Centrifugal Pump Working Principal, Maintenance

Get to know about the centrifugal pumps.

Types of Pumps

Following are the main pumps which are used in any industry:
1) Centrifugal Pump
2) Reciprocating Pump
3) Screw Pump

4) Gear Pump

Centrifugal Pump

The centrifugal pump is the most common pump in any industry
and the reason for it is that they are the best pumps and requires less repair.
Talking about the pump in terms of shipping, then they are mostly used in ship
and comprises of around 60 % pumps which are used to ship. This pump is not a
self primed pump. So before starting you have to prime it.

Parts and design of the centrifugal pump

Following is the part of the centrifugal pump:
    1. Inlet and outlet opening

Centrifugal Pump, Casing, Pumps, Impeller, Bearings

  1. Casing
  2. Impeller
  3. Wear ring
  4. Water seal
  5. Motor as a driver
  6. Coupling
  7. Bearings

Material used in making of centrifugal pump

Casing: Casing of the centrifugal pump is made of cast iron.
Cast iron has the good property by taking the desired shape, so easy to mold into
any shape.
Wear rings: these rings are usually made of the metal brass.
Mechanical seal: This can be made of brass metal. In this
bearing there are two dissimilar metals which are fitted together at close

Working principle of centrifugal pump

This thing is taught during the course and it is the base
which makes you to understand the working of the centrifugal pump. Actually
centrifugal pump uses the centrifugal force to make water pressurized. This
effect can be seen in the diagram in the design part. Now the basic function of
nay pump used in any industry is to give higher head to the fluid to pump or to
make it pressurize. A centrifugal pump is mostly used to make large discharges.
Before starting of the centrifugal pump we have to do the
priming of the pump. The reason for doing is that, this pump is not a ‘positive
displacement pump
’. So the flow can go both sides. But at the start of the pump
we have to provide certain water or the fluid to be pumped into the inlet line,
so that water or fluid can be pumped. This thing has to be taken care of while
stating. The air vent valve is also opened which is situated at the outlet, to
remove any air trapped in the pump.
So an impeller is fitted in the pump and this impeller turns
the water present in the cavity. This energy from the impeller is transmitted
from the impeller to the water and then water is pushed forward. So this is how
the pumping of the water takes place. The arrangement of the pump can be seen
above. So the impeller takes the water from the inlet and forwards it to the
Note: The outlet of the centrifugal pump is having fewer
diameters then the inlet. The reason for this anomaly is that, the pump needs
larger area for suction so that more water can enter and the outlet is smaller
because the pressure is more. So water can easily go out.

Maintenance required on the centrifugal pump

Since centrifugal pump is a mechanical device and that too
which contains the moving part, so we have to carry out the maintenance time to
time, so that pump performs well. Following are the maintenances which are
carried out in the centrifugal pump:
1. Wear ring which is fitted in the centrifugal pump is used to
provide the close clearance between the impeller and the casing. But as time
passes this ring starts getting wear and tear. So we have to use the new ring
and replace it. This is the major maintenance which is carried out on the pump.2. Gland packing is used in the pump to provide a seal on the
shaft where shaft drive driving the impeller protrude out. So there is a
mechanical seal there. This also gets to wear down time to time. So we have to
take care of this gland packing.3. Impeller which is the heart of this pump has to be removed
sometimes and changes completely. The reason for this is that the serious
effects of the pitting on the impeller due to water or fluid led to damage to
metal surface. So pitting or cavitations is a very bad phenomenon in this pump.

Uses of pump

These pumps are mainly used for general service like the
ballast water system, cleaning purposes at deck and engine room. So these pumps
find their use where there are high flow requirements but a low head at
discharge is needed.


Following are the advantages of the centrifugal pump:
  1. The centrifugal give us a higher flow rate and this much flow
    is not given by nay other pump.
  2. The maintenance of the centrifugal pump is very less and can
    be operated at low maintenance.
  3. These pumps give us continuous flow.
  4. The initial cost of installation and their huge size does
    not affect performance at any cost.

Disadvantages of the centrifugal pump

  1. The heat generated by the centrifugal pump I very less or
    you can say that the pressure developed by this pump is very less.
  2. There is a need of priming if you are starting the pump.


There is no doubt in this fact that the centrifugal pump has least maintenance and operating cost. But on the other hand if you want more pressure and high heat at discharge, then you have to use.

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Mark Eriscson

Love to write about topics related to maritime sector. Was born in sailor's family, so love to ride on those high seas. In free time i would like to go for a good sunbath and some soothing guitar music. Want to have my own boat one day.

7 thoughts on “Centrifugal Pump Working Principal, Maintenance

  • July 11, 2013 at 5:43 am

    if i want to use centrifugal pump to fill a tank which is situated at the 3rd floor of my house, is it possible? If it is possible then ok if it is not then why it is not possible? kindly explain….

    • July 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Yeah you can use this type of pump to get your water to reach at the 3rd floor. Most of the pumps used in the cities to fill the overhead tank are centrifugal pumps.

  • December 14, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Difference between centrifugal pump and rotary pump.

    • February 23, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Rotary pump is a broad category of pumps viz. reciprocating pumps. In rotary pumps, fluid pumping is achieved by rotary motions. Centrifugal pump is a type of rotary pump. Centrifugal pump consists of an impeller, rotation of which causes energy to be transferred to the fluid & thus pumping is achieved .
      Hope its clear. Any doubts are welcome. 🙂

  • February 21, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Satisfy with your description thank you for helping me to know about the details of pumps

  • March 28, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Tell me more about wear ring please


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