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What Are the Different Types of Water Pumps?

Category: Equipment and Solutions

Industrial water pumps play a crucial role in applications such as dewatering after a significant rain event, supplying/removing water at construction sites, irrigating crops and removing sludge/debris. There are several different types of pumps on the market — and when you consider that their capabilities often overlap, selecting the right pump for your needs can be a challenge. The following water pump descriptions can help you make an informed purchasing or renting decision for your company.

The two general water pump classifications include:

  • Positive Displacement: A positive displacement water pump uses a flexible diaphragm to expel liquids or materials via contraction and expansion. An old-fashioned hand pump offers a rudimentary example of how a positive displacement pump works. On a larger scale, positive displacement pumps offer the benefit of efficiency, especially when working with high-viscosity liquids or sensitive solids. They also perform well in applications requiring the creation of high pressure or highly precise flow volumes.
  • Centrifugal: Centrifugal pumps rely on a rotating impeller that forcibly spins the water inside a specially designed housing. The rotating action propels the water through the pump and housing via centrifugal force, which causes it to slide off the end of the impeller at high speeds. Centrifugal pumps must remain filled with fluid to function properly. Nearly every pump used in irrigation is a form of centrifugal pump. Other typical applications include pumping water supplies for building projects, providing a continuous pressure source for fire protection systems and boosting the pressure of water received via intake lines, to name just a few.

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Specific Water Pump Types

There are also various types of water pumps models, including:

  • Submersible: As the name implies, submersible pumps are designed and constructed for underwater pumping applications. In most cases, submersible models are centrifugal pumps that consist of a waterproof electric motor and pump that function as one unit. Typical applications include sump pump and sewage services that require the pumping of relatively thin liquids with or without solids. A significant submersible pump advantage is that it doesn’t require priming since it is already underwater.
  • End suction: End-suction pumps are the most common centrifugal pump models. They consist of a horizontal shaft and a single impeller. Altering the impeller type makes the pump compatible with various clean and dirty water services and levels of solid materials.
  • Trash: Trash water pumps are normally self-priming centrifugal pumps used for dewatering at mines, construction sites and utility pits. They’re designed for pumping dirty water containing mud, rocks, stones and other debris, as well as abrasive materials.
  • Multistage: These pumps are equipped with multiple impellers, providing the additional pumping force required for high-pressure applications. However, they are not a good choice for pumping liquids that contain solid materials. Examples of multistage pump applications include in high-pressure services such as pipelines, reverse osmosis and boiler feedwater.

NMC The Cat Rental Store offers various types of submersible pumps and pumping products you can rent for a day, week or month at a competitive rate. Contact us for more information and a no-obligation quote today.
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