Are you looking for the best water autoclave? Read my reviews, my opinions and discover the guide to choosing.
The water autoclave is a combined system which serves to ensure a constant delivery, with a medium stable pressure, of a liquid, generally for domestic use, which has an extremely low percentage of suspended particles. Therefore drinking water or, in any case, white water for sanitary use, and not gray or black water which, being rich in residues, would clog the pump impeller and the various mechanisms of the autoclave. For this type of liquids, which have a percentage of suspended matter outside the limits set for clear water, special pumps are needed. Gray and black water pumps will not be covered in this guide, as they are generally not used to build an autoclave.
What is a water autoclave and how does it work
The autoclave system for drinking water does not use a simple pump, but adds some components to it, which turn it on when it is necessary for the water to flow into the pipes, and turn it off at the end of delivery. And the same components also contribute to increasing the pressure, and consequently the prevalence. This is in order to raise the water several tens of meters from the ground, or push it very far, at least with respect to the water intake to which the autoclave is connected. Among other things, the autoclave for clear water has evolved over time to the point of being enclosed in a single body.
A compact autoclave with which you just need to connect the water inlet and outlet hoses, and insert the plug into the socket. An appliance that, at least compared to the traditional system, changes in shape and practicality of installation, but works in the same way and mounts the same components. The only difference, compared to the autoclave for the home, or an autoclave for the garden, is that once (but still today if you want to assemble it piece by piece) you had to manually assemble a series of components and adjust them accordingly. A moderately complicated job that generally preferred to be entrusted to a plumber.
Today, however, at least in the compact autoclave, all the pieces are already connected to each other and placed in a single machine. Even the water connections are easier to assemble, thanks to the quick coupling systems, and made of anti-vibration plastic material.
Components of autoclaves for drinking water
In a drinking water autoclave there is first of all a motor, which functions as a pump for clear liquids. Then there is a pressure switch, which measures and monitors the water pressure inside the distribution system. A mechanical or digital pressure gauge is connected to the pressure switch, which communicates the pressure values, also indicating the limits within which it must remain. Then there is an expansion system, which serves to increase and keep the water pressure constant in the system. And there is also the control unit for adjusting and monitoring the values or, alternatively, a series of manual controls.
Finally, if a constant supply source is missing, there must be a tank or a collection tank, which must always be full or the autoclave does not work. Another component, which was difficult to find in the old systems, is a sensor that detects the lack of incoming water and turns off the pump before it burns out or trips the protection magnetothermic switch when idling.
Best autoclave pumps for drinking water
1. Gardena 1760-20 Premium 6000 / 6E
Gardena’s 1760-20 Premium fresh water autoclave is a German-made machine and comes in six versions, different in both power and flow rate. Obviously the costs vary accordingly, with a range that ranges from just under 200 euros to around 400, but these are excellent quality appliances, extremely efficient both for domestic use and for automatically irrigating the garden. In this article we will deal with the most powerful model, namely the 6000 / 6E.
This autoclave, in fact, has very useful additional components and is made with high quality materials. First of all, this pump, unlike cheaper models, has a pressure switch that turns it off if there is no water or if there is a sudden failure. Then there is an anti-reflux valve that guarantees its promptness and precision. Among other things, it is a water autoclave that respects the noise limits imposed in residential areas, thanks to its 5-section impeller and rubber feet, which also make it very stable. And finally, with the electronic control unit and its LCD display, you always have everything under control.
As for the technical characteristics, the 1760-20 Premium by Gardena is equipped with an electronic pressure pump with a stainless steel housing. Its power is 1300 Watts, has a maximum flow rate of 6000 liters per hour and develops a pressure that reaches 5.5 bar. Among the devices, this pump also has a program for small quantities, perfect for household appliances or micro irrigation systems.
Its motor is of the condensing type with thermal protection and does not require routine maintenance, as is the case with brush motors. A machine that combines power and ease of use, great readability thanks to its LCD display and no problem of sensitivity to atmospheric agents. It has two exits, one of which is adjustable, and is 50 x 26 x 34 centimeters large. The maximum priming depth is 8 meters.
2. Gardena 1753-20 Classic 3000/4
Gardena’s 1753-20 Classic 3000/4 autoclave is a 2800 liters / hour machine, reliable and well made. Excellent for both home and garden irrigation, this clear water autoclave features an anti-backflow valve and effective overload protection, as well as a start / stop device. Also for this model there are more powerful versions, capable of guaranteeing a flow rate of 3500 or 4500 liters / hour. 1753-20 Classic 3000/4 by Gardena is 47.8 x 30.8 x 65 cm large and weighs 14 kilos.
It is an ECO machine, which is one of the devices that respect the environment because it reduces consumption by 15%, at least compared to other autoclaves of the same power and capacity. And the device that turns it off automatically, in case of emergency or need, also contributes to energy saving. With thermal protection that trips when a voltage overload occurs, the 1753-20 Classic 3000/4 is a safe machine.
It is an autoclave that mounts a 650 Watt condenser motor, whose flow rate is 2800 liters / hour, while the maximum head reaches 40 meters and pulls water even from a depth of 8 meters. This autoclave has the start for ignition preset at 1.8 bar, and the ECO activity range is between 2.2 and 3.2 bar. The impeller is of the Jet type and has a single 33.3 mm outlet, ie one inch.
The motor shaft is made of stainless steel and the water drain plug is independent from the water supply unit. You can also safely use it as a garden autoclave, because its waterproofing level is IPX4. Easy to install and use Gardena 1753-20 Classic 3000/4 is safe, compact, easy to transport and has a truly attractive design. And finally, all indicators and controls are clear, legible and within easy reach.
3. Black & Decker BXGP800XBE 800 Watt
It is an autoclave for clear water with an excellent cost / performance ratio. It is, in fact, a pump that mounts an 800 watt motor and a 19-liter buffer tank. Its maximum flow rate is 3500 liters per hour and guarantees you a maximum head of 38 meters. Perfect for home environments, this autoclave has an attractive design with its beautiful matte black color and orange lettering. Manometer, pressure switch and three-way joint are installed outdoors.
A feature that allows you to be able to replace them separately, should one of the elements fail. Its overall dimensions are 43.5 x 27 x 49.8 cm and its empty weight is 10.9 kilos. The machine is protected against bad weather. So you can also use it in the garden for irrigation cycles or on the balcony for domestic services. The pump body is made of stainless steel, so as to guarantee you exceptional resistance to corrosion and oxidation. The lung tank, on the other hand, is made of steel with a high concentration of carbon.
Even if not specifically provided, to ensure optimal operation it is always useful to mount a non-return valve at the tank outlet. Finally, Black+ Decker has recently marketed a very similar autoclave model, slightly less powerful, which features a lower list price. The Black+ Decker BXGP600PBE pump, in fact, mounts a 600 Watt motor, holds 35 meters of head, has 3100 liters / hour of flow rate and a 19 liter tank.
Its engine also has high temperature protection, to preserve its integrity for as long as possible. Its self-priming capability reaches 8 meters deep and the water inlet and outlet connectors are 1 inch. This autoclave is not suitable for hot water circuits, neither heating nor sanitary, because it cannot withstand internal temperatures higher than 35 degrees centigrade. Instead it is perfect to be used in emergency situations, or temporary, because thanks to its ergonomic handle it is possible to carry it and install it wherever it is needed.
4. TROTEC TGP 1025 E 1.000 W IP44
TROTEC TGP 1025 E is a pump for domestic use that mounts a 1000 Watt motor. Its maximum flow rate is 3300 liters / hour and the pressure reaches 3 bar. TGP 1025 E is a domestic water autoclave that is as efficient as it is economical, which is able to bring water up to 30 meters in height from the point of withdrawal. A pump that you can connect without problems at home, at the outlet of the drinking water meter, but that you can also use comfortably to draw water from a well or distribute the rain reserves of a cistern.
Automatic switching on and off allow you to keep its electricity consumption under control. A feature that places this autoclave among the energy-saving electrical devices. The presence of an emergency switch, of the magnetothermic type, among the protection devices, protects the health and duration of the motor from overheating. The cover of the machine is made of impact-resistant plastic, very robust, and is declared impermeable to water, with an IPX4 protection level.
The tank, the engine dissipation chamber and the components of the water connections, on the other hand, are all in metal, in silver color or painted in yellow. This autoclave measures 27 x 45.3 x 50 cm and weighs 10.5 kg. Its draft capacity reaches 7 meters. This machine is not suitable for domestic hot water, because it can withstand a maximum temperature of 35 degrees. The water inlet and outlet bushings are 1 inch (33.3 mm) and the operating noise does not exceed 72 db (A).
The TROTEC TGP 1025 E is not equipped with a check valve so you will have to fit a one-inch one at the water inlet. You can adjust the maximum pressure within which the pump switches off, reducing it compared to the one set by the house, by acting directly on the pressure switch. It is simple to install and can also be used to irrigate the garden.
5. AR Blue Clean ARGP 600PB 600 Watt
ARGP 600PB by AR Blue Clean is a pump with domestic characteristics. This autoclave has a 600 Watt motor and is quite economical. This does not mean that its characteristics allow you to bring water up to 35 meters of head and to be able to count on a flow rate of 3100 liters / hour. Its fuel tank has a capacity of 19 liters and its blue and black bodywork makes it aesthetically very pleasing.
Its dimensions are 44 x 27 x 51 cm and its weight is 10.8 Kg. ARGP 600PB is a domestic-type autoclave, capable of continuously feeding a medium-sized apartment, or allowing you to water a small vegetable garden or garden. The impeller cup is made of sturdy, impact-resistant plastic, while the motor body and tank are made of carbon steel. Its motor group has an excellent performance, even with a relatively low consumption. A feature that places this pump among the low-energy electrical resources.
Its integrity is guaranteed both by the quality of the materials and by the presence of a magnetothermic safety switch. An additional protection that switches off the pump in case of overheating, and blocks it from restarting until the temperatures are acceptable again. It is a multipurpose pump that you can easily assemble and disassemble and that you can carry with just as much comfort thanks to its practical handle. Its operating pressure is adjustable and reaches 3.5 bar.
It can suck water from a depth of 8 meters and the measurements of the water inlet and outlet fittings are 1 inch. This autoclave can only be used for normal domestic water and not for domestic hot water or to feed the heating hot water circuit.
How to choose the water autoclave
To choose a water autoclave that is suitable for your needs, you must take into account some general factors, as well as your needs. In fact, it is useless to take a very powerful machine, which is able to bring water to a height of thirty meters, if your home has only one elevation and the connection to the water network is on the floor. Just as it is useless to install a 10,000-liter tank if you are only two in the family and the municipal water distribution works regularly.
1. Motor and pump
Motor and pump are essential. We talk about them at the same time because they are generally sold in a single block. The engine must always be of a good brand, sturdy, preferably covered with a stainless steel or cast iron chassis, because it is more resistant to atmospheric agents and humidity. The pump is that bump you see installed on the front of the engine. A sort of donut or cylinder chamber that contains the impeller. It is on this chamber that the two water inlet and outlet bushes are present. Also in this case the best material is steel, or cast iron which, moreover, has greater resistance and often also a better ability to withstand the erosion of limestone residues contained in the water.
2. Engine power
A home autoclave generally has a ½ hp or ¾ motor. This, in fact, is sufficient power to serve a medium-sized apartment. If, on the other hand, you have to bring the water very high, or very far, such as for a garden autoclave, it may be necessary to mount a larger pump, which also has 2 hp of power. This is because it is the power of the motor that determines the maximum number of revolutions of the pump and, consequently, the prevalence of the autoclave.
3. Head of the pump
The head of the autoclave pump is measured in bars. A bar corresponds to just over 10 meters of water column. So if your autoclave has to bring water to a height of 40 meters, its pump must be capable of expressing at least 4 bars, even if 5 would be preferable. The head of the autoclave pump is marked on its brass label, riveted on the body, together with the other characteristics of the pump, such as voltage, power and number of revolutions. In the event that the home autoclave has to manage a large apartment or a complex situation, then it is always better to ask a specialized technician for advice on power and prevalence.
4. Capacity or number of liters per minute
Another fact that should not be underestimated is the delivery capacity of the domestic autoclave. This information is also almost always present on the pump’s technical data plate and, obviously, varies according to the distance of the dispensing point, i.e. the tap, from the pump. This measurement should be reported in the form of a table and in relation to the meters of exploitation. In fact, at the maximum exploitation of the head, the dispensing capacity is zeroed and no more water comes out of the tap.
The delivery capacity is a measure that you need to understand if, when you open a tap, the water will come out with an acceptable pressure and, above all, how many delivery points you can open at the same time. Consider that the pressure at a tap must oscillate between 5 liters / min and 12 liters / min. If you need to open more than one at the same time, then the delivery capacity of the pump must be equal to an average of the scissors, therefore between 7 and 9 liters / min, multiplied by the number of delivery points to be opened.
5. Pressure switch
At the outlet of the impeller of the autoclave pump there is a pressure switch, which monitors the pressure reached by the water under the stress of the pump. The pressure switch has a membrane that presses on a small lung. This membrane is in contact with water and when the pressure rises it releases a spring, which disconnects the electrical contacts and switches off the pump. When it goes down, however, it releases the spring, which re-establishes the electrical contact and switches the motor back on. Obviously the minimum and maximum can be adjusted, either manually with a key, or on the display, if there is a control unit and the pressure switch is electronic. The interval between the two values must not drop below 1 bar or 1 bar and two.
6. Electronic pressure switch
The electronic pressure switch of a domestic autoclave is certainly more precise, reliable and easily adjustable. These are not indifferent qualities, at least compared to the manual one. However, unlike the more rudimentary model, the electronic pressure switch is more easily subject to failures and voltage fluctuations in the electrical network and, if it fails, it can almost always be scrapped. The manual model, on the other hand, requires minimal maintenance and can work for years.
7. Pressure gauge
The pressure gauge is a pressure indicator which is used to display the status of the system. In correspondence with the values you have set on the pressure switch, in fact, the autoclave switches on or off depending on the pressure. The pressure gauge is essential to understand if everything is working perfectly, if the pressure switch is correctly adjusted or if there is a leak in the system.
8. Expansion chamber
The expansion chamber is the component that guarantees you the water pressure inside the circuit. It is a spherical or oval shaped metal container that holds a tough rubber ball and ends with an open connector with a 1 inch or ¾ thread. This threaded connector connects to the water circuit thanks to the three-way junction and, consequently, keeps the lung always full of water. Water which, under the thrust of the pump, enters the sphere with a lot of energy and compresses both the internal membrane and that of the pressure switch.
The internal membrane returns the pressure to the water when it pushes it into the pipes, while the pressure at the pressure switch causes the engine to switch on and off, within the range of reference values.
9. Capacity of the expansion vessel
The capacity of the expansion vessel of an autoclave pump determines both the width of the minimum / maximum pressure range, which the autoclave can impart to the water, and the maximum value of the pressure itself. This is because the larger the sphere, the more space there will be between the rubber lung and the rest of the vessel. A 5 or 10 liter expansion tank is enough for a domestic autoclave. For a villa or condominium, a 100-liter one might be needed or, in any case, commensurate with it. Among other things, an expansion vessel of a few liters can be filled with little air, and thus impart a relatively low pressure to the water.
A 100-liter jar, on the other hand, can be loaded with a higher pressure and serve more than one home. Obviously this larger tank must be connected to a pump of adequate power or, better, to a pair of 2 hp pumps.
10. Press Control
Expansion sphere, three-way connector, pressure gauge and pressure switch have now been replaced by a device that incorporates all the components. It is called press control and is ready to be installed on an autoclave pump. The original model is made with a yellow cone and a blue box. Inside the cone there are the pressure control systems, while in the blue box you will find the electrical contacts and the start, restart, on and off commands.
Definitely less complicated and bulky than the ball system, the press control is perfect for a domestic autoclave, or for a medium power garden autoclave. But before buying it you need to check its pressure resistance capacity. In fact, you can find them from 1.5 bar, or from 2.2 or 4 or 5 bar. The higher its ability to withstand pressure, the more powerful the pump can be and, therefore, give you a higher head.
11. Collection tank
Even if you can rely on a constant water source, the presence of a collection tank, also connected to an autoclave for the garden, helps you from many points of view. First of all, you can count on an autonomy that you decide. In fact, you just need to calculate the average daily consumption and multiply it by the days in which you want to be sure that you are not lacking in coverage. For example, a 500-liter tub generally satisfies the needs of an average family for two days.
Obviously it also depends on the space you have available, because a 5000 or 6000 liter tank is not easy to place and, often, must be placed below the ground level. The smaller tanks, ranging from 250 to 1000 liters, are typically made of food-grade plastic. The larger above ground tanks, on the other hand, are made of galvanized iron or steel. Those underground can be made of plastic or made of concrete. In the presence of an underground tank, therefore below the suction level of the pump, you will need to place the check valve at the end of the suction column.
12. Check valve
The check valve ensures that the entire autoclave system remains constantly under pressure. The check valve to be installed must be of maximum useful flow rate, so if the tank outlet is 1 inch, the valve must also respect this section. The check valve tends to fail when wear and limescale block the gate spring.
The compact autoclaves
You recognize compact autoclaves because they have a single block, from which the two most voluminous elements stand out, namely the expansion tank and the motor. They are extremely simple to assemble and, if needed, also to transport. Even in this case, however, comfort has a cost, especially if you take a brand that is as cheap as it is impossible to find. In fact, if one of these devices breaks, sending it in for assistance is much more complicated and expensive. But if you want a beautiful and ready-made water autoclave, which does not force you to choose its components, to assemble them one by one, then taking a compact model is certainly the fastest and most effective solution.
The only care is the control of the various parameters, such as power, head and flow rate, which must satisfy your operational needs.