I Have Had A Flood….
Winter time every year brings the annual problem of rainwater and floodwater. When the drainage around your home or business is not set up right or simply gets overwhelmed by the amount of runoff water. Suddenly your soak wells, sumps and maybe even a cellar or low-lying room is knee deep in water. Depending on the situation, there are various ways to get rid of this water.
The first thing to look at is what you are trying to do. Are you trying to have an automatic pump that will remove water from a low point without you needing to do anything or are you removing water from somewhere it has filled up in an emergency and there is no electricity. In addition you need to look at what is in the water as sand, solids and pollutants need to be handled properly or it may damage your pump.
What Is A Sump Pump?
A sump pump is a pump that is used to pump water from a pit, cellar, hole or similar low area. It is used to remove floodwater, runoff or collected rainwater and pump it to waste or into a storage higher up. Sump pumps have sealed motors and power cables so they are placed into the water they need to pump. Because they are in the water, there is no need to prime them and they can also automatically control themselves if they have a float switch built in.
Automatic or Manual
If the pump has a float switch built in, then it will be able to turn on when the water level rises and turn off when the water has all been pumped away.
This stops the pump from being damaged and also allows the pump to automatically control the water level in a low area that you don’t want to fill up.
A manual pump is simply turned on at the power point and can be used for emptying an low lying area in an emergency or if you simply want to empty something occasionally. These work in the same way as an automatic unit but don’t have a float switch attached.
What If There Is Sand or Solids In The Water?
If the water is clean, then you can use a normal dewatering pump. This is a clean water pump that can pump water down to 1-2cm deep. Models like the Davey D25 will pump 150L/min so they can move a large volume in a short space of time.
If the water has sand or small bits of solid in it, then you need to move to a vortex pump. A vortex pump has a really open inlet and impellor so sand, leaves and small sticks don’t get stuck in it. A model like the Grundfos AP35B will pump 200L/min and will handle solid pieces 35mm in diameter.
If there is larger solids and lots of them in the waste water, then you will need to move up to a cutter or grinder pump. These pumps have a much heavier impellor and housing and are designed to actually grind or cut the solids so they don’t block up the pump pipework. These are used when there is stringy material like hair, wood or rope or when you are pumping sewerage where you don’t want the pump to block up. They can pump very large volumes but are also very heavy and have much larger motors on them than a vortex pump.
How Do I Install A Sump Pump?
When you have a sump, well or low area that you want to dewater, then it is important to place the pump correctly so that it will not get damaged and will remove as much as possible. The first thing is to attach the outlet hose or pipe properly so that it won’t disconnect and cause more problems. You may also want to attach a cable or chain to the pump to make it easier to retrieve later and to stop it moving.
When working out where to place the pump, make sure that the bottom is fairly flat and that there is not large amounts of sand or gravel on it. Although some vortex pumps can handle the solids, if they suck up a large amount of gravel, then they could get damaged and stop working properly. Place the pump so it can easily suck water into its inlet and also that the motor is suspended in the water. If the motor gets stuck in mud, or wrapped up in floating debris, then it won’t cool properly and may overheat. Then all you need to do is turn the pump on and make sure it is working OK before you leave it to do the work.
When you next have a dewatering problem that you need solved, then drop into Southern’s or send us an email. We have many different quality options on the shelf in Bunbury and can give you the right advice so that you don’t get caught in the future.