Science and Innovation

How Do Centrifugal Pumps Work?

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A centrifugal pump is a versatile, affordable pump that is easy to maintain. The pumps operate with low noise, NPSH requirement and power consumption. The high-efficiency pumps are used in a variety of industries to move low viscose fluids. Here are the basics in the design, parts and function of the popular pumps.


Berkeley centrifugal pumps are available in different designs and orientations to match the purpose it is used for. The number of impellers included determines the stage classification. Single stage uses one impeller pump while two-stage pumps use two impellers. There are multi-stage pumps with over three impellers that results in high head service. The height the fluid is raised to by the pump determines the pump head. The pumps come in single or double suction. The case-split determines the orientation as either an axial split or radial split.


The pumps feature a casing that houses the various parts. The impeller has a minimum of two vanes to move the fluid through the pump. There are pipe flanges both upstream and downstream and the driveshaft. There are a rotating direction indicator and a suction side. The motor creates the energy needed to move the water using a gear set, solenoids and diaphragms depending on the design.


A centrifugal pump raises liquids or induces flow from low to high levels. The rotational energy of the motor circulating the impeller to create energy that moves the liquid through the impeller at a greater pressure and velocity. Low viscosity fluid such as water or lightweight oils can be moved with a centrifugal pump.

With the many uses of centrifugal pumps, it is no wonder they are such a popular pump. Nearly all industries benefit from using the cost-effective pumps in their machinery and equipment. Residential owners even use the pumps in their pools.