The two primary components in an effective rainwater harvesting and re-use system are the tank that captures your rainwater and the pressure pump that will deliver it to where you would like to use it. Whilst peripherals such as first flush diverters and leaf guards are important, it’s crucial to get your choice of tank and pump right in order to enjoy the full benefits of an effective rainwater harvesting and re-use system.
In this article, I’d like to share with you the key considerations to keep in mind when selecting the best pump for your needs.
First and foremost, the pump you select must be able to comfortably deliver your rainwater from your tank to all of the outlets required, providing the water pressure that you find satisfactory.
Key questions to consider include:
- How many outlets (eg, taps, hoses, sprinklers, washing machines, toilet cisterns and the like) will the pump be required to service?
- How many of the outlets could be operating simultaneously?
- What is the furthest distance from the rainwater tank/pump that the water needs to be pumped to, and is there an incline or decline involved?
- Are there any outlets that require a higher than average amount of water pressure in order to operate effectively (e.g. pop-up sprinklers)?
- Is the noise generated by the pump a concern? For example, will the pump be located close to a bedroom window (yours or perhaps your neighbour’s)?
Ideally, your pump supplier should be guiding you through questions such as the above, assessing your needs thoroughly, before presenting you with suitable pump options.
All pumps are not created equal! As well as the performance capabilities (e.g. flow rates and maximum head of a pump), it’s important to consider the track record, or reputation, of the brand of pump, in general, and the model of pump, in particular, that you’re considering. Whilst there is a healthy number of quality pump manufacturers operating in the Australian market place, there are, unfortunately, those of questionable reputation.
As you’ll be relying on your pump to support your water needs on a constant, probably daily, basis, it makes sense to invest the time to assess the proven merits of the brand and model of pump you’re contemplating. A viable shortcut is to ask your pump retailer to explain why they’re recommending a particular brand and model to you.
Of course, you can also do your own homework. Friends, neighbours and relatives may have been well served by a particular brand and model of pump that they can recommend.
Choosing a pump that meets your performance criteria from a manufacturer with a proven track record will go a long way towards hassle-free and rewarding rainwater harvesting and re-use. However, despite all of the best precautions, electrical goods with moving parts can experience technical issues.
If an issue does occur with your pump, how well supported by the retailer and manufacturer will you be?
Most pumps come with “2 Year Warranty” emblazoned on the box. It’s important to consider the nature of that coverage. For instance, is the warranty coverage ‘In Field’?
An ‘In Field’ Warranty means that, should there be an issue with your pump, the manufacturer will send a service technician to your property (where the pump’s located), rather than requiring you to disconnect the pump, pack the pump and transport it to the service technician, who may or may not be in a location convenient to you. ‘In Field’ is the way to go!
Again, consider the pump manufacturer’s reputation; this time for after sales service.
By keeping the above three factors in mind (Performance, Reputation and Support), you’ll secure a pump that allows you to extract the most value out of your rainwater harvesting and re-use system, and one that provides you with peace of mind into the future.