The basics of centrifugal pumps



Table of Content

What is a centrifugal pump?

A centrifugal pump is a type of pump that uses a rotating impeller to move water or other fluids by using the principle of centrifugal force. The fluid is drawn into the center of the impeller, which is a spinning disc with a series of blades or vanes around the edge. As the impeller rotates, the fluid is flung outwards by the centrifugal force created by the spinning action of the impeller. This creates a flow of fluid in the desired direction, typically out of the pump and into a pipeline or other type of conduit.

Where are they used?

Centrifugal pumps are widely used in many different applications, including water treatment, irrigation, and the oil and gas industry. They are relatively simple in design and are known for their reliability and durability. They are also relatively easy to operate and maintain, making them a popular choice for many different types of applications.

The main advantage (pros)

One of the key advantages of centrifugal pumps is their ability to move large volumes of fluid at high flow rates. This makes them well-suited for applications where a large amount of fluid needs to be moved quickly, such as in water treatment plants or irrigation systems. They are also able to handle a wide range of fluids, including water, chemicals, and even abrasive materials like sand or gravel.

The different types

Centrifugal pumps are typically classified according to the type of impeller they use. The most common types of impellers are radial flow, mixed flow, and axial flow. Radial flow impellers are designed to create a flow of fluid that is perpendicular to the axis of the impeller, while mixed flow impellers create a flow that is at an angle to the axis of the impeller. Axial flow impellers, on the other hand, create a flow of fluid that is parallel to the axis of the impeller.

In addition to the type of impeller, centrifugal pumps are also classified according to the way in which the fluid enters the pump. The most common types of pumps are single-suction and double-suction pumps. In a single-suction pump, the fluid enters the impeller from one side, while in a double-suction pump, the fluid enters the impeller from both sides.

The power

Centrifugal pumps are typically driven by an electric motor, although they can also be powered by a gasoline or diesel engine. Other forms of power is Hydraulic or Air compression. The speed at which the impeller rotates is typically controlled by a variable frequency drive, which allows the flow rate of the pump to be adjusted as needed. This is especially useful in applications where the flow rate of the fluid needs to be changed frequently, such as in irrigation systems where the flow rate may need to be adjusted depending on the time of day or the season.

What to look out for (cons)

Centrifugal pumps are known for their durability and reliability, but they do require regular maintenance in order to continue operating at peak efficiency. This typically involves inspecting the pump and its components on a regular basis, checking for any signs of wear or damage. The impeller, in particular, should be checked regularly for any signs of damage or erosion. In addition, the seals and bearings should be inspected and replaced as needed to prevent leaks or other problems.

In summary

Overall, centrifugal pumps are an essential piece of equipment in many different industries and applications. Their ability to move large volumes of fluid quickly and efficiently make them a valuable tool for many different types of operations.

In this article we’ve covered some of the biggest issues that people have with self priming pumps, however for your specific pump model please refer to the O&M manual which can be found at Find your pump, and click the  downloads tab.

For more information on self priming pumps. BEPumps has a great article titled A Simple Guide To Self-Priming Pumps or visit BEPumps Youtube.

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