FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Find the answers to your frequently asked questions about your pump type.



Jet Pumps

What does “jet” mean in the term “jet pump”?

Inside the nose of a shallow well jet pump there is a nozzle and venturi pair. The nozzle blows water through the venturi which creates a pressure differential. It’s this pressure differential that actually helps the pump build pressure. It’s kind of the same physics principal used in a jet engine.

 

What’s the difference between a “shallow” and a “deep” or “convertible” jet pump?

A shallow well jet pump can pull water from a maximum of 25’ depth-to-water. Note that it may be less in higher altitudes. In the mountains it could be as little as 18’ to 20’ A deep well jet pump can pull water from much deeper (as deep as 80’ to 100’ depending upon model and horsepower).

A shallow well jet pump has the nozzle & venturi of the jet system built into the nose of the pump.  In a deep well jet pump setup, the nozzle & venturi are put into an ejector package or “jet kit” that gets placed down in the well.  In this type of setup there are two pipes connecting the pump to the ejector package. One pipe pulls the water up (suction) while the other pipe pushes some water down (drive) to circulate water through the nozzle and venturi. Water moving through that nozzle & venturi makes a pressure differential that helps bring the water up to the pump.

 

What’s the difference between “deep well” jet pumps and “convertible” jet pumps?

In the case of ours, no difference. We use those two terms interchangeably. They are often called convertible because they can be set up as either shallow or deep – they can be “converted’ between the two. In a shallow well setup an ejector kit is bolted to the nose of the pump. For deep well the kit is put down the well.

 

How can I figure out my depth-to-water?

You will have to get access to the top of your well. Open it up and drop down a fishing line with a bobber and weight at the bottom. When you no longer feel the weight on the line, it is floating. Measure how much line you have dropped down the well and you’ll know your depth-to-water. If your pump is not located right near the top of the well, be sure to add any additional height from the top of the well up to the pump.

 

Is it possible for my depth-to-water to change?

Yes. Some wells can be affected by drought conditions or periods of excessive rains. The normal depth-to-water can change in such cases.

Also, some wells are low-producing. This means that the ground water comes in and fills the well slowly. When your pump pulls water out of the well, it’s possible that it is pulling water out faster than the ground is putting it in. In such cases, the depth-to-water will drop while the pump is pulling water out. If the water surface falls more than 25’ down in such conditions, it is possible that a shallow well pump will not be able to pull the water up. It’s also possible that when the level drops, it may drop below your pump’s suction pipe. If this happens, it is possible that the pump could lose prime.

 

I already had a different brand of deep well pump in my well. Now I bought yours. Can I reuse my old jet package to work with your pump?

In probably about 85%-90% of the time the answer is ‘No’.  The nozzle & venturi in a jet package are carefully engineered to match the flow rate of a specific pump. Brand A’s ejector package was not built to work with Brand B’s flow rate. That is also why it’s important to read the ejector package instructions and set the package up correctly for your specific horsepower of pump.

 

Can I use a jet pump to pull water out of a well, lake, or river for my sprinkler system?

Yes. Jet pumps make excellent pumps for small sprinkler systems. You will need to choose a pump that will put out about the same amount of water as your sprinkler system requires.  If your sprinkler system requires more than the jet pump can supply but less than a sprinkler pump needs to put out, you could split your system into fairly closely-matched zones. Then choose a jet pump that matches the requirements of one zone.

 

What size or horsepower of pump do I need?

In general, higher horsepower pumps put out more water (the GPM flow rate is higher). Different models of jet pump are designed differently. IN GENERAL, a ½ HP pump can provide water to a small house with one bathroom and just a couple people. If you have a 2nd bathroom that might be used at the same time as the first, or if your household might run the laundry at the same time as the shower, then going with higher horsepower is going to provide the extra water your household will need. In cases of a house with multiple bathrooms, multiple people, and the possibility a sprinkler system and laundry might be running, then you probably need to go with one of the 1 HP models.

 

Is there a problem with choosing a pump that is too high in horsepower? Why don’t I just get the 1 HP model right away?

The biggest considerations here are two-fold: Your electric bill will be higher; and your pressure tank needs to be large enough to avoid problems of rapid cycling. We recommend you use a pressure tank that is large enough so that every time the pump runs, it can run for a minimum of 1 minute, preferably 2 minutes. If you have a pump that puts out 10 GPM (gallons per minute) then we recommend a tank that has 20 gallons of drawdown.

 

Why does frequent-cycling hurt the pump?

When an AC motor starts, it draws higher current than when it’s just running. That high surge also builds a lot of heat inside the motor. We want the pump to be able to do the work it needs to and then shut off. We want it to be off long enough so that it can completely cool off. If it has to start again before it’s completely cooled off, the motor is going to be that much hotter. Heat shortens the life of electric motors.

 

What size generator do I need to run this pump?

You need to know the amp draw of the pump and multiply that by the voltage to get the watt usage of the pump. Example: Pump draws 5 amps on 115 volts. 5amps x 115volts = 575 watts.  We also need to consider the fact that an AC motor can draw three to five times its regular amp draw for about ½ second when it starts up. So to run our example pump, we need a generator that can supply a startup surge of at least 2875 watts (575 x 5) and can continue to supply the 575 watts as the pump runs. Keep in mind this is accurate if the pump is the ONLY thing the generator is going to supply power for. If you also want to run lights, etc. then that needs to be added to the generator size.

 

How do I register the warranty on my new pump?

We do not ask you to register the warranty. Your receipt is your proof-of-purchase. Keep the receipt safe. If anything happens and the warranty comes into play, your receipt is the proof of warranty eligibility.

 

Where do I find the model number and date of manufacture on my pump?

The pump’s info label on the pump will have the model number and date code on it. The date code is usually a combination of letters and numbers.

 

Where can I get repair parts for my pump, or accessories I might need?

Parts listed in the owners’ manual can be ordered directly through the store where you bought your pump; or can be ordered directly through us. In most cases, the store is able to special-order the parts (they won’t stock them) and sell you the parts for less than you would pay by ordering through the factory. Also, they usually do not charge shipping charges (we do). It is best to talk to someone at the store’s “Special Orders” desk. Have our toll-free number and the part numbers you need with you. If the person at the store does not know how to order parts, please have them call us while you are there. If ordering directly from us, you would normally receive your order in 7-10 business days. Expedited processing and shipping is available at additional cost. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express (not Discover).

 

Can I leave the pump right out in the rain and sun?

The pump motor is considered to be “drip-proof” but not weather-proof. You need to protect the pump from rain and other water, but still need to allow for air to be able to circulate around the motor. You cannot just put the pump in a big box unless there is a lot of ventilation. Usually, we recommend a sort of lean-to over the pump. Two boards that meet at the top above the pump will keep the rain off but still allow for good air flow.

 

Do I need to use a check valve or foot valve with this pump?

Some jet pumps have a built-in check valve and do not require a second one. For the rest, it is recommended that you do use a check valve or foot valve in order to maintain the prime in the pump between uses. If none is present you would need to prime the pump every time you use it. The check valve should be installed in the suction side piping as close to the source of water as possible. It should not be installed within 2’ of the pump’s inlet, or anywhere on the discharge side of the pump. A foot valve functions just like a check valve plus has a strainer on it. It goes on the end of the suction line in the water.

 

What voltage do these pumps need?

Most of the ½ HP pumps are set to run on 115 volts only. Most of the ¾ HP and 1 HP pumps are switchable – they can run on 230v or 115v. The motor has a switch in it to set the running voltage.

 

Can I run the pump at a higher pressure than what they are set up for from the factory?

The pressure switch attached to the pump is what controls the range of pressure in which the pump will run. The switch can be adjusted for different pressures. It is very important that you not adjust the pressure switch to a pressure that is higher than the pump is capable of reaching. Call customer support for details.

 

You make these pumps in cast iron and plastic. Which one is better?

We make both kinds because there is a demand for both kinds. The internals of both type of pump (as well as most of our competition’s pumps) are made of thermoplastic parts. The case is only there to hold the pump together and protect it. The cast iron may be a bit stronger in case you have your pump in an area where it could get jostled or hit by something. More important than the type of material the body is made of, is to choose the pump that will perform best in your application.

 

Do I need to have a pressure gauge on my pump or system?

The pressure gauge is like a speedometer on a car. The car will run fine without it but you don’t know how fast you’re going. Likewise, the pump system will run fine without a gauge, but you have no way to know what pressure is in the system. In most cases, that’s fine. But the gauge can come in handy if you ever have to diagnose a problem.

 

Do I need a pressure relief valve in my water system?

We recommend it. The relief valve will pop open if the system pressure rises too high because of some kind of equipment failure. It will release the excess pressure in a controlled way instead of what could happen if something in your water system were to fail suddenly at high pressure.

 

What kind of pump do I need to pull water out of a reservoir tank?

Treat the tank just like a well (if it’s buried). If the pump is no higher than 25’ above the bottom of the tank, use a shallow well jet pump. If it’s further down, use a convertible deep well jet pump. If the tank is above ground and the pump will be next to it, use a shallow well jet pump. Note that when pulling water from a tank we recommend replacing the factory-installed pressure switch with one that includes a “low pressure cut-off” This can help protect the pump in case the supply tank runs out of water.

 

Water comes to my pump on its own from an artesian well or a raised tank. What pump do I need?

You will use a shallow well jet pump. It’s performance will be a little better than we advertise since it doesn’t have to work as hard lifting the water up. Note that when pulling water from a tank we recommend replacing the factory-installed pressure switch with one that includes a “low pressure cut-off” This can help protect the pump in case the supply tank runs out of water.

 

Can I use a jet pump to boost the water pressure in my house or sprinkler system? I need more pressure than what I currently have.

A jet pump can be used as a pressure booster, with a couple of limitations in mind. First, the overall pressure that the pump will see must be considered. This is the total of the incoming pressure plus the pressure the pump will add to that.  For most thermoplastic jet pumps that total pressure cannot exceed about 70 psi (each pump may be different). Thermoplastic jet pumps are not really recommended for boost applications. For most cast iron pumps, the total pressure cannot exceed about 100 psi. These are maximums. You don’t want to constantly run a pump at its maximum so you should include some buffer if considering this. The second thing to consider is the pump cycling too much. Pumps like to run, and they like to be off. They do not like to be on/off/on/off, etc. If used in a booster application where the water itself can be turned on and off a lot, it is best to include a pressure tank in the application. Call our customer support dept. for details.

 
 

Pre-Charged Pressure Tank

I’ve heard these called “pre-charged” tanks, “bladder” tanks, “captive air” tanks, etc. What is the right name?

Any of these names are fine. We call them “Pre-Charged Pressure Tanks” or “Bladder Tanks”.

 

What is the difference between a “pre-charged pressure tank” and a regular one?

A pre-charged bladder style tank has a bladder inside of it that is made of vinyl. The bladder is surrounded by pressurized air. Your well pump will push water into the bladder under pressure. When the pump shuts off, the water is held inside the tank by a one-way check valve in the piping system. When someone opens up a faucet, shower, etc. the air pressure inside the tank will squeeze on the bladder and force the water out.

 

Is a bladder tank the same as a diaphragm tank?

No. The bladder tank has a vinyl bag inside of it. The diaphragm tank has a vinyl or rubber flat diaphragm mounted in it – usually about 2/3 of the way from front to back. If you look at the steel tank, you will see a seam around the outside of it. That is where the diaphragm is. The function of the diaphragm and bladder tanks is the same. Compressed air on one side of the diaphragm pushes against the diaphragm and the water on the other side of it.

 

Is there an advantage in using one of these tanks instead of the older style standard air-over-water tanks?

The primary advantage of a pre-charged tank is the physical size. Because it holds compressed air, it can do the same job as a much larger standard air-over-water tank.

 

There is only one pipe connection on this tank. How does water get in and out of it?

When the tank is connected, a tee will be installed either at the tank or at the pump. The tee has a total of three connections: One goes to the pump, one goes to the tank, and one goes to the household plumbing system. Water from the pump can go either into the tank or directly into the household plumbing. When the pump is not running, the water comes out of the tank into the household plumbing.

 

How big of a tank do I need?

When it comes to pressure tanks, bigger is better. Period. The whole idea of having a tank is to store water under pressure so it’s ready to use in the house. It prevents the pump from having to turn on every time a little water is needed.  One of the biggest factors in shortening a pump’s life is frequent starts. Having a big pressure tank means that you have that much more water stored. It means the pump will not have to turn on for a longer period of time. That helps prevent the pump from having to start often. In short, when it comes to choosing a pressure tank, you want to buy as big a tank as you can afford and have room for.

 

Can I connect multiple tanks together to get more storage?

Yes. You would put a tee into each tank connection. You want to put your pipe in from the pump, s well as the pipe out to your household plumbing, close to the middle of your tank set. This will help allow the tanks to be used more evenly.

 

I don’t have much pressure in the house. I think the tank is the problem, right?

Many people think that the tank makes pressure but it does not. It only holds the pressure that the well pump puts into it. It’s kind of like a balloon. If you lay a balloon on a table, it does not inflate itself. It cannot create the pressure. In order to get pressure into it, your lungs need to blow the air into it. Now it can hold the pressure. The water tank is the same. The pump has to put the pressure into it.

 

There is an air valve (like a tire valve) on top of the tank. Do I need to check pressure or something?

YES – Absolutely! The tank comes with a pre-charge from the factory but you need to set the air pressure when you install the tank. It needs to be set to 2 psi less than the turn-on pressure that your pressure switch is set to. See the tank owners’ manual for details on how to set it.
NOTE: The tank pressure needs to be checked AT LEAST twice a year. It is better to check it every-other-month.  There are instructions in the owners’ manual on how to do this. You will want to have a good accurate tire pressure gauge to do this. It uses exactly the same type of valve that’s on your car or bicycle so the same kind of tire pressure gauge will work fine.

 

How do I add air if it’s low? Use a bike tire pump or something?

Adding air to the tank is exactly like adding air to a car tire. A portable air compressor will be MUCH easier than any kind of hand pump. The volume of air inside a tank would mean a LOT of pumping by hand.

 

What happens if I don’t check the air pressure regularly?

Just like the tires on your car, air pressure can slowly leak out of the tank. The air pressure is what keeps the bladder from over-expanding from the pump’s pressure. If too much air pressure leaks out of the tank, the water pressure will over-expand the bladder so much that it can burst. At that time the bladder, or the tank, needs to be replaced.

 

Is the bladder replaceable in the tank?

Yes. If you notice the bladder has failed (pump frequent-cycles, air pressure can’t be set properly, etc.) and you notice it fairly soon, then the inside of the tank walls will not have started rusting yet. As long as the inside tank walls are not rusty or otherwise rough, they will not damage a new bladder when you put it in.

 

There is a threaded fitting directly on the top of the tank. What is that for?

That was used in production. The tank hangs on a threaded connection that takes it along the assembly and paint line. It is not a pipe connection since it does not go into the tank.

 

I have a small pipe feeding me water from the city. My pressure drops off when I use a lot of water. Can I use one of these tanks so I can just store extra water inside my house under the city pressure?

Yes you can. Where the water pipe comes into your home, install a check valve. You don’t want your water going back out to the city. Check your city water pressure at a faucet, etc. to find out what the city water pressure is. Set the pre-charge in your tank to 70% of the city water pressure.

 

My water pressure at the faucets and shower drops off to nothing, and then it surges back on. Is that a tank problem or a pump problem?

In most cases, it’s a matter of the pre-charge air pressure in your tank being set too high. Check the pre-charge air pressure in your tank (according to the directions in the manual) and set correctly.

 

Can I use a bladder style pre-charged tank to hold the water that my Reverse Osmosis filter system puts out?

No. RO tanks have bladders made of butyl rubber. Ours are a type of vinyl. RO water is so very pure that it wants to pull contaminants into it. If stored in the vinyl bladder of a pre-charged tank, the “elastomers” in the bladder will be pulled out of the bladder into the water leaving the bladder very brittle.  What it pulls into the water can also be considered to be toxic.

 

I don’t have any water when I open a faucet. My tank is bad, right?

No. The tank only holds water that the pump puts into it. If the pump doesn’t put any water into the tank, then it doesn’t have anything to hold. If you get NO water when you open a faucet, check your pump.

 

Is it OK to mount my tank outside?

The tank is not designed to be exposed to the weather. Being in direct sun can cause the pressure to fluctuate inside the tank. If the paint on the tank gets chipped or scratched it would be possible for the tank to rust.

 

My water smells funny in the house. Is that because of the tank?

There are certain types of bacteria called “anaerobic bacteria” that can grow where air does not touch the water. If your well has this kind of bacteria in it, the bacteria can start to grow once it gets inside the bladder since that water is not touching air. This bacteria is usually harmless but you should have your water tested for things like iron bacteria or sulphur bacteria.

 

How do I get rid of those bacteria?

Some people will tell you to chlorinate your well but that will only work for a short time. There are only two real solutions here: 1) Install a “contact tank” with a chlorine dosing system. This type of system injects a small amount of chlorine into the water as it comes into the house. The chlorine kills off the bacteria so it can’t grow in your tank.  2) Switch back to the older technology of an air-over-water standard tank. In that kind of tank the air touches the water and this anaerobic bacteria cannot grow.

 

What does the size designation of my tank mean? How can one tank have three different capacities related to it?

The three capacities that you might see listed for a tank are as follows:

The “Equivalency Rated Size” – this is a comparison to an older-style air-over-water tank.

The “Actual Capacity” – this is how much the physical tank would hold with no bladder in it.

The “Drawdown” – this is the amount of usable water that can come out of the tank between pump cycles.

 

Which one of those sizes is really most important to ME?

If you are replacing an older air-over-water standard tank, the “equivalency rated size” is important. You would want to pick a tank that is at least the same size as the one you took out, preferably larger. The other rating that’s important is the “Drawdown”. This is how much water can come out of the tank between pump cycles and it is how much water the pump has to put back into the tank when it has to run. This is the number you want to look at so you can figure out the run time of your pump. You want to choose a tank large enough that the pump has to run a minimum of 1 minute, preferably 2 minutes, each time it runs. So choose a tank with a “drawdown” that is the same or larger than the GPM rating of your pump.

 

I tried to check the air pressure in my tank and water came out of the valve. What’s that mean?

If you get water out of the air valve stem, it means your bladder has failed. Water has left the bladder and is up above it in the tank. It is now time to replace the bladder or the whole tank.

 

I see some tank makers put the air in the bladder instead of the water in the bladder. Why?

You usually see this in “fiberwound” tanks that are made of fiberglass instead of steel. With this type of tank it’s fine for the water to touch the inside of the tank itself without the tank body rusting. We don’t currently have any fiberwound tanks in our line-up so we use steel and put the water into the bladder.

 
 

Sewage Pump

What size solids will my sewage pump handle?

A pump labeled as a “sewage” pump can pass up to 2” solids through it. A pump labeled as an “effluent” pump can handle up to ¾” solids.

 

When you say “solids” what do you mean?

“Solids” do not mean things like bolts and stones. We are talking about things that normally get passed through drains or flushed down a toilet. Most sewage pumps have a thermoplastic impeller that could be damaged by very hard items. In general, we’re talking about things that could be broken up by human hands.

 

Are these also called “grinder pumps”?

No. Technically speaking, a “grinder” pump has an impeller that is made like blades. It can cut up, or grind up the sewage being passed through it. Ours do not do that. Our sewage pumps are called “solids handling” pumps since they simply pass the solids through mostly in tact.

 

Do I have to use such a large discharge pipe or can I use smaller?

Never use a smaller diameter pipe than the size of the pump’s discharge. Use minimum 2” pipe. You may even have to use larger diameter pipe if you have to push a long distance. Be careful with this though. See the next question.

 

Can I use a much larger pipe without problems?

If a pipe of too large a diameter is used, the flow rate of the discharge can be too slow. This can cause the solids to settle out and lay in the pipe. Over time, the sludge that builds up will cause blockages in the pipe. The minimum flow rate of sewage and other liquids containing solids is 3 feet per second. If you are designing a sewage run for your home, consult an engineer or call our customer support line for help in determining proper pipe sizes.

 

Can I plug this pump into an extension cord?

We very strongly recommend that you NOT use an extension cord. It is MUCH better to plug the pump into a dedicated outlet that is fed by a circuit breaker or fuse that feeds power ONLY to that outlet. This ensures that the pump will receive proper voltage. If there is no outlet near the sump pit, we recommend you have one installed there by a professional electrician.

 

Does the check valve NEED to be installed horizontally instead of vertically?

We (as well as others) recommend you install the check valve in a horizontal (side-to-side) position instead of vertical (up-and-down). When the pump shuts off, the solids and liquid in the pipe will settle back against the check valve. If solids settle on top of a check valve flapper in a vertical position, it’s possible for them to stick that flapper valve shut and the next time the pump runs it might not be able to open it up. This will cause the pump to run without discharging the waste. The pump will run and run long enough that it could damage itself, and your sewage or effluent could back up.

 

Can I use this sewage pump to pump water in my waterfall, pond, or water feature?

No. Sewage pumps are designed for short periods of operation. Running a sewage pump for too long can cause the pump to overheat. It is also oil-filled. If fish waste attacks the pump seals, or it overheats, that oil can be discharged into your water feature. That will kill the fish and plants. When it cools, it will draw water up inside the pump motor which will kill the pump.  Using a sewage pump any place where water recirculates is not recommended and will void the warranty.

 

Do you have pumps with longer cords? My outlet is pretty far from where the pump will be.

Some pumps can be ordered with a longer cord. We also sell longer power cords for some of our pumps. Call our customer support department for more details.

 

Can I pump other liquids with this pump?

Our sewage and effluent pumps are designed to pump things that usually go down the drain in a residential setting. We have not tested the pumps with other liquids and cannot say whether they will be chemically compatible with what you need to pump. In short, we don’t recommend our sewage/effluent pumps for anything other than residential sewage or effluent applications. Never pump anything flammable with any of our pumps!

 

What’s the difference between “sewage” and “effluent”?

Basically, we’re talking about the size of the solids in the liquid. Effluent is any liquid that has gone down a residential drain. It can contain solids up to ¾” in size.  This is normally considered to be water containing soap, laundry discharge, water from sinks, etc. Sewage has also gone down a residential drain but can contain solids up to 2” in diameter.

 

Can I use a vertical-type, or electronic-type float switch instead of the tethered float switch that came with the pump?

We supply a tethered-style float switch with our pumps because other types may have problems. The solids contained in sewage & effluent can block the operation of a vertical-style switch. The contents of sewage & effluent can coat the contacts of an electronic-type switch and prevent that from working very long.

 

Can the pump handle feminine products that have been flushed down a toilet?

No. Feminine products should not be flushed when a sewage pump has to handle that. Sewage pumps can have problems passing those items and could become jammed.

 

What size generator do I need to run this pump?

You need to know the amp draw of the pump and multiply that by the voltage to get the watt usage of the pump. Example: Pump draws 5 amps on 115 volts. 5amps x 115volts = 575 watts. 

 

How do I register the warranty on my new pump?

We do not ask you to register the warranty. Your receipt is your proof-of-purchase. Keep the receipt safe. If anything happens and the warranty comes into play, your receipt is the proof of warranty eligibility.

 

How long should my sewage pump last?

This is almost impossible to answer. It’s much like asking how long your sofa, your sink, or your car will last.  It simply depends too much on how often the pump has to run. If you have a small sewage pit, and you have several people in the home, the pump will have to run a lot more than someone with a larger pit and one or two people in the house. Naturally, the pump that runs more is not going to last as long as the one that doesn’t have to work as hard. Choosing a pump that is properly sized to your application and has good electrical supply connected to it will ensure the longest possible life for your pump.

 

Can I use a sewage pump for my waterfall, koi pond, or garden pond aeration?

No. Sewage pumps are designed for short periods of operation. Running a sewage pump for too long can cause the pump to overheat. It is also oil-filled. If it overheats, that oil can be discharged into your water feature. That will kill the fish and plants. When it cools, it will draw water up inside the pump motor which will kill the pump.  Using a sewage pump any place where water recirculates is not recommended and will void the warranty.

 

Do you have, or can you recommend, service people that can come to my house and work on the pump?

We sell all of our products through “do-it-yourself” types of stores. We do not have any people that can come work on your system. Likewise, it is impossible for us to maintain lists of “qualified” people that we could recommend. You would need to check your local “Yellow Pages” etc. for qualified people.

 

Where can I get repair parts for my pump, or accessories I might need?

Repair parts that are listed in your manual can be ordered directly through the store where you bought your pump; or can be ordered directly through us. In most cases, the store is able to special-order the parts (they won’t stock them) and sell you the parts for less than you would pay by ordering through the factory. Also, they usually do not charge shipping charges (we do). It is best to talk to someone at the store’s “Special Orders” desk. Have our toll-free number and the part number that you need with you. If the person at the store does not know how to order parts, please have them call us while you are there. If ordering directly from us, you would normally receive your order in 7-10 business days. Expedited processing and shipping is available at additional cost. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express (not Discover).

 

I think I have a warranty issue with my pump. How do I proceed?

We generally proceed with warranty through the point-of-purchase. Any authorized retailer of our pumps can handle warranty replacement. The other way to process warranty is directly through us. If you wish to pursue this method, call us first.  Keep in mind that a warranty states the item will be “free from
defects in material and workmanship”. Warranty does NOT cover normal wear, damage caused after the item leaves the factory, rust or corrosion, etc.
 
PLEASE NOTE: Most stores do not want or just won’t accept a sewage pump back in their store (for obvious reasons). It is best to call the store first and find out how they want to proceed with warranty replacement.

 

Where can I find the model number and date of manufacture on my pump?

For all sump, sewage, and utility pumps we attach a tag near the end of the power cord that shows the pump’s model number and date code. The date code will be marked as “date code”, “code”, or “MOD”. Also, all pumps have an info label on the pump that has the model number and date code on it. Date code is usually a combination of letters and numbers.

 
 

Sprinkler and Centrifugal

My sprinkler system doesn’t use as much water as this pump will put out. What are my other options?

It is best to match the performance of the pump to the requirements of the system. That way, you are not paying for electricity to run a higher horsepower pump than you need. If this is not an option for some reason, you can put in a bypass line. At the discharge of the pump put in a tee. Run half of the tee out to your system. The other half you will run to a gate valve and then back to the source of water. You can adjust the gate valve to a point where the sprinkler system is getting the water it needs, while the excess water is going back into the source of water.

 

I bought this pump for my lawn sprinkler and it won’t work right. The sprinkler hardly puts out any water. Why?

If you are discharging the water from this pump out through one or two garden hoses, the pump simply can’t perform the way its’ designed. It is feeling too much “back-pressure” and can’t flow right. The pump is designed to flow water in a particular range. If you have the pump connected to a system that cannot flow the proper amount of water, the pump will not perform properly. For one or two regular lawn sprinklers connected to a hose or two, you would be better served by a jet pump.

 

My current sprinkler system has a 1 HP pump made by [brand X]. Will your 1 HP pump work there?

The horsepower rating is not the only piece of info that is important. Buying a pump based solely on horsepower rating is like buying a vehicle base on horsepower. A 200 HP vehicle could be a dump truck, car, motorcycle, or airplane. The HP rating doesn’t tell the whole story.
To find out which of our pumps will work right for you, we will need to know how much water your sprinkler system needs (in GPM) and at what pressure (in PSI). Call our customer support department for help choosing the proper pump.

 

How high can this pump lift water? My pump has to sit [x] feet above the water.

All sprinkler and centrifugal pumps are considered to be for “shallow wells.” A shallow well is defined to have a depth-to-water of 25’ or less. Depth-to-water is the depth from the level where the pump will sit, down to the surface of the water. It is NOT the total depth of the well. Please note that in higher altitudes, that depth may be less. Very high altitudes may be only 18’ – 20’ or so.

 

Can this pump pull water out of a lake or river, too?

Yes. Sprinkler & centrifugal pumps can use any source of clean, fresh water. If pulling from a lake, river, or stream, you will want to use a large foot valve with a large screen area so that foreign objects (seaweed, fish, etc.) cannot be pulled in.

 

I have a well point that I need to pull water from. Will it be able to supply enough water?

In most cases, you are going to need more than one well point in order to provide enough water for a sprinkler pump. Most systems are designed to flow between 30 and 60 GPM (gallons per minute) and that much water usually can’t be supplied by one well point. You may need to drive down more and connect them together.

 

The manual says to connect my power wires to two screws in the motor. Does it matter which screw gets which color wire?

No. As long as you have been careful to match the incoming voltage to the voltage the motor is set for, it doesn’t matter which screw gets which wire. There is no “polarity” in the AC voltage these pumps use.

 

I have 230v at the pump but I have four wires: Black, Red, White, and Green (or bare). Where do they go?

When running on 230v you don’t use the white wire. Connect the Black & Red wires to L1 & L2 and connect the green or bare ground wire to the green ground screw.

 

I’m not sure whether I have 115v or 230v going out where the pump will be. How can I tell?

The best way is to check the voltage at the wire where you will connect the pump. (Hire a professional electrician if you are not comfortable with electricity). Match the motor’s voltage to the voltage you read there. You can also trace the wiring back to the circuit breaker (or fuse) box. See if the wires connect to a single pole breaker or to a double breaker. A single breaker will be 115v. The double-wide breaker is usuall for 230v.

 

I have my pump connected to two hot wires but it won’t run. I checked with a meter and have 115v on each wire.

When checking for voltage on the wiring, it’s important that you check voltage between the two wires; NOT to check from one wire to ground, and the other wire to ground. It is possible for a system to be connected with two 115v wires coming out but the two wires may have been connected to the same “leg” of power in the breaker (or fuse) box. This results in a net voltage of zero at the pump. You need to have a double-pole breaker in the breaker box to supply 230v. Consult a professional electrician if you’re having trouble connecting this.

 

I don’t have the 230 volts your manual specifies. Mine is 240v (or 220v).

There are two basic systems in place in the US. The most common one runs on 230 volts but it is also called 220v or 240v. The exact voltage can vary in your area. We consider 220v, 230v, and 240v to be the same and that’s what we’re referring to. The other system in place in very few areas is a 208 volt system. If you have a 208 volt system, it can be too low to provide power to the pump when it’s set for the higher 230 volt setting. In a case like this you may need to switch the motor to run on 115v and supply that voltage to the unit. Be sure your wire is heavy enough gauge to feed the pump (see your owner’s manual for details).

 

I’ve always heard it’s cheaper to run the pump on 230v than on 115v. Is that right?

Actually, this is a bit of a myth. You pay for kilowatt usage. A kilowatt is 1000 watts. A watt is 1 volt times 1 amp. To figure out the math we take the voltage the pump is running on (115v or 230v) and multiply that by the amps it draws. When we look at the performance of a pump we see that the amp draw is when running on 230v is half what it is when running on 115v.

Example: Pump draws 5 amps when running on 230v. It draws 10 amps when set to 115v.
5 amps times 230 volts = 1150 watts.
10 amps x 115 volts = 1150 watts. The power usage is identical.

The one place where you can see a savings by running on 230v is when setting up the system. Because the pump pulls fewer amps hen running on 230 volts, you can usually use a slightly lighter gauge wire. The savings is in purchasing that lighter wire.

 

I don’t have a green or bare ground wire coming out to the pump. How do I ground this?

For safety’s sake we recommend the pump be properly grounded. Electrical codes vary from place to place so we can’t tell you exactly how to do this. You will need to consult your local electrical codes and perhaps hire a professional electrician to help with this matter.

 

The piping that’s already in place in my system is smaller than the connections on the pump. Is that OK?

You should never use a narrower pipe than what the connection on the pump is. If the suction pipe is narrower, the pump will have trouble drawing the water in. This could cause cavitation in the pump and will reduce the pump’s performance. If your depth-to-water is close to the limits of what the pump can lift, a narrow pipe could mean the difference in whether it will pull up the water at all. On the output side, narrower pipe will reduce the amount of pressure that makes it to the far end, and can cause excessive back-pressure in the pump. This will mean your sprinkler heads will not put out the pattern they should and the pump’s life could be shortened.

 

What size generator do I need to run this pump?

You need to know the amp draw of the pump and multiply that by the voltage to get the watt usage of the pump. Example: Pump draws 5 amps on 115 volts. 5amps x 115volts = 575 watts.

We also need to consider the fact that an AC motor can draw three to five times its regular amp draw for about ½ second when it starts up. So to run our example pump, we need a generator that can supply a startup surge of at least 2875 watts (575 x 5) and can continue to supply the 575 watts as the pump runs.
Keep in mind this is accurate if the pump is the ONLY thing the generator is going to supply power for. If you also want to run lights, etc. then that needs to be added to the generator size.

 

How do I register the warranty on my new pump?

We do not ask you to register the warranty. Your receipt is your proof-of-purchase. Keep the receipt safe. If anything happens and the warranty comes into play, your receipt is the proof of warranty eligibility.

 

Where do I find the model number and date code on my pump. I need that to order parts, etc.

The pump info label will be marked with our company name and the info you need. The date code might be marked as “date code”, “code”, or “MOD”. It is usually a combinations of letters and numbers.

 

Where can I get repair parts for my pump, or accessories I might need?

Parts listed in the owners’ manual can be ordered directly through the store where you bought your pump; or can be ordered directly through us. In most cases, the store is able to special-order the parts (they won’t stock them) and sell you the parts for less than you would pay by ordering through the factory. Also, they usually do not charge shipping charges (we do). It is best to talk to someone at the store’s “Special Orders” desk. Have our toll-free number and the part numbers you need with you. If the person at the store does not know how to order parts, please have them call us while you are there.  If ordering directly from us, you would normally receive your order in 7-10 business days. Expedited processing and shipping is available at additional cost. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express (not Discover).

 

Can I leave the pump right out in the rain and sun?

The pump motor is considered to be “drip-proof” but not weather-proof. You need to protect the pump from rain and other water, but still need to allow for air to be able to circulate around the motor. You cannot just put the pump in a big box unless there is a lot of ventilation. Usually, we recommend a sort of lean-to over the pump. Two boards that meet at the top above the pump will keep the rain off but still allow for good air flow.

 

Do I need to use a check valve or foot valve with this pump?

It is recommended that you do use a check valve or foot valve in order to maintain the prime in the pump between uses. If none is present you would need to prime the pump every time you use it. The check valve should be installed in the suction side piping as close to the source of water as possible. It should not be installed within 2’ of the pump’s inlet. A foot valve functions just like a check valve plus has a strainer on it. It goes on the end of the suction line in the water.

 

Can I use a sprinkler pump to boost the water pressure in my house or sprinkler system? I need more pressure than what I currently have.

A sprinkler pump can be used as a pressure booster, with a few limitations in mind. First, the overall pressure that the pump will see must be considered. This is the total of the incoming pressure plus the pressure the pump will add to that. For most thermoplastic pumps that total pressure cannot exceed about 70 psi (each pump may be different). Thermoplastic pumps are not really recommended for boost applications. For most cast iron pumps, the total pressure cannot exceed about 80 - 100 psi. These are maximums. You don’t want to constantly run a pump at its maximum so you should include some buffer if considering this. The second thing to consider is the pump cycling too much. Pumps like to run, and they like to be off. They do not like to be on/off/on/off, etc. If used in a booster application where the water itself can be turned on and off a lot, it is best to include a pressure tank in the application. Call our customer support dept. for details. The third thing to consider is that the sprinkler & centrifugal pumps are not high pressure pumps. They can add a bit to the incoming pressure but not usually a lot. Again, call our customer support deptartment to discuss options.

 
 

Sump Pump

Which sump pump type is better: Submersible or Column (Pedestal)?

Both types of pumps are good. In many cases, the motors on pedestal pumps operate with less amp draw. This can make them more economical to run.  Pedestal pump motors are cooled by air flow around them while submersible pumps are cooled by the cool ground water they sit in. Your particular installation may impact the cooling of the pump if you need to install the pump in a very tight area, for example, there may not be sufficient air flow or volume to cool a pedestal pump.

 

What kind of switch should be on the pump I buy?

There are basically three types of float switches: Tethered, vertical, electronic. The tethered style float switch is great for larger diameter, deeper sump pits. They allow the pump to be off longer between pump cycles so the motor can cool off more completely. At startup, the motor builds a lot of heat so having it be off longer between pump cycles allows it to cool more thoroughly. This can help the pump live longer and lower your overall power usage & costs.

The vertical style switch is great if you have a sump pit that is too narrow and/or too shallow for a tethered style float switch. It is going to operate the pump more often but will not allow the water to get too deep. An electronic float switch has no moving parts and will take up a lot less space. It is perfect for a small sump pit and often includes options like a built-in water depth alarm, etc. Do not use an electronic float switch if the sump pit receives water from a laundry or wash sink as the soap can coat the electrodes causing it to malfunction. Likewise, soap scum can accumulate on the rod of a vertical style switch and cause sticking of the float.

 

How much horsepower do I need?

Horsepower basically does two things when choosing a pump: It moves the water out faster, and it (usually) uses more electricity. So there is a trade-off to be considered. If your sump pit fills up rapidly and you have a definite water problem, a higher horsepower pump is needed. In order to keep ahead of the incoming water and keep your basement dry, the higher horsepower pump can pump out the water before it can back up and overflow your sump pit.  If you have such a water problem and you need a higher horsepower pump, it is best to increase the size of your sump pit (whenever possible) so that the pump does not have to run as often.

 

How big should my sump pit be?

When it comes to sump pits, “bigger is better” is somewhat true. You want to have a sump pit large enough to use a pump with a tethered float switch. That allows a reasonable amount of water to accumulate before the pump has to run. The longer “off” time between pump cycles allows the pump to cool off more completely between pumping cycles. Keeping the pump cooler usually results in longer pump life.

 

Should I get a cast iron or thermoplastic pump?

Both types of pump are designed for long life and high performance. Which type you choose is largely personal preference. The cast iron pumps are, naturally, a bit physically stronger if that is something that might be needed for your particular installation.

 

Is it OK for my pump to pump out my water softener discharge?

In most cases the pump is NOT designed for that. The high salt content of water softener discharge is very corrosive and will attack the seals, the screws, and even the motor shaft.  Salt can even damage many types of stainless steel. It is recommended that you find an alternate place for the water softener discharge.

 

Is it OK to dump the laundry water discharge into the sump pit?

Most sump pumps are designed for clear, clean ground water. The chemicals in laundry discharge can attack the seals on a sump pump. It’s possible for lint and other things discharged to get stuck in the impeller area and jam up the pump. Additionally, the soap scum that can be left behind from laundry water can foul the switch – this is particularly true of vertical switches. We recommend you purchase an effluent pump if you need to pump out laundry water.

 

What is the most common cause of sump pump failure?

Probably the most common cause of sump pump failure is electrical in nature. Plugging the pump into an extension cord, or an outlet that shares a circuit breaker with other electrical items, can cause the pump to receive low voltage. In order to run it then has to draw higher amps. That causes the pump to run hotter. Heat is the enemy of electric motors and can shorten the life of a pump dramatically. We recommend the pump be plugged directly into an outlet (no extension cords) and that the outlet be the only thing powered by the circuit breaker (or fuse) that feeds it.

 

How do I check my pump to see if it’s working?

If your pump is equipped with a piggyback-style plug (where the pump plugs into the back or side of the switch plug) then you can unplug the pump’s plug and put it directly into the power outlet. The pump should immediately run. It will continue to run as long as you leave it plugged in this way. Do not leave it plugged in for more than a few minutes so that the pump does not overheat. To test to make sure the float switch is also working, or if your sump pump has a switch that plugs directly into the body of the pump, you will need to lift the float switch to its ‘on’ position. This will vary depending upon pump model so consult your owners’ manual for that information. To avoid possible electric shock, use a broom handle or similar non-conducting item to lift the float switch. The pump will run when the switch reaches its ‘on’ level.

 

What will happen if my outside discharge pipe freezes or is otherwise blocked?

If your discharge pipe freezes, or in any way becomes plugged, there is no place for the water to go when the pump runs. The pump is still going to run when the float switch is raised. If it cannot discharge the water through the regular discharge hose or pipe, it’s going to continue to run and run. This will eventually cause the pump to overheat and shut off due to its internal thermal overload protection. If the problem is not caught soon enough, it would be possible for your basement to flood. If the overload is stressed too often it’s also possible for the pump’s motor to be damaged or ruined by overheating.

 

What’s a check valve? Do I need one?

The short answer here is “Usually- yes.”  A check valve is a one-way valve. It gets installed in the discharge pipe of your sump pump. When the pump runs, the water is forced out through the valve. When the pump shuts off, gravity wants the water in the discharge pipe to fall back into the sump pit. The check valve prevents that from happening. This prevents the pump from having to re-pump water that it has already pumped out. In the long run, this should extend the life of the pump and save you electricity.

 

My power outlet is too far away from the sump pit. Can I use an extension cord?

We very strongly recommend that you NOT use an extension cord. It is MUCH better to plug the pump into a dedicated outlet that is fed by a circuit breaker or fuse that feeds power ONLY to that outlet. This ensures that the pump will receive proper voltage. If there is no outlet near the sump pit, we recommend you have one installed there by a professional electrician.

 

Do I need a backup pump? Or a second pump?

Having a backup or secondary pump is like having insurance on your car or home. It’s only needed when it’s NEEDED.  A backup pump can be standing by and operate when your main pump cannot. This may be because of a power outage, an extreme amount of incoming water, or even main pump failure. Having a second AC-powered sump pump in the pit can protect you in case the main pump simply can’t keep up, or if the main pump fails, but it cannot help you if the power goes out.

 

What kind of backup pumps are available?

There are two main kinds of backup pump systems: Battery powered and city water powered. The battery backup systems use a 12 volt marine type battery. The system keeps the battery charged and monitors a separate float switch in the pit. If that second float switch is raised high enough, the control system turns on the 12 volt pump that is mounted in the sump pit.  This 12 volt backup pump then pumps the water out. These systems are usually equipped with an alarm that warns you when the backup pump has had to operate. This tells you there may have been a power outage or that you may have a problem with your main sump pump. City water powered systems use water power to move the water out. The city water comes in through a pipe to the backup pump. It spins an impeller much the same way a motor would. The impeller moves the sump water out and both the sump water and city water are discharged outside.

 

How long should my sump pump last?

This is almost impossible to answer. It’s much like asking how long your sofa, your sink, or your car will last.  It simply depends too much on how often the pump has to run. If you have a small sump pit, and you have a lot of ground water in your area, the pump may have to run several times per hour. Naturally, that pump is not going to last as long as the same pump in the home of someone with a large sump pit and very little ground water where the pump only has to run a few times a year. Choosing a pump that is properly sized to your ground water conditions, has the appropriate float switch for your sump pit, and has good electrical supply connected to it will ensure the longest possible life for your pump.

 

Can I use a sump pump for my waterfall, koi pond, or garden pond aeration?

No. Sump pumps are designed for short periods of operation. Running a sump pump for too long can cause the pump to overheat. It is also oil-filled. If fish waste attacks the pump seals, or it overheats, that oil can be discharged into your water feature. That will kill the fish and plants. When it cools, it will draw water up inside the pump motor which will kill the pump. Using a sump pump any place where water recirculates is not recommended and will void the warranty.

 

Do you have, or can you recommend, service people that can come to my house and work on the pump?

We sell all of our products through “do-it-yourself” types of stores. We do not have any people that can come work on your system. Likewise, it is impossible for us to maintain lists of “qualified” people that we could recommend. You would need to check your local “Yellow Pages” etc. for qualified people.

 

Where can I get repair parts for my pump, or accessories I might need?

Parts listed in the manual can be ordered directly through the store where you bought your pump; or can be ordered directly through us. In most cases, the store is able to special-order the parts (they won’t stock them) and sell you the parts for less than you would pay by ordering through the factory. Also, they usually do not charge shipping charges (we do). It is best to talk to someone at the store’s “Special Orders” desk. Have our toll-free number and the part numbers you need with you. If the person at the store does not know how to order parts, please have them call us while you are there. If ordering directly from us, you would normally receive your order in 7-10 business days. Expedited processing and shipping is available at additional cost. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express (not Discover).

 

I think I have a warranty issue with my pump. How do I proceed?

We generally proceed with warranty through the point-of-purchase. Any authorized retailer of our pumps can handle warranty replacement. The other way to process warranty is directly through us. If you wish to pursue this method, call us first.  Keep in mind that a warranty states the item will be “free from
defects in material and workmanship”. Warranty does NOT cover normal wear, damage caused after the item leaves the factory, rust or corrosion, etc.

 

What size generator do I need to run this pump?

You need to know the amp draw of the pump and multiply that by the voltage to get the watt usage of the pump. Example: Pump draws 5 amps on 115 volts. 5amps x 115volts = 575 watts. We also need to consider the fact that an AC motor can draw three to five times its regular amp draw for about ½ second when it starts up. So to run our example pump, we need a generator that can supply a startup surge of at least 2875 watts (575 x 5) and can continue to supply the 575 watts as the pump runs. Keep in mind this is accurate if the pump is the ONLY thing the generator is going to supply power for. If you also want to run lights, etc. then that needs to be added to the generator size.

 

How do I register the warranty on my new pump?

We do not ask you to register the warranty. Your receipt is your proof-of-purchase. Keep the receipt safe. If anything happens and the warranty comes into play, your receipt is the proof of warranty eligibility.

 

Where can I find the model number and date of manufacture on my pump?

For all sump, sewage, and utility pumps we attach a tag near the end of the power cord that shows the pump’s model number and date code. The date code will be marked as “date code”, “code”, or “MOD”. On pumps that do not come with a power cord, the pump’s info label on the pump will have the model number and date code on it. The date code is usually a combination of letters and numbers.

 

Is installing a sump pump difficult?

Installing a sump pump is typically easily done in a matter of minutes. The only tools you’ll need are channel locks, screwdriver, and, in rigid installations, a hacksaw. Complete easy-to-read installation instructions are included with each pump, and often times has step-by-step illustrations on the carton that guide the installation process. We always recommend a new check valve when replacing your sump pump.

 
 

Utility Pump

Can my submersible pump be COMPLETELY under water?

Yes. If the pump is labeled “submersible” then the whole pump and cord can be put under water. The only thing that must not be submersed is the plug where it is plugged into power.

 

What kind of hose or pipe is best to use for discharge from this pump?

It is best to use a hose or pipe that is the same size as (or larger than) the pump’s actual discharge.  Using a reducer, smaller hose, or smaller pipe, will reduce the output of the pump. If reduced too much, the pump can even be damaged. If the pump came from the factory with a garden hose adapter, then it is designed to be used with a garden hose. Keep in mind that garden hoses come in different diameters and lengths. Use a garden hose that is as fat as possible, and as short as possible. This will give the pump the ability to perform as well as it can.

 

How do I completely drain the pump? I hear sloshing inside it.

Many pumps have an oil-filled motor. The oil is there to help lubricate and cool the motor. The sloshing you hear is completely normal. Do NOT try to remove a plug and drain the pump. When you lift a submersible utility pump out of the water, the water will drain out by itself. Let it stand for a few minutes and the great majority of the water will drain out by itself.

 

Is it OK to use an extension cord to plug this in?

We recommend the pump be plugged directly into an outlet. If you MUST use an extension cord, it needs to be heavy enough gauge and short enough so that the pump receives full voltage and power. In general, most utility pumps should be plugged into a minimum 14 gauge, preferably 12 gauge, cord. It should be no longer than 25 feet long. If you need to use a longer cord, you need to also use one of a heavier gauge. Note that heavier gauge wire is a lower number. (12 gauge is heavier than 14 gauge, etc.)

 

Do you make a longer cord for this pump?

In some cases, yes. You will need to contact Customer Support and ask about your specific model.

 

Can I use a sprayer handle that shuts off flow from the pump?

No. Pumps are designed to move water. If you block the discharge of a pump (such as a sprayer handle  would do) then the water inside the pump can heat up to the point that the internal parts get damaged by the heat.

 

 Will this pump shut off by itself when the water is gone?

In most cases, “no”.  Most utility pumps are designed to run all the time they are plugged in. You should be there to unplug the pump when the water is gone. If allowed to run dry, the pump can be damaged. The one exception to this rule is the Electronic Utility Pump which has internal circuitry that checks for water and controls the pump.

 

How much dirt & debris can this pump handle?

Most utility pumps are designed to pump clear, clean water. Debris can block off the intake causing the pump to be starved for water. If it gets to the inside of the pump, the debris can damage the impeller, shaft seal, and other internal parts.

 

Is there a fuse inside this pump?

In most cases, no. Many pumps do have a thermal cut-off that will stop the motor if it is overheating. But that will reset itself when the motor cools down. That usually happens within 5 to 45 minutes depending upon the temperature surrounding the pump.

 

How long of a hose can I use with this pump?

In general, try to keep discharge hoses shorter than about 25’. Most utility pumps don’t build a lot of pressure. If using a hose that is too long, the pump’s performance will be severely reduced and the pump will wear faster than normal. Also, garden hoses come in different diameters (3/8”, ½”, 5/8”, ¾”). Use as fat a hose as you can find. Also, the higher you have the discharge hose going up, the larger diameter hose it should be (within reason).

 

Can I pump anything other than water with this pump?

Our utility pumps are all designed to pump clear, fresh water. We have not tested the pumps with other liquids to see if the materials will be compatible, etc. We do not consider the utility pumps to be “food grade”. Never pump flammable liquids with these pumps. The motors are not considered “explosion-proof”.

 

Do you have, or can you recommend, service people that can come to my house and work on the pump?

We sell all of our products through “do-it-yourself” types of stores. We do not have any people that can come work on your system. Likewise, it is impossible for us to maintain lists of “qualified” people that we could recommend. You would need to check your local “Yellow Pages” etc. for qualified people.

 

I think I have a warranty issue with my pump. How do I proceed?

We generally proceed with warranty through the point-of-purchase. Any authorized retailer of our pumps can handle warranty replacement. The other way to process warranty is directly through us. If you wish to pursue this method, call us first.  Keep in mind that a warranty states the item will be “free from defects in material and workmanship”. Warranty does NOT cover normal wear, damage caused after the item leaves the factory, rust or corrosion, etc.

 

Where can I get repair parts for my pump, or accessories I might need?

Parts listed in the manual can be ordered directly through the store where you bought your pump; or can be ordered directly through us. In most cases, the store is able to special-order the parts (they won’t stock them) and sell you the parts for less than you would pay by ordering through the factory. Also, they usually do not charge shipping charges. It is best to talk to someone at the store’s “Special Orders” desk. Have our toll-free number and the part numbers you need with you. If the person at the store does not know how to order parts, please have them call us while you are there. If ordering directly from us, you would normally receive your order in 7-10 business days. Expedited processing and shipping is available at additional cost. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express (not Discover).

 

What size generator do I need to run this pump?

You need to know the amp draw of the pump and multiply that by the voltage to get the watt usage of the pump. Example: Pump draws 5 amps on 115 volts. 5amps x 115volts = 575 watts. We also need to consider the fact that an AC motor can draw three to five times its regular amp draw for about ½ second when it starts up. So to run our example pump, we need a generator that can supply a startup surge of at least 2875 watts (575 x 5) and can continue to supply the 575 watts as the pump runs. Keep in mind this is accurate if the pump is the ONLY thing the generator is going to supply power for. If you also want to run lights, etc. then that needs to be added to the generator size.

 

How do I register the warranty on my new pump?

We do not ask you to register the warranty. Your receipt is your proof-of-purchase. Keep the receipt safe. If anything happens and the warranty comes into play, your receipt is the proof of warranty eligibility.

 
 

4" Submersible Pump

How do I know what horsepower pump to buy?

There are two things to consider in choosing the horsepower: 1) What is your depth-to-water? And 2) How much water do you need in your household? Every pump is designed to work in a specific range of depth-to-water. You need to choose a pump that is designed to work at your particular depth-to-water. Too high a horsepower pump could cavitate or at minimum will draw too much power and run hot. Its life will be shortened in either case. If too low a horsepower pump is chosen, it simply might not get the water to the surface properly. The other consideration in horsepower is that higher horsepower pumps will move more water. The GPM flow rate will be greater. If you have a household with more people and more water-using facilities you need a higher horsepower pump so that you can get more water into the house. Remember – the more water your pump puts out, the bigger your pressure tank should be in order to prevent frequent cycling of the pump.

 

Which is better, 2-wire or 3-wire?

A lot of this choice comes down to personal preference. The only difference between 2-wire and 3-wire pumps is where the motor starting components are located. In a 2-wire pump, all the motor starting components are located in the motor, down in the well. In a 3-wire pump, the motor’s starting components are in a "control box" that is located above ground in your well house or basement. The one possible advantage of a 3-wire system is that if anything ever needs to be tested because of a problem, it is easier to test (and replace, if needed) the starting components that are above ground in the control box.

 

What is the actual diameter of a 4-inch well pump? Will it fit inside my 4" diameter well casing?

The 4" submersible well pumps have a diameter of about 3.875" (3- 7/8"). They really should NOT be put into a 4" diameter well casing. If the casing has any rust or bumps on the inside, or if it bends slightly, it would be possible for the pump to get stuck. Also, there simply isn’t enough room around the pump for the water to flow properly into the intake of the pump. This can cause the pump to perform badly and for the motor to overheat.

 

What size well casing IS recommended for a 4" submersible?

For residential pumps, 4" submersibles should be used in 5" or 6" well casings. If your well casing is larger in diameter than 6", then you should sleeve the pump so that it gets proper cooling.

 

I only have a 4" diameter well casing. Is there any option for a submersible well pump in this well?

You can install a 3" submersible well pump in a well with a 4" casing.

 

Do I need to put a check valve in the pipe down to my pump?

Our pumps are equipped with a check valve in the discharge of the pump. It is not a bad idea to add an additional check valve for every 100’ or so of drop pipe you use. This can help to break up the water column so that one check valve does not have to hold all the weight of the water.

 

I’m putting in one of your 3-wire pumps to replace my old one. Do I have to use a new control box?

The control box is matched to a specific motor. In most cases, you will need to put in the new control box to match the new motor.

 

Can I put a 4" submersible into a lake to pump water out of it for my cabin or irrigation?

We recommend that a 4" submersible never be put into water where people or pets will swim. You are putting an electrical item into water. If a splice were to become exposed, or the electrical integrity of the motor were to fail, the water around the pump could be dangerously "charged" with electricity. It would be possible for someone to be injured or killed.

 

Can I put a 4" submersible into a cistern to pump water from it?

You can, but you must sleeve the pump (see document "Sizing a Submersible Sleeve").

 

What does it mean to "sleeve" a submersible well pump?

To sleeve a pump, you put the pump into a piece of 6" diameter PVC pipe that is a little longer than the length of the pump. You put a 6" well seal on the top of the PVC pipe. In doing this, you are forcing the water to enter around the pump from the bottom. This forces the water to go up past the motor which cools the motor.

 

I have a low-producing well. How do I make sure that the pump won’t out-pump the well?

There are a couple different methods you can use to control the amount of water your pump will put out. If you know the rate at which water comes into your well (the recovery rate) then you can put a "dole valve" into the drop pipe. This will limit the amount of water that the pump is able to push out. Choose a dole valve that is the same as the recovery rate of the well and the water level in the well case won’t drop. The other method is to put a "pump protector" on the pump. These are usually designed to work with 3-wire pumps. They go into the wiring and sense the power draw of the pump. If the power draw indicates that the pump is not moving water, it will shut off the power to the pump in order to protect it.

 

The pump I bought says it was in the "10 gallon-per-minute series" but it doesn’t seem to be doing that amount. Why?

The pumps that are in the "10 gallon-per-minute series" are designed to flow about 10 GPM in the middle of their performance curve. It is close to the highest efficiency operating point for that pump. If the depth-to-water in your well is not quite as deep, the pump is going to flow more than 10 GPM. If the depth-to-water is a little deeper, then the pump is not going to put out quite as much. As long as the actual performance of your pump is within the range we state for it, the pump is OK to run in your setup.

 

I want to replace my pump myself. What kind of special tools are required?

Working with submersible well pumps is pretty much basic plumbing. The toughest part of replacing a submersible well pump is the actual lifting of the pump and pipe out of, and then back into, the well. A 4" submersible well pump is going to weigh as much as 35 lbs or so. Add to that the weight of the pipe, wire, etc. and it could easily be more than a person can lift. It is recommended that you have some kind of lifting equipment if you want to try to do this yourself.

 

I’m putting in a new pump. Besides the pump, what other items do I need to have?

To work with the well itself (not the in-house items like tank, etc.) you will need the pipe and pipe fittings (enough to go down as far as you have figured out to be necessary), the wire (enough to go down to the pump and into the control box or pressure switch), some centering guides, a torque arrestor, and at least one check valve. If using PVC pipe you will need cleaner and glue for the connections. You may need to have. if the well driller did not install it for you, a pitless adapter to go into the well casing. Naturally, you will need an assortment of hand an power tools (hacksaw, pipe wrenches, electrical tools, etc.) You will also need lifting equipment to support the weight of the pump, pipe, etc. as you guide it into the well.

 

How far down do I put the pump in the well?

The pump needs to be set at a depth that is a minimum of 5’ off the bottom of the well. If your well has a sandy bottom, in order to prevent the pump from picking up sand, it should be set more like 15’ to 20’ off the bottom.

 

What kind of pipe do I use for a drop pipe to support the pump?

You can use 100 psi-rated polyethylene plastic pipe (poly pipe) for setting depths down to 100’. Use 160 psi rated poly polyethylene plastic pipe )poly pipe) for setting depths down to 220’. Use galvanized steel pipe for setting depths deeper than 220’. Schedule 80 PVC pipe can be used with threaded couplings at depths down to 500’. Use metal threaded couplings for setting depths below 300’. We recommend you never use regular Schedule 40 PVC.

 

How important is it to use a safety rope or cable?

We strongly recommend it. If one of the fittings in the drop pipe fails, or even if an installer gets slippery fingers, the safety rope or cable will be the only way to retrieve the pump from the bottom of the well. We recommend a good stainless steel cable rather than rope. Rope (even nylon rope) can degrade over time in the damp environment of a well.

 

 
 

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