The Right Pump for the Job

Jan. 28, 2009
The versatility of hydraulic submersible pumps

About the author: David Handy is location manager for Griffin Dewatering. Handy can be reached at 866.770.8100 or by e-mail at [email protected].

When determining a pump for an application, there are a number of factors to consider. Among them are flow requirements, head conditions, suction requirements and dimensional limitations.

Hydraulic submersible pumps are an option that offer the added benefit of run dry capability, especially when electric powered pumps are of concern due to potential electrical hazards or if diesel-driven centrifugal pumps are not an option because of suction lift restraints. Hydraulic submersible pumps are a versatile option that can fit in a number of applications.

Versatility & Applications

Hydraulic submersible pumps are available in various discharge sizes ranging from a few inches to a few feet. Depending on the material and pump capacity requirements, the impeller design includes vortex, trash handling, mixed flow or axial flow impellers. Being submersible eliminates suction lift limitations of conventional diesel driven and suction centrifugal pumps.

Some of the applications in which these pumps have been used include bypass pumping from a manhole or open pit, jetting wellpoints into sandy soils and transferring sludge materials from pits or even mixing purposes.

In open sump pumping, hydraulic submersible pumps are a good choice because of its high volume and high head capability. Its lighter weight over conventional electric submersible pumps allows for easier placement in sumps.

Material handling pumps with high head models are useful when higher pressures are required, such as deep setting or long discharge lines. For projects that require open pumping in conjunction with a wellpoint system, these pumps are a good fit because they can be used to install the wellpoints and then act as the open pit pump. This reduces the need for a secondary jet pump that will either sit on the jobsite until the project is complete or be transported back without any additional work. Because of its light weight and flexibility, the pump can also be easily moved to the location where the work is occurring.

For heavy sludge materials such as drilling mud, the material handling pump is good for overcoming the flow resistance and transferring fluids. An example of this is drilling casings and stabilizing the hole with drilling mud. The pump can be used to transfer the drilling mud into the hole from the tank, then used in the hole to circulate the mud and finally transfer back to the solids control equipment.

When high head or difficult material-handling applications are encountered, the MH and MHL series of hydraulically driven submersible pump heads provide a good solution. These pumps have been used successfully at the Primate Pits at Lion Country Safari in Loxhatchee, Fla., where the containment ponds, moats and water features were emptied with the model 400HPND/6MH package.

Another application at the Master Pump Station on Key Biscayne, Fla., called for a pump capable of the initial dewatering of a coffer cell at 40 ft wide by 60 ft long and 30 ft deep. This required subsequent maintenance dewatering for two months during the construction process.

Overall, hydraulic submersible pumps are a good option for a number of applications because of their size, performance and flexibility in installation.

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About the Author

David Handy