Water pumps: types, working principle, and price in Kenya

water pumps

After a short course, you’ve just ventured into agriculture and are looking forward to setting up your farming enterprise. Of course, the easiest route is to go the natural way and rely on mother nature, waiting on the seasonal rain for your crops. However, the elusive rainfall can be a disappointment sometimes. That is why irrigation will be your best move. And in that case, you will need the best water pump, whether you are investing in a borehole or simply pumping water from a distance. So, what are the best water pumps to invest in for your unique case?

water pumps
A water pump in the field. Photo: gettyimages.com, panic_attack

If you are looking for the most appropriate water pump, you must procure the best brand. However, do you know the right pump for your venture before making any move? They are quite a number, and it would be prudent if you familiarized yourself with Davis and Shirtliff water pumps Kenya prices or any other brand before investing in one.

The significance of water pumps

A water pump is a machine that utilizes mechanical energy (converted from rotational/kinetic energy) and the positive displacement principle to supply water.

Over time and with advancements in technology, this machine has had many positive changes. Today, you can access a solar water pump (harnessing energy from the sun to run the motor) and even one running on electricity, the most common.

Initially, people relied on manual irrigation techniques, which were quite resource-intensive and required labour. However, with the incorporation of technology in the manufacturing and fabrication segment, engineers have developed suitable water pumps that increase efficiency.

The Types of Water Pumps

Water pumps are categorized based on their working principles, and they include:

Centrifugal pump

This pump is designed with an impeller and utilizes the centrifugal force to pump water, hence the name centrifugal pump. A submersible water pump is the most common centrifugal pump used today.

The centrifugal pumps are essential for irrigation and field drainage in the agricultural sector, not to forget sewage drainage/waste management.

Positive displacement pumps

Unlike the centrifugal pumps, positive displacement pumps supply a constant amount of water at a low flow rate but high liquid pressure. Therefore, they are commonly referred to as rotary pumps. This technology makes them more efficient when pumping liquids of higher viscosity like resigns, oils or paints.

Several positive displacement pumps are commonly used in manufacturing and waste management industries. The piston pump is one of the most common as it has been used extensively in supplying water for agriculture.

Working Principle of Water Pumps

water pumps
A water pump on the sewage well consisting of a PVC pipe, brass check, valve, ball valve, and pressure gauge. Photo: gettyimages.com, Thanaphol Intaja

How do these water pumps work? The centrifugal pump has an impeller that rotates and expels fluid through its tip using centrifugal force. Water gets into the rotating impeller and is discharged at high pressure. This pump provides a higher flow rate and can be used to draw water from boreholes, wells, ponds or rivers to any location despite the distance.

Consequently, a positive displacement pump has an expanded cavity from the suctioning end and a small hole in the discharge end. The pump fills the cavity and displaces liquid with every rotation/cycle made. It discharges a constant amount of water regardless of the pressure.

How much does a water pump cost in Kenya?

In Kenya, water pump dealers offer different prices depending on the type they sell and other factors, including age (new or refurbished). Water pump costs from as low as Ksh3,000 to Ksh80,000 in Kenya, depending on the brand and size. Kenya’s solar water pump prices are slightly higher, ranging from Ksh.32,000 to Ksh.152,000.

Which pump is best for water?

water pumps
Small water pumps for an outdoor pond. Photo: gettyimages.com, Supersmario

A Centrifugal pump is the best water pump since it provides a higher flow rate and is essential with thin liquids (liquids with low viscosity). The impeller applies centrifugal force and can discharge pressurized water from the machine.

How to remove airlock from the water pump

To get rid of the air blockage in your water pump, remove the two-valve (main valve and that valve at the block end). Allow water to flow and expel the airlock under pressure.


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