Air: An Issue That Breaks Pipe In Sump Pumps


Air fills the ducts when the sump pump is the first put into service or when they have been drained for any reason. In these cases, the amount of air that must be evacuated is vast. Therefore, it is a delicate operation, mainly due to the water’s speed while filling the pipe.

On the other hand, in the regular operation of installing the sump pumps, air can be introduced into the pipes when the pump starts up and through the suction process in the vortices formed during suction.

There is a fraction of air (oxygen since nitrogen is practically insoluble) that travels dissolved in water. At the higher pressure, the content of air dissolved in the water is higher at higher temperatures, the content of dissolved air decreases.

Changes in the slopes of the pipes produce changes in the pressure within them, making it possible to release dissolved air with the consequent formation of air pockets. This is particularly important in drives where the pressure decreases progressively throughout driving.

Once the installation is up and running, the air pockets move through the pipeline and accumulate in the higher areas and along with fittings and bypasses.

Air pockets and air dissolved in water can cause the following problems in your lines:

Pipe bursts due to overpressures or even depressions.

Partial or total limitation of water circulation.

Loss of system efficiency and increased costs.

Cavitation in accessories (valves, hydrants, and pressure regulators)

Inaccuracy inflow measurements and wear of moving parts of meters.

The airbags reduce the flow circulating through the pipe, losing the system’s efficiency due to the high-pressure losses generated. On some occasions, the flow circulation can even be stopped due to lack of pressure (gravity irrigations)

During the process of filling a pipe, pockets of air will always accumulate at high points. Due to the pressure of the water that is filling the pipe, these bags move in the opposite direction and at high speed. The air that is trapped in the upper part, when losing that speed, increases its volume, causing strangulation of the liquid vein that completely prevents, in some cases, the circulation of water. Furthermore, the air’s high compressibility can cause significant damage to the installation if measures are not taken to evacuate it.

The way to solve the air’s inconveniences in the pipes to avoid burst pipe is using air valves or suction cups.