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Choosing and Maintaining the Right Diesel Water Pump

by Sally Smith on Mar 25, 2014

Diesel water pumps are suitable for both agricultural and industrial applications. To make optimum use of these pumps, consumers must know a few things about what to look for during purchase and how to maintain them.

How to Determine Pump Performance

The performance of a pump is determined by its pressure and volume. Volume is measured in gallons per minute or GPM while pressure is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI. The pressure is directly related to head, which refers to the water column that the pressure of the pump exerts. Pressure is calculated by multiplying the head in feet by 0.433.

A decrease in head leads to an increase in flow and vice versa, and buyers must trade off the rate of flow depending on the amount of head they need. Some of the factors determining the performance of water pumps are elevation and length of hose used.

The head or pressure of a pump and its flow are known as the duty or duty point. The efficiency of a pump will vary based on possible duties. If the pressure changes when performing the same duty, however, it means something is wrong.

Another important term is the lift, which refers to the vertical distance between the water line and centerline of the impeller, the rotating disc with vanes that push water forward using centrifugal force.

Diesel Water Pumps

Maintaining Diesel Water Pumps

The maintenance of diesel engines hinges on two systems: lubrication and cooling systems.

• Lubrication System

The combustion of diesel produces large amounts of carbon that get into the lube oil. When the carbon accumulates in the oil, it lowers its lubricating ability significantly. Carbon also affects the oil’s cooling ability by hindering the transfer of heat. Sulfuric acid builds up in the lube oil with time, leading to the damage of bearings.

It is therefore important to change the lube oil more frequently. Typically, diesel lube oil should be changed after every 100 hours, and this is assuming that recommended oil grade is used.

Going for cheaper oils and filters will prove costly in the long run.

• Cooling System

Diesel engines operate under high compression that leads to fast build-up of heat. If the cooling system does not work efficiently, the temperature can rise significantly within one minute. The cooling systems in diesel engines are even more critical than in gasoline types because even minor overheat conditions can cause serious damages. Overheating happens faster while the internal components are not very tolerant of damage.

The cooling system must be inspected regularly to detect faults early. Users must also ensure the system remains clean by not adding straight coolant or simply pouring in water. The coolant must be mixed in the recommended ratios to cool effectively and prevent corrosion.


Vibration in any part of the pump, especially the engine, will damage the engine. Components that will suffer include gaskets and hoses.

The suction line is prone to damage in pumps that work above the water level, and it needs closer attention.

Poor performance of diesel water pumps is caused by two primary factors: incorrect selection of pump and poor maintenance. Poor performance leads to reduced productivity and increased pumping costs. Proper pump selection and regular maintenance ensures the lowest running costs.



Sally Smith

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