Choosing a Rain Barrel Pump for Rainwater Harvesting System

Choosing a Rain Barrel Pump for Rainwater Harvesting System
3 min read
30 December 2022

In those areas with heavy yearly rainfall, a harvesting system can help to sustain a residence with all indoor and outdoor water uses. In larger applications, the use of barrel pumps will be vital to a successful harvesting system. Without a pump to properly circulate and collect the water properly, the harvesting system will fall short of expectations.

Factors Affecting the Proper Selection of Barrel Pumps

While there are many different factors that can impact the type of pump needed, the following are the most important:

  • Types of Rain Barrel Pumps
  • Size
  • Flow Rate
  • Horsepower

Barrel Pumps are designed to offer additional water flow from collection tanks to the desired outlet. 

Types of Rain Barrel Pumps

The two main types used for rain harvesting systems are listed below:

  • Jet Pumps
  • Submersible Pumps

Jet Pumps

This type of pump creates suction to transport the water from the containment area and into the pump and then out to the destination. An electric motor is used to drive rotating impellers to create a vacuum to draw water to the appropriate location. 

It is important to note that jet pumps need to be primed with water before they will function correctly. They are easy to transport and are quite durable. A water line will connect the tank to the pump, while a second line will lead to the designated destination.

This type of pump is easy to maintain and is less expensive than a submersible pump.

Submersible Pumps

Unlike jet pumps, submersible pumps use centrifugal force to push water upward. Also, rather than being placed outside of the water, the pump is submerged into the containment tank. The internal components include a series of impellers which create a vortex motion by rotating. This propels water upward through the water line to create pressure through all the fixtures in the collection system.

Submersible pumps are designed to be long-lasting and require less maintenance than jet pumps. They are also out of sight while in use.

Flow Rate

This is the amount of water needed to supply all fixtures in the system. For homes solely relying on rainwater for their water needs, this is important. A small home with minimal fixtures will not need the same flow rate as a large house with multiple fixtures. 

This is calculated in either gallons per minute or gallons per hour rating. The flow rate needs to be appropriately matched to the needs of the system. 


The horsepower rating of the pump will give homeowners an idea of how much water they can pump without straining the pump. The higher the horsepower, the higher the flow rate and the higher the water pressure.

In homes where chemical applications are needed, the horsepower rating should be higher for the chemical barrel pump. Another, less expensive option is a chemical tote pump.

Reach out to us for all of your chemical pumping needs and rain harvesting pump needs.

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