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Trash Pumps

What is a trash pump?

A pump designed to handle fluids that may contain a high level of solids content such as trash, mud, natural debris like leaves or twigs, waste products at fish or animal processing plants, or fluids containing sand, gravel, crushed stone and concrete chips at construction sites. They’re sometimes also known as sludge pumps, grinder pumps, chopper pumps or wastewater pumps.

Trash pumps are used in a wide variety of applications, including; construction dewatering, trash processing at manufacturing or waste processing facilities, and industrial or agricultural complexes that generate large amounts of waste that can’t be easily pumped.

How do they work?

Because they are designed to move heavy and viscous fluids, which contain abrasive solids, they are generally heavy-duty pieces of machinery. They often require hardened wearing parts and need frequent maintenance and change out of wear parts. Adding to the normal power requirements, some types contain a chopper apparatus, which uses rotating cutter teeth mounted on the front or back side of the impeller to crush the solids, break them apart, or compact them into smaller, more manageable bits before moving them along.

Most trash pumps are a form of centrifugal pump, which rely on a rotating impeller immersed in the pumped liquid to build up the velocity of the pumped liquid. The liquid leaves the tips of the impeller vanes, and then moves into a volute casing which converts the high velocity into high pressure (head). The high pressure liquid exits the pump with the pressure at the pump discharge being used to overcome the elevation, friction, and pressure head requirements of the system.

Many trash pumps may also be classified as submersible pumps because they sit submerged in the fluid that they are pumping, and are directly attached to a motor that can operate in the fluid. Other are a vertical column sump pump design, with the motor being mounted at grade at the top of the sump, and with a vertical column, which encloses a shaft that is attached to an impeller. The impeller and volute casing are located near the bottom of the sump. Sometimes there is a screen at the inlet of the pump casing to only permit solids below a certain maximum size from entering the pump.

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