Suction problems with garden or booster pumps

We frequently hear that self-priming pumps (e.g. garden and booster pumps) have difficulty drawing in water. In most instances, it involves water that needs to be pumped from wells or boreholes that are several metres deep. Although people often think it is a mechanical problem, in 99% of the cases the cause of the problem may be much simpler.

  • Maximum suction depth
  • Air, water and hoses
  • How do I solve this problem? (step-by-step)
  • Problem not solved?

Maximum suction depth

The maximum suction depth of regular garden / booster pumps is about 8-9 metres, which is indicated with each pump. These pumps are not suitable for drawing water from a depth of more than nine metres, and we therefore advise opting for a borehole pump for water situated at greater depths. The pump is placed in the well or borehole, and is capable of pumping up water owing to the high pressure used.

Air, water, and hoses

Self-priming pumps (garden / booster pumps) are equipped with a suction hose and a discharge hose. Once the suction hose is immersed in the well, the pump can be started. If the pump fails to reach its full suction capacity, this is usually due to air being present. A tiny hole, a non-sealing coupling piece between the hose and pump, or a kinked hose may be the reason the pump is not working efficiently.

How do I solve this problem? (step-by-step)

Step 1: Check the suction depth

Try to measure from what depth the water needs to be pumped. If it is more than 8-9 metres, the device will be unable to pump up the water.

Step 2: Check the suction hose for constrictions

Check the suction hose for kinks and/or constrictions, and remove them.

Step 3: Check the suction hose for holes

A suction hose is fitted with a non-return valve at the bottom, which ensures that the water runs in one direction. Disconnect the hose from the pump, fill it entirely with water, and reconnect it to the pump. When the pump is switched on, the entire hose can be checked for air bubbles. If bubbles appear, the leak can quickly and easily be closed using a piece of tape.

Step 4: Check the coupling piece of the suction hose on the pump

All the pumps and hoses we supply are fitted with a threaded connection, which in some cases is not 100% airtight even though it is a perfect fit. Use Teflon tape to seal the system to prevent air from entering it.  Wrap the tape around the threaded connection of the suction hose and screw the hose onto the pump. This will ensure an air-tight connection.

Problem not solved?

Please feel free to contact us if the above steps do not solve your problem. Together we will find a suitable solution.

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