Choosing the Right Trash Pump for Successful Dewatering

Successfully dewatering your pipeline, mining, excavation or industrial construction application requires knowledge of the terrain and environment you’re working in for dewatering with your industrial trash pump to flow seamlessly.

Like most industrial equipment, industrial trash pumps come in multiple sizes and have several accessory options.

It can be a daunting task to figure out which trash pump is right to remove standing water from your jobsite. Choosing the wrong trash pump for your application can result in weak performance, or even damage to the pump’s internal components.

Here are factors to consider for getting it right the first time when it comes to successfully dewatering your jobsite:

What’s the Difference Between a Semi Trash Pump and a Trash Pump?


Before you get started with selecting the right industrial trash pump for your application, you will need to understand the difference between what is referred to as a “semi trash pump” and a trash pump.

In a nutshell, semi-trash pumps can handle smaller debris, whereas trash pumps are designed to handle larger debris. Semi-trash pumps operate similar to centrifugal pumps, but have a larger discharge opening for small debris and sentiments to pass through.

A trash pump can handle larger debris, usually ranging from 0.75 to 1.25 inches in diameter.

Common applications semi trash pumps are used in include:

  • Removing standing water from flooded basements and other emergency applications
  • Moving oil and other fluids from one tank to another
  • Dewatering excavations, manholes, utility vaults and swimming pools

Common applications industrial trash pumps are used in include:

  • Dust suppression
  • Transferring liquids or dewatering in sewage bypass or repair applications
  • Dewatering gravel pits
  • Stream or creek river diversion

Understand the Terrain You’ll be Working On

PT3 Semi Trash Pump

Understanding the terrain on the site you’ll be dewatering on is important when choosing a trash pump for a number of reasons.

One of the main reasons is because the size and type of solids you’ll be pumping will help you determine what type of trash pump to purchase or rent.

If you’re pumping water that will contain smaller solids and debris, such as sand or mud, a small, portable or semi trash pump will do the trick.

If you’re pumping water that contains larger solids, such as pebbles, stones, leaves and twigs, you will require a trash pump with a larger hose diameter.

The rule of thumb for selecting an industrial trash pump is selecting a model where the hose diameter is twice the diameter of the solids that will be passing through the unit, which is measured in inches. For example, a 3″ trash pump has the capacity to handle solids up to 1 1/2″ in diameter.

Another reason why you will need to determine the kind of terrain you’ll be operating on is because it will help you choose the material of hosing you’ll need with your trash pump.

For example, on a rocky terrain, a lay-flat hose is more likely to be teared, so rubber hosing is a better option.

Wondering how to figure out what kind of hose is best for your dewatering needs? Read on – we’ve got you covered!

Select the Right Hose Size

Industrial Hosing For Axiom Industrial Trash Pump

As mentioned above, selecting the right hose size is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing the right trash pump for your dewatering needs.

Aside from choosing the right diameter, there are a few other factors to take into consideration when choosing the right hose for your trash pump.

Consider the distance the hose will run over, and consider using a “lay flat” hose if the distance is long, as it’s much lighter than a rubber hose.

Another factor to consider when it comes to hosing is choosing the correct length of suction hose. There is a common misconception that the longer the suction hose is, the better the dewatering outcome will be. However; using the minimum amount of suction is best (20 – 40 ft. of hose is ideal).

If you’re pumping long distances or pumping up steep, vertical terrain, it may be necessary to upsize the hose or add another pump inline.

Learn more tips for selecting the right hose for your trash pump.

Other Considerations

While selecting the correct size of industrial trash pump and hose, and determining the jobsite terrain are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right trash pump for your dewatering needs, some other important factors to take into consideration are:

  • Consider maintenance-friendly features which allow for quick resolution on-site to prevent downtime – is there easy access to components which may become clogged or need to be replaced during operation?
  • Consider whether it is more cost-beneficial to rent or purchase your trash pump. Need help figuring this out? Read our blog on Should I Rent or Buy My Construction Equipment.
  • For environmentally-sensitive applications, look for a trash pump which includes a containment bund to prevent on-site contamination
  • For dewatering applications requiring long continuous run times, choose a trash pump with self priming and long-run time capabilities when left unattended for low risk operation
  • If you’re dewatering salt water, ensure your trash pump unit has a stainless steel impeller to avoid corrosion
  • Consider if you need a trash pump unit that is easily portable
  • If you are dewatering lake or creek water, consider using screens on the end on the suction hose to keep out garbage, debris, fish or other aquatic life

By carefully taking these factors into consideration, you’ll be able to quickly, successfully and cost-effectively dewater your jobsite with zero downtime.

Axiom Equipment Group’s team has decades of combined experience in equipment rental, sales and service. Working with other internationally accredited organizations, we have the unique ability to provide on-demand products for sale and rent. With our large fleet of new, reliable, well-maintained site equipment, we can meet large project demands quickly and supply quality equipment for smaller projects cost-effectively.

At Axiom Equipment Group, we believe in ZERO DOWNTIME so much that we stand behind it with a unique iron clad promise that combines a reliable equipment fleet with a rapid response program, around-the-clock availability, expert service and a financing option to fit every budget. Gain peace of mind knowing that if your equipment breaks down, we have the inventory to repair and replace it on the fly!

Axiom Equipment Group Trash Pump

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