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What is an Explostion Proof Pump & Where is it Used?

Who needs an explosion-proof pump?

Some manufacturing processes involve fluids that can be flammable or the environment contains flammable vapors. Fluids such as alcohol or petroleum derivatives or some chemicals present risks of causing combustion.

There are also environmental conditions that require explosion-proof pumps. While the fluids being pumped may not be flammable, the environment in which they operate may have flammable dust. Environments in which flammable dust exists such as coal, grain/starch dust require specific types of pumps. When these conditions exist, pumps that keep fluids flowing through the system need to be configured to minimize the risk and the impact of potential explosions.

If you are adding or replacing a pump used in a process that involves flammable fluids, chemicals, or operates in an environment that may produce combustible vapors but are not certain of the required specifications, call us (1-800-786-7249) and talk with one of our engineers to ensure the pump you receive is the correct one for your application.

What makes a pump explosion-proof?

Explosion-proof pumps really are about the motor and the electrical components. The motor, switches, and plug must be contained such that any combustion from them cannot reach the fluid or be exposed to the external environment before being mitigated.

Flame Paths

The key aspect of the explosion-proof pumps is not that it prevents combustion, but it controls an explosion if it occurs. These pumps use flame paths. The flame paths control the direction of the combustion, letting gasses to escape, having let them cool enough to mitigate the explosion risk.

NEC NEC hazards classes, divisions, groups

Class I: Vapors

Locations in which flammable vapors and gases may be present.

Group A: Aceteylene

Group B: Hydrogen

Group C: Ethylene

Cyclopropane, Ethyl Ether

Group D: Propane

Acetone, Ammonia, Benzene, Butane, Ethanol, Gasoline, Methanol, Natural Gas.

Class II: Dust

Locations with combustible dust in the environment.

Group E:Metal Dust

Comprising atmospheres containing metal dust including aluminum, magnesium, and their commercial alloys, and other metals of similarly hazardous characteristics.

Group F: Coal Dust

Comprising atmospheres containing carbon black, coal, or coke dust.

Group G:Grain Dust

Comprising atmospheres containing flour, starch or grain dust, and other dust of similarly hazardous characteristics.

Division 1:
The presence of ignitable concentrations or hazards exists under regular operating conditions or where a hazard is caused by frequent maintenance/repair work.

Call PumpBiz with any question regarding explosion-proof pumps.

Apr 22, 2020 11:49:43 AM By PumpBiz Pump Applications,
There are pumps for many different types of applications. Some of the applications require pumps made a specific way, with specific materials. Food grade pumps come in many different configurations depending on the specific application. While they may look different, they all share common elements.Read More
Mar 26, 2020 10:43:42 AM By PumpBiz Pump Applications,
water pump flow direction

Regular pump maintenance is a critical measure for ensuring the safety and longevity of your pump. One of the most basic, but nevertheless, important steps of maintenance is checking your pump’s rotation. Sometimes, the direction of rotation can be reversed during initial setup or reinstallation or plant wiring changes.

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Jan 13, 2020 3:24:47 PM By Steve Haar Pump Maintenance,
Whether you’re in need of a pump for an industrial operation or you just need to clear out a flooded basement, submersible pumps are a versatile tool with a variety of applications. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what a submersible pump is and what their advantages and disadvantages are.Read More
Nov 21, 2019 8:56:30 AM By PumpBiz Pump Applications,

Protecting your home from a wildfire

Homeowners looking for fire pumps need to be careful; the right pump and right equipment are vital and getting it wrong increases the chance of losing your house to wildfires. We invite anyone looking for a fire pump who has questions to contact us directly. Before you purchase any equipment, here are some things you need to know.

Follow the direction from officials in your area. We all want to save our homes but there may come a time when you have to stop the effort and get clear of the oncoming fire. When the officials order an evacuation, don’t hesitate. Fires move fast, take large leaps and will surprise even the most experienced firefighters. By not following official direction, you risk yourself, and you may put others at risk as well.

The water source for fighting wildfires in residential areas

In many parts of the country, people use water from their pools or retention ponds on their property. Many homeowners chose to draft water, or suck water, from these sources. These can be great water sources to fight fires and require certain considerations.

First, understand that these water sources are finite. The use of pools or ponds requires the judicious application of water to get the most impact from your limited supply. We will discuss the best types of pumps for this below (good advice may seem counter-intuitive.) Before the time comes, you should have a plan for prioritizing the fixtures and buildings on your property. Because you may have only enough water to save some, don’t wait until the emergency hits before you make decisions about where you’ll use your limited water supply.

Second, these water sources may have debris. From pool toys inadvertently left in the pool to ‘hidden’ debris naturally found in ponds, static water sources can hold more than just water. You need to be sure to have the proper filters or screens on the intake hose to ensure your pump does not get clogged by debris, especially if you are drafting water from a pond.

The right Pump for protecting homes in a wildfire

To understand which pump is best, you must first understand the trade-offs between pumps. We often have people call for a “fire pump”, and ask for high-flow rate pumps. They incorrectly believe that they need to pump as much water as fast as possible onto the areas at risk. This assumption has several inherent problems that put your property at greater risk.

Two important and inversely related pump specifications are “flow rate” and “pressure”.

Flow rate refers to how much water can be pumped through in a period of time; typically referred to as gallons per minute or GPM. Obviously, the higher the GPM, the more water that is pumped on to the target area.

Pressure refers to the force with which the water is passed through the pump and hoses. All things being equal, higher pressure pumps pass through less water, but can “push” the water further/higher. Here is the mistake we often see. People want to dump as much water as they can onto the target area, and thus ask for a high flow-rate pump, often 100GPM+ and forget about pressure.

There are two primary issues with this.

Run-off. When pumping that much water onto a target area, some is absorbed and settles in the area, protecting it. But most of the water simply is not absorbed and runs “downhill” or is soaked more deeply than needed. With a limited water source, you can ill afford this kind of waste.

High flow-rate means lower pressure. The lower pressure may mean your pump can’t push the water high enough to reach critical areas of your home or forces you to get closer to danger areas than you should.

When looking for a fire pump, you need to balance the horsepower, flow rate and pressure to maximize effectiveness, limiting wasted water and being able to place water in critical areas. We typically recommend fire pumps that have a flow rate of around 40-80GPM. This is enough water to provide effective protection, provides enough potential pressure to reach critical areas while conserving the limited water supply from your pool or pond.

When asking for a pump to help fight fires, don’t ask for a trash pump. These are very popular, high flow rate pumps. Their purpose is to drain water as fast as possible. Thus they have high flow-rates, but low pressure. These are the most frequently requested pumps but are not correct for the application of fire fighting. Avoid this pump.

Test your fire pump and system

When you’ve purchased and installed your fire pump, test it thoroughly. It’s not just about whether the pump works, but also about your plan of attack… can the system (pump, hoses, nozzles, water source, power supply) do what you expect, protect your priorities. Walkthrough your scenario with a live operation of the system. Do this when you’ve set up your system, then retest it several times during the year to stay in practice. Real emergencies are better dealt with when you’ve practiced thoroughly.

Which pump should you get for residential firefighting?

As in many cases, the right fire pump for your home protection may vary. There are some more expensive pumps that provide both high pressure and high flowrate. Where the water supply is of no concern, these may work well. But, for most residential fire protection pumps, where both budgets and water are limited, select the higher pressure pumps. A couple are listed below, or you can browse our fire pumps category here.

Other equipment for fire fighting pumps

Be sure to use hoses and nozzles designed for the environment of fires. In normal circumstances, most hoses will work. But, in the potential extremes of a fire situation, be sure the equipment is rated to handle it. Some nozzles and hoses are shown below.

For filters, be sure to pair the filter with the hose size. A couple of filters to consider are :

Of course, if you have any questions about the fire pumps or related equipment, please contact us. We are always willing to discuss the best options for your situation.

Sep 13, 2019 11:18:05 AM By PumpBiz Pump Applications,

Over the past decade, the United States has experienced an explosion in demand for hemp products. One of the most popular of these products is cannabidiol (or CBD oil), the consumable, non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis. With its many medical uses and relaxed legal restrictions, the demand for this CBD continues to grow. In addition to the increasing demand, the methods used to process this valuable extract are expanding and improving. In this article, we’ll look at the most popular methods of extracting CBD oil.

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction

The first method of CBD extraction is the CO2 method. This is currently the most effective method, however, it also requires the most equipment and know-how. It’s been a commonly used extraction method in the food and supplement industry and is now often used in commercial extraction for cannabis products.

So how does it work?

First, the carbon dioxide is sealed in a chamber where the pressure is increased and the temperature is decreased to -70 degrees fahrenheit. When the CO2 reaches this low temperature, it condenses into a liquid. It is then reheated and pressurized into a supercritical state, where it has properties of both a gas and a liquid. In its supercritical state, carbon dioxide can be used as a solvent.

At this point, a pump forces the CO2 into a second chamber which contains the cannabis material. The CO2 fills the chamber and, in its supercritical state, dissolves the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter.

The solution is then pumped into a third chamber. Within this chamber, the pressure is lowered, allowing the cannabinoids and the CO2 to separate. The oil is collected and the CO2 is pumped back into the CO2 tank where the process begins again.

There is a similar process that uses carbon dioxide called subcritical extraction. Rather than using high pressure, this method uses low pressure which is less expensive, however it is significantly slower and produces a smaller yield.

Solvent Based Extraction Method

The second extraction method we’ll look at is the solvent-based extraction. In this method, a solvent such as ethanol, butane, or propane is combined with the plant material. Like the supercritical CO2, the solvent’s molecules attach themselves to the cannabinoids and terpenes, dissolving them from the rest of the plant matter. The desired materials are then separated from the solution and any solvent remaining is purged from the final product.

Although butane and propane are generally considered to be the most efficient solvents, they are both combustible and more overhead is required to safely execute the process. The equipment used must be able to handle increases in pressure (although not nearly as much as CO2 extraction) and must be explosion proof, including pumps.

The equipment used in ethanol based extraction, on the other hand, has none of those requirements. As a solvent, it is generally recognized as safe by the FDA and is used for similar processes throughout the food and supplement industry.

However, ethanol’s high polarity means that it binds with more than just the desired material, cannabinoid and terpenes. As a result, a significant amount of filtration and post-processing is required to remove matter such as fats, lipids, and chlorophyll. But the development of new extraction techniques, such as chilling the ethanol, allow it to bypass the undesired materials which makes the process much more efficient.

Although it produces a comparatively smaller yield than CO2, solvent based extraction is generally cheaper and has a much lower energy consumption.

Each type of extraction has its benefits and drawbacks. Performing these extractions at larger scales requires not just the right knowledge but also the right equipment. If you have any questions about your equipment, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

Jul 31, 2019 10:19:52 AM By PumpBiz Pump Applications,

The term “water hose” can be used for many different applications. But, before you just buy a water hose, you should understand what makes hoses useful for different applications. If you buy the wrong hose, your project can go south very quickly. There are some important differences between the types of hoses.

Some of the considerations in buying a water hose include things like temperature, intake vs discharge, pressure, acidity, potable water use, viscosity and other elements. In addition to the water volume and velocity of the pumping needed, you have to be sure you are thinking about the type of liquid, and where the hose will be used.

Suction Hoses

As the name states, these are hoses designed specifically for moving water from the source to the water pump. The intake or suction hose is flexible for winding up but has a rigidity that prevents the hose from collapsing. The intake hose is designed to let the fluid flow easily into the pump while not collapsing.

Discharge hose

Water can be discharged directly from the pump, but it is more often preferable to move the water to another location. The discharge hose is flexible, rolls easily and can direct the water as needed. Depending on the pressure and location of the hose, the hose may need to be anchored in place to prevent it from moving.

NSF Grade Hose

When potable water is needed, using an NSF Grade hose is a must. The hoses are compatible with FDA food safety requirements. Our NFS grade hoses are made from clear PVC Braided Tubing.

High Temp Discharge Hose

When discharge water approaches 200 f, it’s best to use hosed design for high temps. High temps can negatively affect the integrity of a hose that is not designed to handle it. While water may flow initially, over time, the hose may leak, or even burst depending on the pressure.

Being sure to have the right type of hose means your application has a better chance of successfully operating over time. If you have any questions about the specifications of our hoses or need advice about which hose is best for you, please call.

Jun 26, 2019 2:56:18 PM By PumpBiz Pump Applications,

Sprinkler Pump Maintenance

We demand a lot out of pumps. In addition to the immense pressure under which they operate, there are external environmental factors like wind, rain, and dust, which can be a lot of stress for a machine to handle. As a result, pumps can become less efficient over time or occasionally malfunction or breakdown completely. Which is why regular maintenance is crucial to keeping your pumps operating at their best efficiency points. In this article, we’ll go through the key points of good sprinkler pump maintenance.

Establish a Maintenance Schedule

Good maintenance should include performing periodic inspections of your pumps. Using the manufacturer’s guidelines, establish a maintenance timeline to determine how frequently you should perform routine checks. Whether it’s monthly, annually, before and after growing seasons, having a system in place is a good defense against wear and tear and deficiencies.

Learn Your System

One of the simplest keys to good maintenance is simply knowing your pumps. Being observant and taking note of any leaks, strange noises or odors, or lower than usual pressure, you can catch small issues before they become major problems. This applies not only during maintenance but throughout the year. It’s particularly important to keep an eye on new parts and installations, which may leak when first put in place.

One of the common issues that arises in water pumps is cavitation, where pockets of air form in the liquid. These bubbles can cause pitting corrosion or deterioration. This issue can sometimes be detected audibly if the pump sounds like pebbles are being sent through the system. However, there are visible signs as well. And if you’re pump isn’t operating as efficiently as it should, you may have cavitation.


One of the most important maintenance routines is keeping your pumps properly lubricated. There are two types of lubrication: water lubricated pumps and oil lubricated pumps.

Water lubrication uses the water passing through the pump to cool and lubricate the system. However, with this system, it’s important to supervise the flow, as a loss of water or cavitation can damage the system.

Some oil lubricated systems draw oil from a reservoir to keep the system lubricated. The levels in the reservoir must be regularly checked and kept at adequate levels. Refer to the owners manual for the required types of oil or grease. But applying lubricant to the bearings by hand requires caution. Just as important as ensuring the pump is adequately lubricated is ensuring that it’s not over lubricated. If the pump’s bearing has a vent cap, allow the pump to run for a half an hour without it. This should let any excess oil escape.

Mechanical and Electrical Inspections

You’ll want to check that all mounting points and seals are secured. This is particularly true if your pump uses packing seals which tend to start leaking over time. Inspect pump flanges and couplings for leaks as well as filters to make sure they’re clean. Replace any hoses, O-rings, or seals that appear damaged or worn. And have an electrician examine the electrical components to ensure that connections are secured and operating at the correct amperage.

Performing regular maintenance on your pumps will not only keep them operating at their best efficiency points but increase their longevity as well. Those hours spent keeping pumps in top shape will save you money and headaches in the long run.

May 31, 2019 5:54:03 PM By PumpBiz Pump Maintenance,

Cleaning a Pond Pump

Cleaning your submersible pond pump is the best way to extend it’s life. The old saying, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” certainly does not apply. While submerged, pumps are susceptible to algae and white scale. Also, the conditions within many submersed environments have a great deal of sediments or silt. These factors can constrict the pipes, increase the stress on the motor and cause greater wear on the mechanics of the pump.

Cleaning the pump is not terribly difficult, but does take time. Be patient and don’t rush the job.

Safety First

Be sure all electrical connections are off and unplugged. Obvious, the pond pump is submerged in water. Water and careless use of electricity can be deadly. Do not start to work on the pump until you are sure all electricity is disconnected/unplugged.

Removing the water pump

Your submerged water pump should have a handle by which you can lift it. As the pumps are under water and visibility can be limited, you need to be careful. There are cables and wires into the housing which can not support the weight of the pump and will break if you attempt to lift the pump improperly.

Disassemble the water pump

Layout a tarp or sheet on which you can place the parts. As you disassemble the pump, place the pumps in order of their removal or roughly in their relative position. It is also very helpful to take photos along the way. This will help you reassemble the pump when the parts are cleaned.

While you want to get to as much of the pump’s parts as possible, do not remove anti-tamper screws. These are screws that are not made for a flathead or a phillips head screwdrivers. Removing these screws and connected part will likely lead to permanent damage.

Cleaning the pump parts

During the cleaning process, avoid the use of detergents. Residue from detergents can harm the aquatic life if not properly removed. It is best to avoid their use altogether.

In addition to the pump parts, check all hoses and filters for deposits or blockages. Use a non-abrasive sponge and clear, warm water to remove deposits of scale, silt or algae.

At this time, check for excessive wear on the parts. In particular, the impeller, but other parts as well. If you need to replace parts, get the information from the manufacturer plate (pump info) and contact the supplier for receive the correct replacement part.

Reassembling the water pump

Put your water pump back together following the reverse order from when to disassembled it. If you followed the disassembling instruction, the parts should be in the proper order for reassembly. This will be easier if you have the original owners manual as well.

The assembling process is a good time to double check all of the wiring. Be sure the casings are not worn, the connections are solid the not frayed

By cleaning the pump regularly you can extend the life of the pump. It will also enhance the performance of the pump, which can help lower the overall maintenance of the pond in which it operates. A clean pump has multiple benefits for pond owners, so don’t put of pump cleaning.

Mar 22, 2019 2:00:00 PM By PumpBiz Pump Maintenance,

What is an explosion proof pump? This actually refers to the motor that drives the pump, and the ability to operate within certain parameters. But, before we get into what an explosion proof pump is, we should understand the context in which we are applying the designation.

When designing pumping systems, we look at both the physical requirements of the pump (what’s being pumped, how far, how high, what volume, etc), as well as the environment in which the pump must operate. In some cases, the environment can be hazardous. The hazardous nature of some environments includes the increased potential for combustion or explosions due to elements in the area. Pump operators must be assured that the equipment they are using will not pose an increased risk in these situations.

There are many different conditions which pose a threat of combustion; environments in which a small flame, spark or even excessive heat can cause ignition. Some of the more commonly thought of situations include operations near or pumping fuel where fumes coming in contact with sparks or flames can cause an explosion. Areas, where there is excessive flammable dust or dry material, can also be ignited. Pump motors operating in these environments must do so with strict parameters to prevent them from causing an explosion.

But, as a buyer or operator, how can you be sure the pump motor you use will meet the parameters necessary to operate safely in a hazardous environment? The NFPA, through National Electrical Code® (NEC®), sets the standards for motors based on different types of environments. These environments are defined by different Classes and Divisions and referred to as locations.

Dust-tight specifications are approved for use in Class II, Division 2, or Class III, Division 1 or 2 locations; Explosion proof designations are approved for use in Class I, Division 1 or 2 locations. Qualification for Division 1 meets Division 2 requirements.

The pump must meet the temperature requirement for the designation. The operating temperature of the motor and casing, or other components, cannot be greater than the lowest ignition/combustion temperature of the gases or dust within the location.

Getting the right Explosion Proof Pump

Making sure your pump and motor meet the designation for your application can be tricky. Contact our pump engineers to discuss your application and the specification necessary to ensure the safe operation of your pump. You will need to specify the type of pumping operation needed as well as the environment in which the operation will take place.

Feb 22, 2019 2:06:13 PM By PumpBiz Pump Applications,
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