How to Choose a Water Pump – Part 1

Buyer’s Guide –  How to Choose a Water Pump

How do you choose the right water pump when there are so many options? Petrol or diesel powered water pump? Electric or engine driven water pump? Firefighting or trash pump?

Don’t worry! This simple guide will fill you in on the common types of water pump, their applications and provide handy tips when selecting a product. So if you are considering water pumps for the first time, this article is for you.

There are three parts to this article:

Pump Types

Pump Applications

Pump Attributes



1.5" Petrol Firefighting Pump

Engine driven pump in a rollover frame

Part 1 – Pump types

Understanding the different types of pump available will help you work out the right pump for your application.

Engine driven

These are pumps driven by a combustion engine, powered by petrol or diesel. The two primary benefits are their portability and their ability to run independently of electricity supply. Water Master only makes this type of water pump. These pumps come in a variety of designs and sizes which we will go through below.

The last section of this article gives descriptions on different kinds of engine driven pumps

Electric powered

These come in a variety of sizes and designs to suit different purposes. These pumps can handle long running times and are often stationary units not intended for moving, such as providing a house or building with water pressure. While there are portable electric pumps, they obviously require access to electricity.


Jet pumps are designed to draw water from deep sources. They are typically used to draw water from bores, wells or sources much lower than the required destination. Many jet pumps are electrically driven, but engine driven models are available too.


These pumps utilise a different mechanism than centrifugal pumps (read more about how pumps work here). They are designed to pump thick contents such as sewage, mud, or high solid containing water.


Stationary pumps are often large and used for industrial or agricultural purposes. These are available as electric or diesel engine powered units. They are designed to move large quantities of water over long periods of time. (Welling & Crossley specialise in large pump engines and generators)


Read Part 2: Pump Applications

Read Part 3: Pump Attributes