The difference between reciprocating and centrifugal pumps is that the former pump uses a single piston that moves up and down to create pressure. Centrifugal water pumps are usually used for water treatment, wastewater management and other applications where you need high flow rates with low pressures.
If you’re familiar with pumps, you know they are devices that move liquids and gases by a piston. The difference between reciprocating and centrifugal pumps is how they deliver the liquid or gas. Centrifugal pumps use an impeller to throw the liquid or gas outwards in a circular motion. Reciprocating pumps use pistons to push the liquid or gas back and forth in one direction before pushing it outwards again. They are used for various applications, including irrigation, firefighting, water supply and sewage disposal.
When it comes to the advantages of reciprocating water pumps, there is no shortage. Reciprocating pumps are cheap, easy to operate and maintain, and suitable for high viscosity liquids. They can be used in closed systems like piping or underground tanks where centrifugal pumps would require too much maintenance when compared to the benefits they offer. These pumps can also be utilized with a wide variety of fluids, such as water-based solutions (liquids) and non-water-based solutions (gases).
Reciprocating pumps are not as efficient as centrifugal pumps regarding energy consumption and tend to be more expensive than their counterparts.
Centrifugal pumps are almost always used for large industrial applications where the pressure required is too high for reciprocating pumps.
When it comes to the differences between reciprocating and centrifugal pumps, you need to know that centrifugal pumps are used in applications where the flow rate is high, and the pressure is low. For example, centrifugal pumps can handle a wide range of fluids: liquids, slurries, gasses and more. They can operate at pressures ranging from vacuum to thousands of pounds per square inch (PSI).
Centrifugal pumps can be used in a wide range of applications, such as pumping water in both liquid and vapour forms. They are highly efficient, and their high internal components reduce the risk of cavitation, which is often an issue with centrifugal pumps. Centrifugal pumps also come with built-in filters that protect them from abrasive particles and dirt, meaning they need less maintenance than other types of pumps.
Lastly, because centrifugal pumps have an axial flow design, they can move fluid at very high pressures and speeds. This makes them ideal for use in corrosive environments because they do not rust as quickly as other types of pumps, like reciprocating ones, when exposed to liquids containing salts or acids.
You might not be aware of it, but centrifugal pumps have a few disadvantages. For one thing, they are more expensive than reciprocating pumps. For example, if you look at the cost vs. horsepower (HP) graph below, you can see that there is a point where they become more expensive than their reciprocating counterparts. This happens in the range of 30-60 HP for centrifugal pump and 10-20 HP for reciprocating pump:
The other main disadvantage is that they are less efficient than their reciprocating counterparts. This means more power is required to get them working correctly, leading to increased operating costs over time.
Hopefully, you found this article helpful in understanding the difference between reciprocating and centrifugal pumps. It can be challenging to keep track of all the different types of pumps, but keeping these two categories separate in your mind will make things much easier as you research new products or install one in your home.