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Frequently Asked Questions - Pumps
  • I have a pump station that receives flow from several restaurants and has grease build-up problems. It’s so heavy that it accumulates in my wetwells and hangs up on the control arms of my level floats. The grease has caused my pumps not to come on when they’re supposed to and on several occasions, the pumps stay running when the wet well level is pumped down. Any ideas?
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    • Of course the best way to treat a problem is at its source. The restaurants should have grease traps and these traps should be serviced as needed. However, we realize that’s not always going to happen, so you’re left with two ways to treat the problem: a Floating Lift Station Degreaser or bio-augmentation products. The Floating Lift Station Degreaser is metered into the wetwell as needed to break up the grease. The degreaser contains di-laminoene, which is an excellent, aggressive degreaser.
      The other option is bio-augmentation products. You can add PlantPRO® 21HG - it is commonly used in food processing plants for controlling heavy grease problems. Simply add a small amount of this product on a regular basis and say goodbye to your grease problems. The other option is PlantPRO GCC grease control cubes. These 5-lb. cubes are great for providing long lasting grease control and are designed specifically for lift station wetwells. Both the cubes and the PlantPRO 21HG are also extremely convenient to use, which is what we operators love.
  • What kind of sump pump will work in very high head applications of 75 feet or more?
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    • The common well pump is an often-overlooked solution to pumping relatively clean water at discharge heads of more than 75 feet. There are many reasons you might want to pump water from a tank or a sump, including: for use as wash-down; for foam-reducing sprayers; for irrigation; or just for high vertical or long horizontal runs where the high head pressure required exceeds the capabilities of a normal single-stage sump or effluent pump.
      The common multistage submersible well pump is a perfect solution in these applications. For a relatively modest horsepower input you can easily get heads of over 200 feet. The one caution for using a well pump in an open pit or tank is that some type of flow inducer must be fitted around the motor for adequate cooling. Also, well pump motors come with only about a 2-foot power cable, so a waterproof splice will have to be made. Well pumps come in many different flow and pressure ranges, so contact our tech support department for proper sizing.
  • What information do I need to choose a pump?
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    • Having a few important pieces of information can make the selection process go pretty quickly. These include the following:
      • What is the liquid being pumped?

      • What is the specific gravity of the liquid being pumped?

      • What is the position of the pump relative to the liquid being pumped?

      • How many gallons per minute do you need to pump?

      • Voltage & Phase requirements
      What is the total dynamic head (TDH) of the system? Usually expressed in feet of head, TDH includes all the resistance to flow that the pump needs to overcome.
  • What is the difference between a trash pump and a centrifugal pump?
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    • Both pumps are technically centrifugal pumps. The difference is that a trash pump is designed with an impeller and volute that will pass certain size solids. Trash pumps are great for dewatering main break sites, pumping muddy or sludge-filled water, etc. The down side of a trash pump is that it is not as efficient as a standard centrifugal pump, and usually will not have the capacity or TDH capability as the same size centrifugal pump.
  • How high can I lift water with a pump?
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    • This is the single most asked question in the pump business. Even though we refer to it as suction lift, pumps do not actually lift liquid. They create a void by evacuating the air in the line, and atmospheric pressure on the liquid pushes it up the hose and into the pump. To make things simple, the rule of thumb for most self-primers is a maximum 25-ft vertical suction lift. That said, it is always best to locate your pump as close to the liquid being pumped as possible. Pumps have the ability to push water from the discharge side of the pump far greater distances. Depending on the type and horsepower, discharge heads can range from 15 ft to well over 1,000 ft or more. Remember, not all pumps are self-primers!
  • The pump curve for the pump I picked is far above what I need. Is it ok to have the extra power?
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    • NO! It is not recommended to run a pump at the very ends of the pump curve. The pump will have a shortened life. If your range does not hit the curve at all, the pump can burn out within minutes of use. It is best to run pumps in the mid-range of the curve. Warranty does not cover pumps that run outside of the pump curves.
  • How do I figure out the feet of head for a pump?
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    • The feet of head is determined by the distance above the water level of the discharge side of the pump, to the highest pumping level. Any elbows also add pressure. Lastly long runs of pipe will have friction loss that needs to be added to the pressure. If you can not calculate the total feet of head, you can put a pressure gauge right off of the discharge side of the pump. Take the pressure reading x 2.31 for the total feet of discharge head. (1 PSI = 2.31’)
  • The pump listed says 230V, I have 208V at my plant. Will this work?
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    • NO! If the pump listed does not say 200-230V. It will not work. (It will work for a short period before burning out) In most cases we can order the pump in 208V.
  • What is flooded suction?
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    • When a pump calls for flooded suction it refers to the pumps fluid source. In most cases the pump will be located at the bottom of a tank. A connection from the bottom of the tank will be connected to the pump. The tanks pressure will empty into the suction side of the pump. The pump will not work if the fluid is not readily available.