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Reciprocating Pump – its 4 [Types, Working & Advantages]

Reciprocating Pump

Reciprocation pump is a positive displacement pump that converts the mechanical energy to hydraulic energy and to the required application certain volume of liquid is collected in an enclosed volume and is discharged using pressure.

For low volumes of flow at high pressures the reciprocating pumps are more suitable. There are also many types of reciprocation pumps such as piston power pumps, direct-acting piston pumps, & metering pumps, etc.

reciprocating pump

Types of Reciprocating Pumps:

There are four types of reciprocating pumps is given below;

  1. Piston Power Pumps
  2. Direct Acting Piston Pumps
  3. Metering Pumps
  4. Diaphragm Pumps

Piston Power Pumps:

By vertical or horizontal orientation, single or double action, piston pump element, and simplex or duplex number of stages the piston power pumps are broken out and usually used with pressure washers and with the power. At low volumes, they deliver high-pressure water.

piston power pump

On the much larger scale and for hydraulic fracking, salt-water disposal, and pumping sand-laden fluids, the piston power pumps are used and even in the smaller size piston power pumps are very efficient.

Direct Acting Piston Pumps:

To convert rotary motion to linear motion by directly coupling a steam-driven piston to the piston of the power pump, direct-acting piston pumps are used and on both the steam end and the fluid end these pumps are generally double-acting.

Direct Acting Piston Pumps

To the piston rod a leveler is connected switches steam flow as the steam and pump pistons and two steam cylinders are commonly employed and in hazardous locations these pumps are used such as in refining and oil industries, etc.

Metering Pumps:

In metering pumps diaphragm styles are also used and these pumps come in many different embodiments and for chemical injections, pharmaceutical filling, and adhesive dispensing these pumps are used.

Metering Pumps

Diaphragm Pumps:

For transferring oils and similar hazardous fluids air-operated and electric diaphragm pumps employ flexible membranes that isolate the pump cavities making them useful for these purposes.

Diaphragm Pumps

Methods of mechanical linkages, hydraulic fluid and air, etc are used to actuate the diaphragm, and as hand-operated units diaphragm pumps are also available and these all provide an effective way of sludge, pumping grout, etc.

Components of Reciprocating Pump:

There are the following components used in the reciprocating pumps is given below;

  1. Suction pipe
  2. Suction valve
  3. Delivery pipe
  4. Delivery valve
  5. Cylinder
  6. Piston and piston rod
  7. Strainer
  8. Crank and connecting rod
  9. Air vessel


Suction Pipe & Suction Valve:

To the cylinder of the reciprocating pump suction pipe connects the source of liquid and from the source to the cylinder the liquid is sucked by this pipe.

In the suction valve only one-directional flow is possible and this is placed between the cylinder and suction pipe inlet.

Delivery Pipe & Delivery Valve:

To the outlet source, the delivery pipe connects the cylinder of the pump and through this pipe, the liquid is delivered to the desired outlet location.

Delivery valve also placed between delivery pipe outlet and cylinder and during suction it is in close position while during discharging of liquid it is in open position.


From the steel alloy or cast iron a hallow cylinder is made and inside the cylinder the arrangement of piston and piston rod is done.

Piston & Piston Rod:

To perform suction & deliverance of liquid the piston moves backward and forward inside the hollow cylinder and is a solid type of cylinder part and to help its linear motion piston rod helps the piston.

Crank & Connecting Rod:

To power source like a motor the crank is connected and is a solid circular disc and connecting rod connects the crank to the piston.

Strainer & Air Vessel:

To prevent the entrance of solids from water sources into the cylinder the strainer is provided at the end of the suction pipe.

To eliminate the frictional head air vessel are connected to both suction and delivery pipe.

Working Of Reciprocating Pump:

There are following points in the working of the reciprocating pump as given below;

  1. To crank when the power source is connected the crank will start rotating and along with the crank connecting rod also displaced.
  2. In linear direction the piston connected to the connecting rod will move and the piston moves towards its right and create a vacuum in the cylinder if the crank moves outward.
  3. To open this vacuum causes the suction valve and into the cylinder liquid from the source is forcibly sucked by the suction pipe.
  4. The piston will move towards the left and compresses the liquid in the cylinder when the crank moves inwards or towards the cylinder.
  5. Now, to open the pressure makes the delivery valve and through delivery pipe the liquid will discharge.
  6. The whole liquid in the cylinder is delivered through the delivery valve when the piston reaches its extreme left position.
  7. Then the cranks rotate outwards and to create suction piston moves right and repeat the whole process.

In a single acting reciprocating pump the above process can be observed and in this pump there is only one revolution of the crank per one delivery stroke and there will be two delivery strokes per one revolution of the crank in double acting reciprocating pump.

Uses of Reciprocating Pump:

There are following uses of this pump such as;

  1. Pneumatic pressure system.
  2. Oil drilling operations.
  3. Feeding small boilers condensate return.
  4. Light oil pumping.
  5. Used in high-pressure requirement applications.
  6. Used for inflation of tires.
  7. Used in industries of oil and gas.
  8. It is used for food processing.
  9. Also used for the soap manufacturing.

Advantages of Reciprocating Pump:

There are the following advantages of this pump such as;

  1. At the outlet high pressure is obtained.
  2. In this pump the priming process is not needed.
  3. Reciprocating pump provides high suction lift.
  4. This pump is also used for air.
  5. High efficiency and can deliver water at high pressure.
  6. Discharge continuo’s rate.

Disadvantages of Reciprocating Pump:

There are also the disadvantages of reciprocating pump as given below;

  1. Because of more water wear and tear of parts it requires high maintenance.
  2. Low flow rate.
  3. In size they are heavy and bulky.
  4. The initial cost is high.
  5. High wear in parts and no uniform torque.
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