Published: September 11, 2020

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Nobody knows when they will need a water pump, but the chances are always there that they will – whether it will be to extinguish a fire, to install an irrigation system, to pump water from wells or to remove wastewater. In this article, we have prepared a detailed guide so that you know everything there is about water pumps.

A water pump is, without a doubt, one of the most effective tools to move fluids from one place to another, especially water. Water pumps are increasingly sophisticated and are essential in many U.S. gardens and homes. A water pump is a complex machine, but very versatile and useful for many different situations.

Key Facts

  • Water pumps are indispensable tools to move large or small amounts of water from one area to another in a controlled manner. These machines are fast and efficient and can be used for domestic use, fish farms, and swimming pools or for emergency use to remove clean or dirty water.  They can be used to pump the water from leaky basements and cellars as well as to pump water for decorative fountains and fish ponds.
  • Water pumps are powered by either electricity (for electric pumps) or fuel. It is useful for increasing water pressure and therefore letting us make the most of this precious resource.
  • These days, manufacturers have developed water pumps to be compact and light and in order to comply with the appropriate safety requirements at home while also saving on energy consumption.

Our Selection: The Best Water Pumps on the U.S. Market

It’s not easy to choose the most appropriate water pump for any job, as there is a great variety of differnent pumps available on the market today. You should consider what tasks you need to do and what benefits your pump should have before you purchase one. You will not need the same pump if you want to empty a swimming pool, as you will if you want to build a garden fountain. We have carefully compiled this selection of water pumps to help you find the right one for you and the job at hand.

The Most Budget-Friendly Water Pump

At the starter size, this 400 GPH is under $20 yet offers may features. This little pump can be used in either wet or dry installations and features wet rotor/wet bearing technology for cooler running. Pre-filter screen handles large particles require less maintenance. Designed for fresh water use only.

Compact design is great for space-saving on your aquariums and fish tanks. Multiple size insert fitting and suction cups included. High performance energy-efficient pumps designed for use in Ponds, Fountains, Waterfalls, Hydroponic systems, Irrigation systems and water features. The maximal flow rate can be up to 400 GPH (150 L/H). Lift height can be up to 5.2ft. Pumping, fountain, oxygen, filtration,

The Most Functional Water Pump

For just under $50, this next pump is more robust for when you have a bigger job to do. The Superior Pump 1/4-Horsepower Submersible Utility Pump offers exceptional power in a small, durable frame. Able to pump 30 gallons a minute up to 25 feet of vertical height, this tough submersible pump features durable thermoplastic construction and a compact design that can fit inside a 6-inch opening.

Designed to drain standing water from any enclosed environment, the Superior Pump is ideal for flooded basements, farm use, and typical residential or commercial water transfer applications. An optional float switch can be added to allow this model to be used as a sump pump. It’s functional design makes it easy to move so you can shift it as you redecorate your space or even move house. It is also easy to clean, and low maintenance with no plugs.

The Best Submersible Water Pump

If you are looking to add a fountain to that garden of yours or if you have a good-sized fish tank or frog pond, look no further for the water pump you will need. At under $25 this simple but rugged medium sized water pump is perfect for such uses. Smart control, dry running automaticly cuts power., prolonging the life of the pump With bottom suction trainer, it is 100% submersible, in fact must be submerged to run properly.

Maximum flow rate: 660GPH  and Max Lift Height: 8.2 ft. 40W high efficiency motor for energy saving. Lift height is a max height the water goes up, after connecting the water pipe to the nozzle (Make sure the joint sealed securely and tightly) This also comes with a 5.9 foot power cord–long enough cord for easy installation. This product is backed by 12 month warranty and professional after-sale service.

The Most Sturdy Water Pump

At just over $100, this sturdy sump pump may be just what you need. The front part of the water pump is made of stainless steel while whole body is sturdy cast iron which is does not rust easily and extends the life of the unit. At 1200W/1.6HP Power, Fan-cooled continuous-duty 115 volt motor draws water up to 23 ft while the 137 foot head lift provides enough water and pressure for a multitude of jobs.

The robust 66 PSI water pressure makes this water pump perfect for irrigation or water transport. 700 Gallon Per Hour rating tackles any draining job at a fraction of the tim, Self-priming design permits use on automatic sprinkler systems as well as de-watering and water transfer. With safe and waterproof on/off switch and easy carry handle for convenience and portability. Lightweight with the energy efficient, high flow, and oil-free design brings more convenience to your watering. Ideal for ponds, pools, sprinkling systems, flow irrigation systems, gardening, large aquariums, etc.

The Best Gas-Powered Water Pump

At around $285, this professional-grade, gas powered pump is for dirty jobs and big projects.  It comes with everything you need to start pumping – 12-foot intake hose, 20-foot discharge hose, cam action quick coupler, intake strainer, clamps, fittings and adapters (just add oil and gas).  Pumps an efficient 158 gallons per minute with maximum delivery powered by a 196cc Champion engine with a 0.9-gallon fuel tank and 0.6-quart oil capacity.

“Semi-Trash” rated: Capable of passing solid waste up to 9/16 inch in diameter, this pump has a 2-inch inlet, a 2-inch outlet, total head of 98 feet and suction head of 26 feet. Featuring a durable steel frame, handle and wheel kit with never-flat tires, this pump is easy to move from one job to the next and a cinch to store. Best of all, this machine includes 2-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Water Pumps

Water pumps are essential to supply some areas with water. There are many different models which are specifically designed for different uses. There are industrial strength pumps and smaller pumps for inside a home.  It is, therefore, understandable that prospective buyers might be confused about how much power they need in a water pump and what features they need or do not need. Below we have tried to answer any questions you might have.

The amount of water you intend on pumping out or in needs to be the same amount your water pump is able to pump.
(Source: Scalatore1959: 49918642/

What exactly is a water pump?

A pump is a machine used to move or transfer fluids such as liquids, sludge and even gases, but especially water. Water pumps displace a volume of liquid with the power of a motor that is powered by different means, such as electricity in the case of electric pumps.

How do water pumps work?

The principle of operation is the same as that of any normal hydraulic pump: it transforms mechanical energy into kinetic energy. The big difference is that water pumps are driven by a gasoline or diesel combustion engine or other means. This engine activates a rotating paddle rotor immersed in liquid.

A very common mistake about water pumps is to think that they work solely by pressure. Actually, they mainly displace the liquid causing it to flow from one area to another.

Did you know that water pumps increase water pressure through use of a hydraulic pump to apply force in order to move water or a liquid from a lower height to a higher height?

Why would someone need a water pump?

Water pumps are used in businesses, industrial operations and for agricultural purposes. Recently they have grown popular for domestic use in gardens, yards and homes with swimming pools. A water pump can be used to:

  • Drain water from a basement.
  • Extract water from a well.
  • Move water from one place to another, even at different ground levels.
  • Increase the pressure or water flow into a home.
  • Empty and fill pools, ponds or hot tubs.
  • Drain shallow areas that are flooded or contaminated by dirty water.
  • Water lawns or agricultural areas in a traditional way or via sprinklers.
  • Distribute fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Perform various tasks in the construction industry.
  • Help in catastrophes such as fires or floods.

 How do you measure the efficiency of a water pump?

The water flow in a water pump is measured in unit of liquid over unit of time.  Normally, this measure is expressed in two ways either gallons per minute or per hour. It would be good to first decide how much water or liquid you need to move. If you are looking to move hundreds of gallons of liquid per minute, or perhaps one gallon per hour for a small garden fountain, you will need two very different pumps. Be sure you do not purchase more or less pump ower than your need for the job at hand.

In the case of domestic systems (irrigation or swimming pools), it is necessary to make sure that the flow and pressure supplied by the water pump are sufficient for the installation to work properly. If you are unsure, it would be better for a professional to do the calculations for you.

What types of water pumps are available on the market today?

Water pumps are usually manufactured for a specific purpose but there still are some models that are produced for a range of jobs. Although there are more and more types of pumps available on the market today, there are certain models that continue to be common thanks to their usefulness and value. You will see information on each in the table below.

Type of water pump Uses
Surface Let you remove water from wells or tanks which are several yards deep.
Submergable Extracts water from very deep place which are inaccessible by surface pumps.
Pressure Allows greater irrigation and better circulation of water in order to reach all taps.
Bail pumps Used to evacuate and transfer water. Runs on a system which automatically turns the pump on or off depending on the water level in order to stop it from working when dry and overheating.

Why do you need different pumps for dirty and clean water?

When the pump is suitable for clean water, it refers to all clear water, from water for domestic consumption, seawater or water treated with chlorine, ozone or other liquids. On the other hand, dirty, used or loaded water contains sewage from a toilet or a septic tank but also refers to water that has been polluted or stagnant. These types of water cannot be run through the same pump or the clean water can become contaminated.  Additionally, clean water pumps are made differently than other types of pumps, whcih need special adaptations.

Thomas KlenckWriter, Popular Mechanics
“No matter what kind of system you have, the components on the output side of all pumps are similar”.

It is not ideal to use the same pump for both types of water. It is important to know what kind of water you will be dealing with before choosing a water pump. The reason for this is that dirty water contains all kinds of solid particles. In this table, we will further explain what is needed for each case. A surface pump can be used for clean water. For dirty water, you need a pump that can filter particles of varying sizes.

  • Water pump for clean water: It is important to know if we need a piece of equipment to irrigate, to empty pools or simply to transfer clean water from one place to another. Surface water pumps are ideal for working with these types of water.
  • Pump for dirty water: Must be able to filter particles of different sizes. It is better to look for equipment with very large hose diameters, to avoid clogging. Submersible water pumps are ideal for working with dirty water.

What essential components do we find in a water pump?

Water pumps offered by the market for domestic use are, in general, quite similar. Understanding the different components of a water pump, how they operate and methods of installation will help you determine whcih type of water pump you need to buy. In this way, you can avoid dangers or possible accidents when handling them, as well as aoid buying a pump that is the wrong type, too powerful or not powerful enough for the jobs you plan to do with the pump.

In general, water pumps have the following components:

  • Motor: This is a fundamental component that drives the shaft and the impeller to generate the movement of the water. Its power capacity will determine the speed at which the water will flow.
  • Housing: This is the body of the pump. It  covers the water feeding mechanism and is commonly made of stainless steel or cast iron to prevent corrosion and rust.
  • Conduits: These are the channels through which the water is circulated. Water or liquid comes in through the “inlet” and goes out through the “outlet.”
  • Control panel:  These are the switches and buttons used to switch the pump on or off.
  • Starting rope: This is a rope that must be pulled to start up a pump’s combustion engine.
  • Impeller or rotors: These can be blades, vanes or rotating vanes.
  • Seals and rings: These are used to sealing off the pump in order to generate internal compression.
  • Bearings: These are parts that adequately support the impeller shaft.

What safety precautions must be followed when using gasoline or diesel for motor-pumps?

Gasoline and diesel are highly flammable and potentially explosive fuels. If you use apump run by these fuels, stop the equipment before adding gasoline and do so only in sufficiently ventilated areas. Under no circumstances should you smoke near the machine while loading gasoline. Do not add or store gasoline in an area where there are sparks or near other operations that produce sparks or flames. Clean up gasoline spilled on or around the water pump before using it again.

Shopping Criteria

While there are many factors to consider it is essential to first be clear on what you want to use the pump for and how often it will be in operation. There are a few other factors to consider as well. These are:

Materials and Safety

Water pumps are not dangerous machines by themselves, but reckless use thereof can cause accidents. Many of these accidents can be avoided if the housing materials are of good quality. In general, it is recommended that pumps have covers made of stainless steel or cast iron. In addition to being robust, they prevent the water pump from rusting or corroding due to the action of water.

Water Flow

It will be necessary to analyze the work the pump will have to do to make sure you buy one with the right capacity and power. The amount of water with which we want to pump must be equivalent to the pumping capacity of the water pump we are looking to buy. High water flow is not necessarily better, or even appropriate for the job you are planning. To make the right purchase, it is important to carry out a thorough analysis of your work site and determine how much and what type of water you will be pumping.  Buying a bigger pump than you need can be an unnecessary expenditure or it can even mean the pump won’t work on the project for which it was purchased.

Fuel Efficiency

As almost all large water pumps work with fuels such as gasoline or diesel you should consider the equipment’s capacity. This will allow it to work at its greatest efficiency levels. It is recommended that the water pump must have at tank of at least one liter.  Smaller pumps, such as those used in fountains and other domestic uses, are usually powered by simple electricity.

Motor Power

The engine of a water pump is an important factor to consider as this would determine how fast it can move water or other liquids.  This is the part of the machine which most dictates its overall quality. The more power an engine can produce, the greater the rate of the flow of water. This makes it a critical factor when choosing a pump.

Ideally the motor pump will have a power level of 1000 watts or more.


Many water pumps are heavy but as they have become more popular for household use use they have been designed to be easily transportable and easy to carry around. Make sure that the water pump you want to buy has handles and grips to make carrying it easier, if it weighs a lot.


Water pumps are essential equipment for those seeking to transfer large amounts of liquids, especially water. Pumps with gasoline or diesel engines are easy to use, easy to transport and can be used around the house.  Water pumps are designed for specific uses and specific models should be acquired depending on whether a surface or submersible pump is needed and also depending on the type of water that will be involved.

Surfaces, pressure, bilge or submersible, are ideal to deal with clean or dirty water, depending on your requirements. Water pumps are very useful for irrigation systems, emptying swimming pools, evacuation of septic tanks or cisterns, and can even be used to clean up or prevent flooding.

If you liked the article, share it on your social networks so that others can also find out everything there is to know about water pumps. You can also leave us a comment and we will be happy to answer any questions that you have. Thank you!

(Source of featured image: Pacter Gudella: 40960263/

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