What is a Utility / Drainer Pump?


Read your manual for installation, operation, and safety information. This guide neither supplements nor replaces the Owner’s Manual.

What is a Utility / Drainer Pump?
A utility pump (also called a drainer pump) is a small portable electric device designed to automatically drain an area of unwanted water. It is typically not permanently installed and is plumbed so that its discharge is directed away from the drained area.
In an emergency, a utility pump is the first pump you want to have on hand. Use these devices to remove water from window wells, rooftops, flooded areas or for draining sinks, aquariums and waterbeds.
Moving water quickly and efficiently from place to place is what utility pumps are specifically designed for. To choose the best pump for your purpose, first decide what type of pump you need and then what type of work you need done.

Submersible Pumps
A submersible utility / drainer pump is an integrated design that places both the motor and the pump inside a sealed housing. These pumps are designed to be completely immersed in water, which makes them ideal for larger or deeper pumping projects.
CAUTION Pump only clear water with utility / drainer pumps. Do not use this pump in water with fish present. If any oil leaks out of the motor it can kill fish.
Cost (0-5 scale): 2

Non-Submersible Pumps
These pumps cannot be placed in water. Instead they use hoses to move water from one location to another, making them perfect for various household projects.
Cost (0-5 scale): 2

Types of Projects
• Flooded Areas - To remove standing water from window wells, rooftops or basements, choose a submersible utility pump. For problem or re-occurring flood areas, consider an electronic water-sensing utility pump that turns on and off automatically.
• Indoor Projects - For draining clogged sinks or transferring water to and from aquariums or waterbeds, choose a non-submersible multi-purpose transfer pump.
• Recreational - Draining a boat cover or swimming pool cover is easy with a DC powered pump that connects to a 12V battery for fast, reliable water transfer and remote operation.
Once you have determined the type of utility / drainer pump you need, go shopping for the model that is made from the finest materials and is backed by a strong warranty.

How to Prime a Utility / Drainer Pump
Most non-submersible utility / drainer pumps are self-priming. After placing the inlet hose into the water source and turning on the pump, water should flow automatically within five minutes. If water does not flow, turn off the pump and let it cool for 10 minutes. Follow these instructions to obtain proper water movement.

Cost: From $0 to complete pump replacement
Difficulty: Simple

Items Needed:
• Pump
• Inlet hose and filter
• Discharge hose
• Bucket of clean water

Step One – Attach hoses
Use ½” or larger reinforced inlet hose less than 10’ above the water source and less than 25’ away from the source. Inspect inlet filter and hose to ensure they are not blocked by dirt or debris. Attach filter and hose to pump inlet, taking care to tighten firmly for a leak-free connection. Attach discharge hose (no more than 25’ long) to discharge outlet, again taking care to tighten the connection firmly.
Step Two – Prime the inlet and start pump
If the inlet hose is longer than 6’, fill the hose with clean water. Place the hose into the water source and immediately turn on the pump. Water should flow out of the pump within five minutes. If water does not flow, repeat this step once again.
Should the pump fail to work, either replace the inlet hose (as it may have air leaks) or move the pump to within 6’ of the water source before trying again.

Utility / Drainer Pump Maintenance
Utility / drainer pump maintenance depends on the type of liquids it was used to pump. Obviously, the ‘dirtier’ the liquid, the more aggressive the cleaning solutions need to be. Durable pump components were used, but they can be weakened by chlorine-based products. Keeping your sump pump working at its optimal best will provide a longer life for your pump.

Cost: From $2 to $14.
Difficulty: Easy

Items Needed:
• White vinegar
• Stiff bristle brush
• Clean water

Step One – Prepare cleaning solution
Pour 2 cups of white vinegar into a five gallon bucket and fill bucket with clear water.

Step Two – Clean surfaces and flush internal components

• Submersible Pump - Clean out the opening(s) where the water flows into the pump. Remove any debris from the inlet screen. Dip the pump into the bucket to wet it, and then pull it out. Use the stiff bristle brush to scrub off any surface deposits. Place the pump into the bucket and turn it on. Let it pump the bucket empty, taking care to direct the discharge into a suitable location. Let the pump air-dry and store in a cool dry location.
• Non-submersible Pump - Clean the pump inlet and discharge openings, making sure to remove all debris from the inlet screen. Dip the stiff bristle brush into the bucket to wet it, and then use the brush to scrub off any surface deposits on the pump. Connect the inlet and discharge hoses to the pump and place the inlet hose into the bucket. Turn the pump on and let it pump the bucket empty, taking care to direct the discharge into a suitable location. Disconnect the inlet and discharge hoses and let the pump air-dry. Store the pump and hoses in a cool dry location.