Pump Express is a New Jersey-based distributor of commercial and industrial pumps specializing in wastewater and heating applications. Our team of system engineers, industry veterans and highly skilled technicians works at the interface of manufacturer and consumer to size, sell, install, troubleshoot and service pumps for thousands of national customers each year.
Over the last decade, increased production and use of plastics and synthetic fibers has created new challenges for the wastewater industry. Unlike processed materials such as cotton and paper, which disintegrate in water, synthetic fibers remain intact. When they pass through a sewage ejector pump they stretch rather then tear, creating a “net” that traps all other debris coming into the pump. This is the number one cause of sewage ejector pump clogs.
Pump Express specs and installs a large number of shredder pumps in commercial and industrial applications. The typical customer already has a sewage ejector pump that is regularly clogging. When I hear somebody say that they have an existing system that’s consistently clogged and down, I tell them it’s time to think about getting a shredder pump.
Traditionally, grinder pumps were used to break down synthetics, but they are only suited to pump low volume at high heads. There is an entire segment of the industry that requires high volume at low heads, and this is the segment that cried out for the development of a shredder pump. BJM Pumps, a small Connecticut-based manufacturer, was first to answer the call.
Zoeller pioneered a grinder design incorporating reversing technology and an impeller capable of pumping sewage in either direction. BJM took the concept a step further by developing a pump that shreds clogging debris down to a fine slurry, minimizing maintenance substantially. It’s a niche product – a Ferrari to Zoeller’s Mercedes, comparatively speaking – but we are seeing a steady demand for its ability to effortlessly shred everything from diapers to running shoes. Evidently a woman’s wrath is one tough exception. In a classic example, a shredder pump clogged when a wedding dress bound-up in rope was dumped in a sewage pit.
I see shredder pumps making up between 50% – 65% of our overall sewage ejector sales in the coming years.
HIGH TEMPERATURE PUMPS
Another trend the Pump Express staff is seeing in commercial and industrial applications is the use of high temperature wastewater pumps. In applications involving everything from boiler blow-downs to process waste, heat is coming into contact with wastewater pump motors and burning them out. In traditional high temperature wastewater pumps, or column pumps, the motor is installed outside of the wastewater pit through a variety of moving parts that tend to require frequent maintenance. Enter the submersible high temperature pump. By insulating the motor from heat and moisture and minimizing moving parts, the submersibles make it possible for the entire pump to be submerged. This innovation has led 80% – 90% of our clients with existing column pump systems to upgrade to submersibles.
Here again Zoeller and BJM Pumps deliver the goods, providing viable solutions for potentially problematic high temperature wastewater applications.
Pump Express was recently contacted by a sports club with a pair of 18-foot column pumps. For years, any time these pumps malfunctioned, it took 2-3 days to disassemble the pumps in order to remove them from the wet well for servicing. When the call came in to replace them, we suggested a switch to submersibles, but the customer was skeptical. We agreed to order the replacement column pumps and sold the customer a Zoeller 3161 submersible high temperature pump to keep the system up and running until the 18- footers arrived. After two weeks, the customer called to cancel the column pumps and ordered half a dozen high temperature submersibles instead.
COMPACT HVAC PUMPS
We’re living in a time of dwindling resources, and space is no exception. For many Pump Express customers less space used by pumping equipment translates to more revenue generated by leasing space. This less-is-more trend applies to energy expenditure as well as size, with compact variable frequency drive pumps topping the hit list I have endeavored to compile here.
In commercial booster pumps, Armstrong Pumps’ dualArm vertical in-line pumps are a popular choice for packing twice the pumping power into half the area by incorporating two Series 4300 or 4380 pumps in a single casing.
By delivering high horsepower and facilitating easy maintenance in a split-coupled design that can be installed in the ceiling, Taco Pumps’ KS Series is a model of the kind of compact efficiency our customers appreciate and are seeking out.
Bell & Gossett Pumps’ VSX Series is another favorite. The multiple suction and discharge flange configurations of these split-case, centrifugal pumps nearly halve the overall equipment footprint while providing all the advantages of Bell and Gossett’s earlier vertical split case models, and that’s a level of compact elegance and power that practically sells itself at Pump Express, given the right application.
About the Author:
Fred Hettinger is an application engineer at Pump Express, a New Jersey-based pump distributor and national service center. Fred brings an encyclopedic knowledge of pump manufacturers, specs, and applications to the task of delivering successful pump solutions to thousands of customers each year. Difficult wastewater applications are his specialty. Visit Pump Express on-line at www.pumpexpress.com