Choosing the Right Pump for Your Shop Equipment

Maintenance checks shouldn’t be limited to your vehicle. Taking care of the machinery and equipment used for service is also essential, especially with non-renewable parts that see a lot of use. When it comes to pumps, not all valves are created equally. Choosing the wrong unit can cause your pump to become less efficient and promote premature wear. There are five elements that go into selecting a pump for household, industrial or shop use.

  1. Type of fluid. There is a distinct difference in viscosity between water, motor oil or acidic fluids. Corrosion can be avoided if you know the chemical makeup of the fluids running through your shop pump. For example, pumps with plastic parts are better for pumping out acids, which corrode metal and rubber.
  2. Viscosity. This has to do with the thickness of the liquid. Motor or machine oil are more viscose than water, but more oil tends to have a higher viscosity that machine oil. Trying to pump a thick liquid with a unit that’s made for water can lead to inefficiency and damage.
  3. Flow. The flow rate of liquids is generally described in gallons per minute (GPMs). If you ‘re pumping large amounts of fluid at a fast rate, you’ll need a valve system that’s big enough to process a higher capacity of liquid. Choosing a pump that’s too small for your most common requirements is a bad way to save money if it takes longer to do the job or the equipment breaks down.
  4. Pressure. The other side of flow rate is fluid pressure, and not just intake pressure. You should be able to estimate the potential maximum pressure at both the input and output, and purchase a pump that can handle the max.
  5. Temperature. The relative heat or coolness of fluids determines the construction of your pump. If you’re always working with hot oil or boiling water, choose a pump that’s rated for higher temperatures. If you’re working with fluids that have variable temperatures, choose a system that can handle both extremes.

There are two keys to prolonging the life of your shop equipment: choosing the right parts and equipment for your purposes and performing routine maintenance on a regular schedule. When you’re choosing equipment, it pays to go with a known brand like Graco diaphram pumps and other industry leaders. A small investment in time and equipment now will save you money and aggravation later.