A Honda water pump is used to clear standing water.

How to Select a Water Pump

When you need to move water from one location to another, the power equipment you need is a water pump. The type of pump you choose will determine what you can use it for. You may be able to remove water and debris from a flooded basement, pump water into your home from your well, or even pump muddy water and trash out of certain areas. Selecting the right pump will determine exactly what the equipment can do for you, and there are many elements to consider.

Home Use

Honda WX Series 1.5 Inch De-Watering Pump

De-watering pumps remove certain types of water, including clear, slimy, mucky, and silty water. Three general types of pumps are used for de-watering: lightweight, general-purpose, and high-pressure. Regarding residential use, light and general-purpose pumps are often used. They are used by recreational users, boat owners, gardeners, and homeowners for specific tasks, like:

  • Watering lawns
  • Watering gardens
  • Pool draining
  • Flood control

Professional Use

In the professional setting, water pump uses vary depending on specific needs. For instance, a farmer may need to transfer water from a stream or pond to the trough where his livestock comes to drink. On a construction site, rainwater may become trapped in an area that needs to be excavated. The water pump may be used to ensure operations can continue as planned and in safe work conditions. General-purpose or high-pressure pumps are often used in industrial and commercial settings, providing the correct pressure and flow to quickly handle a more significant amount of water.

De-watering general-purpose and high-pressure pumps are not the only Honda pumps designed for professional use, however. While these pumps are efficient at carrying water from one location to another, there are specific pumps that must be used for other materials.

Type of PumpDescriptionPoints to ConsiderApplications
Trash PumpDesigned to handle high-volume water and solids up to 1-1/16 inches in diameterQuick clean-out port makes servicing the pump simple and fast

Able to handle up to 433 gallons per minute (GPM)
Rental applications and contractors
Chemical PumpUsed for pumping water, but able to pump agricultural and industrial chemicals as wellTo avoid damage, only approved chemicals may be used with this pumpIndustrial and agricultural applications
Diaphragm PumpPositive displacement and slow seepage pump designed to pump trash, mud and wasteCapable of handling high solid content, including refinery waste, industrial fluids, sticks and even stonesUsed by many commercial businesses, including restaurants, campgrounds, construction and mining corporations

Other Types of Water Pumps

Regarding pump models, many homeowners and professionals are familiar with submersible pumps. These pumps are unique because they can be installed or temporarily placed below the water level. They feature a sealed motor that protects the interior from being affected by moisture and dust that could alter its operation. These pumps function in both residential and commercial settings and are typically used for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Emptying swimming pools
  • Removing water from washing machines
  • Pumping dirty water
  • Draining window wells
  • Draining basements
  • Providing water to decorative fountains

Electric vs. Gas: Choosing a Water Pump

Honda 2 Inch Water Pump

When learning to select a pump, determining whether or not you want to purchase an electric or gas version is an important decision. Both have their advantages, but each is suited for specific uses.

Electric water pumps are often used indoors, where outlets are readily available. Most operate on 120V and can be plugged into any standard outlet. However, some may be 230V pumps, which will require additional electrical support. Electric pumps are typically less potent than gas pump models. However, they don’t require as much maintenance and don’t require oil changes. Because of their need for electricity, you will have to use Honda portable generators with them if you want to use them in a location where no outlet is available.

Gas water pumps aren’t limited by cords and outlets. They are the perfect solution for jobs that take you outdoors, far away from electrical outlets. They also tend to offer a higher GPM than their electrical counterparts. However, these pumps cannot be used inside because of carbon monoxide emissions.

Features to Look for

Honda WT Series 3 Inch Construction/Trash Pump

When evaluating water pump specifications, there are many features to look for that will help you decide what pump is the right one for you.

If you leave your pump in the same place most of the time, its weight might be fine when selecting it. If, however, you need to move the pump to different locations often, a lightweight design is essential. Could you consider the overall weight and construction of the water pump?

When transferring water from one location to another, having the ability to hook the pump up directly to a garden hose is essential. This can be especially useful when using the pump to water your lawn, garden, or field. If this is the case, please ensure the pump you choose comes with a garden hose adapter, clamps, a strainer, and a suction hose.

Understanding the GPM discharge capacity is critical when learning to select a pump. GPM refers to how quickly the water, waste, or chemicals flow from the source to where they are discharged.

Some pump models are equipped with silicon carbide mechanic seals. These seals are resistant to abrasions, promoting extended use and wear.

On a water pump, the volute is the casing that creates pressure from the energy produced by the impeller. As the impeller pushes the water, chemicals, or solids into the volute, it creates enough pressure behind the water to make it toward the discharge point. Many pump models are equipped with a cast iron volute. This material helps to reduce the amount of wear experienced by the casing and improves the longevity of the water pump.

Additional Features

Honda 3 Inch Diaphragm Pump with Wheel Kit

Many pumps come with a Honda overhead valve (OHV) engine. Unlike older engines, which feature valves in the block, these engines have valves in the cylinder head. This increases their overall power and makes startup easy.

Gas-powered water pumps require oil to function correctly. In some engines, checking the oil often is needed, as a low oil level could damage the engine if it goes unnoticed. When it comes to Honda outdoor power equipment, this is fine. Most engines are equipment with Oil Alert. This technology involves a sensor capable of detecting when oil levels are too low for proper water pump function. When the sensor detects a low oil level, it automatically shuts down the engine to prevent engine seizures.

On some pump models, high-performance mounts reduce the amount of vibration the pump experiences. This offers many benefits, including reducing wear and tear on the pump parts. It also reduces the chances of the Honda power equipment burying itself in the dirt or “walking” away from its set location.

Water pumps designed for chemical use require a different construction than those created for moving clear or dirty water. These pumps have features like seals made from EPDM, a rubber compatible with numerous chemicals.

Submersible pumps can be used for temporary flooding situations, but they may also be needed for continuously moving water from one location to another. For this reason, many submersible pumps are designed for constant use. These pumps can operate every day without overheating as long as they are kept in the right environment.

Necessary Water Pump Accessories

Your water pump may come with all the parts you need to begin using right away, or you might have to purchase a few additional accessories to enjoy all of your water pump’s uses. Here are a few accessories you might need.

  • Couplers and adaptors connect your pump to a hose. These are generally included in Honda hose kits.
  • There are two types of hose kits available: pin lug and camlock. Pin lug hoses work like a traditional garden hose, threading onto your water pump with the help of a spanner wrench. Camlock hoses easily attach to your pump with a “quick connect” system.
  • Pipe nipples are included in the hose kits and are used to connect the hose and the strainer together.
  • It’s a good idea to invest in a few extra gaskets. These parts are often lost and are required for the hose kit to work properly.

Maintaining Your Water Pump

A man uses a Honda 2 Inch Water Pump to Water his lawn.

After you select the right water pump, keeping it up and running requires some maintenance. For your safety, always turn off the power to the water pump before you begin working on it. You should also consult the manual that comes with the pump before you try to clean it or repair it yourself.

In general, maintenance of the pump is simple. Before operating it, could you make sure to remove any visible debris from it? If you’re using a submersible pump, the mechanical float should also have plenty of room around it to float effortlessly. Pumps with backup power will require a new battery every two to three years. The pump should also be flushed out once a year, but any clogs or stoppages should be dealt with between these flushes as necessary. If you need help with removing clogs or flushing the power equipment, make sure to consult a professional to avoid doing any damage to the system.

Selecting a new water pump requires attention to detail. Before making a purchase, consider the types of pumps available and consider how you will use the pump. Then, consider the various features available for each pump to determine which will suit your needs.


  • Zequek Estrada

    October 19, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    I really appreciated that there were suggestions for pump accessories to get for you water pump. That’s good to know ahead of time. It’ll probably make budgeting your money around easier.

  • Tyler Meredith

    November 15, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    I like what this article mentions about the pump maintenance and it is equally if not more important than the pump itself. It makes sense that no matter how powerful a pump is if it’s not maintained properly the chance of it breaking is high. I’ll have to remember this when buying a pump just to make sure it lasts me a long time.

  • Tomas Killington

    April 3, 2017 at 7:36 am

    My brother recently moved into a home with a swimming pool. He has noticed the pool needs to be cleaned and repainted, but he doesn’t know how to drain the pool effectively. I didn’t realize there are pumping units available that can be submersed in the water to drain pools quickly. I’ll be sure my brother knows about this option.

  • Kyle Winters

    April 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I really like the suggestions you make for keeping your water pump maintained. After all, it is amazing how much a little bit of care can go towards keeping your pump running for a while. Of course, any major repairs should probably be handled by professionals.

  • Frank Delaware

    April 13, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I really like your point about considering the weight of the pump if you are going to be moving it around a lot. It would be nice to know that you won’t have to pick up the thing to get it from point A to B. Plus, it would be nice to know that you can send out someone to move it and they won’t have a hard time.

  • John Mahoney

    May 4, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I appreciate you talking about how there are gas and electric pumps. As I see it, taking the time to assess your needs carefully can help you choose the machine that uses the fuel or power that is easier to get in your area. It is important to remember that doing research can help you choose a store that has quality items and can help you pump the liquids you want to work with properly.

  • Max Jones

    June 1, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I like how you talked about being able to use well pumps to get water into your home. We recently moved to a new home with a well system, but I would like to get the pumps replaced. I’m going to have to see if I can find out anything about our current well pumps, and possibly save some money on a new one!

  • Tiffany Locke

    June 23, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    I’m glad you mention figuring out whether or not you plan on moving your pump so you can choose one that is the right size and weight. This would be useful to make sure you have a system that will provide you with the amount of water you need. When deciding on the size of your pump, you’d probably want to figure out where you plan on putting it, whether in one spot or multiple places, so you can find out the dimensions in order to choose a system that will sit and still run properly.

  • Callum Palmer

    January 9, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    I think it is great that you cover so many different kinds of water pumps in the article here; after all, many people who are installing a well for the first time might not know what to look for. The distinction between an electric and gas pump is especially important so it is great that you included it. Well owners need to decide which one would be best for them both financially and which one they can rely on more in an emergency.

  • Rosie Beckett

    May 15, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    I am currently looking for a water well pump and I am glad that I found this article because I had no idea that there are so many different options! You make a great point that you should think about the overall weight and construction of the pump if you plan on taking it from one location to another. Also, I will make sure to find a model that has mechanical seals because this will increase the lifespan of the pump and save me money in the future!

  • Raymond Cooper

    July 31, 2018 at 11:02 am

    I’d like to get a well installed on my property. I don’t know much about pumps though, so I found your article to be really helpful. Seeing as how you mention that the GPM discharge capacity is critical to understand, what would be a good GPM to look for in a pump?

    • Acme Tools

      August 2, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      Hello, Thank you for your comment. Although we are not experts in regard to the minimum amount of water needed for your situation. The Standard flow rate for a well should be at least 5 gallons per minute for two hours. For a more definitive answer we suggest contacting your well drilling company or a certified plumber.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools.

  • Georgia B

    August 17, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks for providing such an easy to read description of the different types of pumps! We’re thinking of getting a water pump installed on our new property, but we need more information on what type would be best for us. It’s good to know that a chemical pump can also handle agricultural chemicals since we do live on a farm!

  • Katie Wilson

    November 14, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for explaining how you want to consider a lightweight pump for recreational use. It would make sense to find something that is lightweight because it would be easier to use. My basement flooded, so I’ll have to consider what kind of pump to use.

  • Katie Wilson

    June 26, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for explaining different types of pumps. I agree that you want to consider the type of pump used first. My husband and I are looking for a water pump, so we’ll have to check the type of pump.

  • Olivia Nelson

    June 26, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks for these tips on how to find a water pump. I agree that you want to consider how much water you need to pump. I’m looking for a water pump, so I’ll have to consider the volume I want to move.

  • Bob

    August 20, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    I love your tip about getting a pump that removes dirty water. That makes sense considering you want to make sure that water doesn’t contaminate the good supply. I’ll have to get a water well that helps keep everything clean.

  • Frank Delaware

    October 16, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Thank you for all this great information about choosing a water pump! I really like that you say to look at the different features before buying. It would be nice to know that they are going to do everything you want.

  • John Carston

    December 17, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    It helped when you mentioned that it is important to have attention to detail in choosing your water pumps. My uncle mentioned to me last night that he is hoping to find reliable water pumps as their current water pump is broken and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to consider. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell him that he can consult a well-known online pumps store in town as they can answer all his inquiries.

  • Charlotte Fleet

    March 21, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    My father is hoping to purchase a water pump that he can use for our property this summer. I appreciate your mentioning how it is important to take the weight and construction of potential pumps into consideration. I will share this tip with my dad so that he can find the perfect water pump for his needs.

  • salman

    May 20, 2022 at 9:50 am

    Hey! Thanks for explaining different types of pumps. We were looking for a water pump for our home. Surely would be a great while selecting a pump for our own. Thanks for sharing it.

  • turner

    July 22, 2022 at 6:05 am

    An ounce of prevention is the cure to pump failure. When corrosion does occur, pump performance and efficiency can be affected, increasing the need for more frequent maintenance and more downtime, and if left untreated it can lead to failure.

  • Henry Killingsworth

    December 1, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    You made an interesting point when you talked about how water pump usage depends on specific needs. Is there a one-size-fits-all type of water pump that farmers can use? I would imagine that a pump like this could help a farmer save a lot of money.


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