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 How to Size and Specify a Pump

pneumatic pumps  Electric Pumps  hydraulic pumps


Pump Terminology


Considerations for Sizing a Pump:


1.  What will the pump be powered by?


- Electric

- Hydraulic

- Pneumatic

- Engine

- Hand


2.  What are the particulars of the power for the required pump compared to what is available onsite?


Electric Power:  1 or 3 Phase / XXX Volts / 50 or 60 hertz

Hydraulic Power: Pressure, Flow Rate, Viscosity

Compressor Air: Pressure and Flow Rate

Engine: Diesel or Gasoline



3.  What is the Fluid to Be Pumped?


- Water

- Salt Water

- Trash

- Sludge

- Slurry

- Chemicals

- Etc


4.  Given the fluid to be pumped, what are the required construction materials of the pump?


- Pump Body Material (Cast Iron, Steel, Stainless Steel, NiAlBz Etc.)

- Soft Parts (O Rings, etc) Material (EPDM, Buna, Viton, NBR, Etc)

- Cutter Blade or Other Special Part Material (Tungsten, Etc)


Pump Construction Material To Liquid Type Compatibility Chart


5.  Will the pump be submersed in the fluid or be connected with pipe or hose?


- Submersible pump

- Pipe or hose running to and from pump


6.  Will the pump be fixed in place or portable?

  - Pump cart


7.  What is the Pump fluid pressure and flow rate required at the end of the discharge line?

(GPM / LPM and PSI / Bar)


- Expressed at the discharge of the hose or pipe that comes off the pump.

- In some cases either the pressure or the flow rate may not be of concern.


8.  What is the pump head required? (The forces the pump needs to overcome.)


Head is expressed in vertical feet or meters.

Head is effected by the vertical distance from the pump to the end of the pump discharge line

Head is also effected by the number of bends and the degree of the bends in the discharge line


9.  What is the pump inlet and outlet connection and size?


- Inches or mm

- Flanged, hose connection, brazed, etc.


10.  Other requirements?


- Explosion Proof

- Positive Head Pressure (Fluid to be pumped is under pressure)

- Electric Motor Wash Down

- Food Grade

- Metering Pump

- Shredding

- Blending

- Macerator

- Food Grade

- Etc


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