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Pump buyers must consider solutions holistically

Supplier: Hydro Innovations By: Arthur Chan
28 November, 2011

In times of economic uncertainty, cost is a major consideration in any equipment purchase. However, for prospective buyers of pumps and pumping solutions, they should avoid looking solely at the price.

On paper, a cheaper pumping solution may seem more economic, but it can mean you'll end up with a sub-par pumping system and a lengthy maintenance bill.

"When people buy pumps, they need to look out for what we refer to as the pump's life cycle cost," Garry Grant, General Manager of Hydro Innovations, told IndustrySearch.

"Sometimes, the upfront cost of a pump can just be a fraction of the cost of its entire life."

Grant says it is a common mistake to purchase a pumping solution based solely on pricing, since a pump's installation is not reflective of its entire cost - the upfront costs can range from 50 per cent  down to 5 per cent of  total life cycle cost.

Such costs can incur from a pump's general running costs, repairs, maintenance and even choking - referring to the costs associated with clearing a pump when its flow is compromised.

"Sometimes buyers just look at the cheapest alternative when choosing pumping solutions when they should actually think longer term - what they pay half price for a pump now could cost them a lot more to maintain," Grant warns.

Another factor that needs to be considered when purchasing pumps is its efficiency - an industry buzzword in recent years. In this regards, Grant gives a tip: purchasing decisions should be examined more closely and considered more holistically.

"I like to refer this as the 'pump efficiency game'," Grant said.

"This is where you have think of all the various efficiencies a pump can bring, or cost, both in the short and long run."

In terms of energy efficiency, buyers need to have an understanding of the energy costs associated with pumping. He gives an example.

"There's the 'wire to water efficiency' - you must consider how much energy it will cost you to pump a certain amount of water. Cheaper pumps may have a low 'wire to water efficiency', which may end up costing you in energy bills," he said.

But energy efficiency should also be considered more broadly - Grant says that physically driving to a pump and repairing it also constitutes as part of a pump's life cycle cost, since you're paying for petrol.

Grant finally adds that prospective buyers also need to consider the materials of construction when
choosing pumping equipment.

For example, if the pump will hold liquid those PH level will fluctuate, then a standard iron cast pump may be inefficient, since once the PH level turns acidic, it will eat into the pump and wear it out. In this instance, he advocates the use of a stainless steel pump.

Clearly, when buying pumps and pumping solutions, there is more than meets the eyes. Whilst there are lots of considerations, asking questions to your provider will be invaluable and will ultimately guide you to make a smarter decision. Grant's final piece of advice?

"If it looks too cheap, it probably isn't a good idea."