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How does a centrifugal pump work?

Pumps make many aspects of work and life much easier, and whether you manage a water treatment works or are cleaning your car windscreen whilst driving, someone somewhere relies on the humble pump. But how exactly do pumps work? Today we’ll explain how the common centrifugal pump works.

When a centrifugal pump is activated, an electric motor causes a screw or fan-like device called an impeller to rotate. Centrifugal force makes the spinning impeller push water outwards, creating a low-pressure area at its centre. Water rushes in to fill the void and the pressure forces it out through the discharge pipe via spinning vanes.

Centrifugal pumps have the highest flow rates of all pump types and can be used to pump all kinds of liquids, including clean or dirty fluids, and those with low viscosity. They are commonly used as metering pumps to move precise volumes of liquid for treating drinking water, waste water, boiler water, swimming pool water and so on. They are regularly used in process applications where exact measurement of fluids is needed, which can be the production of anything from food to ready-mixed concrete.

Centrifugal pumps hold the advantage of having no drive seals, meaning the risk of leaks is completely eliminated. This allows hazardous liquids to be pumped without fear of spillage or seepage into the electric motor. In addition, because the pump chamber is separated from the electric motor by an air gap, there’s a thermal barrier and therefore no potentially-damaging heat transfer can occur.

To enquire about our range of pumps to suit a huge number of applications, call 01621 868138 or email

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