Pumps for Water Tanks

Before we start, it is worth noting that with the appropriate installation plan a pump is not always necessary - this is done by configuring your system for gravity feed. If this setup is of interest to you we recommend speaking about system design with your local irrigation expert before starting your project.

In many other circumstances though, water tanks become extremely useful when paired with a pump. Your local irrigation expert has practical experience and is best placed to guide you with pump selection. To get the discussion going we have listed below what we see are the most common considerations when choosing your pump.

We also offer Pump Covers which are available in our standard and custom water tank colour ranges.

Please contact one of our valued stockists for purchasing.

Garden Use

A garden pump usually comprises two key components. The pump itself, plus a pressure controller. These are often purchased together as a package. It is worth checking that the pressure controller is included with what you are buying.

Without a pressure controller, when the pump is powered on it will continuously pump water until there is no more water left to pump. Better pumps usually include dry run protection which will make them stop at that point (pumps don't like operating without water in them).

The pressure controller is a clever additional module that senses the pressure change in your hose when you open or shut your hose nozzle, automatically switching your pump on or off. This gives you the familiar "water on demand" experience. Here are the typical specifications for a garden pump, for most situations.

  • Garden Pump: 60 litres a minute flow (hose at the same level as the pump), 39m head height (with the hose nozzle at that height, the flow reduces to zero), dry run protection and a two year pump manufacturer warranty
  • Other Options: Your local irrigation expert will have further options depending on the demand of your application

Household Use

Rural areas (no mains water)

In rural areas household pumps supply the entire house with fresh drinking quality water. In much the same way as a garden pump, these are equipped with a pressure controller for on demand use. The pump is usually a heavier duty unit to match the ideal house pressure and typical household duty cycle. Often a pressure cylinder is added for smooth continuous water delivery and to minimise pump effort (cycling).

There are a number of standard pumps specifically for this purpose, catering for the full range of single storey and multi storey dwellings. In addition to the height of the house, the length of the pipework needs to be considered. Your local irrigation expert will be able to assist with choosing the correct pump, and they can always contact us for options.

Metro areas (mains water available)

In metropolitan areas and where mains water is readily available, tank water is often used to supplement the known high volume house zones including laundries, toilets and gardens. Automatic mains water backup is common with these systems, so if a modestly sized suburban tank system is running low or there is a system power outage you will still always have water available. The following specifications are typical for standard mains water backup pump systems.

  • Single Storey Pump (typical): 55 litres a minute flow (at ground level), 36m head height, dry run protection and a two year pump manufacturer warranty
  • Double Storey Pump (typical): 75 litres a minute flow (at ground level), 42m head height, dry run protection and a two year pump manufacturer warranty

Your reseller can also offer a number of brand name options. These come at a higher cost but please note the differences in features, installer familiarity, and after sales service options. Typical options include the following.

  • Single Storey Pump: For short runs of pipe to a single story house or small townhouse, with a two year pump manufacturer warranty
  • Basic Double Storey Pump: For higher demand single storey houses, or standard double storey houses with toilets on the first floor, with a two year pump manufacturer warranty
  • Double Storey Pump: Higher output pump suitable for more demanding applications including double storey houses and where there are long runs of pipe between the pump and where the water is being used, with a two year pump manufacturer warranty

All of the above pumps can be factory fitted within a neat pump recess in our 2060 and 3060 litre "all in one" slimline water tanks, otherwise they are simply mounted at ground level next to the tank and covered with a pump cover.

Submersible options (pump inside the tank)

The pumps mentioned above so far are external to the tank, connected by hose to one of the tank's outlets. Another common alternative is to have the pump lowered into the water in the tank (similar to a fountain pump or a well pump). There are advantages with reduced noise, and of course you don't need additional space beside the tank for this type of pump. Submersible pumps are available with similar specifications to the pumps above: single or double storey, and for garden or household use.

More Questions?

The pumps listed above are by far the most common types we see paired with domestic water tanks. In addition to these, there are a surprisingly large number of pump options available depending on the priority for your system. For example you may wish to prioritise higher water volumes, higher pressure, higher cycle count (on/off frequency), higher sustained demand, and so on. Please contact your local irrigation expert to help calculate the most appropriate and economical option for you.