An introduction to basic pump types

Get a short presentation of the most common pump types and for which purposes they’re used.

When it comes to pumps, there are a number of solutions to meet your needs.

In this module, we’re going to give you a basic overview of the two main pump types and some of the common pumps available today. Let’s get started.

Centrifugal pumps are by far the most commonly used pump type. In a centrifugal pump, fluids are transported by means of rotational energy which is typically created by an engine or an electric motor.

The other main pump type is the positive displacement pump. In positive displacement pumps, the flow depends on the pump’s speed. These pumps are often better suited to pump thicker liquids than water.

Now, that we’ve covered the two main pump types, let’s go through a few of the most common pumps. These include:

End-suction pumps

Inline pumps

Submersible pumps

Multi-stage pumps

Jet pumps

Immersible pumps

Dosing pumps

And Split-case pumps

Let’s take a look at them one by one.

End-suction pumps are the most commonly used centrifugal pumps across all industries. They’re called end-suction pumps because the suction point is at the end.

End-suction pumps can be divided into two groups: small end-suction pumps used for domestic pressure systems, and large end-suction pumps used for irrigation, water supply and industrial processes.

Inline pumps are characterised by the suction and discharge being in line with each other – hence the name.

Inline pumps are commonly used as circulator pumps when water flowing through a piping system needs to be pressurised. Inline pumps are typically used for hot water circulation or chilled systems in commercial buildings.

As the name suggests, submersible pumps are designed to operate with the complete pump and motor submerged in water.

Submersible pumps are used in both domestic, commercial and industrial applications, and they have the ability to pump solids as well as a range of liquids.

A multi-stage pump consists of a number of single stages of a centrifugal pump mounted on a common shaft.

Multi-stage pumps are ideal for submersible boreholes and for the boosting or transferring of water in areas in which there are large variations in height.

Compared to a standard centrifugal pump, jet pumps feature a jet and a venturi.

As water passes through the jet, the speed increases and the pressure drops, creating a suction effect.

While this is an optimal solution for suction lift of up to 6 metres, jet pumps can be fairly noisy. Jet pumps are typically used in domestic applications such as pressure boosting and garden irrigation, or in light commercial applications.

Next, there’s immersible pumps. Unlike submersible pumps, only the pump is in immersed in liquid in immersible pumps, while the motor is air-cooled.

Immersible pumps are highly suited for industrial applications such as machining, washing systems, and temperature control.

Then there are dosing pumps. Dosing pumps are built to deliver a set amount of a substances at irregular intervals.

There are three different types of pumping mechanisms within dosing pumps – plunging pumps, piston pumps and diaphragm pumps – all of which are positive displacement pumps.

Dosing pumps are commonly used in industrial water treatment processes that require chemical dosing, such as mixing loop solutions.

Finally, there are the split-case pumps. While similar to end-suction pumps, split-case pumps differ in the sense that the casing, suction nozzle and discharge nozzle are all included in a common chamber.

Furthermore, the casing design is built in such a way that makes split-case pumps ideal for applications with high water flow requirements.

That covers our basic introduction of common pump types. We hope you feel ready to dive deeper into the world of pump solutions.

Course overview

Modules: 3
Completion time
Completion time: 13 minutes
Difficulty level
Difficulty level: Basic