Australians are catching onto the many benefits of installing a water tank on their property. Not only do water tanks ease the pressure on our infrastructure and help conserve drinking water, they also help us save big on our water bills! With this in mind we thought it was high time someone put together a quick guide regarding pump selection.
Catching rainwater in your tank is only half the battle. How do you get the water moving from your tank and to the various points it’s needed around your home?
A water tank pump pushes the water out of your tank and provides pressurised water to your taps. There are many types of water tank pumps available, and there are many factors that will influence the most appropriate size and type of pump for delivering water around your home.
Here’s some of the main things you need to consider before buying a water tank pump.
What’s your goal for the water in your tank? Will you be using it for the toilet and laundry, for the garden, or for drinking and cooking (a regular water treatment routine must be adhered to for this, requiring a higher pressure pump)?
Flow rate / pressure
Flow rate basically means the amount of litres per minute your pump can move. Not only will a good flow rate help you water your garden quickly, it’s also necessary for some appliances to work properly.
Water is measured in litres per minute (LPM). A good domestic pump should deliver at least 20 LPM per outlet, which is around the same rate as a domestic tap. This can be acceptable if you’re just using water for a washing machine and toilet, especially if you don’t mind waiting for a slower flow.
But if you’re going to be filling a pool or pond, or have a lot of outlets to service, you’ll want a pump with an excellent flow rate. If you often have a tap going in the laundry, an outside hose, and kitchen use at the same time, add up all the desired water pressure of these to determine the flow rate you’ll need. Then make sure your pump can handle it (check the pump’s Max LPM) specification. Pressure (or head) is a measurement of the amount of force required to move the volume of water (X x LPM) the required distance. It is calculated by the vertical height needed to pump and a combination of other factors, predominantly friction loss, which is the resistance caused by pipes and plumbing fittings. Pressure is measured in Metres of Head (mH) or KPA..
If your tank is far away from the house, you’ll need a more powerful pump to move the water along. The same goes if you’ve got a multi-storey residence and need to move water to higher bathrooms.
Nobody likes listening to the hum of a noisy water tank pump. If your tank is close to your home (or someone else’s), think about ways to reduce the noise it makes. Pump covers can help reduce noise, as well as protecting it from the elements. If you choose to simply cover your pump, make sure your cover allows enough airflow so the pump doesn’t overheat. Horizontal multistage pumps are significantly quieter than jet pumps, although there is a price tradeoff.
One other option is a submersible tank pump. The water insulates the noise and also offers a cooling benefit. There are several types of submersible pumps that are designed to work in challenging environments such as liquid containing solids or other materials.
Submersibles can be more expensive to buy but offer the benefits of noise reduction and extra energy efficiency (they don’t need to pump as hard because they’re already surrounded by water).
It’s important to remember that while water tanks save money on your water bill, water tank pumps use electricity. The more you pump, the more energy your water system will use. A variable speed pressure pump can go a long way to reducing this energy expenditure by ramping up and down according to demand. It will only pump as hard as required, therefore saving power and the associated costs.
Where to get more information?
Pumps2You offer a huge variety of tank pumps, including household, indoor and outdoor pumps. We carry leading manufacturer brands and can cater to any setup.Our friendly staff are happy to help you weigh up your options across price, style, and function. Get in touch with us via email or on 1300 767 443 for help choosing a pump that best suits your needs