Picking the Right Trash Pump
Selecting a trash pump doesn’t have to be difficult. You can find the right pump for your application with the right information and guidance. If you are in doubt, please call us. We are here to help.
There are trash pumps designed for almost every type of situation. While having an underpowered pump is undesirable, paying too much for overpowered pumps is also not good.
Before selecting a pump, understand the types of trash pumps. Once you have a firm grasp of the types, then you can look at power, portability, and appropriate accessories.
What is a Trash Pump?“Trash Pump” is used to denote pumps that can remove water containing some debris. The amount and nature of the debris a trash pump can handle will depend on the specifications of the individual pump.
How Does A Trash Pump Handle DebrisWithin a pump housing, the mechanism for moving water in a centrifugal trash pump is often an impeller. The spacing between the blades is wider for trash pumps, allowing debris to flow through. These can handle solids up to a few inches, depending on the pump specs. Pumps have different specifications, so be sure to select the appropriate pump for your application. If you are unsure, please call us.
Trash pumps with slightly smaller blade separation are referred to as semi-trash pumps. The maximum size of debris for these is around ⅝ of an inch.
Diaphragm trash pumps should be used for the larger pieces and abrasive content (like heavy mud). Unlike a centrifugal pump with an impeller and blades, the diaphragm pump opens and compresses a large cavity creating a vacuum that sucks water into the cavity. This accommodates larger debris and is less susceptible to abrasives. These may also be referred to as mud pumps.
Strainers For Pump HosesBy the very nature of the applications for which you will need a trash pump, the contents of the water to be pumped may be hard to predict. Even the best pumps have their limits. Always use a strainer on the intake hose to minimize clogging and potential damage to the pump.
Based on the operating specifications of the pump you select, purchase a strainer designed to limit the appropriate size of debris that is allowed to flow into the trash pump.
A strainer is more than a filter. Do not simply tie some mesh to the intake hose. While this will prevent debris from entering the pump, it will clog quickly and require continuous clean-out.
A strainer is larger than the size of the intake hose. This allows it to stop large debris while not clogging. Using the appropriate strainer is important to the continual operation of a trash pump.
Which Trash Pump for your Application?Among the more common applications for Trash Pumps are dewatering flooded areas where debris is present. Water in these areas contains leaves, sticks, pebbles, and other debris caught in the runoff or simply present in the flooded areas. With many suspended solids to be dealt with, ordinary water pumps will be damaged if used in these conditions. A trash pump is ideally suited for this application.
Keep in mind, as mentioned above, that the classification of semi-trash pumps indicates that small solids can be handled. Usually ⅝ inch or less. If you are unsure, please call.
Submersible Tash PumpsThe submersible trash pump, as the name suggests, operates under the water. While these pumps can handle various small solids, they are used mostly for dewatering smaller areas, where their application is not one of prolonged pumping. Think dewatering flooded ditches, window wells, or low areas of a yard where leaves, small sticks, or pebbles can make their way to the pump. These are not heavy-duty trash pumps but good for smaller, occasional jobs.
Semi-Trash PumpsFrom the outside, Semi-Tash Pumps may look like trash pumps, but they are quite different in the applications they can handle. The better applications for a semi-trash pump involve gray water or slightly dirty water conditions where there is little expectation of solids larger than ⅝ inches. Flooded basements may also be a good fit for the semi-trash pump. As mentioned above, always use a strainer on your intake hose just in case something larger gets caught in the flow.
Regurlar Trash PumpsA regular trash pump is better suited if there is a likelihood of larger debris or solids in the water. Combined with a more coarse strainer, a trash pump can dewater while clearing some of the debris as well.
Keep in mind that a trash pump is not a grinder pump. Whatever debris enters the pump will be ejected in like form. This may have implications for selecting your discharge area. If the ejected debris may impede the flow away from the discharge point, you will need to plan accordingly to clear it or choose another discharge location.
While you can use a strainer with a semi-trash pump, you will be left with muck and debris to clean up that would have otherwise been pumped out. Also, if there is a lot of debris, a strainer will eventually need to be cleaned out, the frequency depending on how much is present.
Diaphragm Trash PumpsAs mentioned before, the diaphragm trash pump operates on entirely different principles. The vacuum pump nature of operation makes the internal pump parts less vulnerable to abrasives in the water. The diaphragm trash pump is a better path if the applications consist of muddy, sandy, or muck-filled water. They can handle both the larger debris and the grittier contents of muddy waters.
If using a diaphragm pump, the discharge location should be no more the 25 feet from the pump. Additionally, there can be no restrictions on the discharge flow. Diaphragm pumps operate at constant pressure and do not have a way to release backup pressure safely.
Larger trash pump requirementsAll trash pumps operate on the basis described above. And most uses are met with smaller, portable pumps. But some applications require more power and still be portable.
PTO PumpsFor agricultural purposes and construction companies, having a PTO trash pump is an ideal solution. PTO’s are pumps that can be connected to an external engine via the drive shaft. This reduced the maintenance by eliminating the need for a dedicated drive source like an engine or motor. These pumps can be connected to a tractor or other engine and removed when not used, making them ideal for farmers, contractors, or other industries where external power sources are present.
Trailer Trash PumpsThese are simply larger, more powerful trash pumps with engines mounted to trailers. They can handle solids up to about 3 inches and run on gas or diesel engines. The trailers make it easier to bring high-pumping power to almost any place it is needed.
With a popper understanding of the various types of trash pumps, you should be able to narrow down which pumps can meet your needs. Further refining your list of pumps by looking at specs about flow rate, power, etc, you can pick the best for your job.
Please contact us if you have questions, want to verify your understanding, or just need to talk through the application with a pump professional. We are here to help.