Types of Pumps

Basically four principles involved in pumping water:

  1. Atmospheric pressure.

  2. Positive displacement

  3. Centrifugal force

  4. Movements of columns of water caused by the difference in specific gravity. 

Pump Characteristic:



It is volume of water pumped per unite time. It is measured in liters seconds.

Static suction head:

It is vertical distance from center of pump to free level of water to be pumped.

Static discharged Head:

It is vertical distance from the center line of the pump to discharge water level.

Total Suction Head:

It is vertical distance from the center line of the pump to free level of the liquid to be pumped minus, all friction looses in suction pipe and fitting plus any pressure head existing on the suction supply.

Total Discharge head:

It is sum of static discharge head, friction and exit looses in discharge piping plus the velocity head and pressure head at the point of discharge.

Friction head:

It is the equivalent head expressed in meters of water required to over come the friction caused by flow through the pipe and pipe fittings.

Pressure head:

It is pressure expressed in meters of water in a closed vessel from which pumps takes its suction or against which the pump discharges.
                Hp = P/w 
                Hp – Pressure head, m
                 P – Pressure inside vessel kg/m2
                 W – Specific weight of water kg/m3

Velocity Head:

It is the pressure expressed in meters of water required to create the velocity of flow. 
       Hv = V^2 / 2g
                   Hv = velocity head, m
                    V = velocity of water through the pipe m/sec.
                    g = Acceleration due to gravity, m/sec2. [g = 9.81m/sec.]

Net positive suction Head [NPSH]:

It is the total suction head minus the vapor pressure of water at the pumping temperature both expressed in meter

Maximum practical Suction lift of pump:

Maximum practical Suction lift of pump can be computed by –

     Hs = Ha – Hf – es – NPSH – Fs

                Hs = maximum practical suction lift or elevation of water surface, m 
                Ha = Atmospheric press at water surface [10.33 m at sea level] 
                Hf = Friction looses in strainer pipe fitting and values on suction line, m.
                es = Saturated vapor pressure  of water, m .
                NPSH = net positive suction head. 
                es   = Factor of safety [0.66m]

Water horse power [WHP]:

It is the theoretical horse power required for pumping.

                                       Discharge in liters per sec. x total head in m.
                  WHP   = ———————————————————-

                                     Discharge in cubic meters per sec. x Total head in m.
                             = ———————————————————

Shaft horse power [WHP]:

It is power required at pump shaft.

                     SHP = —————————–
                                      Pump efficiency

                                   [SHP is always greater than WHP]


It is the ratio of power output to power input.

                                    Water WHP                     
Pump efficiency = —————————

Brake Horse power:

It is actual horse power required to be supplied by the engine or electric motor for driving the pump.

  1. With direct driven pump [ drive efficiency 100%]

                     BHP = SHP

  1. With belt or other indirect drives.


                 BHP = —————————————————–
Pump efficiency x drive efficiency


   3. H.P. Input to, electric motor = ———————————————
                                         Pump efficiency x drive efficiency x motor efficiency


                                                                        BHP x 0.746
4. Kilowatt input to electric power = ———————————-
                                                      Motor efficiency

Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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