Frequently Asked Water Pump Questions


What is the difference between manual and automatic pumps?

A manual pump will have to be turned on or off manually and monitored whilst in use, whereas an automatic pump, once turned on at the mains will turn itself on or off as the water level rises or falls.

What is the difference between a pendant float switch and a tube float switch?

A pendant float is designed to float alongside the pump to rise and fall with the water level, however these are not recommended for confined spaces. A tube float switch is designed for tight areas that require an automatic pump as the float is concealed in the pump. Tube float switches are ideal for sumps and are much more accurate at which depth they turn off or on.

Please see the diagram below comparing a manual pump with different styles of automatic pumps:
Water Pump Float SwitchesThe above diagram shows how a pendant float switch can be caught or fouled in a narrow chamber. For Sumps you may wish to opt for a pump with a tube float switch, such as : BPS100V, OM3, POMA.

What does ‘Head’ mean?

The head height of a pump is the height that the pump can pump the water vertically.

What does ‘free passage’ mean?

Free passage is the size of an object (in mm) that can pass through the pump without damaging or clogging it.

Does the pump come with any hoses or fastening clips?

No, the pump comes in a box without any extras. We do supply all hoses and clips you may need separately.

How do I know how quickly the pump will pump the water?

On each page of the pumps there is a technical specification table, on there you will see a section that says: Flow/ltr min. This tells you how many litres per minute it will pump.

Submersible – Can the pump be fully submersed in water?

Yes, all the submersible pumps we supply can be fully submersed in water.

Submersible – Can the pump sit on the ground?

Yes, however submersibles must be placed in water.

What is a puddle pump?

A puddle pump can pump down to extremely low levels, as low as 1mm. These can literally be placed in large puddles to drain them.

Can I submerse a puddle pump?

Yes, all our puddle pumps are fully submersible

Can I plug the pump in to the mains and leave it turned on?

Yes, if the pump is 230v you can plug it in to any house mains socket. Manual pumps should be monitored and turned off when the water has pumped dry. An automatic pump will turn itself on and off automatically when the water level reaches a certain height.

How heavy is the pump?

On each pump page there is a specification table, on this there is section that tells you the weight of each pump.

Does the pump need priming?

Submersible pumps do not need priming as they sit in water. Our centrifugal engine driven pumps are self-priming, which refers to the pump's ability to repeatedly turn an air/water mixture into a pumpable fluid -- NOT the ability to create a vacuum (literally) out of thin air. In fact, you should never try to run a self-priming pump without water in the casing. It's dangerous and will often lead to seal failure. Engine driven diaphragm pumps are automatic priming and have excellent dry running capabilities.

Can a pump run dry?

Some pumps can run dry and others can’t. Most pumps need the water to keep the motor cool. Please contact us if you need advice.

How low will it pump the water level down to?

On the page for most pumps there is a technical specification table which tells you the depth of the pumping level. If not, then just give us a call and ask.

Do flood and water pumps install the pump?

Unfortunately, we do not install the pumps as we are only the water pump retailer.