When using pumps for any purpose, reliable, secure and resilient connections to fittings and pipework are vital. Unreliable connections lead to inefficient systems, increased downtime and the risk of potentially expensive leaks – including those which can attract hefty fines.
There are two main types of connection in use in the water industry – Bauer fittings and flanged fittings. However, there is often confusion around which type of connection is better suited for water handling applications.
There are no absolute answers, and you should always consult an expert if unsure when setting up a pump and pipework. However, there are several considerations to think about which can influence any decision on whether to use a Bauer or flanged connection.
Here we look at both options and offer some advice on which works best.
What is a Bauer connection?
In some ways, a Bauer connection, also known as a ‘Bauer fitting’ or ‘Bauer coupling’, is simpler and faster to use than a flanged connector. Bauer fittings are widely used in the industry and installing them is simply a case of clicking male and female connectors together and securing them with a lever closure ring.
What are the pros and cons of Bauer connectors?
Bauer connections are often cheaper to install and faster to deploy than flanged connectors. However, easier and cheaper isn’t always best – and they do come with significant disadvantages.
Bauer connections are available in a limited range of diameters, meaning they won’t be suitable for every pump or pipe setup.
They are less capable than flanged connections at coping with high pressures, meaning they should never be used with high head pumps such as those in the Selwood H range.
They can be prone to leaks, leaving users open to the risk of pollution incidents, inefficiencies and delays, and the risk of potential injury to people nearby.
Another concern is that Bauer connections are not tamper-proof, leaving installations less secure and more open to potential vandalism.
What is a flanged connection?
Flanged connectors are securely bolted together, creating tight and reliable seals which are ideally suited for applications such as sewer bypass, pumping stations, treatment works and high-pressure applications.
What are the pros and cons of flanged connectors?
Although they are not quite as quick to deploy as Bauer connections, flanged connectors still allow easy access for inspection, cleaning or maintenance.
They come in a wide variety of diameters, giving them a huge advantage over Bauer connectors when it comes to flexibility and compatibility with pumps and pipework. This also helps reduce friction, meaning smaller and more energy-efficient pumps can be used with them, using less power and reducing the environmental impact of your pumping operations.
Flanged fittings have a far greater capacity than other types of connectors and, crucially, have a much higher pressure rating than the alternatives.
As a guide, Bauer connections can generally cope with pressures around 5 bar, but flanged fittings can handle much more – making them essential in any installation involving high head pumps such as those in the Selwood H range.
Which connection should I use?
As always, it is important to pick the right parts for the job and both systems have pros and cons. However, for high-pressure operations involving high head pumps, we would never recommend the use of a Bauer connection as the additional reliability, security and pressure-handling capabilities of flanged connectors make them far safer and better suited.
In general, Selwood engineers increasingly use and recommend flanged connectors as the go-to standard for most applications. The increased reliability, lowered risk of tampering and greater efficiency mean they are often the gold standard even where high pressure is not a factor.
However, it’s always important to assess each job on its own requirements and our pump specialists will always look at all the options available to install the best-performing, safest solution.
Specialist Pump Solutions
Selwood are world leaders in pump manufacturing and we are proudly the leading pump rental solutions company in the UK. Our close relationships with our partners and customers has helped us to deliver thousands of bespoke installations of solids handling pumps and fittings to businesses on both small and large scales. For guidance, please contact our specialists today.