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Blog posts of '2020' 'October'

What Kind of Pump Do You Need?

JMI Pump Systems advises contractors and facility managers who are not sure what type of pump would meet their needs. In this blog, we’ll tell you about the pumps JMI offers and what they can do.

Sump Pumps

Also called drainage or clear water pump, they are installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace to help keep the area under or around the building from getting saturated. The sump pump automatically pumps excess water out of the basement to a designated area.

To size a sump pump, a plumber needs to calculate the vertical height (lift) and the horizontal distance associated with the distribution of the liquid; the peak inflow rate; and the size and type of pipe; and associated fittings and valves. This will provide the total Dynamic Head (TDH) for the system and dictates your required pump GPM output and horsepower. The higher you pump and further you pump horizontally, the higher the horsepower.

Each submersible sump pump has its own pump curve with max GPM and max shutoff head, so it’s important to check the manufacturer specifications of the pump.

Effluent Pumps

Effluent pumps are capable of pumping waste solids, usually only up to ¾” diameter. The applications for these pumps include graywater such as laundry discharge, dishwasher and sink drainage, and septic systems. Again, use the TDH and max inflow of liquid to arrive at the best pump for the job.

Sewage Pumps

Sewage Pumps are used in sanitary pumping applications and are capable of passing up to 2” solids. Like the other pumps, sewage pumps come in a variety of materials of construction, sizes, and horsepower. When selecting a sewage pump, consider how many water fixture units (toilets, sinks, etc.) producing waste in the facility that will be feeding the wastewater system. Pump selection is determined as the others once you have this calculation complete.

Grinder Pumps

With their powerful cutting blades, grinder pumps break down household waste and can help alleviate potential clogs. But even so, the only items that should be going down the drains are the 3Ps – poop, paper, and pee.

Grinder pumps are typically used when pumping from a residence to a low pressurized sewer main, typically required when the gravity sewer is a long distance from the residence or there is a dramatically high vertical lift. Grinder pumps macerate the sewage, reduce it to a slurry, and then pump it through a smaller diameter pipe. The most common pump is rated 2 HP, which provides high pressure/low volumes of sewage pushing the waste over long distances, sometimes thousands of feet. The pump performance must maintain a minimum rate of flow of two feet per second.

Some grinder systems are installed with outdoor lift stations, and some indoors using a large fiberglass basin and sealed cover. Grinder pumps also require a control panel or junction box incorporating an alarm because they are serving the whole house or application.

Cutter/Chopper Pumps

Cutter Pumps are, as the name suggests, pumps that cut and pass sewage solids. Utilizing a tungsten carbide tipped impeller and a high chrome iron cutter plate, cutter pumps solve demanding sewage and wastewater applications. As the solids pass through the cutter plate, they are cut into pieces and the deep vane impeller passes them along.

Some applications for cutter pumps include hotels, restaurants, retail, and municipal pump stations. They also have uses in agriculture and food production, such as pumping manure, and water processing at slaughterhouses.


Note that no matter the type of pump, they all need to be set in a properly sized basin. The depth of the invert through the basin, the total volume of wastewater generated at its peak, and the number of pumps required all help in determining the width and depth of the basin for each specific application.

Back-up Pumps

Emergency battery or generator-powered back-up pumps should always be considered for those applications that would be in danger of flooding during main power or primary pump failure. The specific parameters of the application will determine the performance of the system required.

No matter your pumping application, JMI Pump Systems has one of the largest selections to choose from. Plus, you can depend on our expert staff to help specify the right solution for your situation. For more information, contact us at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com.