Home Centers & DIYers by Sylvan Tieger


I happened to be in a home center this morning looking for some light bulbs when I came upon the plumbing department.

A home owner looking for some advice was asking the Storeperson about pumps for his heating system.

The Storeperson said "no problem take this one."

At this point I had to say something and asked the heating salesman the following.

Was this "pump" a centrifugal, rotary or reciprocating?

He shugged his shoulders.

I asked if this was a centrifugal "pump" was it horizontal or vertical.

He said "let me look at the box again."

I then said if it's a Rotary "pump" is it a vane, gear, piston, lobe progressing cavity, peristaltic or screw type?

He said "let me get my Manager."

A few minutes later the Manager comes along with the Storeperson and said can I help you?

I said "you sell pumps, correct?"
He said "yes".
I said "what types do you sell for heating?"

He said "we sell one type that fits most applications."

I said "do you mind if I ask you some questions regarding this one size fits all pump?"

He said "no problem that's why I'm here."

I said "fantastic this one pump you sell how does it know the TDH of the system and the required flow rate?"

He asked me what TDH was.

I said "Total Discharge Head."

I was faced with 3 blank looks one from the guy who is just about to buy this one size fits all pump and the two store "experts".

Finally one said it doesn't matter as it KNOWS what it needs to do.

I said "what about pipe loss (friction losses) and Hazen Williams Formulas or Darcy formulas or the friction factor based on Reynolds number and laminar flow as opposed to turbulent flow?"

Then another store employee came over and said he was a plumber. I said "great where are you licensed?"

He said he didn't need a license as he knows it from doing it.

He then went on to explain why this great pump is automatic and can handle all kinds of water as it only draws the power it needs to move water around.

I asked how fast does it move the water?

He said a few miles per hour, with that I left the store saying thank you.


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