The selection of a product that is the most suitable for a given application depends on many factors, including:
• What is the water demand (flow in l/min. or m³/h)?
The demand will largely depend on the number of taps or pressure points that can be used simultaneously.
• What is the pressure demand?
Due to losses during pumping through both vertical and horizontal sections of the pipeline, as well as during supplying water at a certain pressure to higher floors or in larger systems, the demand for pressure generated by the pump will be greater than in case of single-family houses and small systems.
What Does Water Pump Maximum and Rated Head Mean?
If you a looking to select the best water pump for your rainwater tank then you will see specifications like rated and maximum flow rates or head. What do they mean? What should you look for? Will the pump be adequate for your needs? The focus of this article will explore the question of rated and maximum “head” in water pressure pumps.
What is Pump “Head” and “Total Head”?
When talking about how pumps work, or looking over pump specifications, you will come across maximum and rated “head” distance. If you don’t know much about water pumps, then you are probably just wanting to know how much pressure it can output and whether such is adequate for your needs. So, what is head? Why is it even mentioned when you just want water pressure!?
Pump head is about water pressure your pump can handle, only vertically. If you were to attach pipes to your pump and extend them vertically upwards, how far can your pump pressurise water against gravity? This is important to know, especially since your water source and pump will likely be lower than its access points on your property. Intuitively, a pump that exerts more pressure should be able to pump water higher and therefore have a higher head.
With a general understanding of “head” there is another term you may have heard about – total head. What is “total head”? It is important to understand that the height a pump can pressurise water to is also affected by how full your tank is. A pump will be able to pressure water higher when received from a fuller tank than one that is almost empty. “Total head” is therefore a much more useful figure which removes the height of water in your tank from the equation.
“Rated Head” and “Maximum Head”
Now we understand what pump “head” is, there are normally two figures listed for this in pump specifications: “Rated Head” and “Maximum Head.” How are we to understand these two different values?
It is best to examine what it would mean for a pump to have a maximum head of 35 metres. This means that under ideal install conditions, the pump can pressurise water to this height. Surely, this would be suitable for most home owners. Perhaps it would suffice, but there are two missing questions that must be answered before going with such a pump.
The first question is the actual water flow rate once pressured to the maximum height? The point at which it is zero pressure is generally considered the “maximum head”. This means your access points will need to be much lower than the maximum head or water just won’t flow from your taps.
The second is that maximum head represents ideal install conditions. The pipes plumbed around your property and into your home often have bends in them, t-joins, small tubing, distances and the like. The pipework can impact upon the “maximum head” pressure, and this is where “rated head” is better to observe. The figure under “rated head” represents the ideal height you should consider its use for – most pumps will quite simply not deliver above their rated head.
Finally, you will want to know what pressure you might expect at certain heights. This is where pump manufacturers often provide line charts mapping head to expected water flow. If you measure the height from the location of your pump to your highest water access point, then you should have a good idea of what pump you will need.
To make it easier, most manufacturers recommend the number of taps a pump is good for. You should now be in a good position tell if one manufacturer is overstating, although most are generally adequate reflections if you take into consideration not all access points will be used at once, water saving taps and aerators or the like might be getting used.
Understanding Water Pump Rated, Maximum and Normal Flow Rates
If you a looking to select the best water pump for your rainwater tank then you will see specifications like rated and maximum head and flow rates. What do they mean? What should you look for? Will the pump be adequate for your needs? The focus of this article will explore the question of rated and maximum “flow” in water pressure pumps.
Understanding Flow Rates
When talking about how pumps work, or looking over pump specifications, you will come across maximum and rated “flow”. While flow rate from a tap or shower head is influenced by piping, water saving heads and aerators, the pump needs to be able to generate water flow, the output of which is represented in litres per minute (l/min).
Generally, a higher volume of water (l/min) that can be pushed through pipes by a pump, the more taps that can be serviced throughout your property and home. Yet, flow rates are also influenced by distance to the access points, pipework and elevation. This is where “maximum” and “rated” flow rates are helpful to understanding whether a water pump is adequate for your needs.
Maximum Flow Rate
The “maximum flow” represents the number of litres that a water pump can pressure immediately from itself without any need to travel up and through pipework. That is, how much water volume can be pushed directly out from the pump.
In practical applications, such pump water to where it is needed around your property or in your home, the maximum flow won’t be achieved. To understand what type of flow rate you can expect after water is pressured through pipework with rises and bends, then the “normal” or “rated flow” becomes the significant value to consider.
It is also important to understand that some pumps come with controller systems that detect flow rates, boosting pressure as necessary to provide a consistent water pressure.
Rated and Normal Flow Rate
Simply understood, “rated flow” is the operating condition that the pump is designed for. Another term you might hear is “normal flow”. The normal flow rate is often less than the rated flow, and represents the conditions the pump is expected to operate at most of the time.
Pumps that list both, you should pay more attention to the normal flow. The pump might support such without doing much more than simply changing the impeller size. Consult the pump manufacturer if concerned about the operational flow rates you should expect. You don’t want to end up with a pump that doesn’t do the job.
To make your task easier, pump manufacturers often provide a line graph to displaying the expected maximum flow rates based according to head distance (how high water needs to be pushed up to reach your desired access point/s). Selecting the right pump often requires some understanding of where your pump will be located and the network of pipes it will be attached to.