Utility Pump FAQs


Utility Pump FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Can my submersible pump be COMPLETELY under water?
A. Yes. If the pump is labeled “submersible” then the whole pump and cord can be put under water. The only thing that must not be submersed is the plug where it is plugged into power.

Q. What kind of hose or pipe is best to use for discharge from this pump?
A. It is best to use a hose or pipe that is the same size as (or larger than) the pump’s actual discharge. Using a reducer, smaller hose, or smaller pipe, will reduce the output of the pump. If reduced too much, the pump can even be damaged. If the pump came from the factory with a garden hose adapter, then it is designed to be used with a garden hose. Keep in mind that garden hoses come in different diameters and lengths. Use a garden hose that is as fat as possible, and as short as possible. This will give the pump the ability to perform as well as it can.

Q. How do I completely drain the pump? I hear sloshing inside it.
A. Many pumps have an oil-filled motor. The oil is there to help lubricate and cool the motor. The sloshing you hear is completely normal. Do NOT try to remove a plug and drain the pump. When you lift a submersible utility pump out of the water, the water will drain out by itself. Let it stand for a few minutes and the great majority of the water will drain out by itself.

Q. Is it OK to use an extension cord to plug this in?
A. We recommend the pump be plugged directly into an outlet. If you MUST use an extension cord, it needs to be heavy enough gauge and short enough so that the pump receives full voltage and power. In general, most utility pumps should be plugged into a minimum 14 gauge, preferably 12 gauge, cord. It should be no longer than 25 feet long. If you need to use a longer cord, you need to also use one of a heavier gauge. Note that heavier gauge wire is a lower number. (12 gauge is heavier than 14 gauge, etc.)

Q. Do you make a longer cord for this pump?
A. In some cases, yes. You will need to contact Customer Support and ask about your specific model.

Q. Can I use a sprayer handle that shuts off flow from the pump?
A. No. Pumps are designed to move water. If you block the discharge of a pump (such as a sprayer handle would do) then the water inside the pump can heat up to the point that the internal parts get damaged by the heat.

Q. Will this pump shut off by itself when the water is gone?
A. In most cases, “no”. Most utility pumps are designed to run all the time they are plugged in. You should be there to unplug the pump when the water is gone. If allowed to run dry, the pump can be damaged. The one exception to this rule is the Electronic Utility Pump which has internal circuitry that checks for water and controls the pump

Q. How much dirt & debris can this pump handle?
A. Most utility pumps are designed to pump clear, clean water. Debris can block off the intake causing the pump to be starved for water. If it gets to the inside of the pump, the debris can damage the impeller, shaft seal, and other internal parts.

Q. Is there a fuse inside this pump?
A. In most cases, no. Many pumps do have a thermal cut-off that will stop the motor if it is overheating. But that will reset itself when the motor cools down. That usually happens within 5 to 45 minutes depending upon the temperature surrounding the pump.

Q. How long of a hose can I use with this pump?
A. In general, try to keep discharge hoses shorter than about 25’. Most utility pumps don’t build a lot of pressure. If using a hose that is too long, the pump’s performance will be severely reduced and the pump will wear faster than normal. Also, garden hoses come in different diameters (3/8”, ½”, 5/8”, ¾”). Use as fat a hose as you can find. Also, the higher you have the discharge hose going up, the larger diameter hose it should be (within reason).

Q. Can I pump anything other than water with this pump?
A. Our utility pumps are all designed to pump clear, fresh water. We have not tested the pumps with other liquids to see if the materials will be compatible, etc. We do not consider the utility pumps to be “food grade”. Never pump flammable liquids with these pumps. The motors are not considered “explosion-proof”.

Q. Do you have, or can you recommend, service people that can come to my house and work on the pump?
A. We sell all of our products through “do-it-yourself” types of stores. We do not have any people that can come work on your system. Likewise, it is impossible for us to maintain lists of “qualified” people that we could recommend. You would need to check your local “Yellow Pages” etc. for qualified people.

Q. I think I have a warranty issue with my pump. How do I proceed?
A. We generally proceed with warranty through the point-of-purchase. Any authorized retailer of our pumps can handle warranty replacement. The other way to process warranty is directly through us. If you wish to pursue this method, call us first. Keep in mind that a warranty states the item will be “free from
defects in material and workmanship”. Warranty does NOT cover normal wear, damage caused after the item leaves the factory, rust or corrosion, etc.

Q. Where can I get repair parts for my pump, or accessories I might need?
A. Parts listed in the manual can be ordered directly through the store where you bought your pump; or can be ordered directly through us. In most cases, the store is able to special-order the parts (they won’t stock them) and sell you the parts for less than you would pay by ordering through the factory. Also, they usually do not charge shipping charges. It is best to talk to someone at the store’s “Special Orders” desk. Have our toll-free number and the part numbers you need with you. If the person at the store does not know how to order parts, please have them call us while you are there. If ordering directly from us, you would normally receive your order in 7-10 business days. Expedited processing and shipping is available at additional cost. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express (not Discover).

Q. What size generator do I need to run this pump?
A. You need to know the amp draw of the pump and multiply that by the voltage to get the watt usage of the pump. Example: Pump draws 5 amps on 115 volts. 5amps x 115volts = 575 watts. We also need to consider the fact that an AC motor can draw three to five times its regular amp draw for about ½ second when it starts up. So to run our example pump, we need a generator that can supply a startup surge of at least 2875 watts (575 x 5) and can continue to supply the 575 watts as the pump runs. Keep in mind this is accurate if the pump is the ONLY thing the generator is going to supply power for. If you also want to run lights, etc. then that needs to be added to the generator size.

Q. How do I register the warranty on my new pump?
A. We do not ask you to register the warranty. Your receipt is your proof-of-purchase. Keep the receipt safe. If anything happens and the warranty comes into play, your receipt is the proof of warranty eligibility.

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