Submersible & Non-Submersible Pumps
The difference between submersible and non-submersible pumps is literally stated by their names. Submersible pumps are designed to be fully or partially submersed in the fluid they are pumping. Since the pump is submerged in water, there is no need for pipe flanges, tube inlets or other types of inlet connections. Instead, the fluid inlet is cast or molded directly into the pump housing. In most cases, where the entry of solids into the pump could cause damage or blockage to fluid movement, the pump inlet is covered by a removable screen or grating. All of submersible pumps are designed with a sealed housing to protect the motor from direct contact with water. Submersible pumps are used in conjunction with a sump, a basin, a tank, or in the case of condensate removal pumps, a tray that holds the liquid to be pumped. The types of submersible pumps available at PexUniverse.com are as follows:
- Sump Pumps (Little Giant)
- Sewage Sumps (Little Giant)
- Effluent Pumps (Little Giant)
- Select Utility Pumps (Little Giant)
- Well Pumps (Grundfos, Little Giant, FloForce)
- Pond/Aquarium/Fountain Pumps (Little Giant)
- and several others
Non-submersible pumps are designed for applications that do not involve any external contact with water. Unlike most of the submersible pumps, non-submersible pumps have an inlet and outlet piping or flanged connections that allow to connect various types and sizes of pipes to accommodate the water (or other fluid) on the inlet side and discharge it through the outlet side. Such water pumps cannot and shall not be placed in sumps, basins or trays, simply because they are not designed for such applications. Non-submersible pumps can are also called â€œin-lineâ€ pumps. Since thereâ€™s no external contact with water, many manufacturers design the pumps with an accessible motor housing, allowing for easy maintenance of the pump without having to remove it from the system. Some of the examples of non-submersible pumps include:
- Circulator Pumps (Taco, Grundfos)
- Domestic Hot Water Recirculation Pumps and Systems (Taco, Grundfos)
- Pressure Booster Pumps (Grundfos)
- Select Utility Pumps (Little Giant)
- And several others
Circulator pumps are designed for the purpose of maintaining a constant circulation of hot water or other liquid throughout the heating or cooling system (radiators, radiant heated floors, baseboards, fan coils, etc.). A proper example of such pumps is the Taco circulator pumps, such as the Taco 007-F5 model, and the Grundfos circulator pumps, such as the UPS15-58FC model. Circulator pumps are designed to be low noise, low maintenance, and low energy consumption, requiring as much energy as the light bulb in many cases.
There are 3 types of circulator pumps: single speed, 3-speed and variable speed models.
A single speed circulator pump operates at a constant speed which depends on systemâ€™s parameters, such as piping size & length, required flow, elevation and others. a good example of the single-speed circulators are the â€œ00â€ series Taco pumps and â€œUPâ€ series Grundfos pumps.
A 3-speed circulator pump has an external switch (Speed 1/Speed 2/Speed 3 or Low/Med/Hi) which allows to switch between the pumpâ€™s modes. Put it simply, having a 3-speed circulator pump is the same as having 3 separate circulator pumps of various lower, medium or higher flow and pressure drop parameters. These pumps are especially useful when thereâ€™s a possibility of pump being undersized, and so, instead of purchasing a more powerful model with larger power consumption, a 3-speed model can be installed and an optimal speed selected. These pumps are very popular for radiant heating and circulator zoning applications. Examples include Taco MSF models (i.e. 00R-MSF1-4IFC) and Grundfos UPS models (i.e. UPS26-99FC).
A variable speed circulator pump is the latest advancement in the hydronic industry, which allows the pump to automatically regulate the operating speed to match the systemâ€™s parameters and requirements. An example of a variable speed pump if Grundfos Alpha series, such as the 15-55F/LC model.
All circulators are designed to be non-submersible pumps.
Probably the most common type of submersible pumps - a sump pump is generally installed in a sump or basin for water accumulation and is normally placed below floor/ground level or any other areas where water tends to accumulate. A sump pump and sump basin installation is generally done as part of the buildingâ€™s design when it has low areas where water tends to accumulate, when the basement is below the water table or the structure has a high risk of flooding.
Sump pumps can be divided into two main categories â€" manually-operated and automatically operated. Manual models engage as soon as the power plug is connected into the outlet, while automatic models are designed with a switch (usually either diaphragm type or float type), which detects water levels and activates/deactivates accordingly. Dual-mode (manual or automatic) models with piggyback switch are also available, allowing to use the sump pump both in manual dewatering applications and automatic stand-alone mode.
PexUniverse.com has a large selection of Little Giant sump pumps with various cord lengths, operating modes, outlet connections and other options. Many sump pumps also contain adapters which allow for a hassle-free connection to 1-1/2â€ & 1-1/4â€ threaded pipes as well as plain garden hoses.
Magnetic Drive Pumps
While most of pumps are designed to have the motorâ€™s drive shaft mechanically connected to the pump impeller shaft, magnetic drive pumps differ in a way that the coupling between the two isnâ€™t mechanical, but magnetic. Both the motor drive shaft and the impeller drive shaft have magnets attached, with the magnet on one shaft â€œnestingâ€ inside the magnet on the other shaft. Magnetic attraction forces one to turn when the other does. This type of pumps is commonly used in applications where handling corrosive materials is required or thereâ€™s a possibility of momentary blockage from solids or sludge. Should the pump impeller be stopped or slowed by such a blockage, the pump motor isnâ€™t stopped. Motors produce the most torque and horsepower at full speed, so allowing this slippage helps maintain the motor running at its most efficient speed. PexUniverse.com carries Little Giant magnetic drive pumps for both semi-corrosive, mildly corrosive and highly-corrosive applications.
Pressure Booster Pumps
In projects and applications where the water supply pressure may fluctuate or is simply insufficient, installing a pressure booster pump at the waterâ€™s main inlet will help to insure a higher and more constant water pressure. Pressure booster pumps typically come in either single-stage or multi-stage design. In most applications, especially residential, the single stage design is adequate to meet the application needs. However, in cases where the building is at a considerably higher elevation than the pumping station which is supplying the water, or where the water is coming from an underground water supply, a multi-stage pressure booster pump may be necessary. Majority of pressure booster pumps on the market are designed to be non-submersible pumps. PexUniverse.com carries select popular models of Grundfos pressure booster pumps.
Sewage Pumps (Sewage Ejector Pumps)
Sewage pumps are submersible pumps type, specifically designed to handle sewage waste and solids mainly produced in residential and light commercial buildings. Unlike many other water pumps, sewage pumps are capable of handling the solids of up to 2â€ in diameter as part of effluent waste. These pumps are always submersible, designed to sit on the bottom of a septic tank or other sewage basin. Many of the sewage pump models come with legs, sitting directly at the bottom of the tank or basin, thus providing sufficient clearance to allow the wastewater and solids to enter the inlet of the pump from the bottom.
Similar to sump pumps and effluent pumps, sewage pumps come in two basic types: manual and automatic. The manual models are activated by plugging the cord directly intop the power outlet, whereas the automatic models come with a switch, which detects presence of wastewater and adequately activates and deactivates when certain liquid levels are present. Some automatic sewage pumps also have the option of adjusting the ON/OFF levels at which the pump activates. As with other similar submersible water pumps, automatic sewage pumps may also be available in dual-mode models, allowing to use them in both manual and automatic modes. PexUniverse.com carries an extensive selection of Little Giant sewage pumps with various motor options, cord lengths and operating modes.
Condensate Removal Pumps (Condensate Pumps)
Condensate removal pumps are commonly used in conjunction with central air conditioning systems, mini-split air conditioning systems or gas condensing furnaces. Given the high humidity climate conditions and depending on systemâ€™s size, air conditioning and condensing system can produce anywhere from a gallon so several gallons of condensate per hour. While most installations allow for removal of condensate by means of regular gravity flow, some systems are installed below the drainage levels or at remote locations where gravity flow is insufficient to remote the condensate. A condensate removal pump is used to solve the problem by discharging the accumulated condensate to a desired location. Condensate removal pumps are automatic and are activated by a float-type or other type of when particular level of condensate is present in the pan. PexUniverse.com sells an extensive variety of Little Giant condensate removal pumps available in many sizes and options.
Transfer pumps, pony pumps and utility pumps fall into the same category of water pumps, generally used for transferring water from one location to another or for dewatering applications. Like with other water pumps, these can be either submersible or non-submersible. Majority of these water pumps are manually operated and will require supervision to prevent to motor from running dry, while some models of Little Giant utility pumps, such as 5-ASP series, are automatic and will shut off when an external or internal switch detects low water level.
Transfer pumps, utility pumps and pony pumps are generally portable, small in size and are used for draining fish tanks, dewatering water beds or flooded basements and other small applications. Many models come with garden hose connectors, allowing to easily connect a garden hose without having to purchase any additional adapters. PexUniverse.com sells variety of transfer and utility pumps by Little Giant.
Grinder pumps are best suited for buildings that are positioned lower than the sewer main and contain a sewage basin tank that accumulates solid and liquid waste. Unlike any other type of sewage pumps, grinder pumps not only remove the wastewater from sewer tanks, but also grind the waste to avoid clogging & cleaning and to insure an uninterrupted performance. Grinder pumps such as ones from Little Giant are capable of grinding things like small bones, disposable gloves and even diapers, making them the most prone to clogging pumps on the market. Grinder pumps sold at PexUniverse.com are fully automatic and will activate immediately after a pre-set waste water level is reached; additionally, all of these are designed to be fully sumbersible pumps. The pump is also designed with high legs to allow solid wastes to enter the pumpâ€™s inlet. Since the solids are grinded, a smaller diameter waste water pipe, such as 1-1/4â€, is usable, reducing the installation cost.
Water Removal System
Water removal systems, such as Little Giant Drainosaur are pre-packaged systems consisting of a sump pump, a basin with cover and piece of discharge pipe which connects to the outlet of the pump. Water removal systems are installed in places where gravity drainage is not possible, and digging a drainage sump is not practical. Some of the most common applications for water removal systems include lavatory sinks, laundry trays, and wet bar sinks. The self-contained unit is typically installed in cabinetry immediately below, or as close to as practically possible, to the area being drained.
The complete water removal system, such as Little Giantâ€™s WRS-6, WRSC-6, WRS-8 and CS-SS, consists of a polypropylene tank with a submersible pump inside. There is a molded-in inlet in the tank for the entering drain water, and molded-in outlets for ejected water and vent. The tank comes with an easily accessible filter screen for any solids. This filter screen does require minimal maintenance - emptying and flushing it periodically.
Effluent pumps are submersible pumps type and are used in septic systems where gravity flow from the septic tank to the leach field is not possible. This can be due to remoteness of the leach field or itâ€™s higher elevation than the septic tank. Effluent pumps are designed to work with specially designed septic tanks, which have a chamber for the pump. The purpose of the separate chamber is to keep solids away from the pump, and prevent it from clogging. While effluent pumps can handle small solids (up to 3/8â€ OD), they are not designed for handling such. PexUniverse.com sells a wide selection of effluent pumps by Little Giant.
Sewage Ejector Pump Systems
A sewage ejector pump system is an all-in-one unit, designed for residential applications, such as where thereâ€™s a bathroom installed in a basement which is below the sewage line level. The unit consists of a roto-molded polyethylene sump, with a sewage ejector pump (such as Little Giant 509500, 9-CIA model submersible pump) mounted inside. Sewage ejector systems are designed to be installed below floor level, leaving an access hatch for maintenance. The integral sewage pump is activated by a float switch, which is factory set to turn the pump on at a designated liquid level. An external check valve supplied with the system protects the unit from backflow.
Among the most popular and widely used sewage ejector pump systems is Little Giantâ€™s Simplex. The Simplex comes in several versions, with sump capacities from 20 to 30 gallons. Versions are also available with slip-fit or bolt-on flanges. The Simplex can be purchases as a pre-assembled unit, or a pre-packaged unit (some assembly required). PexUniverse.com offers several versions of the Little Giant, Simplex sewage ejector pump systems.
In application that requires continuously circulating hot water from the heat source such as a boiler through a series of baseboards or radiators, a circulator pump, such as Taco circulator pump or a Grundfos circulator pump is required. For closed loop heating systems, a cast iron circulator pump can be used. For open loop heating systems, a stainless steel or bronze circulator pump is needed. The pump is sized to meet the systemâ€™s flow requirements using pressure drop data and pump curve charts provided by the manufacturer.
Radiant Heating/Snow Melting
Although named differently, these types of systems essentially perform the same function with the exception that radiant heating is used for indoor space heating applications, while snow melting is used for outdoor. Unlike typical radiant heating systems, which are designed to continuously recirculate the hot water from the boiler through the PEX tubing in the buildingâ€™s floors, snow melting systems are separated from the main heating loop by using a heat exchanger, as they use a mix of water with glycol, not suitable for direct contact with boiler. Both applications require one or more circulator pumps, such as Taco circulators or Grundfos circulators. Similar to baseboard or radiator heating system, the pump is matched to the systems flow requirements and is sized using pump curve chart provided by the manufacturer.
Hydro-Air Fan Coils
Such systems typically use one or more water to air fan coils (a water to air heat exchanger) where air is blowing through the heat exchanger, is heated to a desired temperature, transferred though the ductwork to a desired location and is then dispersed into the designated room in the building. To function, such systems will require the use of properly sized one or more circulator pumps, such as the ones produced by Grundfos or Taco.
Indirect Water Heaters
Unlike traditional storage type water heaters, indirect water heaters do not have a pilot burner installed. Instead, the water heater contains a coiled tube heat exchanger inside with piping from the heat exchanger connecting to the boiler and the hot water produced by the boiler is used to heat the water inside the indirect water heater. This system type is very practical and efficient in homes that are designed with hydronic (hot water) heating. However, indirect water heaters are not price-effective as retrofits, as installing one usually requires replacing the boiler with a larger unit.
Chilled Water Cooling
In such systems, super-chilled water (close to freezing) is circulated from a cooling tower into the building, where it is typically used with a forced air blower to cool the air on premises. Such systems would require the use of a properly sized and selected circulator pump, such as one from Taco or Grundfos.
Water Dispersal & Irrigation
Agricultural irrigation systems typically operate at much higher flow rates and pressures than traditional domestic plumbing systems. To achieve higher flow rates and higher pressure, a pressure booster pump may be required, such as the Grundfos MQ3 series or a centrifugal pumps such as Little Giant LSP series. If using well water, a well pump is needed, such as Grundfos SQ and SQE series. To achieve constant flow and prevent pressure spikes, manufacturers offer a series of controls, which are commonly sold separately from the pump, but may also be integrated in it depending on the series and model.
The most widespread method of water and waste water removal from a building is by gravity flow. However, in cases where such is impossible due to a structural design, a regular water pump or a waste water pump is needed. The type of pump used in such applications depends on the type water or waste to be removed. There are three basic pump types that fall into this category: sewage pumps for waste water that contains solids, effluent pumps for graywater (effluent waste) without solids, and sump pumps for plain water. PexUniverse.com offers a large selection of water and wastewater pumps by Little Giant.
In most AC (air conditioning) installations, condensate produced by the AC, mini-split or furnace is removed by gravity flow. However, in the event the HVAC unit is installed below ground or main drainage line level, or the run from the unit to the water disposal point is too long, gravity flow may not work. Removing the condensate in such systems would require the use of a properly selected condensate removal pump, such as the one made by Little Giant.
Domestic Hot Water Recirculation Systems
In large and especially elongated houses, it can take as much as several minutes for the hot water to reach a tap from the hot water heater. As a result, lots of water and energy is wasted. To solve the problem, a hot water recirculating pump or system is installed. These water pumps is typically designed with an aquastat and/or timer which automatically activate the pump when the water temperature falls (aquastat) and/or at pre-programmed times (timer) to assure constant hot water temperature at all the taps or outlets in the plumbing system. Domestic hot water circulation systems can be divided into 2 categories â€" the ones that require a return line (Such as Grundfos UP10-16B pumps) and the ones that donâ€™t (such as Grundfos UP15-10SU7P/TLC or Taco Dâ€™MAND system). The later are best fitted for retrofits, are easily installed, and do not require re-piping or running additional lines.