Tank pumps: a robust and reliable solution

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Published: 04 July 2019


When installing either cassette or ducted air conditioning in a restaurant or gym project, a key consideration is which condensate pump to choose. With both environments having high levels of moisture in the air due to cooking and exercise, it’s essential to select a pump that can cope with high levels of condensate. Chris Forshaw, technical manager at Aspen Pumps, tells us what installers should consider when installing AC in these businesses and how tank pumps are the ideal solution.
Cooking food and pounding the treadmill both result in higher than normal moisture levels in the atmosphere, so when installing AC in restaurants and gyms there is more to consider than which type of AC unit to choose. Selecting the right condensate pump is an important factor. Condensate removal pumps give installation flexibility, allowing a pump to be fitted either in, on or above the AC unit, but different types of pumps have different capacities. Tank pumps are robust and reliable and can deal with large amounts of condensate, so in buildings where high levels of condensate are generated, a tank pump is up to the challenge.

Installation
A tank pump that is easy to install and maintain is a great advantage for engineers, meaning the tank pump will perform to its optimum performance and in turn help ensure the AC unit does the same. Manufacturers have designed the latest tank pumps with features that simplify installation and maintenance. Water spills are particularly hazardous for installers working in a ceiling void, where live devices are installed, therefore the latest pumps, such as Aspen Pump’s MAX Hi-Flow, boast an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of 24, raising tank pump safety to a new level. IP24 means a tank pump is protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 mm, as well as from water spray from any direction, making it totally splash proof – a real benefit for engineer safety during routine maintenance. Operation also remains safe in the event of water leaks near the pump, helping protect the pump and so the AC system.

Another feature that simplifies and speeds-up installation of the latest tank pumps is a built-in spirit level, meaning engineers don’t have to balance a separate one on the tank pump, avoiding the risk of things being dropped. Some tanks pumps, such as the MAX Hi-Flow, have a red LED built into the lid that indicates the presence of power, helping to speed up fault diagnosis. The newest tank pumps feature a single screw quick-release reservoir, which means they can be serviced while the pump deck and motor are still attached to wall or rod mounts, helping engineers avoid dismantling the whole pump and reservoir water spills.

Silence
When sitting down to an intimate dining experience, a noisy AC pump is enough to put anyone off their food.  Until recently, tank pumps tended to be used in more industrial settings where noise was less of an issue but with the new low profile tank pumps enabling installs in areas such as restaurants and gyms, quiet running is an essential. As a result, the new tank pumps have been designed to be not only low profile but also extremely quiet whilst still being able to handle greater volumes of condensate than other pumps, thus improving air quality in noise-sensitive applications that produce high levels of condensate. The MAX Hi-Flow tank pump is the quietest tank pump available on the market, with an operating noise level of just 44dB(A), thanks to a specifically configured motor and impeller system.

Low profile
The latest compact tank pumps boast a shallow profile making them ideal for installations where space is limited, such as ceiling voids and cassette air conditioning applications, whilst still offering all the condensate capacity expected from a tank pump. The MAX Hi-Flow benefits from a low-profile design, at only 134mm high, 144mm wide, by 285mm long.

System protection
Tank pumps are known for their reliability, but to add even more peace of mind, the latest tank pumps can offer protection to the HVACR system itself. The tank pumps interface fully, with their Normally Closed or Normally Open high level contacts, to any BMS or HVACR system, which means they can turn off an AC system if there is a troubleshooting problem, for instance if the condensate pump has not been maintained correctly.

So when installing AC systems in restaurants, gyms and other areas with high condensate removal requirements, tanks pumps tick all the right boxes for engineers and businesses alike. They offer a safe, quiet, robust and efficient way to remove condensate as well as being easy to install and maintain and provide a reliable solution, offering peace of mind to end users.