe. The intake pipe is connected to inbuilt filters which clean the water as it passes through before being re-distributed via the outlet pipe.

    The pump is often powered by an electric motor which is why it is essential that a submersible pump is entirely waterproof. The electricity flows through wires in an enclosed block to separate the current from any possible contact with the water – thus ensuring personal safety.

    It is the electric motor which turns the impeller, and the vanes of the impeller discharge the water with each revolution. Due to the impeller's high speed, the flow of water appears continuous. In terms of composition, the garden pump is perhaps one of the most straightforward desgins.

    Submersible or Non-Submersible

    A submersible pump is relatively easy to grasp. The pump is placed beneath the surface of the water, meaning it is suited to gardens where space is at a premium. Submerging the pump creates a more aesthetically pleasing result since there is minimal machinery exposed.

    An exposed non-submersible pump sits to the side of the pond and has a more complex installation process. Before activating the pump, you need to make sure that the pipes contain water to ensure the pump does not begin by sucking air. It is also advisable to have secure housing for your external pump in order to separate it from small children and sunlight.

    Function

    Garden pumps can be utilised in numerous ways. Firstly, they can be used to maintain your garden’s water features, for example, a pond or a fountain. A pump will keep the water circulating around your pond, this keeps the water fresh and helps prevent the build-up of algae. In this regard, a filtration pump is ideal because it aids the oxygenation of the water. Garden pumps are exceptional at keeping water running and preventing stagnation.

    A garden pump can also be used to water the lawn since the installation of a pump allows you to transfer large amounts of water to different areas. This feature can also be used to fill a pool elsewhere in the garden.

    In summary, garden pumps are a beneficial addition to your garden – especially if you are considering creating a water feature or already have one that requires maintenance. Garden pumps come in varied forms and offer a range of possibilities, one is sure to fit your needs, and here at Pump Sales Direct, we have a selection of high-quality garden water pumps. For more information, call us on 0800 008 6405, email customerservices@pumpsalesdirect.co.uk , or use our contact form.

  • 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 customerservices@pumpsalesdirect.co.uk.

  • 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.

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

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