Can I Use A Sump Pump For My Water Feature?

water feature

A sump pump is designed to remove water from the sump basin of your home’s basement. However, in some cases, you can use these pumps for other purposes. In most cases, if your sump pump is compatible to use with a residential fountain, pond or other water feature, its box will note that fact.

If your sump pump is not compatible with residential water features, it will likely do the simple job of pumping water, but there will be several drawbacks.

Lack of Energy Efficiency

Sump pumps use more energy than many other types of pumps. If you use a sump pump instead of a submersible or external garden feature pump, you will unnecessarily waste energy and drive your bills higher than they should be. In contrast, a garden feature pump with a direct or magnetic drive can help to keep your energy costs under control.

Not Designed to Be Used Constantly

Sump pumps only turn on as needed. When used in basements, their on-off switch is triggered when the water in the sump reaches a certain level. They are not designed to be used all day long. Unfortunately, however, most residential water features require constant pumping.

Run Hot

In addition, because they are not designed to run constantly, sump pumps tend to become very hot if you leave them on. The heat they generate can increase the temps of water to levels that are intolerable to fish or that encourage the growth of certain algae. Finally, these pumps don’t have built-in elements to stop them from overheating, and as a result, their motors may become too hot and burn out, forcing you to replace them.

Luckily, although sump pumps aren’t suitable for most residential water features, there are great alternatives. The pump you should select varies based on the size of your water feature, your climate, whether or not you have fish and several other factors. Want to find the perfect pump for your water features? Contact W.P. Law, Inc. today for more information.

How Do I Know When To Replace The Shaft Seal In My Pump?

Pump design

Wondering if it’s time to change the shaft seal on your pump? There are a number of different signs that can help you decide. Regardless of the type of pump you have, here are some simple signs that it needs new gaskets:

Visual Inspection

It is very difficult to tell visually if a mechanical shaft seal needs replacing without disassembling the pump. However, you may notice some evidence or prior leaks around the shaft seal or you may see suction and discharge piping that shows evidence of overheating. In either of these cases, it there is a high probability that the shaft seal may need to be replaced.

Malfunctioning Pump

If your pump loses prime or fails to build the correct pressure the problem could be a leaking shaft seal. Air may be pulled by a leaking shaft seal causing the pump to lose prime when it is running. This may often be difficult to detect.

Spraying Leak

Water spraying by the shaft seal is an obvious sign that the seal needs replacing. When disassembling the ump and removing the old seal, be sure to inspect the shaft sleeve (larger horsepower pumps typically have a replaceable sleeve that the seal runs over). If the pump shaft (or shaft sleeve) has light scratches, they can usually be sanded out with Emory cloth prior to installing a new seal. However, deep grooves or sever scratches mean a replacement shaft sleeve as well.

If you cannot tell whether or not you need a new seal, bring your pump into W.P. Law, Inc., or contact us today. We can help point you in the right direction and help you find the supplies you need.

How Can I Effectively Irrigate Many Different Crops At Once?

Agricultural Irrigation

Whether your farming operation is large or small, it is important to make sure all the plants in your field have adequate water regardless of what’s going on with the weather. That is why an effective irrigation system is so important.

The ability to get water to many different crops at the same time will save you a great deal of time – and your farm a great deal of money and frustration. But, how you do so effectively without placing some or all of your crops at risk?

Irrigation Pumping

When it comes to agricultural irrigation there is one phrase you need to know: variable speed drives. This refers to the pumps that move the water used in irrigation. Traditionally, pumping water for irrigation is a costly endeavor – costing the U.S. approximately 15.5 billion dollars in energy alone per year according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Variable speed pumps are more energy efficient because they don’t operate continuously at the highest possible pump speed.

How do Variable Speed Pumps Benefit Farmers Who are Irrigating their Crops?

Crop irrigation is important for South Carolina farmers. These are a few benefits variable speed pumps introduce into the picture.

  1. It saves a great deal of money on energy bills. According to NSW Farmers, reducing the pump motor speed by as little as 20 percent can net energy savings of up to 50 percent. Over a farming season that can be a substantial amount of money for small farms. Larger farms stand to save even more.
  2. A Variable speed drive allows for a pump to be used for multiple applications.
  3. The grower has increased flexibility in their irrigation scheduling.

Irrigation can be a tricky matter. Go to the experts at W.P. Law, Inc. whenever you have questions or concerns about your current irrigation methods or equipment. They’ll answer your questions and help you solve your irrigation problems.

How Can I Maximize The Efficiency Of My Pump?


If your pump runs inefficiently, it wastes energy, and you needlessly pay costly energy bills. Luckily, there are ways to make your pump run more efficiently. Are you doing these five things?

1. Using the Correct Size of Pump

Pumps come in a range of sizes, and you need to pick the size that best matches your needs. If your pump is too large, it will waste energy every time it runs, compared to using a smaller more efficient pump. In contrast, if the pump is too small, it will run constantly and waste energy.

2. Replacing Old Inefficient Pumps With Efficient Ones

Pumps come with different levels of efficiency built into them, and if you are using an older pump, it may not be as efficient as a new pump. Ideally, you want to replace old, inefficient pumps with new pumps that advertise premium efficiency.

3. Keeping Your Pump Clean

Occasionally debris and marine life can become stuck in the impeller vanes and reduce pump efficiency. To prevent all of these risks, periodically inspect the pump’s intake strainer to make sure it has not been damaged.
If it is attached to a filter or a screen, change or clean those elements on a regular basis to avoid buildup of minerals or debris.

4. Maintaining Your Pump

Like most machinery, pumps require periodic maintenance if they are to perform reliably. Depending on what type of pumping equipment have will determine what maintenance needs to be performed. You should make sure that bearings are properly greased and belts are tensioned correctly as needed. If there are oil reservoirs on your pump, make sure that they are full and that the oil is clean. Some pumps require periodic adjustment of the impellers and packing glands. Impellers should also be checked for blockages, from time-to-time.

5. Adjusting and Maintaining Auxiliary Elements

In addition to ensuring your pump is as efficient as possible, you also have to keep an eye on the elements that work alongside of your pump. For example, if you have a pump as part of your irrigation system, you need to make sure that your sprinklers are releasing water correctly. If there are not, it could cause your pump to work overtime and waste energy.

Want more tips and ideas for getting your pump to work more efficiently? Contact W.P. Law. Our sales associates are well versed in pumps, saving energy and other important topics.

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