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Trash Pump Buyer's Guide: 3 Types to Know

How to Pick the Perfect Trash Pump

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Water Pump Product Expert

Water pumps are meant to pump clear water.

But when you introduce debris and other solids to the mix, things can get stopped up.

That's where trash pumps come in. They're capable of passing water that other pumps just can't handle.

There are 3 types of water pumps you'll need depending on your situation:



  1. Semi-Trash Pumps
    Semi-Trash PumpSemi-trash pumps get their name from the fact they can pass small debris, but not much more than that. The pump housing just isn't large enough to pass larger items.

    Semi-trash pumps are typically used to pump clear or slightly muddy and sandy water. The largest items any of our semi-trash pumps can pass is about 5/8 of an inch.

    You'll want to use a hose with a strainer so the hose doesn't get clogged with any items too big to pass through. The strainer just sifts the debris that the pump can handle and leaves out the stuff that's too big.




  2. Trash Pumps
    Trash Pump Trash pumps are made to handle debris and solids such as leaves, pebbles and twigs.

    With larger impeller veins and pump housing, trash pumps can pass solids like those mentioned above. The pump does not grind these up as they enter the impeller, but leaves them intact and sends them on their way.

    You'll want to use a hose with a strainer for trash pumps too. In the event the pump does get clogged though, there are easy clean outs, which you can open up by hand and remove any items too big.




  3. Diaphragm Pumps
    Diaphragm PumpDiaphragm pumps work entirely differently than other trash pumps. Instead of using centrifugal force, the pump has a diaphragm which is pushed up and down, creating a vacuum effect.

    When the diaphragm goes up, it creates a vacuum, sucking in water. When the diaphragm is pushed down, it ejects the water that was just suctioned into the pump. It essentially acts like a piston in a combustion engine, alternately drawing in and then ejecting out.

    Diaphragm pumps are most commonly used to pump sludge and extremely abrasive liquids. A common example would be draining a pond because it can handle the muck and mud on the bottom, as well as the water, leaves and weeds.


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