Taking a Closer Look at Altitude and Your Water Pump

Taking a Closer Look at Altitude and Your Water Pump

Taking a Closer Look at Altitude and Your Water Pump

Did you know that the altitude of your property can have an effect on how your water pump works? By gaining a better understanding of altitude and how it impacts the effectiveness and efficiency of your water pump, you can better determine how to set up and use the system that you have in place.

How Does Altitude Affect My Water Pump?

When your water pump is used in an area of lower atmospheric pressure, it has to work harder in order to do its job. This means it has to work harder to not only pump the water from one location to another, but it may also be unable to pump water as far as it otherwise could in an area with greater atmospheric pressure. 

This means that areas in higher altitudes may have more difficulty with obtaining desirable levels of pressure. This is because oxygen becomes thinner at higher altitudes, make it less dense and creating less pressure. This reduction in pressure also results in a lowering of suction power. As a result, you can anticipate experiencing a reduction in the maximum total dynamic head of your property is located in a higher altitude. In other words, a pump that is rated with a 10-foot suction power will only have 5.7 feet of suction power at 10,000 feet, while one at 2,000 feet will provide about 8.8 feet of suction. 

Being located at a higher altitude may also have a negative effect on fuel efficiency. When used in thinner air, gas and diesel engines burn more fuel. In fact, they can lose anywhere from 3 to 3.5 percent of their power for every 1000 feet above sea level in which they are used. 

How Do I Compensate for Altitude Issues?

To compensate for the effects of altitude on your water pump, you may need to place your water pump closer to the water source. The closer it is located to the water, the less distance the water needs to travel after being drawn from the source. When it comes to issues related to fuel efficiency, you may be better served by using a water pump with an electric engine rather than one that is fueled by gasoline or diesel. To learn more, contact Pump Service Idaho today!

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