Mastering Pump Vocabulary: A Handy Glossary

Pump GlossaryBelow is a glossary of common pump terminology that can help users and professionals understand the language used in the pump industry.

Affinity Laws: Equations used to predict the impact of changes in speed, impeller diameter, and other factors on pump performance.
Axial Flow Pump: A pump design where the flow of fluid is along the axis of the pump shaft.

Back Pull-Out Design: A pump design that allows for the removal of the impeller and the bearing assembly without disturbing the pump casing or piping.
Bearings: Components that allow constrained relative motion between two or more parts, helping to reduce friction and wear.

Cavitation: The formation and collapse of vapor bubbles in a fluid, which can cause damage to pump components.
Centrifugal Pump: A pump that uses a spinning impeller to increase the velocity of a fluid.
Check Valve: A valve that allows fluid to flow in one direction only.

Discharge Head: The total resistance against which a pump must operate, including elevation difference, friction, and pressure requirements.
Double Suction Pump: A pump in which fluid is admitted to both sides of the impeller, helping to balance axial thrust.

Efficiency: The ratio of useful energy output to energy input, expressed as a percentage.
End Suction Pump: A pump design where the fluid enters the pump from one end of the impeller.

Flow Rate: The volume of fluid that passes a given point in a given period of time, typically expressed in gallons per minute (GPM) or cubic meters per hour (m³/h).
Friction Loss: The loss of pressure or head due to the flow of fluid through pipes and fittings.

Gland Packing: A traditional method of sealing a pump shaft, using braided rope-like material to prevent leakage.
Grundfos Pump: A specific brand of pump known for its quality and efficiency.

Head: The height above the pump impeller at which fluid can be delivered, measured in meters or feet.
Horizontal Pump: A pump design where the shaft is positioned horizontally.

Impeller: The rotating part of a centrifugal pump that imparts velocity to the pumped fluid.
Inlet: The point at which fluid enters a pump.

Jet Pump: A type of pump that uses a jet of steam or water to carry the fluid.

Kinetic Pump:
A type of pump that adds energy to a fluid primarily in the form of velocity.

The vertical distance from the source of fluid to the pump.

Mechanical Seal: A device used to prevent leakage of fluid along the pump shaft.
Multistage Pump: A pump with more than one impeller, used for high head applications.

Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH): A measure of how much the pressure in the fluid at the pump inlet exceeds vapor pressure.

Open Impeller: An impeller with blades that are open on one side, used for pumping liquids with suspended solids.

Positive Displacement Pump: A pump that moves a fixed amount of fluid with each cycle.
Priming: The process of filling a pump and the intake lines with fluid to prepare it for operation.

Quadrant Pump: A type of rotary positive displacement pump.

Radial Flow Pump: A pump in which the flow of fluid is perpendicular to the pump shaft.
Reciprocating Pump: A type of positive displacement pump that uses a piston or diaphragm to move fluid.

Seal: A device used to prevent leakage of fluid.
Self-Priming Pump: A pump that can create a partial vacuum to draw fluid into the inlet without needing external priming.

Total Dynamic Head (TDH): The total equivalent height that a fluid is to be pumped, considering friction losses in the pipe.
Turbine Pump: A type of centrifugal pump used for pumping water from deep wells.

Upthrust: A condition where the impeller is forced upwards, potentially causing damage to the pump.

Vane Pump: A type of positive displacement pump with vanes mounted on a rotor that rotates inside a cavity.
Viscosity: A measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow.

Wet Pit Pump: A pump that operates while submerged in the fluid it is pumping. It also can be called a submersible pump.
Working Pressure: The pressure at which a pump operates under normal conditions.

Zero Head: A condition where the pump is not producing any head or flow.

This glossary provides a foundational understanding of pump terminology. It is important to note that some terms may have additional meanings or nuances depending on specific applications or industries.

Looking for a Sealing Solutions Provider?

SEPCO has sealing solutions for many applications, even those with the strictest standards and the most challenging environments. We have decades of experience in providing solutions across multiple industries. We can help.