Last Updated on February 02, 2020
We use water daily in our homes and yet most people will not be able to give a satisfactory answer when asked how does a water pump work. When you are living in a city or town you never have to worry about how water gets to your house. In most cases, you do not even know the difference between a sump pump and a sewage pump.
This is, however, not the case when you move a few miles away from the cities and towns. People living in these areas often have their water system completely different from that of their next-door neighbor. Now, at the heart of the entire water system is the pump which is most commonly either a submersible pump or a jet pump. When living in such areas, it is important to fully understand how a water pump works and the several important components constituting it. This tutorial will help you learn all about how the water pump works.
Types of water pumps
Water pumps can be classified into two broad categories; gas-powered pumps and electric-powered pumps. Electric-powered well pumps move the water just a short distance and are not as powerful as the gas-powered pumps. Also, the strategies used by gas-powered water pumps to move water is quite different than that used by the electric-powered water pumps.
Gas-powered water pumps are not ideal for household use since they emit carbon monoxide. They are better suited for outdoor use like irrigation. Electric-powered water pumps are preferred for indoor use since you can easily connect them to a power outlet. The most commonly used electric-powered water pumps include the submersible well pump, sump pump, and the jet pump.
How exactly the different water pumps works
We need to start with the most common water pump used in various homes, the jet pump. It is usually mounted above the well and draws water through a suction pipe up from the well. With suction involved, it means that most of the work is done by atmospheric pressure. The jet pump sucks the air from the pipe creating a vacuum that forces water to rise the pipe and fill it. Jet-pumps are not ideal for wells more than 25ft deep because they are generally not able to support the weight of the water up the pipe.
Jet pumps are electric-powered meaning that they have an electric motor driving the centrifugal pump or impeller. The impeller typically works like in the same manner as a merry-go-round. It spins quickly thus creating a powerful centrifugal force that compresses all the water firmly against the exterior of the blade. The impeller moves at a fast speed thereby forcing water to move from the inside to the outside. Naturally, the faster an impeller spins, the more water it will be able to pump and vice-versa. With an impeller, it only moves in one single direction and therefore the water can only be pushed in one way.
Once water starts leaving the jet, a partial vacuum is generated thus drawing in even more water. Just behind the jet is what is known as a Venture tube. It increases in diameter and is used for increasing the pressure and slowing down the water.
Jet pumps can be said to use water to draw water and therefore they need to undergo priming. This process can easily be done and is necessary especially after the first installation.
Submersible water pump
Functions almost exactly like the jet pump but are fully submersed in the well. Contrary to how the jet pump lifts the water, the submersible water pump water pump pushes the water out instead. It is long and cylindrical with the bottom half constituting of a pump motor connected to a power source above ground using wires. The top half is made up of a series of impellers stacked together each separated using a diffuser.
The pump motor converts direct current from the above ground power source into mechanical energy. When the electric current is switched on, the motor starts running and creates a magnetic field which in turn causes the rotor to spin. The rotor will then spin the impellers thus the entire pumping system will start to work.
The series of impellers drive water into the plumbing system through a pipe that is installed beneath the ground and runs to the basement. A pitiless adapter is used to join the well pipe and the horizontal pipe running into the home.
The submersible water pumps are considered more efficient than the jet pumps and last longer without servicing. They deliver more water and can last up to 25 years without encountering any problems. However, servicing them once they encounter failures can be rather tasking and you will need the help of a professional. Pulling the entire assembly from the well casing may require specialized equipment and you will need to break it down into parts to fix it.
The sump pump is used in homes to pump out water from the basement. It is usually a small pump placed in a bucket that is planted at the lowest level of the basement where water accumulates first. It also includes a motor and impeller and functions just like the jet pump.
The sump pump is connected to a socket in the basement meaning that it is also electric-powered. However, one unique characteristic of the sump pump is that it is automated. This means that once the water reaches a certain level it starts pumping automatically, and it will stop once the water reaches the minimal level.
There is also a sump pump check valve which ensures that water only goes one way and that is out. The main function of this pump is to keep your basement dry and help you avoid any kind of water damage to your property. It is therefore critical that the water only moves one way and never the other because it may just completely flood your basement.
The sewage pump buy and transfers sewage solids and liquids from point A to point B. it is usually installed at the lowest possible level of the sewage basin and transfers the waste to a septic tank or sewer system. Sewage pumps come in different ranges and they can be either manual, automatic or dual. However, since they are submerged, most people refer to them as submersible sewage pumps.
They are considered as centrifugal pumps just like the jet pumps but with a special design to ensure solids can pass through without creating any clogs. They typically work similarly to all the other pumps with the motor rotating the impeller which then pushes the water into the discharge pipe.
The sewage pump is used in the same manner as a sump pump which is to ensure it prevents flooding damage in the basement. The advantage that the sewage pump has over the sump pump is that it can pump up solids without clogging.
Selecting water pumps
There are several other different kinds of water pumps, including the hot water recirculating pump, but how they work is relatively similar. With a basic understanding of how the water pumps work, you can now start selecting the pump that best suits you. Contrary to common belief, choosing the right water pump can be rather difficult and there are so many factors to consider other than price. Below are a few pointers to help you select the right water pump.
What do you want to use the water pump for should be your first determinant. For example, you need a submersible water pump for deep wells and not a jet pump. Remember that a submersible water pump can be used in shallow wells but a jet pump is not practical for a deep well of more than 25 feet. Also, depending on the amount of water flooding your basement and the amount of debris, you will choose between a sump pump and a sewage pump.
2. Water pressure specifications
You must buy a water pump with a high water pressure specification and water flow. This will ensure that you get the job done faster with less voltage. The specifications can be a little difficult to understand but you could always seek the help of an attendant at the local store before buying the water pump
Quality water pumps are usually made with a lightweight aluminum casting. This usually allows for the easy mobility of the pump which will also ensure that it lasts a long time. Ensure that you select a water pump with a long warranty because this usually means that it is made from quality material and is bound to last a long time.
Understanding how a water pump works is critical especially if you are thinking of buying one. There are so many different kinds of water pumps available but they all function almost in a similar way. Ensure you do extensive research before securing a particular type of water pump.