How to Choose a Water Pump – Part 3

Pump attributes

So you know about different pump types and some common pump uses, and you are interested in an engine driven pump, but there are still so many options. So how do you choose the right water pump? This section will tell you the most important pump attributes to consider when comparing products.


The pump curve shows pump head and flow characteristics

Water moving performance

The first and most important factor. Choose a pump that provides the performance you require. Water moving performance can be broken into three characteristics:

  • Flow rate. This is measured in litres per minute (L/min). The higher the flow rate the more water you can move in a given time. You may require high flow rates for quick water transfer.
  • Max head. This refers to how much vertical distance a pump can move water. The maximum head is an indicator of what a pump can achieve in suction height + uplift. For example, if you need to suck water up 5 metres and move it to a point 25 metres higher than the pump, then you will need a pump with a max head greater than 30 metres.
  • Water pressure. Measured in PSI. Pressure is related to max head, as the pressure determines how far water can be moved. At a pumps maximum head, the water pressure will be zero. So it is important to consider how much pressure you need, and how far you need it from the pump. For firefighting pumps this is critical, and it is recommended that your pump has a maximum pressure over 100PSI. Multiplying max head by 1.42 will give you the maximum pressure.

Reliability and quality

There are many pumps available on the market, including very cheap examples. However if you want to know that it will be there when you need it, you should choose a trusted name that uses quality materials and components. Engine quality is important, as well as the materials the pump end is made from. Water Master firefighting and transfer pumps are made from high quality cast aluminium, our trash pumps are cast iron, and our chemical resistant pump is stainless steel. We only use premium brand engines. Read about our engine manufacturers here


Choosing a brand which provides warranties is a good way to protect your purchase. Since Water Master is fully Australian operated, we provide easy, local contacts to help you with any warranty claims. All of our engine manufactures provide warranties (up to 3 years) and we offer a 2 year warranty for the rest of the pump.

Service and Support

Engine driven water pumps require maintenance to be kept in optimal running condition. They may also require replacement parts. Choosing a local brand with a large dealer/service network will make getting support easier. Water Master has multiple branches and is backed up by a nationwide dealer network of hundreds of stores. We are also completely Australian operated so you will always be able to speak to a local.

Fuel type

Pumps are available in either Petrol or Diesel. Petrol models are cheaper and usually come in more models. Diesel models are more fuel efficient and better suited to running for extended periods but are also more expensive. Diesel is also less flammable than petrol so can be safer.


Water Master Pump Options

  • Firefighting Pumps – High pressure, moderate flow. A versatile pump that is useful for water transfer as well as defending homes from fire.
  • Transfer Pumps – High flow, moderate pressure. These pumps are well suited to moving clean water. Available in a wide range of sizes.
  • Trash Pumps – High flow, moderated pressure. These pumps offer the highest flow rates and are suitable for moving water that contains solids and debris.
  • Chemical Resistant Pump – A stainless steel pump suitable for moving a range of chemicals.


If you would like further information please don’t hesitate to call us on 1300 833 513

Read Part 1: Pump Types

Read Part 2: Pump Applications