FAQs

Answered on this page:


Are SteelPumps submersible?

Yes, they are rated IP68 and can be permanently immersed to a depth of 5m. They are submersible pumps.


Can they also be installed dry (surface mounted)?

Yes, SteelPumps are cooled by the water they are pumping, so unlike other submersible pumps they don’t have to be submerged or given ventilation to keep cool. When surface mounted and pumping cold water they will typically run cooler than air cooled pumps.


How do SteelPumps compare against other makes of pump?

For use in booster sets and other surface mounted uses, SteelPumps generate very low noise and vibration because both the pump and motor body are surrounded in the fluid being pumped. Additionally they can be installed in a sound insulated enclosure as they do not need air ventilation. One of several Technical Advantages.

As a submersible pump they will not suffer if they are only partially immersed, unlike some other submersible pumps which need to be fully immersed when running for effective motor cooling. Consider checking with other pump suppliers if their pumps are designed to run partially submerged. If not then it impacts the effective tank capacity.


What is the difference between types P, B and Pro?

Pro series pumps are built with machined brass front and rear flanges, these hold the bearings at each end of the motor shaft. The body is also built entirely of stainless steel. These are our strongest pumps in terms of longevity under harsh conditions and are recommended for all commercial or high usage installations.

Type B has some parts made from polypropylene (pp) technopolymer. These are a glass reinforced thermoplastic resin with high strength and rigidity which can structurally replace parts traditionally made of metal, reducing weight and cost. Parts made of this material in B model pumps are the front and rear flanges and rear electrical cover.

Type P is the same as type B with the pump body also constructed from pp technopolymer.


How long is the warranty?

A 2 year warranty is offered on all SteelPumps, provided that it has been installed and commissioned correctly. For more information see our Servicing and Repairs page.


What is Commissioning?

Testing that the installation is functioning as it should, and that all required fittings are in place such as intakes and non-return valves, and that all parts such as pressure vessels, controls systems, and protective devices are correctly adjusted. This is a particularly important process for automatic pumps of any make, which should be tested for correct start/stop operation, and for pressure integrity through adjoining pipework and appliances to avoid excessive restarts.


Who can I get to assist/install my pump?

The instructions we supply are usually enough. However, please see our Distributor and Approved Service Engineers page to find an installer in your area.

You may also want to check out our System Design Notes page when designing your water pumping system.


Do you have a troubleshooting guide?

Here is our troubleshooting guide for SteelPumps.


How do I fix suction problems?

Most problems associated with non-submerged applications are caused by a loss of water or entry of air into the suction hose (particularly when the pump is above the water level). Do ensure that ALL the connections are well sealed, a good quality non-return valve is fitted to the end of the hose, and that the hose and pump are primed with water before use. Note that the automatic SteelPumps are supplied with a non-return valve to be fitted to the pump intake side (directly onto the pump), therefore priming the pump will not automatically prime the hose connected thereafter. A quick coupler will allow for initial priming of the hose. Also ensure that a good quality reinforced suction hose is used, a standard pvc hose will flatten when suction is applied, often creating a blockage. See our troubleshooting guide for further information.

Failure to stop when outlet is closed (automatic versions X-AJE, X-AMO, X-AMV)

In most cases a leak on the outlet pipework will be the cause of this fault. The vast majority (over 95%) of pumps returned to us with this reported problem are found to be working correctly. Check the integrity of all joints. Where the pump supplies float valves (toilets, header tanks etc) check the water levels in these tanks to ensure the valves are not passing water when closed. (If they are then the water level will increase until the overflow is reached). An isolation valve fitted after the pump will help to diagnose this problem. As will carrying out a pressure drop test on the delivery system. A pressure gauge attached to the delivery network will also show if the pressure is dropping. Be aware that a drop in pressure may be the result of a very small leak that may not be visually readily apparent. See our troubleshooting guide for further information.

Note – Automatic SteelPumps must be fitted with the non-return valve supplied. This should be fitted and properly sealed to the pump’s inlet. If not sealed properly pressure will be lost back through the inlet and the pump will continue to run.

Recommendations

It is strongly recommended that pumps be installed submerged whenever possible (thus avoiding suction problems entirely).

The addition of a small pressure vessel (even 0.3 litres, or 1, 10 or 20 litre capacity) to the delivery pipework will alleviate frequent activation of an automatic pump. This also will effectively compensate for mildly defective float valves in toilet cisterns, etc.

SteelPumps are clean water pumps, it is essential the inlet is fitted with a strainer (even if the supply tank is expected to contain only filtered rain water). We also recommend consideration be given to a strainer on the mains water feed. Mains water often contains grit and particles from time to time. Grit can affect float valves in some circumstances.

  • Never use the steelpump for draining ditches or ponds. You need a “trash pump” for this (a totally different kind of pump).
  • Never lift the pump by the mains cable. This may damage the seal protecting the electrics. Always use a rope or chain attached to the top bracket.

Please contact us first if you intend to use a pump for anything other than clean water, or if you intend to use it for industrial process, recirculating coolants, etc.


Can SteelPumps be repaired when they eventually wear out?

Yes. All parts are available from stock in the UK, along with parts lists, diagrams, and technical support. See our spare parts lists. There are no tamper-proof assemblies or fittings, no “non-servicable” sub-assemblies, and no special tools required.

SteelPumps are a truly sustainable and ecological pump.


What after sales support do you offer?

SteelPumps are backed by UK based after-sales support. Pumps that become damaged or eventually wear out are usually repairable, and we will supply the parts to those who wish to repair or recondition their own pump. We offer a free diagnostic service for pumps returned to us, call for an RMA number. But please see our Troubleshooting Guide first.


How long is the mains cable?

The standard mains cable is 10m in length, longer cable lengths can be fitted upon request.


Can I use a Float Switch?

Yes. We will fit float switches, factory fitted and tested, to ease site installation.


Do I need a 3 Phase pump if my building has 3 Phase electricity?

No, you can use a single phase if desired, although 3 phase motors are often preferred in commercial buildings to avoid unbalanced phase loading and reduce wiring costs, although for small motors the additional cost of 3 phase controls often outweighs any benefit . Most of our pumps are available in single or 3 phase, except automatic versions which are single phase only.


What applications are SteelPumps suitable for?

X-AJE, X-JE, X-AMO, X-MO, X-AMV, X-MV are suited to commercial and domestic pressure boosting, shallow wells and springs, rainwater harvesting, water features/fountains and other clean water applications requiring water to be pumped under pressure over a distance through narrow pipework.

X-MN, X-A2CP, X-2CP deliver more flow but at a lower pressure. They are suitble for tank transfer such as filling bowsers and industrial processes. They work most efficiently where water needs to be delivered short distances without the need to overcome high lifts or significant pipe friction.

X-VISCO can pump heavy oils and viscous liquids, X-MARE can pump seawater, WP15 can pump fuel oils (heated or cold), WP-15 and X-MARE are flexible impeller progressive cavity pumps, X-VISCO is a gear pump.

If in any doubt, please Contact Us for advice.


What applications are SteelPumps not suited for?

Most SteelPumps, except special purpose models, are designed for clean water only without abrasives or solids exceeding 2mm.  As clean water pumps they are not designed to pump salt water, heavily chlorinated water, acids, fuels, and heavy oil. We have pumps specifically for seawater or oil. They are not to be used for fuel transfer, swimming pools, garage sumps, bilge and marine wash-down, flood water drainage, sewage/slurry, de-watering trenches, food, cement pumping, etc.

For pumps suitable for oil or seawater (salt water) please see our Oil Pumps and Seawater Pumps pages.


What is the In-built controller for?

The built-in controller electronically senses the pressure and flow of water through the pump to decide if a tap, cistern or other appliance it is supplying needs water. It then switches the pump on if needed, and off when the demand for water has been met. It replaces the need for an external pressure switch.


What do the product codes mean, and what are the differences between models?

Product Code Description
X- All models start with an X and a dash.
SS Soft Start system fitted.
A Indicates whether the pumps operation is automatically controlled, or not. In manual versions this digit is omitted.
JE/MO/JV/MV/MN/MF/ 2CP
Indicates the pump type;

  • JE  – Jet pump horizontal single stage
  • MO – Horizontal multi-stage
  • JV – Jet pump vertical single stage
  • MV – Vertical multi stage
  • MN – Single Impeller
  • MF – Fountain pump vertical multi stage (high flow)
  • 2CP – Double Impeller
80/100/120/150/200

1204/1505/2006

Motor Power in HP (Horsepower);

  • 80 – 0.8HP
  • 100 – 1HP
  • 120 – 1.2HP
  • 150 – 1.5HP
  • 200 – 2HP

HF models (except XMV150PRO)

  • 1204 – 1.2HP
  • 1505 – 1.5HP
  • 2006 – 2HP
P/B/PRO Indicates build type P, B or PRO (PRO is omitted from the actual product label, only P, B or blank)
FLO/CE/HF FLO = Integrated float switch, CE = External Capacitor, HF =- High Flow version.
T230/T400 Supply Voltage.

  • If omitted – ~230Vac
  • T230 – ~230Vac
  • T400 – ~400Vac


What is a “Jet Pump”?

A Jet Pump pumps recycles a small amount of water back into to the pump inlet where it enters at high speed through a small nozzle called a venturi or jet-ejector. This increases the suction ability of the pump which in turn increases overall pressure. It uses a small amount of power from the outlet to make a large difference at the inlet, similar to the idea of a turbocharger on a car.


What is the NRV for?

A Non-Return Valve allows water to pass through a pipe in one direction only, using a flap and a spring. These are often used to prevent pumped water falling back down a pipe when a pump is switched off, and hence having to pump that water a second time, along with the hammering and other side effects of air ingress. In an automatic pump it is particularly important as it maintains pressure within the pump once the motor has switched off. Without a Non-Return Valve, an automatic pump will cycle continuously as it will always see a pressure drop the moment it switches off and will switch back on, thinking a tap or other point of demand is constantly calling for water.


Do you have external Pump Controllers?

We supply various control systems, assembled here in Wales. These range from basic pump pressure switches, and basic electric switch configurations, through to fully configurable multi-pump controllers, tank controllers, header tank systems and rainwater management units, etc. These controllers can be viewed on our parent site 3P Technik UK Ltd.


Should I use a PLC to control my rainwater system?

We think not, and we can offer something far more fit for purpose. PLCs are a “one-fits-all” solution made of several generic interface modules around a central controller with easy to learn but basic “block-logic” software. While they are versatile, the multi-module approach creates multiple possible points of failure and they lack the software features of a purpose built control unit.

Our controllers are “embedded systems”, a single microprocessor controlled circuit board with power supplies, inputs and outputs all built in, designed specifically to run pumps. They are electrically and physically tough, easy to service, intuitive, upgradeable, and with advanced functionality.

Please Contact Us with your requirements.