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Utility Pumps Buying Guide

utility pump

Utility pumps are designed to move water quickly and efficiently from one place to another. Utility pumps are not designed to be permanently installed but are meant for temporary use when needed. Have a utility pump on hand for emergencies or for special projects. Utility pumps are commonly used to remove water from:

  • Window wells
  • Rooftops
  • Any temporarily flooded area
  • Waterbeds
  • Fishtanks
  • Swimming pools
  • Clogged sinks and bathtubs

How to Choose the Right Utility Pump

When selecting a utility pump, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What will I use the pump for?
  • How much do I want to spend?
  • How long do I want the pump to last?
  • How much water do I need to move?
  • How quickly do I need to move water?

Types of Utility Pumps

There are two main types of utility pumps:

  • Submersible utility pumps
  • Non-submersible utility pumps

Sumbersible Utility Pumps

Submersible utility pumps, otherwise known as drainer pumps, are designed to operate while completely submerged in water. Submersible utility pumps are great for larger and/or deeper pumping projects.

Submersible utility pumps are only meant to pump mostly clean water containing no debris. Utility pumps should not be used to pump water containing fish.

Non-Submersible Utility Pumps

Non-submersible utility pumps are not designed to be submerged in water. Non-submersible utility pumps move water through hoses from one location to the other. While non-submersible utility pumps cannot move large volumes of water like a submersible utility pump, they are great for smaller household projects.

Utility Pump Specifications

Some of the things you will want to consider when choosing a utility pump include the construction material (what is the pump made of?), gallons per hour (GPH), horsepower (HP), and maximum suction lift.

Utility Pump Material

If you want to save money on a water pump and also get the job done, consider a utility pump constructed with thermoplastic. Thermoplastic is a relatively new, heavy-duty material that lasts for years. If you want a utility pump that is more durable, consider a pump made of steel or aluminum.

Gallons Per Hour

Choose a pump that moves water at the speed you need. To determine how quickly a utility pump can move water, look at the GPH and figure out whether the amount is sufficient. For example, if you need to drain a swimming pool and you know the pool contains 6,000 gallons of water, using a pump with a GPH of 810 will take about 7 1/2 hours to drain. You could cut this time in half by choosing a utility pump with a higher GPH.

Utility Pump Horsepower

The greater the horsepower (HP), the more pressure you can get from your water pump. If you need more pressure, choose a water pump with more horsepower. If pressure is not a factor in your decision, consider saving money on a utility pump with less horsepower.

Maximum Suction Lift

The maximum suction lift is the height the pump can lift water. For example, if you need to move water from a water source whose elevation is 10 feet below where the pump will be, make sure you get a utility pump that can pull water up that far. Water is heavy, and only a few feet in elevation change can make a big difference in the performance of your water pump. Pay attention to the maximum suction lift when choosing a pump to make sure it will fit your needs.