How to Select Centrifugal Pumps      Image Credit: Lutz-JESCO American Corp. | Price Pump Company | Grainger Industrial Supply   Centrifugal pumps are dynamic pumps which move fluids through a system using one or more impellers. They are the most common type of pump because of the simplicity and effectiveness of their design and operation. Because they are the most familiar, they also tend to cost less than other types of pumps. Compared to positive...
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Q & A on Centrifugal Pumps

We asked our users for their input on Centrifugal Pumps. Here are the results of 445 users familiar with Centrifugal Pumps.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing centrifugal pump design?
69 answers
Answers:
None that I can tell. The product that we are seeing in the Australian marketplace appears unchanged for a number of years, except that the model numbers change, and the product undergoes some purely cosmetic changes. Whilst the new range of energy efficient electric motors is an improvement, manufacturers of pumps appear to be downgrading the efficiency of the individual pump models. And whilst the innovation of new materials used in construction may mean a lighter product, the durability of the product is of a lesser nature. Secondly, the quality of the raw materials being used in the manufacturing process, is in some instances, of a dubious nature, whilst testing metalurgically true to specification, in the completed product, displays characteristics heretofore unknown to metals of that type. With the seemingly global swing to third world countries as a source of cheap labour, the quality of product arriving in the marketplace is progressively getting worse.
~Kevin A, Service Manager and Sales, Ashfield, Australia
I think the increased use of advanced water treatment systems such as Microfiltration and Reverse Osmosis, has demanded the development of multistage centrifugal pumps capable of providing high pressure. Furthermore, desalination systems require special materials for pump housing and impeller that can withstand very high salinity.
~Rica S, Process Engineer, Sydney, Australia
All centrifugal pumps are designed and modeled in Solid Works, new inducers and volute styles have been introduced to lower NPSHR. Also new larger sizes have been introduced with a slide base for easy maintenance.
~Aaron S., Marketing/Sales, Santa Ana, CA
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative centrifugal pumps?
62 answers
Answers:
Gorman-Rupp, Goulds, Grundfos and Gusher.
~Franklin H, Project Manager, Indianapolis, IN
KSB Pumps, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd., Sulzer pumps, Alfalaval Pumps, Kishor pumps ( Chemical ), Triveni Pumps
~Arvind K, Engineering Consultant, Pune, India
We normally get our pumps from Grundfos, and I've been very contented with them. They can provide at least 90% of our centrifugal pump requirement per project.
~Rica S, Process Engineer, Sydney, Australia
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used a centrifugal pump for?
124 answers
Answers:
I have sold pumps for many central filter systems for both the filter feed and the clean side. I have sold many pumps for vacuum sewage systems that require the design conditions along with the correct NPSH. I selected many pumps for use on the oil spill clean up in the gulf. None were purchased due to unreasonable government rules. The most interesting application was for pumping water up a mountain at night with low price electric and have it flow back down during to day to produce higher priced electricity.
~Franklin H, Project Manager, Indianapolis, IN
Multi-staged for deep borehole pumping Pumping abattoir effluent to fertilize crops Boiler feed water Refrigeration cooling tower water Irrigation, both large and small scale from channels, dams, streams & wells Flood water transfer to holding dams Domestic tank filling & rainwater transfer Domestic water pressure boosters Firefighting installations Coal wash plant Machinery washdown in coalfields, agriculture, stock transport trucks
~Richard H, Proprietor pump supply & manufacturing business, Warwick, Australia
Applications: Self-priming pump with side liquid channel and star-shaped impeller, with excellent suction capacities even in unfavourable operating conditions such as the presence of air bubbles or lack of continuity in the sucked liquid. Used in domestic, agricultural civil and industrial installations. Constructional features of the pump: Cast iron pump body with brass pressure disc. Motor support and impeller completely made of brass, to avoid the risk of blockage. Carbon/ceramic mechanical seal. Stainless steel motor shaft.
~Jabir Shaikh, Marketing/Sales, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that a centrifugal pump has been used for.
30 answers
Answers:
Keeping Shamu's water free of metallic particulates.
~Purchaser, Portland, OR
If you use centrifugal pumps with mechanical seal to pump slurry, the sand solid particles will destroy seal. Meanwhile, slurry pumps are very expensive. Some of the Vietnamese engineers use inline centrifugal pumps to pump slurry. Result is very good. Mechanical seal of that type of pumps is in the top of flow. Sand particles often move in lower layers of flow.
~Hoang Xuan Niem, Managing Director, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet nam
I think that there are no non-standard applications. Someone has already tried it. It may not have worked. Centrifugal pumps have been used from the deepest well, to 2000 SSU and at high temperatures.
~Franklin H, Project Manager, Indianapolis, IN
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of a centrifugal pump?
28 answers
Answers:
I have installed centrifugal pumps station for one high rise building in HoChiMinh City. After a day of hard work, we started the pump and were very happy to see the pump running without any problems. We went out to have dinner. When we came back, we saw the pump with red suction and the PVC suction pipe had been destroyed (burned) completely. Our mistake was wrong choosing working point of pump. The water did not reach to reservoir in top of building.
~Hoang Xuan Niem, Managing Director, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet nam
We had one project in Thailand, where we used a much bigger pump than is really required, and we ended up having too much vibration along stainless steel pipeline, which eventually cracked and sprays recirculated water everywhere. No one was hurt, but it involved having to re-do some part of the piping system and include a huge (and expensive) VSD just to control the pump output.
~Rica S, Process Engineer, Sydney, Australia
Yes, not taking into account the different cSt values of your crude oil in a pipleline. The same pump cannot always pump 300 cSt oil on one day and be expected to pump 750 cSt oil the next. Know your cSt before you buy 104 pumps.
~Purchaser, Portland, OR
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
48 answers
Answers:
In a perfect world, I would like: ready availability of spare parts, components made out of the same materials as that of original manufacture, pump construction materials that are true to type - not an approximation, serviceable electric motor bearings, scrapping of one-off non - standard mechanical and other seals used by some unscrupulous companies, a cut - away drawing and parts list showing every component and the standard description of the part, if it needs must be sourced from other than the original manufacturer,
~Kevin A, Service Manager and Sales, Ashfield, Australia
I would like to see pumps with higher efficiency. I would like to see submersible pumps with better NPSH. Many submersible pumps can not be used for dry pit application due to NPSH requirements.
~Franklin H, Project Manager, Indianapolis, IN
Corrosion resistance at low cost on high horsepower pumps where plastic is not usable. Efficiency to create lower HP needs, to reduce operational costs.
~John L, Sales Coordinator, Toronto, Canada
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of a centrifugal pump?
39 answers
Answers:
Get help from engineering to answer the unknown. Good performance is only as good as good design. Often times folks don't pay enough attention to the NPSHA for the pump. You know the rate you want and how much head the pump should develop, but not always does one look close at pressure drop on the suction side of the pump. Look at your selected pump curve for the NPSHR and compare it to the NPSHA. A should always be greater.
~Randal, Technical Support, Odessa, TX
Selection. Know what flow and pressure are required at the delivery point and what the intervening pipe works are. Know the temperature of the product to be pumped and what the chemical components are.
~Kevin A, Service Manager and Sales, Ashfield, Australia
Select the appropriate pump for the application, being mindful of the operational needs and system requirements. 99% of the time, it is not the pump that is the source of the problem.
~Troy Z, Marketing/Sales, Denver, CO
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using centrifugal pumps?
45 answers
Answers:
Buy from an expert. Someone who knows not only the product, the company that manufactures or markets it, but someone who can size the pump to suit your application's requirements. When I sell you a pump, I don't want to see you again, unless you have a new application that requires a pump.
~Kevin A, Service Manager and Sales, Ashfield, Australia
Every pump job design is different, so working with the pump manufacturer technical sales will ensure the lowest life cycle costs of a pump. The biggest mistake is installing a pump that is not designed for the system curve.
~Chad N, Technical Sales, Timmins Ontario, Canada
Please provide correct data when shopping for a pump, also please be expected to wait a lead time of at least 8 weeks before a pump is shipped. Special projects take even longer.... be prepared to wait!
~Aaron S., Marketing/Sales, Santa Ana, CA
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