We've Moved to W194 N11695 McCormick Drive

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Packaged Systems Simplify the Installation Process

The packaged systems available through JMI Pump Systems help make the life of a plumber or pump installer easier when it comes to having everything you need at the job pre-assembled and ready to go.

We build pre-packaged pump systems using products from the top names in the business, including Franklin Electric, Little Giant, Barnes, Metropolitan Industries, Tsurumi, Glentronics, Topp Industries, SJE Rhombus, Alderon, Jackel, and more.

Packaged systems simplify the installation process, as all you have to do is take it off the truck, set it in place, connect the piping and power, and off you go. Based on feedback provided by customers, we have found that “kitting” and/or pre-assembling these systems (including the correct basin, cover, pump, switch, and accessories) greatly reduces installation time and improves consistency - eliminating extra trips back to the shop or supply house during installation. Packaging by a single source results in improved responsibility in communication, knowledge, and support.

No matter your pumping application, JMI has the expertise to help you with a customized solution. Contact the JMI team at 262-253-1353 or sales@jmipumps.com for the “No Problem” Service.

JMI Pump Systems Major Announcements

New Location and Name

As we have previously announced, we are moving into the new Germantown facility in early August. Our first official day serving our customers in the new building, W194 N11695 McCormick Drive, will be August 10.

This larger building will allow us to boost production, offer more training opportunities, accommodate an expanding staff and customer base, and elevate our in-stock supply of pumps and pump system components.

As many of you know, Jim Murray Inc. has provided excellent products and services to Wisconsin and Northern Illinois since 1958. Coinciding with the relocation to our new building, we are excited to announce that we will begin operating under a new name - JMI Pump Systems.

This represents our extensive product offering, trusted service, and our unparalleled expertise to determine the proper pump system for your application. It is our belief that the new name pays tribute to our rich history, while providing a better understanding of what we do today and well into the future.

Angela and Jim Murray created a company that set itself apart with its quality service and product reliability. Their sons, James Jr. and Joe Murray, built upon their parent’s legacy and became known as the “go to” specialist and trusted source for even the most difficult pumping situations. Today, we maintain the commitment built by our founders to provide the best products and service in the industry.

Thank you for entrusting your business to us, with some of your families having done so for over six decades. Rest assured we will continue with our commitment to “No Problem” service. Please contact me or anyone on the JMI team with questions or comments. We look forward to seeing you soon – our Partners in Pumping.

Fiberglass Basins/Tanks Have Many Benefits

Fiberglass tanks are technically fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) – that is they are plastic tanks that have been reinforced with fiberglass, similar to the way that rebar strengthens concrete.

The benefits of FRP include reliability and corrosion resistance for both above- and below-ground applications. Underground tanks are suitable for a variety of liquid materials, however, our focus at JMI is on water and sewage applications. There are additional tanks available for onsite wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential or commercial applications such as sewage, stormwater, and effluent lift stations.

One of the advantages of fiberglass tanks is that they are watertight, lightweight, durable (corrosion and abrasion resistant), and have high strength-to-weight ratios. We also offer chemical compatible vinyl ester resin based tanks.

For our fiberglass catch basins, the most popular size is the 36” x 48”, which meets many code requirements for interior garage catch basins. Pair this with our frame and grate and you have JMI’s popular “Big Easy” offering.

All of our fiberglass basins come with heavy duty anti-flotation flanges, and we stock basins with a diameter up to 48”and a depth up to 144”. Also available in stock are all respective covers (steel, PVC, structural foam, and of course fiberglass) along with all associated basin and cover accessories and components.

Fiberglass is a quality product, but performance in the field requires engineering and project expertise. JMI staff have the experience, skills, and knowledge to help you with any water or sewage application.

If you need a fiberglass tank or basin, contact the JMI team at 800-234-5490 or sales@jmipumps.com for “No Problem” Service.

Signs a New Sump Pump May be Needed

We are often asked how long a sump pump should last. The answer is, it’s variable, but a rule of thumb is seven to ten years. (We still have JMI pumps out there since 1958!) However, there are some signs that signal a pump system needs to be serviced or replaced.

Continual running

If your pump runs all the time for no reason, it may be that it doesn’t have a strong enough GPM performance for the volume of incoming water, or the HP to overcome the application TDH (Total Dynamic Head). This can be a sizing issue, as one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to sump pumps.

Strange noises

You may often hear a humming noise when the pump is running, but excessive motor noise can mean a failed bearing. Rattling or grinding noises could also indicate a jammed or damaged impeller.

Failure to turn on when needed

This could mean the float switch is stuck or part of the float mechanism is broken. Also, you may need to check the breaker in your panel.

Continual cycling of turning on and turning off

This can be a result of a power issue, or a float switch issue, but most likely is a basin and/or pump sizing issue. This is the other side of the coin and related to the continual running above. If a pump installed actually is too high of HP or GPM performance, it can shorten the life of the pump with too many start/stops in a short period of time. This causes excessive heat in motors and speeds up the life cycle of the switch.


A heavy flow into the sump pump pit can be a result of a high-water table or underground spring. It also could be the result of excessive rain or less than ideal drainage away from the house. The problem can be addressed by installing a duplex system; another pump and basin in another part of the basement (tying into the drain tile or adding additional tile); or upgrading the pump system.

If you need help determining the age or condition of the pump, contact the team at JMI Pump Systems at 800-234-5490 or sales@jmipumps.com.

Lastly - We always recommend you have a battery backup system in case of power outage or primary pump failure. At the very least, install an alarm (with text alerts available) so you are notified while you still have time before flooding. Again, call JMI for the many options available.

Why Sump Pumps Are Necessary

With the heavy rains we experienced early this summer, area homeowners and businesses were appreciative of having working sump pumps, as the pumps have been tested. For most people, they don’t think about their sump pump as long as it is working properly. With that in mind, we want to address why it is necessary to have protection.

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, more than 60% of American homes have some type of moisture in their basements or crawlspaces. This can cause unpleasant mold, mildew, and fungus in the home, creating a possible health issues for those that reside there. As we live in a region that receives significant amounts of snow and rainfall, a sump pump is an integral part of any home with a basement or crawlspace.


Installed at the basement floor’s lowest elevation, a sump pump is designed to manually remove water collected from the drain tile and potentially surrounding ground water. It is typically encased in a dedicated sump pit known as a sump crock or basin. Most have a mechanized flotation system that causes the pump to turn on and pump down the water to a safe level. The sump pump directs the water outside and away from the structure’s foundation through a discharge pipe. A check valve between the pump and the pipe keeps the water from back flowing into the house.

There are two general styles of sump pumps – a pedestal pump, where the motor is raised above the sump pit, and a submersible pump, which is wholly located below the basin cover. As a sump pump runs on electricity, and is mechanical equipment, it is highly recommended that you have a battery backup in the event you lose power or the pump reaches the end of its life cycle. At the very least, every sump system should at least include an alarm to notify you of rising water.

A good summary of potential benefits from sump pump systems include…

  • a dryer, more comfortable basement throughout the year.
  • advising a homeowner when the water level gets too high.
  • stabilizing the soil around the structure’s foundation.
  • safeguarding wall coverings and paint against flaking.
  • protecting metal appliances (furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, freezers, etc.).
  • raising a home’s property value.
  • providing homeowners with peace of mind regardless of weather conditions.

When it comes to maintaining a sump pump, it is suggested that the system be tested at least every other month by pouring water into the pump to confirm it starts and moves water.

For additional information on sump pumps, the team at JMI Pump Systems is ready to help. Please contact us at 800-234-5490 or sales@jmipumps.com.

The Basics of a Duplex System

Building redundancy into a mechanical system via a duplex pump system is cost-effective and efficient for a wide range of applications. In Wisconsin, duplex pump systems are required in a commercial buildings where there are three or more water closets or when more than 20 DFUS are draining into the sump basin. Duplex systems can also be used for drainage and dewatering.

As its name suggests, a duplex system means there are two pumps to handle the daily flow rates. The heart of the duplex system is the alternating control panel that, through the activation of sensor float control switches, automatically alternates between the two pumps. This not only equalizes pump wear but provides override control should either pump fail or if the second pump is needed to handle a heavy inflow.

The alternating control panel is operated by typically three sensor float control switches: stop float, lead float, and lag/alarm float. There are some systems that do use four floats – incorporating a redundant alarm or off function.

The stop float is the float that turns off whichever pump was called on to run. The lead float is the float that runs on whichever pump happens to be called for at that time. The third float is the lag/alarm float. If the liquid is to reach this float, the lag pump will turn on and the alarm will sound, warning there is a problem with the system.

Note that an alarm device must also be installed on a separate electrical circuit, separate from the circuits feeding the pumps. If you are using one breaker for the incoming pump power for both pumps, it needs to be sized for the possibility of both pumps running at the same time. It is highly recommended to have separate circuits for both pumps and the alarm, totaling three circuits.

JMI Pump Systems is able to assist you with finding the best duplex system for your application, including ones that may require no tethered floats. For more information, contact us at 800-234-5490 or sales@jmipumps.com.

To Grind Or Not To Grind …

Many of you might have seen a recent Facebook post from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District showing a photo of what happens to “flushable” wipes after they’re flushed. Looking at that mess at their pumping station, you see it’s quite the clog.

The recommendation is not to flush those “flushable” wipes, but people won’t stop doing it until perhaps it hits them in the wallet when a professional needs to unclog a lateral pipe or pump system.

Is there a solution to this? Depends on the consumer, what is thrown into the toilet, and equipment installed.

Some homeowners (and professionals too) make the incorrect assumption that a grinder pump will alleviate the problem. With their powerful cutting blades, grinder pumps break down household waste and help alleviate potential clogs. But even so, the only items that should be going down the drains are water, regular toilet paper, and human waste, better known as the three P’s (pee, paper, and poop).

While the industry is making advances in grinder pump cutters and centrifugal pumps with vortex impellers, they still are not able to remove a large volume of the wipes from the sewer system, resulting in the homeowner’s pumping system to clog.

So where and why are grinder pumps used? Grinder pumps are typically used when pumping from a residence to a low pressurized sewer main, typically required when the gravity sewer is a long distance from the residence or there is a dramatically high vertical lift. Grinder pumps macerate the sewage, reduce it to a slurry, and then pump it through diameter pipe as small as 1-1/4 in. The most common pump is rated 2 HP, which provides high pressure/low volumes of sewage pushing the waste over longer distances, sometimes thousands of feet.

Some grinder systems are installed with outdoor lift stations or indoors using a large fiberglass basin with a sealed cover, vent, and discharge, along with a check and ball valve. Most grinder pumps have a control panel with a built-in alarm because they are serving the whole house.

One of our popular models for domestic sewage is the IGP Series Grinder Pump from Franklin Electric, which operate across 208-230V ranges in one model. The GPA (automatic) and GPM (manual) versions’ motors and construction are designed to handle the demands of low-pressure sewage applications, grinding at 414,000 cuts per minute. They incorporate a non-clogging impeller staged for efficient pumping of the slurry with a shut-off head of 130 feet or 200 feet for the dual staged pump. Another good centrifugal based 2HP grinder pump option to consider is the OGP Series from Barnes.

As stated above, grinder pumps are designed to pump to a pressurized sewer main. They are not recommended for a septic tank, however there is an exception if the system is designed appropriately. If the special design is not completed correctly, the fineness of the slurry won’t easily separate from the liquid and therefore won’t get passed on to the secondary system. The result will be a ruined subsurface leaching field. Contact your trusted septic contractor to further discuss this option.

JMI Pump Systems has a large selection of grinder and sewage pumps to choose from. If you are not sure what your application calls for, we will be glad to assist. We are happy to visit a job site to help design, troubleshoot, and even assist with a new installation. For more information, contact us at 800-234-5490 or sales@jmipumps.com.

A Trench Drain Brief

Trench drains are long drains placed in a trench containing a trough or channel-shaped body to drain water, fluids, chemicals or other liquids. They come in a variety of widths, lengths, and grate covers, depending on the application, whether commercial, industrial, or residential. Here is a brief overview of trench drain materials and their uses.

  • Cast-iron: Strong and durable, commonly used in areas with heavy traffic (warehouses/vehicle service facilities, parking garages, etc.).
  • Ductile: Higher in strength than cast-iron, ductile applications include industrial and road drainage.
  • Stainless steel: Used in applications where chemicals or other corrosive material will be draining. Also appropriate for use where sanitary conditions are specified, such as food manufacturing or service facilities.
  • Polypropylene (thermoplastic polymer): This is a non-metallic flexible material that resists most chemicals. Lightweight and easy to handle, it’s appropriate for use around swimming pools (barefoot traffic), animal shelters or pet-care facilities, greenhouses, driveways, and more.
  • Fiberglass: Durable and lightweight, it also provides high strength and does not corrode. It is often used in industrial, food and beverage, and marine environments.

Grates come in a variety of figurations, again depending on the application. A sidewalk, vehicle, or pedestrian grates are often cosmetically pleasing and come with certain options. For example, a grate that must comply with the American Disabilities Act requires a half-inch or narrower opening perpendicular to the direction of travel. Heel proof grates in pedestrian walkways need to have openings less than 5/16 inch in width.

A number of U.S. Standards refer to grate loading with classifications A to F. For example, a Load Class A would be for residential and light pedestrian traffic (3,372 lbs./44.70 psi) while a Load Class F encompasses aircraft runways, docks, heavy industrial, and very heavy wheel loads (202,320 lbs./2,659-4,177psi).

At Jim Murry Inc., we can help you properly select your drain system. This would be based on…

  • the type of traffic traveling over the top of the trench drain.
  • the type of material entering the drain.
  • site restrictions.
  • the required flow rate per section of draining channel and its distribution.
  • appropriate capacity for condition.
  • appropriate load class grate.

We have a large selection and volume of inventory available for shipment today. For more information on trench drains, contact us at 800-234-5490 or sales@jmipumps.com.

Sizing The Residential Sump Pump

The most common misconception people have about sump pumps is that the bigger the horsepower of the pump, the better. Not so, and that is why proper sizing of the pump in the first place is so important. When sizing a residential sump pump, there are a few things to take into consideration.

If you look at the Wisconsin plumbing code SPS 382.36 for stormwater basin sizes, it states the size of each sump shall be no smaller than 16” diameter at the top, 14” diameter at the bottom, and 22” in depth deep. The pump size is listed as being of a capacity appropriate for its anticipated use. For the most part, these minimalist requirements have been adopted and are what most homes are built with.

In most cases, the sump pump would operate properly but an extreme rainfall could mean the pump can’t keep up. In that case, a secondary pump attached to a separate power source or a basic 12-volt battery backup system can prevent water damage.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are homes and buildings that were built with the Code’s minimum sizing with no idea what the anticipated capacity needed to be. You may hear statements from these property owners like “I need a one horsepower pump,” or “I have three pumps in my crock and they barely keep up,” and “Why does my pump only last a year?” If the home is properly graded and the roof, gutters, downspouts, and stormwater drainage is working the way it should, then it is necessary to upgrade the existing sump and pump system to a properly sized basin and redundant pump system that will protect from water overflow.

To properly size a pump system, you must first determine the peak inflow. In the example above, with multiple pumps barely keeping up with the inflow, that could be the best way to determine the inflow. Once you determine what the pumps’ outputs are, by checking pump curves, you now know the number needed to select a pump or pumps.

Once you have a good estimate of what the peak inflow is, it is time to determine the basin size. For stormwater, it is best to size the pump system from the bottom of the inlet (lowest inlet if there is more than one) to the bottom of the basin. The reason for this is that in some homes and buildings, as soon as the water sits in the drain tile you may see water coming through the cracks in the floor or where there may be a low spot in the drain tile. Therefore, the pump should turn on before it touches the bottom of the drain tile.

For example, given variables of 50 gpm peak inflow and a measurement of 10” from the top of the basin to the bottom of the inlet, we recommend a 30” diameter by 36” deep basin. A 30” diameter basin holds three gallons of fluid per inch (versus an 18” basin that holds one gallon per inch). A 10” pump down cycle would allow for 30 gallons of water to be pumped per cycle. The 36” deep basin allows for plenty of reserve and dead zone as well.

The 30” diameter basin would also allow extra room for a true duplex system and the control floats. Those floats would be attached to an alternator that would allow for equal exercise of the pumps and the ability for both pumps to run at the same time if one pump was unable to keep up with the inflow.

For questions on residential or commercial pump sizing, the team at JMI Pump Systems is ready to help. Contact us at 800-234-5490 or sales@jimmurrayinc.com.

Check Valve Fundamentals

Do you know what is the most important accessory of any pumping system? The answer is the check valve.

Many of you are already well-versed in understanding check valves, but it’s importance in water system control bears repeating.

The Basics

A check valve allows flow in one direction and automatically prevents backflow when fluid in the line reverses direction. In the home, check valves are found in the discharge line of the sump pump. They are also an important component of a submersible pump water system. Outside of the home, they are found in every building or industry where a pump is located.

Pump operation depends on how much water the pump needs to move at any given time. Improper pump cycling and eventual pump burnout happens when water continually flows back into the pump’s basin. Hence the need for check valves.

There are several types of check valves, including...

Swing check valve

The most basic design is the swing check valve, which features a simple design complete with a disc attached to a hinge at the top. As fluid passes through, the valve remains open. When a reverse flow occurs, the changes in motion as well as gravity help to bring down the disc, effectively closing the valve. Note: After the install, if no water goes through, then it is the wrong way around and must be reinstalled.

Spring check valve

These valves function in the same way as swing check valves, but the disc in the valve is held in place by a spring. When fluid pressure in the valve is higher than the pressure needed to open or close the valve, the spring lowers the disc to prevent reverse flow. In addition to protection against reverse flow, these valves also prevent water hammer (noise) and pressure surges.

Ball check valves

The ball check valves use a “ball” inside the body to control the movement of flow. When fluid is drawn in, the ball is pushed forward. When the fluid is pushed back, the ball is pressed into the round opening, which creates a seal and allows all fluid to flow out the second port in the intended direction. The ball can be spring loaded or free-floating.

Dual plate or split disc valve

A dual plate check valve is known as butterfly check valve or split disc. It operates with a door that is split down the middle and only folds one way to regulate flow. When fluid enters the valve, the pressure causes the hinges of the door to open. When flow is stopped the door is shut.

The above are just a few of the check valves available. While no one type of valve is good for all applications, each has its advantages and problems including noise (water hammer) vibration, reverse flow, sticking, leakage, component wear, or damage. Typically, these problems occur because the wrong style of check valve was selected for the application.

Before selecting a check valve, ask the JMI Pump Systems team to review the application. As it is most likely in stock, we can quickly assist you with the best valve for your backflow prevention needs.