How to choose a pumping station

You can simply pump water with a pump: throw in the hose, turn on the pump and control the process – nothing complicated. But if you want everything to happen “by itself”, and the water just flows from the tap, you cannot do without a pumping station. About what a pumping station is, what they are and how they differ – in this guide.

What is a pumping station
A pumping station is a set of a pump, a hydraulic accumulator and a pressure regulator (relay). The hydraulic accumulator is a metal tank into which a rubber bulb filled with water is lowered. The air pumped between the pear and the walls of the tank compresses the pear as the water flows, maintaining the pressure in the water supply for some time. A pressure regulator is needed to turn off the pump when the pressure drops below the set value and turn it on when it reaches it. This is a minimum set, the equipment of some pumping stations may be wider – it may include a pressure gauge to control water pressure, a dry-running sensor to protect the pump, a mode switch, etc.

In principle, it is not necessary to buy a ready-made pumping station – you can assemble it yourself: from a pump , a hydraulic accumulator and a pressure regulator . If you want to make a pumping station based on a borehole pump , such a solution can save you a decent amount. But a station based on a garden pump (surface) is easier to buy ready-made. True, at first you will have to spend some time to understand their characteristics and understand which station you need.

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Types of pumping stations
First, decide that you need a surface pumping station, that is, designed to lift clean water from shallow depths (up to 8 m). If you do not need to pump out clean water, but, for example, sewage, then you need a sewage pumping station . And to lift water from a depth of more than 8 m, you need a borehole pumping station.

If you are going to organize plumbing in a residential building using a pumping station, also keep in mind that surface pumps are noisy and vibrate. In a wooden or frame house, the operation of the pump will be very audible, and in a stone station it is better to place it somewhere in the basement.

Characteristics of surface pumping stations
The maximum head (maximum working pressure) determines how high the pump is able to raise water relative to the installation point of the pump itself. But the lifting height, for example, 40 m, does not mean at all that at this height it will be possible to safely use the shower.

A lifting height of 40 m means that the water from the tap will stop flowing at 40 m. And even at a height of 39 m, it will barely flow. For normal use of the tap, it is necessary that it has a pressure of at least 2, and preferably 3 bars.

1 bar corresponds to 10 meters of head.

That is, if you have 10 meters from the point of installation of the pump to the highest point of draw-off, then for comfortable use the maximum pump head should be 3 (bar) x 10 + 10 = 40 meters.

But that’s not all – a horizontally laid pipe also creates resistance to the flow of water and reduces the maximum head. It is approximately believed that 1 meter of a horizontal pipe reduces the head by 0.1 m.Thus, if the pump is located 50 meters from the house, and the height difference is 10 meters, then the head should already be 3×10 + 10 + 50×0.1 = 45 meters …

And if the station is supposed to be used for irrigation, what then? Then be sure to consider the type and number of sprinklers (sprinklers). Unfortunately, sprinkler manufacturers often indicate the area to be watered, but almost never at what pressure this area is reached. But the irrigated area indicated in the characteristics of the sprinkler will be achieved only at the maximum working pressure, which for some species is 7 bar. That corresponds to 70 meters of head – and this is without taking into account the rise in water!

If the pressure in your system is low, it is better to use impulse and oscillating sprinklers for irrigation – they provide a large irrigation area at a pressure of 2 bar. Static and rotary sprinklers require a pressure of 3, preferably 4 bar. Static sprinklers need a head of 40 meters or more to work well, even if the pump is right at the lawn level.

Performance (flow rate) is the second most important characteristic of a pump, closely related to the maximum head. Note that the specifications indicate the maximum capacity at zero lift height. With each meter of ascent, productivity drops to 0 at maximum height. The dependence of performance on altitude is non-linear and is usually given in the station passport.

What should be the performance? For domestic water supply, it is desirable that the pump provides a minimum of 10 l / min at one point of parsing. If several points can work at the same time, the required capacity is multiplied by the corresponding number.

If you plan to use multiple sprinklers at the same time, the required capacity is multiplied by the appropriate number.

Having decided on the parameters, find on the graph of the dependence of productivity on height the point corresponding to the required maximum head. Performance at this point should not be lower than required. What if the station as a whole suits, but there is not enough pressure for high-located breakdown points? You can use a booster pump – it will raise the pressure in the part of the water supply to the desired value.

The pump power, although it affects the above characteristics, is inconvenient for selection. Therefore, it should be used only to control the correctness of the choice – in a row of stations that are approximately similar in pressure and productivity, one should choose the one with the higher power. And vice versa – you should be careful about the station, the power of which is much lower than that of models comparable to it in other characteristics.

The volume of the tank (accumulator) affects the operating mode of the pump. The larger the volume of the tank, the less often the pump will have to be turned on / off to maintain the required pressure and the higher the efficiency of its operation. In addition, frequent on / off switching will shorten the pump’s lifespan.

The larger the tank, the more expensive it is. Therefore, its volume should be selected based on the pump performance and the mode of use of the pumping station.

For domestic water supply, the volume of the expansion tank should be equal to twice the planned capacity in l / min. For example, if the planned capacity is 20 l / min (1-2 persons, 2 parsing points), then the volume of the tank should be 40–50 l. It is possible and less – 20-30 liters, but then, when disassembled from two points at the same time, the pump will turn on / off several times a minute, which can shorten its service life.

When watering, the tank often works not as a storage device, but as a damper – sprinklers take all the pump’s capacity, so it works continuously during watering. So the tank is more likely to be used to soften water hammer during pump starts, and its volume can be much smaller. If during watering you use a pump “one hundred percent”, then the volume of the tank can be minimal – 1-2 liters.


However, if you use a watering gun (its consumption is low) or you have drip irrigation systems, then the volume of the tank should be larger – not less than 1/2 of the capacity in l / min.

A dry-running sensor stops the pump if there is no water in the suction hose. Dry operation is very harmful for the pump, a couple of minutes of operation in this mode is enough to damage it. Overheating protection may or may not save the pump in the absence of a dry-running sensor. Therefore, if you take water from any reservoir (barrel, well, artificial pond of small volume), then a dry running sensor is necessary. But even if you take water for irrigation from a lake or river, a dry-running sensor will still not be superfluous – it will save the pump if the suction hose is damaged.

The pipe connection determines the diameter of the inlet and outlet pipes. The parameter is not fundamental – from any size, you can switch to any size with adapters. On the other hand, the pipe diameter usually corresponds to the pump capacity. If the diameter of the pipes is much less than the diameter of the nozzles, this will reduce the productivity of the station.


The maximum depth of water intake from surface pumps is approximately the same – 7-8 m. This is due to the physical characteristics of the behavior of water at low pressure. Due to the vacuum in the pump casing, when water is taken from a greater depth, cavitation phenomena begin, destroying the pump mechanisms. However, there are ejector pumps capable of “getting” water from tens of meters.


However, they do not create serious competition for borehole pumps due to their low efficiency – the ejector uses part of the already raised water to increase the kinetic energy of the flow. So an ejector pump has a capacity 35-50% lower than a conventional pump of the same power. In addition, the remote ejector requires two hoses instead of one. But sometimes the ejector pump is the only solution to the “water issue”. For example, if it is necessary to raise water to a great height from shallow reservoirs, where it is not possible to completely lower a long borehole pump.

If the water you intend to pump comes with silt or sand, pay attention to the permitted particle diameter . Turbid water signals that it contains fine particles of silt or clay. For such water, it is desirable that the allowable diameter of solid particles at the pump is 0.1, and preferably 0.5 mm. For wells and wells drilled into a sandy aquifer, the situation is different – the water may look crystal clear, but contain grains of sand up to a millimeter in diameter. For such water, this parameter should be 0.5-1 mm or more.

The degree of protection of a pumping station means that it is protected from dust and moisture. The IP44 level of protection implies protection from splashes and rain, but not from dust – it is not recommended to leave such a model outdoors without protection. If you do not have the opportunity to equip at least a simple canopy for the station, choose among the models with IP54 protection.

Choice options
To arrange irrigation of a small lawn with one or two sprinklers, you can use inexpensive pumping stations with a small accumulator .


A pumping station with a maximum head of 25–35 meters and a tank volume of 20–50 liters will be enough to provide water for a small one-story country house .

If you need to raise the water to a great height, the maximum head will need to be more – 35-50 m .


If you do not have enough pressure on a branch of the water supply, use a booster pump .

If you need to raise water from a great depth, and it is impossible to use a borehole pump for some reason, pay attention to ejector pumps .


adding a comment

Comments 3
User avatar
6 months ago
The hydroaccumulator is a metal tank into which an air-inflated rubber bulb is lowered.

Actually, on the contrary … The rubber reservoir of the receiver just stores the water, and the air is between the rubber and the tank body.

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User avatar
6 months ago
Yes, I wrote it without thinking. Thanks, corrected.

To answer
User avatar
2 months ago
Modified by the author
“If you need to lift water from a great height.” Raise water from a great height … From a height, the water itself will drain. Some kind of nonsense is written. And this is not the only site that suffers. I have not found a clear answer in which cases it is necessary to use just a surface pump, in which a pump with a built-in ejector. Their suction depth is the same 8m and in practice, in my conditions, both work. When do you need a pump with a built-in ejector? 😊