Water Pumps 101: Working Principle, Types, Applications, and How to Choose?

by Sudarsan

A water pump is important in every industry, business, and home. At some point, we all benefit daily from water pumps in nearly all the products we buy.

Since they are useful, manufacturers have designed different water pumps to specialize in various applications. It is up to you to learn how each one works and choose the right one depending on your needs:

Working Principle

The water pumps’ principle depends on the kinetic energy and positive displacement principle of pushing water. They either use a gasoline/diesel generator to drive the system or AC power to energize it. Visit https://genworks.com.au/collections/diesel-generators for a diesel generator that you can use to power your water pump.

Some water pumps are portable, enabling them to be used in various household applications. For instance, you may use them to spread pesticides on the farm, refill a bathtub or swimming pool, and drain water from regions experiencing low flood.

Why You Need One?

A water pump has a role in facilitating different important processes and offering a constant supply of water. For most people, it serves as a lifeline for a community experiencing water scarcity. With it, they can extract and distribute water from different underground sources, including aquifers, boreholes, or wells.

By guaranteeing a constant water supply, pumps facilitate activities such as livestock rearing, agriculture, sanitation, cooking, and drinking. In addition, water pumps contribute to the community’s resilience during a natural disaster by giving access to clean water when water supply systems get disrupted.

Whether for industrial, agricultural, commercial, or residential purposes, visit https://garpen.com.au/ for an indispensable tool that contributes to societies’ safety, productivity, and well-being.


Water pumps are categorized into two major types. These include centrifugal and positive displacement water pumps. But there are other types of water pumps. Let’s narrow down to the following types of water pumps:

1. Centrifugal Water Pumps

These pumps have a rotating impeller to supply water into a pump and force discharge inflow. It comes in different types, including standard, submersible, and trash models.

Using it, you can pump different kinds of liquid, including those with low density. It as well works perfectly fine with thin liquids and gives a high inflow rate.

You can also use it in different ways, such as erecting but its main purpose is pumping water from the wells and increasing the water pressure in the input lines.

2. Positive Displacement Pumps

These pumps move fluid by trapping a particular amount of liquid and dispatching it into a discharge pipe. Most use a decreasing cavity on the discharge head and an expanding cavity on the head of the suction.

Unlike centrifugal pumps, positive displacement pumps theoretically provide the same flow rate at a required speed regardless of the discharge pressure. This explains why these types of pumps are regarded as constant flow devices.

3. Reciprocating Pumps

Also called piston pumps, reciprocating pumps use a reciprocating motion so as to transfer water. The pumps comprise one or more diaphragms/pistons that move back and forth in the cylinder while discharging and drawing in water via valves.

These pumps are also commonly known for having high-pressure abilities. This makes them ideal for applications requiring accurate water delivery and pumping long distances. You can use them in various industries, including firefighting, agriculture, and oil & gas. However, they need more maintenance than other pumps because they have a complex design.

4. Gear Pumps

As a rotating positive dislocating pump, they force a specific amount of fluid in every revolution. They move fluid with the machine outside and inside the mesh to make a non-exciting pump act. They can also pump on high force and thick fluids efficiently.

Gear pumps don’t have valves that cause losses, such as friction and other high impeller velocities. This makes them suitable for dealing with thick fluids, such as grease, oil, and fuel, but they are not ideal for driving solids and harsh fluids.

5. Dynamic Pumps

Rotodynamic or dynamic pumps are unique velocity pumps that add kinetic energy to a liquid so as to increase its velocity flow rate. Because of that, high energy gets transformed into pressure until velocity reduces as it approaches the discharge pipe.

With it, you can supply water and pump crude oil. You can also use it in the food industry, chemical sector, and commercial applications.

6. Saltwater Pumps

These are specifically manufactured to withstand unfavorable impacts of brine solution that may damage and corrode materials like metals. You can use these saltwater pumps on a marine vessel to transfer ballast or in firefighting operations. You need to pay more attention to them, especially around impellers and seal materials.


Water pumps have different applications. Apart from firefighting operations and transferring ballast, the following are other applications of water pumps:

  • Drinking water: Water pumps designed for drinking water are used to pump water from a low region to a high location. This comes in handy for regions experiencing water drinking scarcity.
  • Draining water: If you own a swimming pool at home, you already know the significance of keeping water safe and clean. You need to drain your pool and replace water with a fresh and clean one to do that. Since a swimming pool contains a lot of water, you can’t be able to drain it without a water pump.
  • Flood control: This is important to maintain and improve quality of life. This process enables you to reduce and prevent the possibility of the long-term impact of water movement that high tides, tsunamis, and hurricanes may cause.

Choosing the Right Water Pump

You must consider several factors before you choose a water pump. For instance, if you need something that requires low maintenance at home, you will need a small electric water pump. But if you need something to work with at job sites or farms, go for a gas-powered water pump.

Final Remarks

Water pumps work under the principle of converting rotational energy into energy that moves fluid. In the market, you will find various water pumps that work differently. Depending on your needs, choose a water pump that suits you best.

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