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Pumps are one of the most often used tools in modern society. In simplest terms, pumps either force a fluid, such as water, from a sealed container into another sealed container, or they agitate the fluid to such an extent that its own momentum propels it from one location to another. Pumps may be powered by electricity, through simple elbow grease, and even through solar power.

One of the most famous pumps still in operation is called a “nodding donkey.” Being the visible component of a submersible pump, this contraption is most commonly associated with oil production, and in some states is a common sight in residential neighborhoods, on parking lots, and even on playgrounds. Other names it has received are “grasshopper,” “thirsty bird,” and “jack pump.” Other pumps that almost everyone is using nowadays are fuel pumps. Any vehicle or mode of transportation that relies on fuel also needs fuel pumps to move the fuel from the tank to the engine.

Homeowners with basements know all about sump pumps, those mechanical devices that eliminate the dread of a flooded basement whenever the ground nearby reaches the saturation level during heavy rainfall, by being the catch-all defense if all other methods of preventing water from seeping into the basement have failed. Relying on the groundwater hole to signal a need for diverting the water, this device will pump the water away from the house’s foundation, thus eliminating the possibility of a rain flooded basement. Other household uses for pumps now include several food preserving devices known as vacuum sealers. By preventing oils and nuts from becoming rancid through exposure to air, and by preventing frozen foods from experiencing freezer burn, the vacuum that is generated by pumping out all the air then seals off the food against the oxygen.

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