Wet or Dry Pumps

How to Prime Success by Choosing Between Wet or Dry Pumps?

Choosing between wet and dry pumps is one way to prime your success in fluid management. Understanding the difference between these pump types will help you make the right decision for the most efficient and reliable operation. Let’s explore the world of wet-prime and dry-prime pumps.

Wet or Dry Pumps: Benefits and Limitations of Wet-Prime Pumps

A wet prime pump is a simple pump with few components, which means they are easier to maintain. Usually, a wet prime pump can last 25 years or more, depending on its design and how frequently it is maintained! Wet prime pumps can hold large volumes of water and prime themselves if the water stays above the eye of the impeller. They also have a check valve on the suction side to prevent water from escaping after the pump is shut down.

Another advantage of wet-prime pumps is their portable design. They don’t require dedicated power, which means they can be placed anywhere. They’re also inexpensive to purchase and maintain.

However, wet-prime pumps do have limitations. For one, they must be manually primed after installation, and the pump speed must be controlled. They have limited fuel capacity, which necessitates frequent monitoring and refuelling. Wet-priming pumps are best suited for applications with low sump and less than 200 feet of discharge when pumping up to 350 gpm, such as open pit and sumping applications where less than 25 feet of suction lift is the norm.

Wet prime pumps need abundant liquid to run constantly and operate best if they have automatic float control. While they can handle some air intrusion, a sump pump will lose its prime and have to re-prime itself when faced with enough air intrusion. This renders the pump inoperable until fully primed.

Wet or Dry Pumps: Benefits and Limitations of Dry Prime Pumps

Dry prime pumps are a popular choice in the pumping industry due to their ability to prime without the need to add fluid. This is possible because dry prime pumps have a vacuum unit, diaphragm, compressor, or another priming device that maintains the prime.

Dry prime pumps offer several advantages over wet prime pumps. They are fast priming, capable of pumping various liquids, allow fast dewatering, and can handle high and rapid suction lifts.

Unlike wet prime pumps, which can only handle a small volume of air in the suction, dry prime pumps can handle large volumes of air. This makes them ideal for applications that experience dry running or intermittent flow.

Additionally, prime-assist dry-priming pumps can pick up suction prime, allowing them to operate independently without requiring an operator to fill the pump with fluid. They also incorporate non-clog impellers that enable them to handle larger solids.

Adding to their versatility, you can use automatic controls to start and stop a dry-prime pump. This means you can prime the pump for an application where self-priming would not be possible.

Wet or Dry Prime Pumps: Balancing Efficiency and Cost

Generally speaking, dry prime pumps are more efficient. However, this efficiency comes at a cost, often up to 40% more than a wet prime pump. With more moving parts, dry prime pumps may increase maintenance costs too. But the lower energy cost of running dry prime pumps can offset this increased cost over time. Despite a higher initial outlay, dry-priming pumps are almost always more efficient and outperform wet-priming pumps because of their design.

To learn more about whether you need to choose wet or dry prime pumps for your essential fluid management, call us at 1-800-367-4180 (toll-free). As your industrial pump supplier in Canada, we’re here to help you choose, install, maintain, and monitor a variety of equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.