Water Pumps vs Trash Pumps

Water Pumps vs Trash Pumps

Contractors will take on various types of jobs throughout the year, some of which involve negotiating bodies of water or flooded areas. Water pumps and trash pumps are two water movement solutions available to contractors for different applications. Understanding the differences can help you determine the best pump for a specific task. 

Water Pump

The term water pump describes a wide range of pumps that fall under separate classifications based on their application or function. The essential qualifier for a water pump is that it moves clear water free of solid objects. Water pumps send high volumes of fluid through a small opening to achieve high pressure levels, so any solid object larger than 0.25 inch cannot pass through. 

Some situations that warrant using a water pump include:

  • Draining or filling pools, hot tubs, ponds or quarries. 
  • Watering lawns. 
  • Removing water from a basement.
  • Performing municipality water maintenance. 

Trash Pump

While standard water pumps are best for clear water applications, a trash pump is useful for handling murky water containing solids. These pumps can handle large volumes of water but do so at a lower pressure level. 

As a result of working at lower pressure, trash pumps can move water containing debris like leaves, twigs, clumps of dirt and other substances between 0.75 and 1.25 inches. These materials will pass through the pump without clogging or damaging its components. Trash pumps can also send large quantities of water over a wide area as opposed to a focused point. 

Use a trash pump in industrial or agricultural applications like: 

  • Dewatering construction sites or gravel pits.
  • Dampening construction sites for dust control. 
  • Creek diversion.
  • Wastewater treatment. 
  • Watering fields.

Deciding Which Pump Model Is Best for You

There are a few things to consider when choosing between a water pump versus a trash pump. To summarize, here are the factors to keep in mind when selecting a pump configuration: 

  • Possibility of debris: Analyze the water you need to move to determine how likely it is to contain hard debris. If you're pumping water from a clear source, a water pump will work fine, but bodies containing leaves, twigs, pebbles and other debris require a trash pump. 
  • Water quantity and time constraints: Consider how much water you need to move and how much time you have to do it. A water pump will move water at a higher pressure and faster rate, although trash pumps have a greater flow rate.  
  • Desired pressure: Some jobs require heavy pressure while others need more delicate application. A water pump's high-pressure capability is ideal for sending water over great distances, while the lower pressure of a trash pump can distribute water over a surface without damaging or displacing it. 

Find Water and Trash Pumps at The Cat® Rental Store

If you need a water pump or trash pump for a temporary job or want to experiment with different options before committing to a purchase, renting is an excellent choice. The Cat® Rental Store features a wide range of portable, towable and submersible pumps from industry-leading manufacturers. 

For help choosing the right pump for your situation, call 1-800-RENT-CAT or your nearest Cat dealer. We also make it easy to browse rental pump equipment online so you can find what you need and get quick pricing information

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