If you need to move water from one container to another, a portable water pump is a handy tool for your arsenal. You can use these pumps for various tasks, including removing flood water, draining aquariums, or recirculating nutrient-rich hydroponic solutions. They’re available in multiple configurations, and each one has its own unique characteristics. To determine which one is right for you, consider the power, fuel source, and intended usage.
Some portable water pumps run on gasoline or diesel fuel, while others are powered by electricity. You’ll also find portable water pumps that have a battery backup for use in emergencies or outdoor situations where there’s no power available. Choose a water pump that suits your environment and power sources, and don’t forget to pick up necessary accessories such as float switches or water alarms.
Pumps work by creating a partial vacuum that draws in water from the surrounding environment. A centrifugal pump does this by displaces air with its rotating impeller—a kind of mechanical straw that sucks up water and air. Water pumps are best for transferring clean water, but some models can handle other liquids such as saltwater and nutrient-rich hydroponic solutions.
Some utility water pumps can move a lot of water—known as total dynamic head (or simply head). If you’re trying to lift water over a certain distance, check the pump’s performance chart for a measurement of its ability to do so. This is typically listed alongside the power, speed, and wattage information. portable water pump