Manual pump buying guide
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff128 guides
- Pendulum / lever
- Suction height
What different types of hand pumps are there?
There are two main families of hand pumps:
- Rotary pumps operate on the rotor-stator principle. When the crank is turned, the shape of the rotor being driven creates a vacuum in the stator which sucks in water and pressurizes it in order to transport it. The body and moving parts of the pump can be made of plastics or various metals - for instance, stainless steel for the more heavy-duty models. Depending on the liquid being pumped, maintenance requirements will vary - seals will need replacing regularly if the pump is used for acid or fuel. Pump outlet flow rate varies from 0.25 to 1 l per crank turn.
- Pendulum or lever pumps function according to the conventional cylinder-piston system. A piston is operated by means of a lever (or rocker) which is activated from top to bottom or left to right (for semi-rotary pumps). The piston, in its sealed chamber, creates a vacuum which sucks the liquid. You can get dual chamber pumps, which in addition to sucking the water under the action of a vacuum, also repressurize it.
What are the key factors when choosing a hand pump?
- Fixed or portable use: it's obvious why this should be the first thing to consider. Barrel pumps, for instance, need to be moved continually. In this case, you'll want to choose a rotary or semi-rotary pump, with a plastic body and a 2" universal adaptor (so it can be fixed directly in place of the barrel cap). To water your garden on the other hand, go for a traditional cast iron hand pump, perhaps mounted on a column with tasteful decoration.
- Flow: key criterion, expressed in l/min (liters per minute). Flow translates as the volume of liquid pumped per time spent pumping. If you're looking at fuel pumps, choose a high-speed rotary model (around 1 l per crank turn). On the other hand, if your garden only needs one or two bucketfuls a week, a cast iron pump giving 15-35 l/min is quite sufficient.
- Suction height: as we have seen, hand pumps aren't useful for pumping from depths over 8m, so if this is what you need, you'll want to look at other types of water pump. Determine your maximum suction height (in the case of a well, for example), and make sure that the pump model you're looking at will cut it!
- Pressure: an important factor if you need to drive the liquid some height above the level of the pump. In fact, outlet pressure (expressed in bars, B) gives an indication of the allowable discharge height in metres (1 B = 10 m).
Aesthetics: to add a decorative touch to your garden, terrace or your driveway, choose a traditional cast iron pump to your taste and harmonize with your outdoor space. For the workshop, why not choose a brightly coloured pump for visibility?
Hand pumps: tips for installation?
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Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff 128 guides écrits
for 4 years now, I am restaoring and bulding an extrension to a bungalow in the heart of the welsh countyside. My experience in manual work and my knowledge means I am proud to be of service. Terraces, interior design, roofing, plumbing, electricty, anything goes! We have, my wife, daughter and I, built almost everything we have from scratch! So to answer all of your questions, and to orientate and advise you on coosing your tools? Easy!