Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Pump Technology Solutions in the Last 100 Years: How Pumps Have Made Today’s Domestic City Life Possible

If you’re a resident of New York City, you might take for granted how easy and convenient daily life is in 2023. But in just the last century or so, pump technology solutions have made our current standard of living possible. Here’s a look at how pumps have changed domestic life with new inventions that revolutionized home routines and allowed for high-rise living.

Essential Pumps in New York City Condominium and Co-operative Buildings

Water circulator pumps

Clean water for drinking and washing is one of our most essential necessities. But before the invention of water circulator pumps, New York City residents had to haul water by hand from its source to their homes. Springs, reservoirs, and public fountains supplied water for generations. However, even with the construction of sophisticated gravity-driven aqueducts in the late 19th century, people still needed a way to get water from the street to their residences.

Rudimentary water pumps, like Archimedes’ screw, had been used in agriculture since ancient times, but pumping water to upper stories in 20th-century New York City was another story entirely. Early water pumps relied on hand cranking or horsepower, which wasn’t practical in urban areas. It wasn’t until the advent of domestic electricity in New York City in the late 19th century that individual building pumps could be powered electrically, making water circulation as we know it today possible.

Boiler system pumps

The ability to power pumps with electricity was a game changer for New York City brownstones and apartment buildings and in the condos and co-ops that followed. Residents no longer needed to heat hot water in a fireplace or on a stove and could have it pumped directly from the boiler room to their taps. Hot water circulator pumps today provide that service while saving boiler energy by keeping hot water moving through a building’s pipes at all times. Research is ongoing to make these pumps even more efficient and less dependent on fossil fuels.

Other boiler system pumps that have transformed daily life include:

  • – Steam pumps to improve the supply of steam to radiators for heat
  • – Condensate return pumps to return cooled steam to the boiler
  • – Automatic water feeder pumps to supply fresh water to the boiler as needed

Fire suppression pumps

As buildings began to get taller and taller in New York, their height presented some quandaries. The force of gravity made it difficult to maintain water pressure on upper stories, especially as skyscrapers became the norm. This wasn’t just a nuisance for residents; it made fires life-threatening disasters that could have taken out huge segments of the city, as happened in San Francisco and Chicago.

The answer to both problems is the booster pump. This accessory pump can be used alone or in groups to overcome the force of gravity and bring tap water to the highest levels of the tallest buildings. And booster pumps are used in fire suppression systems too in order to ensure sprinklers have enough pressure behind them to operate if a fire breaks out.

Sewage pumps

In the early days of New York City living and into the mid-19th century, sewage was removed by hand from residential bathrooms and carted away by professionals whose job it was to transport waste. Once sewer mains were constructed in the mid-1800s, residences could flush it into these centralized pipes rather than hand carting it. But once again, gravity posed a problem.

For people living or working below street level, the force of gravity couldn’t be used to carry sewage reliably to the municipal pipes. Backups were frequent, rendering some places inhabitable. Sewage ejector pumps were invented to deal with this scenario and became mainstream soon after World War II. They pump out waste from toilets, sinks, and washing machines so people can live comfortably in basement units.

Sump pumps

Low-lying properties were also a problem for rising water, whether due to rain storms or snow melt. Water coming up through the floor caused property damage and the risk of electric shock. Sump pumps, similar to sewage ejector pumps, were created in the 20th century, using older technology from ships, to remove dangerous water rising up from the ground and pump it away from buildings to prevent damage and injuries.

Appliance pumps

You probably use two appliances every day that rely on pumps to function: clothes washers and dishwashers. Those appliances that save you hours each week in manual labor have built-in pumps to supply and circulate clean water as well as to drain water and remove waste. Without those pumps, you’d be washing your clothes and dishes by hand instead of enjoying more fun activities during your free time.

Air conditioning pumps

Fans were one of the first devices run on domestic electrical supply in New York City in the early 20th century, along with toasters and sewing machines. But as anyone who has spent a sweltering August in the city knows, fans only provide a small amount of relief from heat. Window air conditioning units are still common in pre-war buildings, but newer towers use more complex central AC systems to cool interiors.

There are a variety of configurations to these systems, but many rely on rooftop cooling towers to release heat to the atmosphere. And what’s a key element of any cooling tower? You guess it — a pump!

As pumps have become more complicated, they rely on expert servicing for maintenance, cleaning, and servicing. If you have a problem with one of your building’s pumps in New York City, call Antler Pumps at 212-534-2500 to schedule an appointment. Don’t wait until failure of one of your pumps propels you back in time to the 1800s. Reach out today.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

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  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

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The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

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The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

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The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

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The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.