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Old 06-01-2005, 04:46 AM   #1
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Pumps: Rio, Via Aqua, or Pentair?????

I'm building a small sump (<10gal) but don't know about how the different pump brands compare in quality. I have found Rio, Via Aqua, and Pentair pumps that will work and all cost similar amounts. What brands tend to be better quality?

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2005, 09:53 AM   #2
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For a submersible sump pump that sized I would suggest a Mag 3 or Mag 5. Size the pump based on the flow rate the pump produces at the given head height that you will have. This head height is usually 4' or there about from the bottom of the sump to the top of the tank. Once you know the flow rate match the pump that is closest with out going over the flow rate of your overflow.
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:53 AM   #3
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Fwiw, the Rio 800 is awful (review). Customer service is equally bad. If I could do it again I would buy a Mag in a heartbeat. I've yet to read a bad word about them.
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Old 06-01-2005, 02:18 PM   #4
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The Rio800 is more a powerhead than a sump pump. It doent have much flow to begin with let alone after you put a few feet of head pressure on it.
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Old 06-01-2005, 09:03 PM   #5
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mag pumps if your willing to get one.. was not in the list =)
i got a mag 5 and after 4 feet its around 300 - actaully i tested mine and its pretty much dead on 300 gph.. { mind you your set up might not be as fast or faster.. thats just mine }

so what fishfreek said
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:04 PM   #6
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kind of one sided since there was only 1 review. i have had any of those but just saying
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:12 PM   #7
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I dont like rio's either. Additional reviews on pumps can be found in our Product reviews area aswell. Please feel free to add your own reviews for pumps your using aswell.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:20 AM   #8
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A suitable mag-drive pump is $40 instead of $20 (is it worth it?) and my wife gave me a budget of $60 for the entire sump.

I am kind of dissapointed at how few reviews have been posted here. But since I have not posted any (YET) I should not complain.
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:19 AM   #9
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What your not realizing is that the rated capacity on these small sumps is a capacity at 0' head pressure. Head pressure is the net effect of gravity aganst the water as the pump tries to push the water up aganst gravity. The higher it has to pump the water up the more head pressure acting on the pump and the greater the reduction in overall flow out of the pump. A small powerhead might do 200GPH at 0' head but only do 50GPH at 4' head due to this back pressure. In addition powerheads are marketed as water circulation pumps for use in the tanks vs a pump to acutally move water from point a to point b. I cant think of any decent sump pump that would be priced at $20 that would work for you in the long run and provide you with a decent amount of flow at the required head pressure.
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Old 06-02-2005, 11:01 PM   #10
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I also have to '3rd' or '4th' or whatever the count is up to in support of Danner Mag-Drive pumps for return sump duty, or for any duty where the application requires pumping against 6'-8'-10' + of gravity lift plus pipe/hose/filter losses. Every pump in the Danner line-up has a respectable flow rate vs. head pressure curve. But you're correct that these pumps are fairly expensive.

Pentair Aquatics also makes a whole line of Quiet One pumps which are decent, and a bit less expensive than the Mag-Drive pumps. But unlike Danner, only one pump in their lineup ... the 4000HH ... is really designed for serious 'lifting duty' with the rest being primarily circulating pumps.

When you start talking about Rio pumps, these are actually two different product lines i.e. the 'Rio' line of standard circulating pumps and the HF line of pumps. Only the HF line is capable of the head pressures you need for sump pump duty.

The best comparison that I can offer is to guess that you're going to need a pump with a flow capability of around 400gph at 6 ft of head (4 gravity + 2 for pipe/hose friction loss). Have a look at the pump data at http://www.aquatictech.com/pumps.html and you can quickly see which pumps have a decent chance of meeting your needs, and which ones simply aren't up to the task. Basically all of the pumps which are 'guaranteed' to meet your needs are going to have a 55 watt or larger motor and are going to be rated for 700gph or more of 'free' flow (= 0 to 1' of head).

If you're on a super-tight budget, you might consider a Dolphin (= WP) submersible pond pump. They make a model WP4 with an 85 watt motor which sells for about $30 ! However I can't speak to their quality, but there's usually more than a grain of truth to the old adage that 'you get what you pay for'. The exception to the rule though seems to be imported european equipment, where the quality is usually very good but the price is exorbitant (primarily due to a nasty US$ versus Euro exchange rate right now).

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