Choosing the Right Pump Setup For Your ApplicationLearn about flooded suction, submersible, and self-priming pumps and how to choose the correct pump for your project.
There are three main pump setups or deployments that cover most, if not all pump and dredging applications. It is very important to choose the right pump orientation in order to maximize your pump capability. These three setups are flooded suction, submersible, and self-priming.
Flooded Suction Pumps
When your pumping application involves the target slurry or liquid in a tank, hopper, etc that is positioned above your pump, this usually signifies a flooded suction application. What this means is that the liquid or slurry is positioned in a way where it can gravity feed into the suction of the pump. This then automatically primes the pump and allows it to move the slurry or liquid. Some common applications for this setup are process pump applications that are often found inside of plants and facilities. These setups usually involve an electrically driven pump with a variable frequency drive (VFD) or a soft-start. A VFD makes sure that the pump startup is monitored correctly and can also monitor the speed or rpm of the pump in order to control the flow and pressure of the pump. A less common power source for a flooded suction pump is a direct drive diesel driven pump. This can be found in outside hopper pump type of applications for sand and gravel pumping, mining, drilling mud pumping, etc.
It is important to make sure that the material is not so thick or viscous that even though it is above the pump it still will not gravity feed into the pump. In a case like this, it is important to incorporate a vacuum pump in order to create enough of a vacuum to help feed the liquid or slurry into the pump. Please refer to the self-priming application below for more detailed information.
Submersible pump setups mean that the pump is submerged in the liquid or slurry that is being pumped. Since submersible pumps are completely submerged in liquid, they do not need to be primed, which can be an advantage over pumps which are positioned outside of the liquid. Some common applications for this type of pump setup are dredging, sump pumping, bilge pumping, and other similar applications. Submersible pumps can be powered electrically or hydraulically. There are pros and cons for both of these submersible pump power choices. In dredging applications, the submersible pump can be deployed in various ways to meet the goals of the project. Some common submersible pump deployments for dredging are:
A Self-priming pump is different from a standard centrifugal pump in that it has the ability to remove air from the volute and suction hose. A vacuum-assisted priming unit built into the pump automatically primes the pump by recirculating water when air is introduced into the pump or suction line. This water is stored in a reservoir built into the unit and may be placed above the impeller or in front of the impeller. In effect, the “self-priming” capability of the pump comes from the pump’s ability rid itself of air and retain water after the initial prime. However, it is important to keep in mind that the pump must have water in the volute in order to operate and be able to pump liquids.
Since the pump is self-priming, this means the pump can be mounted outside of the material needed to be pumped. This type of pump setup allows for greater mobility and use for multiple applications. Additionally, since the pump is mounted apart from the material, maintenance and repairs are much easier as the pump components are not submerged or otherwise hard to reach. Self-priming pumps can be trailer or skid mounted for greater flexibility depending on your needs.
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