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PUMP COMPARISONS

Steve Wassenaar of Austates Equipment reviews the different types of pesticide pumps on the market. 

Pumps, pesticide pumps that is, are something that is forgotten about once the initial purchase has been made. They sit on the back of your rig and hopefully churn out endless litres with little effort or complaint, and when they don’t they are generally replaced with a similar pump because ‘that’s what I’m used to’.

In this article we are endeavouring to look at the different types of pumping equipment that is available to the pest technician. Even though you know your pump, it may not be the best pump for your application. For example, a technician that generally only pumps up reticulation systems may only need a high volume lower pressure pump like a fire-fighter.

Then there are the technicians that mainly do general pests in rental properties, they may only require a 12-volt electric type. The 12-volt unit not only saves money initially, but also enables the technician to do before or after hours work with no noise pollution issues.

What follows are some of the advantages and disadvantages for the different types of pumps used in the pest management industry.

Diaphragm pumps (e.g. AR30)

Advantages:

  • High pressure
  • Self-priming
  • Can usually run a couple of hoses simultaneously without pressure drop
  • Available in both petrol and 240 volt.

Disadvantages:

  • Higher initial expenditure
  • Requires a higher pressure rated hose
  • High maintenance due to more working parts, for example, diaphragms, pulsators and valves.

Turbine pumps (e.g. Nova)

Advantages:

  • Very low maintenance due to design simplicity
  • Highly compact design saves space in vehicle
  • Less expensive than a diaphragm pump
  • Medium pressure/medium volume.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive initial purchase price
  • Average volume supply
  • Not all models designed as self-priming (but in practice usually do self-prime).

Centrifugal pumps (e.g. Fire fighter)

Advantages:

  • High volume
  • Ideal for reticulation pump ups
  • Can be used for general pests, however slightly down on pressure
  • Very cost effective compared to previous pumps mentioned.

Disadvantages:

  • Increase in initial plumbing costs due to larger fittings and plumbing area required
  • Most fire fighter pumps will require a Viton kit to be installed
  • Lower pressure than the previous pumps mentioned, does not have the pressure to drive the solution through long lengths of small diameter hose
  • Larger in size than turbine pumps.

12-volt electric pumps (e.g. Shurflo)

Advantages:

  • Quiet operation
  • Cheap to purchase
  • Available with Viton seals
  • Plumbing costs are cheaper.

Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for high volume termite applications
  • Shorter working life compared to petrol-powered pumps
  • Requires a 12 volt power source

When considering pump replacement you really need to re-evaluate the work you’re doing. The type of work that you were performing when you started your business may have changed. So simply replacing with same for same may not be your best option.

There are many different styles of pumping equipment available to the technician to suit every budget and application. Next time your pump is in need of replacement, have a talk to your supplier about what pump suits your specific needs and budget.

Steve Wassenaar, Austates Equipment Pty Ltd