Home - Machines Theory - Things you need to know about pump

Things you need to know about pump

Ever since the domination of technology, a device “Pump” was invented to raise, transport, or compress fluids. This invention has made life easy in our modern world as it is now used for various purposes.

In this article, you’ll get to know the definition, diagram, components, applications, function, classifications, specifications, types, and how a pump works. You’ll also learn the advantages and disadvantages of all kinds of pumps.

Read more: Things you need to know about relays

What is a pump?

A pump is a mechanical device that moves or transports fluids (liquids or gases). This works by mechanical action converted from electrical energy into hydraulic energy. It can also be seen as a device that expends energy in order to raise, transport, or compress fluids.

The earliest produce pumps were used for raising water, such as the Persian and Roman waterwheels. Just as earlier mentioned, pumps operate by some mechanism (typically reciprocating or rotary). It consumes energy to perform mechanical work (moving of fluid).

This system can be designed to operate through many energy sources. This includes manual operation, electricity, wind power, engines, etc. Pumps are available in many sizes, from the microscopic type use for medical application to large industrial types.

The first pump was described by Archimedes in the 3rd century BC. This is why it is known as the Archimedes screw pump.

Final opinion on the definition of a pump. A pump is a machine or mechanical equipment that is designed to lift liquid from low level to high level. It can flow liquid from a low-pressure area to a high-pressure area. The pump also serves as a booster in a piping network system.

If a pump casing contains only one revolving impeller, it is called a single-stage pump. But if a casing contains two or more revolving impellers, it is known as a double- or multi-stage pump.

Note that a pump produces liquid movement or flow: it does not generate pressure. The flow necessary for the development of pressure is produced. This is a function of resistance to fluid flow in the system.

Read more: Understanding an automotive relay

Applications of pump

The use of pumps today in our society is vast. Just as stated, the early applications include the use of windmill or watermill to pump water. Today, pumps are specifically designed for irrigation, gasoline supply, water supply, refrigeration (usually called a compressor). It is also used for air conditioning systems, chemical movement, sewage movement, flood control, etc.

In biology, there are different types of chemical and biomechanical pumps that have evolved. Biomimicry is sometimes used in developing new types of mechanical pumps.

Because of the various applications of pumps, they have different shapes and sizes: from very large to very small, from handling gas to handling liquid, from high pressure to low pressure, and finally from high volume to low volume.

Note: generally, the function of a pump is to more liquid or gas. Well, a liquid pump can’t simply draw air, their working mechanism is different. This is explained below this post.

Below are the applications and function of a mechanical pump.

  • Pumping water from wells,
  • Aquarium filtering, pond filtering, and aeration
  • Car industry for water-cooling and fuel injection
  • Used for pumping oil and natural gas in the energy industry
  • Also, for operating cooling towers and other components of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
  • In the medical industry, pumps are used for biochemical processes in developing and manufacturing medicine.
  • It is also used as an artificial replacement for body parts, in particular the artificial heart and penile prosthesis.

Read more: Everything you need to know about fuse

Classifications of pump

Classification of pumps can be accomplished in many ways; depending on the applications they serve, and materials from which they are constructed. The liquid’s transports and their space orientation can also be used to classify the pump. Pump classification is also done based on the principle by which energy is added to the fluid. This has made all types of pumps fall into two main categories; Dynamic (centrifugal) pumps and positive displacement pumps. This will be further explained.

Furthermore, on pump classification according to the way in which energy is imparted to the fluid. The basic methods include volumetric displacement, the addition of kinetic energy, and the use of electromagnetic force.

Fluids are displaced mechanically or by the use of another fluid. Kinetic energy may be added to a fluid through the high-speed rotation of the fluid. It is also done by providing an impulse of the direction of flow. Classification using electromagnetic force, the pumped fluid must be a good electrical conductor. Pumps used to transport or pressurize gases are known as compressors, blowers, or fans.

In addition, pumps whose displacement is performed mechanically are called positive displacement pumps. Finally, kinetic pumps impart kinetic energy to the fluid through a rapidly rotating impeller.

Read more: Everything you need to know about chain drive

Join our Newsletter

Components of pump

Since pumps are categorized into two; dynamic pumps and positive displacement pumps. Below is the major component of the two types of pumps.

The major parts of dynamic or centrifugal pumps are impeller, casing, delivery pipe, and suction pipe. For positive displacement pumps which are available in various types, their parts are also different. For example, a diaphragms positive displacement pump part includes two diaphragms, transfer valve, balls, or check valve. Also, the gear types of this pump have different parts compare to diaphragms.

Read more: Everything you need to know about cam and follower


Since pumps serve different purposes, there should be different expectations in horsepower, volumetric flow rate, outlet pressure in meters (or feet) of the head. Inlet suction in suction feet (or meters) of the head is also another aspect. This head can be simplified as the number of feet or meters the pump can raise or lower column at atmospheric pressure.

Engineers use a quantity termed the specific speed from an initial design point of view. This term is used to identify the most suitable pump type for a particular combination of flow rate and head.

In a pump, power is imparted into a fluid to increase its energy per unit volume. So, the power relationship is between the conversion of the mechanical energy of the pump mechanism and the fluid elements within the pump. In general, this is governed by a series of simultaneous differential equations, known as the Navier-strokes equation. Bernoulli’s equation is a simpler equation that can be used but relating only the different energies of the fluid.

Read more: Things you need to know about rivets and riveted joints

Types of pumps

Below are the various types of pumps based on their classifications; Dynamic pumps and Positive Displacement Pumps.

types of pumps

Dynamic pumps

Dynamic pump types include centrifugal, vertical centrifugal, horizontal centrifugal, submersible, and fire hydrant systems. Let dive into their explanation.

Centrifugal pump:

These types of pumps are common all over the world. Its working is less complex, well-described, and carefully tested. Centrifugal pumps are strong, efficient, and can be fairly cheap and easy to make. In its working, the fluid pressure increases from the inlet of the pump to its outlet. The change experienced in the pressure will drive the liquid throughout the system.

In this pump, an electrical motor is used to transmit mechanical power to the liquid throughout the revolving impeller. The flow of liquid enters the center of the impeller and then exits along with its blades. The importance of these types of pumps is that their power increases the velocity of the fluid and also the energy such as kinetic energy can be altered to force.

Centrifugal Pump
Centrifugal Pump


Vertical Centrifugal Pump

These types of pumps are also called cantilever pumps. They use an exclusive shaft and are designed to cause the volume to fall within the pit as the bearings are external to the pit. A filling container is not used to cover the shaft in a vertical centrifugal pump. However, it uses a throttle bushing.

Vertical Centrifugal Pump
Vertical Centrifugal Pump

Read more: Everything you need to know about plastic

Horizontal Centrifugal Pump

The horizontal centrifugal types of pumps use a minimum of two or more impellers. It is widely used in pumping services due to its effectiveness and every stage is fundamentally a divide pump. All these stages are in a similar shelter and mounted on a similar shaft. On a solo horizontal shaft, a minimum of eight otherwise additional stages can be mounted. In every stage, the heat increases around by an equal amount. Multi-stage pumps can also be single otherwise double suction on the first impeller.

horizontal centrifugal pump
Horizontal Centrifugal Pump

Submersible Pump

These types of pumps are also called stormwater, sewage, and septic pumps. The applications of submersible pumps include building services, domestic, industrial, and commercial applications. rural, municipal, and rainwater recycle also makes good use of it.

These types of pumps are suitable for shifting stormwater, sewage, subsoil water, black water, greywater, and rainwater. Trade waste, chemicals, bore water, and foodstuffs. Different impellers like closed, vortex, contra-block, multi-stage, single-channel, cutter, or grinder pumps. Depending on the applications, multiple selections can be made for either high flow, low flow, low head, or even high head.

Submersible Pump
Submersible Pump

Read more: Different types of metals and their classifications

Fire Hydrant Pump Systems

Fire hydrant pump systems are also called hydrant boosters, fire pumps, and fire water pumps. These types of pumps are high force water pumps with the purpose of increasing the level of fire-fighting of construction by increasing the force within the hydrant service. The applications of this pump system include irrigation as well as water transfer.

Fire Hydrant System
Fire Hydrant System

Positive displacement pumps

There are also five types of positive displacement pumps which include a diaphragm, gear, peristaltic, lobe, and piston pumps. Let see their explanations!

Diaphragm pump:

These types of pump systems are known as AOD that is Air Operated Diaphragms, pneumatic and AODD pumps. These pumps are mainly used in continuous applications such as general plants, industrial and mining, etc. They are particularly employed where power cannot be obtained, or in unstable and combustible regions. Diaphragm pumps are also utilized for food manufacturing, underground coal mines, chemical transferring, etc.

In the working of this pump, two diaphragms are driven with condensed air. With a transfer valve, the suction of air is achieved, with then applies the air alternately toward the two diaphragms. Every diaphragm has a set of ball or check valves.

Diaphragm Pump
Diaphragm Pump

Gear Pumps

A gear pump is a kind of rotating positive dislocation pump. That is, they force a stable amount of liquid for every revolution taken. These types of pumps move liquid with machinery coming inside and outside mesh for making a non-exciting pumping act. They are able to pump at higher forces and surpass at pumping high thickness fluid efficiently.

Gear pumps don’t have any valve to cause losses like friction and high impeller velocities. This is why it is capable of handling thicker liquids such as fuel and grease oils. Although they are not apt at driving solids as well as harsh liquids.

Gear Pump
Gear Pump

Read more: Understanding the types of automotive fuses

Peristaltic Pumps

The peristaltic pumps are also called tube pumps. They are a kind of positive displacement pump used in the processing of chemical, food, and water treatment industries. The pump types are capable of making stable flow for measuring and blending. They are also capable of pumping a variety of liquids like toothpaste and all kinds of chemicals.

Lobe Pumps

Lobe pumps offer different characteristics such as reliability, rust resistance, excellent high efficiency, hygienic qualities, etc. These types of pumps have the ability to handle high thickness fluids and solids without destroying them. Although their work is much related to gear pumps, only for the lobes that do not come into contact with each other. In addition, these pumps have superior pumping rooms when compared with gear pumps that allow them to move slurries. They are made with stainless steel that is extremely polished.

Piston Pump

Finally, this is the last positive displacement pump. These pumps are frequently used in water irrigation, an event requiring high, reliable pressure, and high delivery systems for transferring chocolate, pastry, paint, etc.

How pump works

With the above explanation of the various types of pumps, it is obvious their working will the different. With that explanation, you should be able to get the working principle of a pump. However, the basic aspect of how pumps works are by using mechanical forces to push material or substances. This is done either by physic lifting or by the force of compression.

Watch the video below to learn more about the working of a pump:


Pumps are mechanical device that was described by Archimedes. It was purposely designed for transmitting fluid either liquid or gas. The system can be designed to operate through many energy sources. In this article, we’ve examined the definition, applications, classifications, and types of pumps. We also explain how the mechanical pump works in video format.

I hope you’ve got a lot from this lesson, if so, kindly share with other technical students. Thank for reading! See you next time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *