Often overlooked when evaluating or calculating pump performance is the role of discharge hose. If you are using hose rather than pipe, the type of hose selected can and does have a major impact on pump output and is a common reason for pump system under-performance. When choosing a type of discharge hose, you should consider more than just the price point.
So when asking what’s best for my application, consider that the most common options in hose (listed from lowest cost to highest) are lay flat, rubber, reinforced rubber and wire reinforced vinyl. These options, as with many things, hold true to the old saying, “you get what you pay for.”
Specifically, the lower cost lay flat and non-reinforced rubber hose create additional head pressure as the pumps must work against the actual head and also work to keep the discharge hose expanded while both starting and pumping. While not good for all jobs, this type of hose can be effective for lower head, short horizontal run-out applications, where there is not a lot of total head to overcome. The other thing to consider when thinking about lay flat hose is the question of durability. It is easily the most sensitive when it comes to abrasion and puncture, and in severe conditions, lay flat can quickly turn in to a sprinkler hose. Non-reinforced rubber is much more durable than lay flat. However, with any non-reinforced hose, kinking and the resulting discharge line obstruction can often occur.
As I am sure you figured out by now, either type of reinforced hose will eliminate the false head created by the collapsing hoses and as a result the impact on system performance will be minimized.. So when choosing between the reinforced rubber and wire reinforced vinyl, you should think about things like flexibility and weight. The vinyl product is almost always lighter with a better bend radius, but can also be a bit pricier than the reinforced rubber. The rubber on the other hand typically is more abrasion and puncture resistant.
To sum up, the same discharge hose is not right for every job. Consider all of the job conditions and choose the hose which create the best mix of optimal system performance, durability and cost minimization.